I recently got out my old computer with Windows XP, knowing it was broke already and would not startup, i went to see if there was anything i could do but theres nothing. I noticed my product key on my COA, My computer never came with a CD and it is an old COMPAQ. I am wondering if there is anyway i can get a CD to reinstall XP and still have my old files that were on it, because there were come pictures videos and other things i want, which is why i never threw it away. I am currently using Vista.
If you want to retrieve files from an old computer that will not start, download and/or make an "offline operating system disc". Search the internet for "BartPE" and "Ultimate Boot CD" as two of the better examples. You then start and run the computer from the Operating System loaded from the disc. Once the computer is started, you gather the files you want to save and copy them to a flash drive or other connected or network storage.
If you have a Vista reinstallation disc, it may be able to accomplish the same thing as the above.
Or, purchase an external USB 2 hard disk drive enclosure. Remove the HDD from the old Compaq, install into the enclosure, connect to your new computer and your files are there to be accessed and copied. Once you have retrieved all the files you want, repartition and reformat the external HDD and use it for backup storage.
The product key is a Compaq OEM key which is good ONLY on the dead Compaq computer. You are not permitted by the End User Licensing Agreement to move the license (in the form of the product key) to any other computer. The OEM license from Compaq lives and dies with the computer.For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp