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Store reinstalled Windows Pro over Home, but I have my Windows Home product key RRS feed

  • Question

  • My computer took a dive a while back and I had to have windows reinstalled. They accidentally put pro on my computer, getting rid of my Windows home. Obviously it doesn't validate because it's their copy. I still have my original Windows Home package, unopened with the holographic product key. I have no way of backing up my files to reinstall Home and I know it deletes everything. How can I trade in this product key or bind it to this copy? Is there a link I can enter in this product key?
    Thursday, April 27, 2006 3:42 AM

Answers

  • Jin:

    I'm sorry for the problems that you're experiencing and appreciate the effort you've put to help us make the Genuine experience better.

    We are working on a tool that will allow users to update their Product Key with a real COA (Certificate of Authenticity) without a format. Please note that this takes some time, as we must identify potential hacked binary files and security holes that may occur with non-genuine Windows.

    In this case, the preferred method is to reinstall a fresh copy of Windows. However, if you do not wish to format, you can also have Windows reinstall "on top" of itself. It will place your old Windows XP version with a Windows.Old directory, meanwhile the new copy will be labeled Windows. Your original files will be availible in Windows.Old to retrieve should you not be able to back up your files for a format.

     

    I hope this helps,

    -Phil Liu

    Thursday, April 27, 2006 3:55 AM
  • If the programs originate in Program Files, you will be fine.

     

    To run programs specific to your copy of Windows (say, if you download IE7) - you will need to redownload/reinstall those.

     

    I hope this helps,

     

    -Phil Liu

    Thursday, April 27, 2006 5:55 PM
  • Ronmar:

     

    It is very odd that your defragmenter and ChkDsk does not work. Unless you have a virus conflict, there shouldn't be any reason why it doesn't work. I would suggest contacting Microsoft Support to directly fix this type of issue (if you do not choose to reinstall).

     

    You can use your current media CD to reinstall (with a format), but please be sure to use the Product Key you've purchased from Microsoft. Or, you can wait until the physical CD media arrives at your doorstep. This would be the preferred method, as you get a fresh copy of Windows on your machine.

     

    The choice is yours, however. Let me know if you need anything else!

    -Phil Liu

    Monday, May 8, 2006 7:54 AM
  • Boronx,

     

    This tool isn't available. 

     

     

    Stephen Holm, MS

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 7:07 PM

All replies

  • Jin:

    I'm sorry for the problems that you're experiencing and appreciate the effort you've put to help us make the Genuine experience better.

    We are working on a tool that will allow users to update their Product Key with a real COA (Certificate of Authenticity) without a format. Please note that this takes some time, as we must identify potential hacked binary files and security holes that may occur with non-genuine Windows.

    In this case, the preferred method is to reinstall a fresh copy of Windows. However, if you do not wish to format, you can also have Windows reinstall "on top" of itself. It will place your old Windows XP version with a Windows.Old directory, meanwhile the new copy will be labeled Windows. Your original files will be availible in Windows.Old to retrieve should you not be able to back up your files for a format.

     

    I hope this helps,

    -Phil Liu

    Thursday, April 27, 2006 3:55 AM
  • I'd rather have my Home edition installed on top of Pro like you suggested. (my girlfriend has home on her pc, likes it better than my pro) But does this mean all my other programs will still run through the new Windows, or will need to be downloaded/reinstalled again? That's just as bad as reinstalling windows, I don't know where half of the CD cases are for my online games that need product codes.
    Thursday, April 27, 2006 4:02 AM
  • If the programs originate in Program Files, you will be fine.

     

    To run programs specific to your copy of Windows (say, if you download IE7) - you will need to redownload/reinstall those.

     

    I hope this helps,

     

    -Phil Liu

    Thursday, April 27, 2006 5:55 PM
  • I had somebody reinstall Windows XP Professional to fix problems with the registry and they used the wrong wrong product key.  I was wondering what I need to do to fix this problem? 

    I have a genuine version with the CD and a valid product key.

    Thursday, April 27, 2006 9:44 PM
  • Your best bet is to reinstall with your CD (you can reinstall "over" the original Windows. The old one will be named Windows.Old).

     

    That somebody most likely modified registry or modified binary files to attempt to validate Windows XP, which may cause loopholes we cannot account for properly.

     

    -Phil Liu

    Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:38 PM
  •  Phil Liu MSFT wrote:

    If the programs originate in Program Files, you will be fine.

     

    To run programs specific to your copy of Windows (say, if you download IE7) - you will need to redownload/reinstall those.

