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Wrong Product Key. RRS feed

  • Question

  • My XP Media Center packed up the other day and went into a reboot loop. It would not Restore from the disk, so I had to do a fresh reinstall of XP.

    Trouble is when I was asked for the product key it would not accept the one off the MS label on the side of the box.

    (Label States: "Windows XP Home Edition OEM Software")

    It is an original from the factory installation running automatic updates. I am using the original disks that came with the machine (They are MS not OEM). There was no new software installed recently.

    I cannot run the diagnostic tool as it will not boot.

    I've tried the PC maker (Tranquil) a week ago but they haven't got back to me. Where do I go from here?

    (Win XP SP3 Media Center in a Tranquil AVA media player.)

    Saturday, July 17, 2010 6:19 PM

Answers

  • Query – How could it have been a non-genuine installation if it had been getting the automatic updates for several years? When setting up for the automatic updates the MS site checks the installation for authenticity doesn’t it?

    No, automatic updates can be received by any Windows installation regardless of whether it is Genuine or nongenuine.

    OTOH, manually visiting Windows Update and requesting updates does require that a validation check be done.

    Because this computer has a CoA for XP Home, it is licensed for XP Home and it is expected that the XP Home product key and the XP Home genuine installaiton disc would work together normally.

    Don't just chase after a product key......if Tranquil PC sold you a computer and the sales documentation states that you were to receive a genuine license for XP MCE 2005, in order to fulfill that promise Tranquil needs to supply you with genuine Microsoft systembuilder/OEM hologrammed installation discs (just like the ones that you have that came with the computer that was returned), the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity for XP MCE 2005 with a Genuine XP MCE product key printed on it, and a thin User Guide pamphlet.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    Monday, July 19, 2010 1:28 AM

All replies

  • "Slatts" wrote in message news:a462b205-5e71-480d-af3e-c419d27f36de...

    My XP Media Center packed up the other day and went into a reboot loop. It would not Restore from the disk, so I had to do a fresh reinstall of XP.

    Trouble is when I was asked for the product key it would not accept the one off the MS label on the side of the box.

    (Label States: "Windows XP Home Edition OEM Software")

    It is an original from the factory installation running automatic updates. I am using the original disks that came with the machine (They are MS not OEM). There was no new software installed recently.

    I cannot run the diagnostic tool as it will not boot.

    I've tried the PC maker (Tranquil) a week ago but they haven't got back to me. Where do I go from here?

    (Win XP SP3 Media Center in a Tranquil AVA media player.)


    Windows Media Center was a superset of Windows XP Professional - NOT Windows XP Home. This would imply that your earlier install of MCE was not 'legal'
     
    What do the disks look like? What significant wording is there on them?
    What is the EXACT wording on the COA sticker (do not post the key itself)?
     
    I've never heard of Tranquil PC's - do you have any data on them?
    Please run an MGADiag report on your present installation, and post the result. (instructions are in the Announcements at the head of the forum index page)
     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, July 17, 2010 8:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Interesting!

    The Disks look normal MS ones. See photo: http://www.slatts.ukfsn.org/temp/Disks.jpg

    Re: the Label - this too looks normal. See photo: http://www.slatts.ukfsn.org/temp/Label.jpg

    Re Tranquil - They are a small manufacturer of silent PCs, mostly Media Centers and Home Servers. (and normally very good on support but I guess they must have gone on holiday!)

    See: http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk/

    How do I run MGADiag? Note original problem - It won't boot.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010 9:37 PM
  • "Slatts" wrote in message news:4b72ef58-740b-461d-8c7e-a6670bc6536c...

    Interesting!

    The Disks look normal MS ones. See photo: http://www.slatts.ukfsn.org/temp/Disks.jpg

    Re: the Label - this too looks normal. See photo: http://www.slatts.ukfsn.org/temp/Label.jpg

    Re Tranquil - They are a small manufacturer of silent PCs, mostly Media Centers and Home Servers. (and normally very good on support but I guess they must have gone on holiday!)

    See: http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk/

    How do I run MGADiag? Note original problem - It won't boot.


    Ooops - missed that minor point! :)
    It sounds to me as if they've taken an off-the-shelf OEM Home, and then played with it, to get it to take the Media Center bits installed (it is possible, but not supported or legal).
     
    Both disks appear in the photo to have sticky labels on - saying 'Microsoft'. Is that the case, or just a photo artefact?
    If it IS the case, then they should be viewed with suspicion.
    If the hologram looks like it may be a stick-on affair - it's a fake.
     
