A valid product key, that Windows XP setup up process says is "Invailid" RRS feed

  • Question

  • My wife's laptop harddrive was so messed up from torjans, viruses, etc.. that the only option was to buy a new harddrive and just re-install. So I went out bought a new harddrive put the harddrive in and used the Windows XP disc that came with the computer to re-install. After Windows X copied its new file to the computer, but before the setup process is complete it asks for the Product Key. Unfortunatly my wife either took of the COA Sticker that was on the underside of the laptop or it just fell off do to how hot her computer gets.
    So without a product key i just simply left the computer alone went online to amazon and bought a new Windows XP full version with SP2. Got it in the mail, went back to the laptop pluged in the Product Key number that was on the back on the folder only to see after I hit next "This Product Key is not Valid". I re-tried thinking maybe i missed read.. still "not valid" mad as anything call Microsoft who checks the product key and says" that product key is still good" and I would have to pay an addtional $59.99 for 1 day if I wanted more help. So this is my last resort. The microsoft website doesn't explain anything about this. I'm either thinking the problem is the original disk I put in that came with my computer has some sort of product key registry that says the valid keys it would take and thats why, or 2 i need to re-wipe my brand new harddrive clearing out the XP files it put on my comp. with my old cd, and use my new cd to put the files in and re-try with the product key.
    and if you're wonder both the back up disk that came with the laptop  and the XP i bought from Amazon are indeed the same disk. Both Windows XP Full Version SP 2 2002.
    Only difference is the writing on the CD old has "not intended for distrubution other than with new pc" and the new one is "Don't make illegal copies of this."
    So any feed backs would be great.
    Thank you.

    • Edited by KrishnasPad Friday, June 26, 2009 6:16 PM Fixing thread title bug
    Friday, June 12, 2009 1:38 PM


  • Hello Nohrin,

    The old CD contains the bits to install an OEM license for XP which would use the Product Key on the missing CoA.

    The new CD contains the bits to install a full retail license for XP which would use the Product Key on the yellow-orange sticker on the folder that came in the retail box.

    The Product Key and license type have to match, or else you get the "not valid" message, which you saw when you tried to use the retail Product Key to install the OEM license for XP.

    The solution is to do a clean installation of XP using the new CD and then when it asks for the Product Key, use the Product Key that came with the new CD.
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Proposed as answer by Stephen Holm Friday, June 12, 2009 5:32 PM
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Monday, June 15, 2009 4:41 PM
    Friday, June 12, 2009 4:20 PM