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Dell Laptop xp activation RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently experienced a hard-drive failure (i hear the same story for many other Dell Inspiron 6400 owners) and had to install windows XP home on it again. problem is i had received no XP disk with the laptop initially, so i did what any red-blooded person would do, and borrowed someone else's installation cd (it was an urgent matter as I was and still am schooling). After installing, i found that I could not activate. Im not sure why, i still have the product key sticker on the bottom of my laptop. i tried to call the support, talked to a person for a while, then got forwarded to an automated process, which, after a few questions and a short wait on hold, told me to "hang up the phone." this is quite frustrating.
    Friday, September 19, 2008 5:06 PM

Answers

  • SnackmanSolidX10,

    The quiestion of if you have Windows XP on your system is not the issue here. How you got it on your system is. OEM's like Dell mass produce and purchase a version of the Microsoft Operating System Windows XP and mass install it as the mass produce machines. Those copies of the Operating System are their legal copies.  Then those same OEM companies, are give Product Keys appropriate to their copies of the Operating Systems they purchase.

    In other words, if your friend lended you a Retail copy of Windows XP, and you tried to activate with a Dell OEM Product Key, it will not activate because the OS type - Retail - does not mach your product key - which is an OEM, not a Retail product key.

    In your case, you will need to go to Dell's website, look up your model number, and look to see if they have recovery media options available for you. IF all you did is replace your hard drive, and your motherboard is still the same motherboard, you should be able to reinstall the same Dell OEM Version of XP and activate with your product key. You will need to obtain the OEM version of XP from Dell though.

    I'm sure you did this already, but I feel the need to give this info too: If you get the support rep from Dell on the line, before they begin getting your information, mention that your hard drive died, you lost your recovery media, and have replaced your hard drive, and need recovery media. See if they simply direct you on what to do. If Dell OEM says they no longer support, or only offers website help, and you cannot find your OEM copy, you may need to purchase a full Retail verion which will come with a full Retail product key, and use that to activate and move on.

    What I am learning as I offer help in these forums, is that one question I should ask my computer's manufacturer before I purchase an OEM machine is, how long do your support replacement/recovery media for? I've never had to go there before I started reading posts with this similar situation.

    I hope my information helps you figure a little more out.

    Rick, MS
    • Marked as answer by RickImAPC Monday, September 22, 2008 3:32 PM
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 10:02 PM

All replies

  • SnackManSolidX10,

    Thank you for visiting the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program forums. Normally when you purchase a laptop from an OEM and it comes without media, it is because there is a hidden partition on your hard disk that is a recovery partition. If it did come with recovery media and you don't have it, you may want to contact your OEM Manufacture for replacement media which is normally pretty cheap, OR for instructions on how to recover your machine.

    I hope this information helps. Retail media can only be used on 1 computer at a time, and will cause validation issues if it is on more than one machine.

    Rick, MS
    Friday, September 19, 2008 9:53 PM
  • well... any hidden partitions on my last hard drive went with the hard drive. I had my warranty with dell end (of course) just before the hard drive went, so we will see. also, its not like i don't have XP on my system, I just need to activate it before the 30 days is up. I have my product key, but it does not seem to take.
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 4:19 AM
  • SnackmanSolidX10,

    The quiestion of if you have Windows XP on your system is not the issue here. How you got it on your system is. OEM's like Dell mass produce and purchase a version of the Microsoft Operating System Windows XP and mass install it as the mass produce machines. Those copies of the Operating System are their legal copies.  Then those same OEM companies, are give Product Keys appropriate to their copies of the Operating Systems they purchase.

    In other words, if your friend lended you a Retail copy of Windows XP, and you tried to activate with a Dell OEM Product Key, it will not activate because the OS type - Retail - does not mach your product key - which is an OEM, not a Retail product key.

    In your case, you will need to go to Dell's website, look up your model number, and look to see if they have recovery media options available for you. IF all you did is replace your hard drive, and your motherboard is still the same motherboard, you should be able to reinstall the same Dell OEM Version of XP and activate with your product key. You will need to obtain the OEM version of XP from Dell though.

    I'm sure you did this already, but I feel the need to give this info too: If you get the support rep from Dell on the line, before they begin getting your information, mention that your hard drive died, you lost your recovery media, and have replaced your hard drive, and need recovery media. See if they simply direct you on what to do. If Dell OEM says they no longer support, or only offers website help, and you cannot find your OEM copy, you may need to purchase a full Retail verion which will come with a full Retail product key, and use that to activate and move on.

    What I am learning as I offer help in these forums, is that one question I should ask my computer's manufacturer before I purchase an OEM machine is, how long do your support replacement/recovery media for? I've never had to go there before I started reading posts with this similar situation.

    I hope my information helps you figure a little more out.

    Rick, MS
    • Marked as answer by RickImAPC Monday, September 22, 2008 3:32 PM
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 10:02 PM
  • As a last effort, you can do the following for me. Run the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool.  This will try and identify the individual issue you may be experiencing. 

    By clicking the link below, you will download the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool.  Then click the Run button. Then click the Run button again. Then click the Continue button to perform the diagnostic. The Windows tab should show, click the Copy button to paste your report to the clipboard.  Then paste the report into a New Post on this Forum by adding a post in it and pressing Ctrl V (to paste the text). Clicking the OK button will clear the Diagnostic window. Here is the download link:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

    Step 2: Tell us about the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for your copy of Windows.

    1. What edition/version of Windows XP is titled? Home, Pro, or Media Center?

    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. Please provide the customer scenario you are experiencing.

    5. DO NOT post the Product Key.

    Not sure what to look for, see this page to reference your COA:

    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/en/coa.mspx

    NOTE: The data collected with the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool does NOT contain any information that can personally identify you. The information can be fully reviewed, by you, before being posted.

    Rick, MS

    • Marked as answer by RickImAPC Monday, September 22, 2008 3:32 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by RickImAPC Monday, September 22, 2008 3:32 PM
    Saturday, September 20, 2008 10:04 PM