    The label certainly looks OK - for a Home one, when it should be an MCE one.
    All I can think of is to keep badgering them for a response - but I suspect that you have more of a problem than just the wrong Key, as a non-booting fresh install would imply a hardware problem, or at the very least a failed install (possibly because of the wrong drivers being installed).
     
    Can you boot to Safe Mode at all?
    At what point in the reinstall did it refuse to boot?

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, July 17, 2010 10:58 PM
    Moderator
  • There are no labels on the disks, the holograms appear normal and are defiantly not stuck on.
    It looks exactly the same as my other XP disk.

     

    The original problem was a reboot loop but now I am stuck at 'Product key' and can’t get past that page.

     

    I’ve just remembered - When I originally bought this machine I had a problem with it overheating and they sent the current one as a replacement – could that be the problem? Could the disks have got mixed up between the two? I thought manufactures had a generic install…?

    Note - did a search and I've found a disk that I marked as being from the original machine - It is Windows XP Home edition SP2.

    Could it be that is the disk to use and the others are an upgrade? But I'll still need a product key won't I?

    It's a bit late right now and I'm working tomorrow... ... (Today!) I will try that disk when I get back and let you know.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010 11:20 PM
  • Hello Slatts,

    So far you do not appear to have a Windows Genuine Advantage issue.

    The Certificate of Authenticity of which you posted a pic is, as you mentioned, XP Home Edition, so there should be no expectation of this product key working with the discs you posted, which are XP Media Center Edition.  So the "problem" of the XP Home product key being rejected by the XP MCE installation is not a problem per se, it is expected.

    The XP MCE discs are an entity unto themselves, they are not a supplement or add-on to the XP Home disc.  The hologrammed pair of XP MCE discs would have come with a Certificate of Authenticity stating XP Media Center Edition 2005 and of course would have had the product key printed on it.

    Since you stated there was a swap previously, then one could speculate that your original computer that overheated had a genuine systembuilder/small manufacturer OEM XP MCE installation (based on the pair of hologramed discs), and the one they sent you as a replacement came with just the XP Home Edition installation.  One could further speculate that you installed XP MCE on the replacement computer using the discs and the product key that came with the original overheating computer (which would have been a nongenuine installation seeing as how the replacement computer was not licesed for XP MCE, just for XP Home).  This flew under the radar for some time until the recent crash.  Reinstalling the XP MCE, you suddenly discovered that you no longer had the product key for XP MCE handy, so in desperation you tried the XP Home product key on the computer's CoA, but of course that did not work.

    So, the bottom line on all this is, the computer is licensed for XP Home and you can put XP Home on it with the product key on the CoA and the XP Home installation disc that came with the computer.  If you want to install XP MCE, you're going to have to acquire an MCE Product Key.  If you think that the swap done by Tranquil PC should have concluded with you keeping the XP MCE license that came on the overheating computer, well, that's something that you'll have to take up with Tranquil.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    Sunday, July 18, 2010 12:33 AM
  • "Dan at IT Associates" wrote in message news:3734e1cb-c262-4eef-8297-7be0dedb6bfb...

    Hello Slatts,

    So far you do not appear to have a Windows Genuine Advantage issue.

    The Certificate of Authenticity of which you posted a pic is, as you mentioned, XP Home Edition, so there should be no expectation of this product key working with the discs you posted, which are XP Media Center Edition.  So the "problem" of the XP Home product key being rejected by the XP MCE installation is not a problem per se, it is expected.

    The XP MCE discs are an entity unto themselves, they are not a supplement or add-on to the XP Home disc.  The hologrammed pair of XP MCE discs would have come with a Certificate of Authenticity stating XP Media Center Edition 2005 and of course would have had the product key printed on it.

    Since you stated there was a swap previously, then one could speculate that your original computer that overheated had a genuine systembuilder/small manufacturer OEM XP MCE installation (based on the pair of hologramed discs), and the one they sent you as a replacement came with just the XP Home Edition installation.  One could further speculate that you installed XP MCE on the replacement computer using the discs and the product key that came with the original overheating computer (which would have been a nongenuine installation seeing as how the replacement computer was not licesed for XP MCE, just for XP Home).  This flew under the radar for some time until the recent crash.  Reinstalling the XP MCE, you suddenly discovered that you no longer had the product key for XP MCE handy, so in desperation you tried the XP Home product key on the computer's CoA, but of course that did not work.

