vista preloaded onto a dell laptop product key invalid RRS feed

  • Question

  • I bought a Dell with Vista preloaded. There was no activation time asked for. That was the primary operating system it came with, but it didn't come with the actual product. It suddenly stopped allowing me to sign in as long as I entered a new Vista OS key.

    I'm an "old person" in the computer world - had a computer when there was no hard drive at all.  But, I stopped studying a lot....ooohhh. big mistake.

    I don't understand why this is.

    So....being a quick clicker and typer, and old school-I went to DOS and deleted the OS through DOS command line. I can find those that I used. I did (do apparently still) have my harddrive partitioned. It seems it maybe erased one of them (i can see the memory space usable in the bios)...though all of the drivers and .dll files are there. Vista is still there. I wanted to overwrite my system with my old XP with the original program that came with another computer. It has 5 licenses.

    So, when I change the boot up sequence in Phoenix BIOS, it doesn't recognize my disc drive. It actually says that the drive is corrupted. I can't extract any data that way. I am considering taking the OS from this particular computer and putting it onto one of my thumbs. 

    So, I am a bit lost. I had a great friend/guru telling me a cryptic message (at least to me) to "go to Linux and tell them"-"research nonbootable disk and remap the DOS commands". This made no sense to me in particular. I also use Lenux Red Hat, but it's on a disc and back then I could boot from my disc drive.

    This has been a puzzle I've been playing with for a while. At some point I did something that came up with an error message #1726. 

    Lastly, I was allowing all of the directory files to run through as I went into safe mode with DOS command prompt. I saw in the directory the partition manager files in c: \ windows\system32\partmgr.sys. Is there some quick DOS command line I can run with the correct path that can restore my disc drive?

    If not can anyone give me a clue about how to simply write over this Vista hurdle and put XP on my system?
    Friday, January 8, 2010 4:18 AM