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  • Question

  • Hi all,

    I purchased a used (second hand) computer with Windows XP Professional already installed. It has a Microsoft Windows sticker and the product key matches the one of the installed Windows. Could I consider I have a license or should I purchase another one?

     

    Thank you,

    Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:35 PM

Answers

  • Adrian,

    Please follow these steps for assistance:

    Step 1 is to run the utility at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012, then click the Windows tab, click the "Copy" button, then paste the report into a response in this thread.

    Step 2 is to look on the computer or with the materials you received with the computer or with your retail purchase of  Windows to see if you have a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).  If you have one, tell us about the COA.  Tell us:

    1.  What edition of Windows XP is it for, Home, Pro, or Media Center, or another version of Windows?  You have already told us it is for XP Pro and it is affixed to the computer's case.

    2.  Does it read "OEM Software" or "OEM Product" in black lettering?

    3.  Or, does it have the computer manufacturer's name in black lettering?

    4.  DO NOT post the Product Key.

    Not sure what to look for?  See this page for reference:  http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/en/coa.mspx

    • Marked as answer by JeniferA Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:32 PM
    Friday, April 6, 2007 1:26 AM
  • Adrian,

     

    Assuming of course that your computer is an HP, I'd say that your computer is running a properly licensed installation of XP Pro. 

     

     Big manufacturers like HP assemble thousands and thousands of computers every day, and they use a special MS-assigned PK on their deployment images, so it's possible that tens of thousands of computers have left HP factories with the same PK installed.  It would be perfectly normal for the installed PK to NOT match the CoA.  The fact that the installed Product Key matches the one on the CoA is a pretty good indicator that the previous owner used a generic OEM XP Pro CD to install XP Pro (a viable alternative when factory supplied recovery CDs or recovery partitions are not available), or the previous owner used the Product Key Updater utility to change the PK. 

    • Marked as answer by JeniferA Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:32 PM
    Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:57 PM

All replies

  • Adrian,

    Please follow these steps for assistance:

    Step 1 is to run the utility at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012, then click the Windows tab, click the "Copy" button, then paste the report into a response in this thread.

    Step 2 is to look on the computer or with the materials you received with the computer or with your retail purchase of  Windows to see if you have a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).  If you have one, tell us about the COA.  Tell us:

    1.  What edition of Windows XP is it for, Home, Pro, or Media Center, or another version of Windows?  You have already told us it is for XP Pro and it is affixed to the computer's case.

    2.  Does it read "OEM Software" or "OEM Product" in black lettering?

    3.  Or, does it have the computer manufacturer's name in black lettering?

    4.  DO NOT post the Product Key.

    Not sure what to look for?  See this page for reference:  http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/en/coa.mspx

    • Marked as answer by JeniferA Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:32 PM
    Friday, April 6, 2007 1:26 AM
  • Hi Dan,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Unfortunately I’m not home and I’ll be still away for another month so I cannot run the utility you recommend from my PC.

    I can give details on Step 2.

    Yes … I have the Certificate of Authenticity on the PC unit. It reads:

    Windows XP Professional 1-2CPU

    HPQ (in black bold lettering)

     

    HPQ I guess would be the manufacturer’s name. (Hewlett-Packard)

     

    Would be this enough to know if I have a legal license or I need to purchase another one L ?

     

    Adrian
    Thursday, April 26, 2007 7:10 PM
  • Adrian,

     

    Assuming of course that your computer is an HP, I'd say that your computer is running a properly licensed installation of XP Pro. 

     

     Big manufacturers like HP assemble thousands and thousands of computers every day, and they use a special MS-assigned PK on their deployment images, so it's possible that tens of thousands of computers have left HP factories with the same PK installed.  It would be perfectly normal for the installed PK to NOT match the CoA.  The fact that the installed Product Key matches the one on the CoA is a pretty good indicator that the previous owner used a generic OEM XP Pro CD to install XP Pro (a viable alternative when factory supplied recovery CDs or recovery partitions are not available), or the previous owner used the Product Key Updater utility to change the PK. 

    • Marked as answer by JeniferA Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:32 PM
    Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:57 PM
  • Hi Dan,

     

    Yes, my computer is an HP, in fact a Compaq D51S with SN label from HP ... and yes I feel much better now knowing that I don't need to purchase a new license Wink

     

    Thank you Smile

    Tuesday, May 1, 2007 7:52 PM