     

    I hope this helps,

     

    -Phil Liu

    I had a sort-of similar issue.  I'm not against doing the reinstall "over the top of itself" as you say.  My hesitancy is in the 3-4 days it will take to reinstall all of the programs on this machine.  For the programs that do not reside in the Program Files directory, is there an easy way to reload the registry values or other saved data to at least reduce the time it will take?  I work in IT, so I'm not a novice.  If it was my machine (mine's fine), so be it.  But it's my wife's, and I'll probably be in trouble either way - if I reload, something critical (to her) will be missed and it will be my fault, but if I turn off the messages for WGA and tell her to live with it for now, I'm afraid her pc will be banned from security updates and left vulnerable.  So is there an easy way (read: less time-consuming than reinstall) to re-link some programs, or should I just get prepared for a bad weekend of reinstalls and no sleep?  :)

    Al

    Friday, May 5, 2006 11:37 PM
  • Al2:

     

    I definitely understand the predicament you're in right now :). But, theres no way to go from Pro to Home without a reinstall. I can't really comment on the registry changes that may be needed, as I have no idea what kind of programs you're wanting to move and what settings you want to migrate.

     

    We're working on a tool that will allow you to change your CURRENT version of XP (pro or home) so that your product key matches your COA (of home or pro, the same version). Please keep in mind, we only allow you to change to the same version.

     

    I'm sorry for the trouble, but there is no supported way to move "back" to home without a reinstall.

     

    -Phil Liu

    Saturday, May 6, 2006 2:00 AM
  • Phil,

    Actually, in my case it's Pro to Pro, and I have the Pro key.  The store apparently used their VLK key instead of my key, and now I can't get past the validation.  (I was away on business when the computer acted up and one of the CDs in the backup set got scratched and wouldn't read.  My wife didn't want to wait the 5 days until I got home to fix the pc.  Everything appeared OK.  No way for us to know they used the wrong key).  Will your tool allow me to change from the VLK "corporate" version to regular Pro, or was there enough code change to make them different enough a reinstall would be necessary?  If it will work, do you have a time-frame for release?

    Settings I'm looking for are desktop/environment settings (besides the desktop.ini file), the Hkey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run settings, user profile, etc.  There were a couple of older games that didn't go to the Program Files directory.

    So if I understand right, doing a reinstall on top of itself would rename the old Windows directory and create a new one, and do the same for Program Files.  Does the new Program Files folder contain all the data from the old one?  Would the programs in that folder be in the new Start menu?  I've never reinstalled over the top, since my copy is real I just restored from the monthly Ghost backup I do.  Obviously that won't work in this case.  Once we decide it's right, do I just delete the old directories?

    Al

     

    Saturday, May 6, 2006 4:34 AM
  • I have the same problem. Asked the IT person at my office to just clean up my system and he took it upon himself to re install XP Pro with a VLA that has been blocked. Now I have the disk and key to my XP Home and really don't want to re-install since I have no idea what it will do to my programs and system. Please let me know if you come up with a way to make the correction or change the key.
    Saturday, May 6, 2006 7:22 PM
  •  Al2 wrote:

    Phil,

    Actually, in my case it's Pro to Pro, and I have the Pro key.  The store apparently used their VLK key instead of my key, and now I can't get past the validation.  (I was away on business when the computer acted up and one of the CDs in the backup set got scratched and wouldn't read.  My wife didn't want to wait the 5 days until I got home to fix the pc.  Everything appeared OK.  No way for us to know they used the wrong key).  Will your tool allow me to change from the VLK "corporate" version to regular Pro, or was there enough code change to make them different enough a reinstall would be necessary?  If it will work, do you have a time-frame for release?

    Yep! Our tool will be able to accomodate fixing potentially hacked binary files created to bypass WGA. The time-frame isn't set in stone yet, but it will be very soon. It is currently under development right now.

     Al2 wrote:

    Settings I'm looking for are desktop/environment settings (besides the desktop.ini file), the Hkey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run settings, user profile, etc.  There were a couple of older games that didn't go to the Program Files directory.

    So if I understand right, doing a reinstall on top of itself would rename the old Windows directory and create a new one, and do the same for Program Files.  Does the new Program Files folder contain all the data from the old one?  Would the programs in that folder be in the new Start menu?  I've never reinstalled over the top, since my copy is real I just restored from the monthly Ghost backup I do.  Obviously that won't work in this case.  Once we decide it's right, do I just delete the old directories?

