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"Product Key Invalid" Reinstalling XP Pro on Replacement Hard Drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • The hard drive on a computer I built some time ago cratered. I bought a replacement drive and am trying to install the same legal (retail) copy of XP Pro on the drive. Everything seems to have run fine until I get to the point of entering the Product Key. I get the "product key invalid" dialog box. I've reentered the key numerous times. Can't get past this step to finish the install. So, what are my options? I'm just about to toss the machine out the window! Help!! Thanks!

    Saturday, December 25, 2010 5:32 AM

Answers

  • "Steve776" wrote in message news:50ba5327-cb15-4252-9f18-824b80480b6a...

    Thanks for responding Noel! The copy of XP I'm trying to install was originally purchased for the machine I'm replacing the hard drive in. It is a full version, not an upgrade. And the labeling on the disk itself specifies it is for "a new computer..." The product key is on the original folder. So from my perspective everything matches. The only thing different is the new hard drive which I'm assuming is being seen as a different computer. Guess I'm trying to figure out how I can go about using the OS software I purchased and own on this new drive. Seems like there must be a way. Any thoughts?


    The giveaway here is  'FOR A NEW COMPUTER' - that means that your disk is an OEM System Builder disk. Assuming you've changed nothing but the Hard drive there should be no problem reinstalling it. You say you bought this 'retail' - please describe the packaging.
    Did the Product Key come on a yellow/orange sticker inside the wallet, or on a transferable sticky label (which you were supposed to stick onto the computer case)?
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:38 PM
    Saturday, December 25, 2010 9:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello Steve776,

    As Noel noted, it sounds like you have a mix up----the description of the packaging, folder, and yellow-orange product key Proof of License label matches what would be expected for a retail license for XP.

    However, if your hologrammed disc has "For distribution with a new PC only. For product support contact the manufacturer of the PC", that means it's a systembuilder/OEM disc that will not accept a product key from a Proof of License label.  These types of discs will only accept a product key from an OEM Certificate of Authenticity (CoA).

    So the mix up is that you are trying to use a retail product key with an OEM disc, which won't work and will throw an error along the lines of "the product key you are trying to use is invalid for this system."

    Solution...match the retail PK with the retail disc, or match the OEM disc with the PK from an OEM CoA.

    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:38 PM
    Sunday, December 26, 2010 10:26 PM

All replies

  • "Steve776" wrote in message news:47432624-d68a-4bcf-82e6-7759a36fe9f7...

    The hard drive on a computer I built some time ago cratered. I bought a replacement drive and am trying to install the same legal (retail) copy of XP Pro on the drive. Everything seems to have run fine until I get to the point of entering the Product Key. I get the "product key invalid" dialog box. I've reentered the key numerous times. Can't get past this step to finish the install. So, what are my options? I'm just about to toss the machine out the window! Help!! Thanks!


    The usual two reason for this error (apart from entering a wrong key) are
    1) You are using the wrong disk type - OEM instead of Retail or vice-versa
    3) You are installing the wrong edition of XP - Pro rather than Home, or vice-versa.
     
    Check your Media, and your COA sticker or XP package.
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, December 25, 2010 12:51 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for responding Noel! The copy of XP I'm trying to install was originally purchased for the machine I'm replacing the hard drive in. It is a full version, not an upgrade. And the labeling on the disk itself specifies it is for "a new computer..." The product key is on the original folder. So from my perspective everything matches. The only thing different is the new hard drive which I'm assuming is being seen as a different computer. Guess I'm trying to figure out how I can go about using the OS software I purchased and own on this new drive. Seems like there must be a way. Any thoughts?

    Saturday, December 25, 2010 6:59 PM
  • "Steve776" wrote in message news:50ba5327-cb15-4252-9f18-824b80480b6a...

    Thanks for responding Noel! The copy of XP I'm trying to install was originally purchased for the machine I'm replacing the hard drive in. It is a full version, not an upgrade. And the labeling on the disk itself specifies it is for "a new computer..." The product key is on the original folder. So from my perspective everything matches. The only thing different is the new hard drive which I'm assuming is being seen as a different computer. Guess I'm trying to figure out how I can go about using the OS software I purchased and own on this new drive. Seems like there must be a way. Any thoughts?


    The giveaway here is  'FOR A NEW COMPUTER' - that means that your disk is an OEM System Builder disk. Assuming you've changed nothing but the Hard drive there should be no problem reinstalling it. You say you bought this 'retail' - please describe the packaging.
    Did the Product Key come on a yellow/orange sticker inside the wallet, or on a transferable sticky label (which you were supposed to stick onto the computer case)?
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:38 PM
    Saturday, December 25, 2010 9:20 PM
    Moderator
  • The packaging is a tri-fold folder with a rubber peg holding the disk. An insert sleeve on the right side contains the manual and add materials. The key is on a yellow/orange sticker on the back of the folder. New development: now I can't get the machine to go past the memory check. With or without the disk in the CD drive the result is the same. It just goes through checking the memory, says ok. The option to press DEL to enter the BIOS is at the bottom of the window. Pressing DEL does not work. I cannot enter the BIOS area. Geez this is beginning to frustrate the heck out of me!

    Sunday, December 26, 2010 8:15 PM
  • Hello Steve776,

    As Noel noted, it sounds like you have a mix up----the description of the packaging, folder, and yellow-orange product key Proof of License label matches what would be expected for a retail license for XP.

    However, if your hologrammed disc has "For distribution with a new PC only. For product support contact the manufacturer of the PC", that means it's a systembuilder/OEM disc that will not accept a product key from a Proof of License label.  These types of discs will only accept a product key from an OEM Certificate of Authenticity (CoA).

    So the mix up is that you are trying to use a retail product key with an OEM disc, which won't work and will throw an error along the lines of "the product key you are trying to use is invalid for this system."

    Solution...match the retail PK with the retail disc, or match the OEM disc with the PK from an OEM CoA.

    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:38 PM
    Sunday, December 26, 2010 10:26 PM