    So, the bottom line on all this is, the computer is licensed for XP Home and you can put XP Home on it with the product key on the CoA and the XP Home installation disc that came with the computer.  If you want to install XP MCE, you're going to have to acquire an MCE Product Key.  If you think that the swap done by Tranquil PC should have concluded with you keeping the XP MCE license that came on the overheating computer, well, that's something that you'll have to take up with Tranquil.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97

    Agreed - I have to speculate that most PC users don't actually use the MCE add-ons anyhow, unless they're specifically bought for the purpose of an entertainment system , rather than a computer.
    Just to satisfy my curiosity, Slatts - would you tell us whether you've been using the Remote control, and/or the other parts of  MCE with the system, before it broke?

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Sunday, July 18, 2010 7:12 AM
    Moderator
  • To answer both your queries.

    The machine was bought as, came as and has been use exclusively as a Media Center machine – I have not installed any MS software on it since I first got it other than the automatic updates. It worked faultlessly out of the box with all Media Center functions including the remote. The only thing I have done is set up the networking, the TV stations and the TV guide.

     

    Query – How could it have been a non-genuine installation if it had been getting the automatic updates for several years? When setting up for the automatic updates the MS site checks the installation for authenticity doesn’t it?

     

    Further to this the product key worked fine with the XP Home disk so I will use that and continue to chase Tranquil about the Product Key for the Media Center version.

     

    In the meanwhile I will use something like Media Portal to watch TV, because although I have an emergency use Freeview (UK DTV) box I <really – really> miss the time shift function of the PC version!

     

    Thanks for your help. I will up date this if I get anywhere chasing that MCE product key.

     

    Sunday, July 18, 2010 10:21 PM
  • Query – How could it have been a non-genuine installation if it had been getting the automatic updates for several years? When setting up for the automatic updates the MS site checks the installation for authenticity doesn’t it?

    No, automatic updates can be received by any Windows installation regardless of whether it is Genuine or nongenuine.

    OTOH, manually visiting Windows Update and requesting updates does require that a validation check be done.

    Because this computer has a CoA for XP Home, it is licensed for XP Home and it is expected that the XP Home product key and the XP Home genuine installaiton disc would work together normally.

    Don't just chase after a product key......if Tranquil PC sold you a computer and the sales documentation states that you were to receive a genuine license for XP MCE 2005, in order to fulfill that promise Tranquil needs to supply you with genuine Microsoft systembuilder/OEM hologrammed installation discs (just like the ones that you have that came with the computer that was returned), the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity for XP MCE 2005 with a Genuine XP MCE product key printed on it, and a thin User Guide pamphlet.


    Buy Office 2007 Now, Get Office 2010 Free http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/tech-guarantee/microsoft-office-2010-technology-guarantee-FX101825695.aspx?CTT=97
    Monday, July 19, 2010 1:28 AM
  • Don't just chase after a product key......if Tranquil PC sold you a computer and the sales documentation states that you were to receive a genuine license for XP MCE 2005, in order to fulfill that promise Tranquil needs to supply you with genuine Microsoft systembuilder/OEM hologrammed installation discs (just like the ones that you have that came with the computer that was returned), the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity for XP MCE 2005 with a Genuine XP MCE product key printed on it, and a thin User Guide pamphlet.

    Noted - Thanks.

    I will continue to chase them. But still no response to date. I do hope they haven't gone bust!

    Monday, July 19, 2010 8:41 PM
  • Further to all that I eventually managed to contact Tranquil. After much emailing at first they said they would send me a correct product key but as time went by and more emails that promise evaporated, they said that they did not have any XP product keys and therefore could not help me!

    And that was that!

    Guess who has just lost a repeat customer?

     

     

    Thursday, August 12, 2010 5:01 PM
  • It sounds to me as if they've taken an off-the-shelf OEM Home, and then played with it, to get it to take the Media Center bits installed (it is possible, but not supported or legal).


    Well I never heard of the law that Congress passed that said playing with the "media center bits"  was illegal, do you care to post more details?

    Regarding the "media center bits" it is actually well documented and frequently discussed in Microsoft's OFFICIAL Media Center Forums, e.g.: http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/t/4053.aspx

     


    Saturday, August 14, 2010 4:41 AM
  • "Andreas van dem Helge" wrote in message news:c47660f5-a2e6-460c-8066-54b8ab99544e...
    It sounds to me as if they've taken an off-the-shelf OEM Home, and then played with it, to get it to take the Media Center bits installed (it is possible, but not supported or legal).


    Well I never heard of the law that Congress passed that said playing with the "media center bits"  was illegal, do you care to post more details?

    Regarding the "media center bits" it is actually well documented and frequently discussed in Microsoft's OFFICIAL Media Center Forums, e.g.: http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/t/4053.aspx

     


     

    --


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, August 14, 2010 5:27 AM
    Moderator