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swapping a hard drive and windows product key

    Question

  • Hi i am struggling to find an answer specific to my question

    i have an old machine with a faulty hard drive and a windows xp home product key which was installed on the faulty hard drive.

    The manufacturer no longer provides the recovery disks for the pc and i am going to install a new hard drive but i do not have a windows disk to hand.

    what do i do in this situation? Also can you use any windows disk to install the os and then use the key that was previously on the machine or is every windows os disk specific to the licence key within the cd?

    apologies if this is a dumb question

    thanks

     

    james

    Monday, November 7, 2011 1:54 PM

Answers

  • There are a number of ways around the problem.

    1) Purchase a set of Recovery Disks from the manufacturer (if a) they still exist, and b) they still have any left)

     

    2) See if you can borrow or beg (but preferably not steal) a Windows XP Home System Builder disk (with an MS Hologrman on it, and the wording 'Only for installation in a new PC' in the hologram) - use the Key from the machine to enable the installand activation.

    3) See if you can find a copy of XP Home with SP3 integrated - this will allow installation of a Default Key, which cannot be bactivated - but will then allow you to use the Product Key Update Tool to change the Key to the one on the COA sticker.

    I would NOT recommend attempting to use any other manufacturer's Recovery disks - they are likely to have problems installing.

     

    Bear in mind that the specs for having XP running reasonably well have now increased to having a minimum of 512MB of RAM - anything less and it's likely to be rather slow, whatever the processor speed is.

     

     .....and there's no such thing as a dumb question - only a dumb answer!


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Monday, November 7, 2011 3:14 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • There are a number of ways around the problem.

    1) Purchase a set of Recovery Disks from the manufacturer (if a) they still exist, and b) they still have any left)

     

    2) See if you can borrow or beg (but preferably not steal) a Windows XP Home System Builder disk (with an MS Hologrman on it, and the wording 'Only for installation in a new PC' in the hologram) - use the Key from the machine to enable the installand activation.

    3) See if you can find a copy of XP Home with SP3 integrated - this will allow installation of a Default Key, which cannot be bactivated - but will then allow you to use the Product Key Update Tool to change the Key to the one on the COA sticker.

    I would NOT recommend attempting to use any other manufacturer's Recovery disks - they are likely to have problems installing.

     

    Bear in mind that the specs for having XP running reasonably well have now increased to having a minimum of 512MB of RAM - anything less and it's likely to be rather slow, whatever the processor speed is.

     

     .....and there's no such thing as a dumb question - only a dumb answer!


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Monday, November 7, 2011 3:14 PM
    Moderator
  • hi many thanks for the response!

    hmm so if i find an original xp cd that has already been registered to another pc i can use that for registration and then i have to change the key to the one on the old cd is that right? im just trying to help a friend and trying to find the most cost effective way.

    i guess we may be better installing windows 7 or linux just to get it working again!?

    Monday, November 7, 2011 4:29 PM
  • "jamesa84" wrote in message news:2db53ecb-e823-422c-9278-767f92623d8c...

    hi many thanks for the response!

    hmm so if i find an original xp cd that has already been registered to another pc i can use that for registration and then i have to change the key to the one on the old cd is that right? im just trying to help a friend and trying to find the most cost effective way.

    i guess we may be better installing windows 7 or linux just to get it working again!?

    Yes and no :)
    Registration and Activation are two totally different things. Most importantly, Activation is Mandatory, while Registration is voluntary.
     
    Activation requires a VALID Product Key – in this case the Key on the COA sticker of your old machine.
    That Key can ONLY be used on that machine – it’s invalid for any other machine – and only with the manufacturer’s motherboard installed.
     
    XP CD’s do NOT come with Keys in (except for Keys that cannot be activated) or on them – all Keys are on stickers, either on the machine’s case or (for Retail products) inside the disk packaging.
     
    You could try restoredisks.com for the Recovery disks, if you’re in the US/Canada. They are reputed to be reliable.
     
     
    You MUST use an XP HOME disk for the reinstall – if it’s a disk with SP 3 integrated it doesn’t matter if it’s OEM or Retail, but anything else, it also has to be an OEM disk. You can then use the Key from your XP machine with that disk to install XP onto that machine.
     
    The problem with the earlier Retail disks is that they  require a valid Key to be input during the installation – and they do not recognise OEM Keys as being valid. So long as you make sure that the machine doesn’t get activated, you could install using a valid Retail Key, and then use the Product Key Update tool to change the Key to the valid OCA Key you have, and then activate the system.
     
     
    Registration just gives MS your email address and other info so that they can pester you – I wouldn’t bother :)
     
    HTH?
     
     
     
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Monday, November 7, 2011 5:00 PM
    Moderator
  • think i get it i dont often to fresh installs of windows. so when i install i guess i just wont enter the activation and just sort it out with microsoft by changing it if i get any problems

    i just seem to remember installing windows from a disk once before and using another key which said invalid, which led me to believe that there was something corresponding with the disk and the key if that makes sense?

    if i can use any xp home cd ill use that and then get an activation code.

     

    sorry if im not using the right teminology all i am referring to is the cd and the activation code that allows me to use windows not registering my product with microsoft :D

     

    cheers

    James

    Monday, November 7, 2011 5:32 PM
  • "jamesa84" wrote in message news:30ca8bf5-5a0a-40e4-8ac4-69ac438416f3...

    think i get it i dont often to fresh installs of windows. so when i install i guess i just wont enter the activation and just sort it out with microsoft by changing it if i get any problems

    i just seem to remember installing windows from a disk once before and using another key which said invalid, which led me to believe that there was something corresponding with the disk and the key if that makes sense?

    if i can use any xp home cd ill use that and then get an activation code.

     

    sorry if im not using the right teminology all i am referring to is the cd and the activation code that allows me to use windows not registering my product with microsoft :D

     

    cheers

    James

    Windows XP insists on having a valid Key for that disk entered before it will finish the install – that’s why you have to be picky about which disk you use.
    the SP3 disks will enter a valid Key of their own, if you don’t,  but earlier versions won;t do this, and the SP3 ‘Default’ Keys cannot be activated.
     
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Monday, November 7, 2011 5:56 PM
    Moderator
  • thanks Noel,

    that makes sense!

    James

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011 1:44 PM