    Well, somewhat right :). If you reinstall Windows on top of the current copy, the current WIndows will be WIndows.Old. The new one will be simply Windows. *Most* files from Program Files directory will be easily used (some programs will require registry updates to register with the new Windows. This should be done with a "repair" install of the program.)

    Program Files directory will not be moved or over-written.

    You will still have access to Windows.Old files until you choose to delete them. So yes, you can just delete them when you're done transferring them over or backing them up into whichever folders you choose.

     

    I know I didn't go much into detail about the tool release, but I hope this helps your timeline,

    -Phil Liu

    Sunday, May 7, 2006 7:10 AM
  • paso101:

     

    Unfortunately, there is no simple way to currently go from a non-genuine XP Pro to genuine Home without a reinstall.

     

    -Phil Liu

    Sunday, May 7, 2006 7:11 AM
  • Phil,

    Thanks.  Very helpful.  I'll hold out for the tool.

    BTW, I only hit "reply" and it auto-quoted the whole thing.

    Al

    Sunday, May 7, 2006 6:17 PM
  • I may be on the wrong thread so please excuse if so>

    Phil Liu:

    A couple of days after the auto WGA update, I tried to do a Defrag. I got the msg that:  "Defragmenter has detected that Chkdsk is scheduled to run on the volume: 200 GB HD (F:).

    Please run Chkdsk/F     OK"

    I can no longer get Chkdsk or Defrag to run. I have done numerous virus/spyware-type scans but came up with nothing; System Restore did not solve problem either.

    I ordered  yesterday, and received my genuine Product Code today. I downloaded the Validation tool, which found no errors during its runnning.  Does this now put me in the position of having to use the XP-P disk, when it arrives, for a complete re-install, or should I just try to over-write the existing,  now legal, version?
    Monday, May 8, 2006 2:30 AM
  • Ronmar:

     

    It is very odd that your defragmenter and ChkDsk does not work. Unless you have a virus conflict, there shouldn't be any reason why it doesn't work. I would suggest contacting Microsoft Support to directly fix this type of issue (if you do not choose to reinstall).

     

    You can use your current media CD to reinstall (with a format), but please be sure to use the Product Key you've purchased from Microsoft. Or, you can wait until the physical CD media arrives at your doorstep. This would be the preferred method, as you get a fresh copy of Windows on your machine.

     

    The choice is yours, however. Let me know if you need anything else!

    -Phil Liu

    Monday, May 8, 2006 7:54 AM
  •  Jin Saotome wrote:
    My computer took a dive a while back and I had to have windows reinstalled. They accidentally put pro on my computer, getting rid of my Windows home. Obviously it doesn't validate because it's their copy. I still have my original Windows Home package, unopened with the holographic product key. I have no way of backing up my files to reinstall Home and I know it deletes everything. How can I trade in this product key or bind it to this copy? Is there a link I can enter in this product key?
    Monday, May 8, 2006 1:18 PM
  • Much to my wonderment and surprise, Chkdsk started this morn at boot-up; after showing, and apparently fixing  "Correcting error in index $130 for file 11635," Windows started.

    I immediately tried the Defrag utility and it worked perfectly!?!  I did nothing different this morning than what I did several times yesterday.  Kind of afraid to try Chkdsk again.

    In any case, thanks for your advice; I intend to do a complete format and install when my new disk arrives.


    Monday, May 8, 2006 2:10 PM
  • You do not understand.  I am going from ungenuine XP Pro to genuine XP Pro.  How do I change the code without having to reinstall?  If I have to reinstall will I have to reinstall all my applications?  I want to reinstall into the same Windows directory.
    Monday, May 8, 2006 3:14 PM
  • irishnumberone,

    Microsoft is building a tool to allow us to change the code to a VALID code from a VALID COA sticker.  This tool will do exactly what you are looking to do - not reinstall.  There is no time frame available for it's release other than "soon."  Don't ask them what "soon" means, they'll respond with "soon".  The only way you can get that tool now is to pay $160 for the WGA kit.

    My situation is the same as yours - I have UNgenuine XP Pro and aI want to make it right.  I own a valid copy of XP Pro.  The repair shop messed it up.  Based on what I have read here and in other threads, I have turned off the alerts for having an ungenuine copy.  I will still continue to get the critical updates using automatic updates.  I personally am going to wait for the tool. 

    Al2

    Monday, May 8, 2006 10:19 PM
  • Phil:  I have never installed an OS.  When I get the disc --back-ordered until about 25 May according to MS Customer Svc last night--will it automatically run/install itself, or will I get a set of instructions on how to do it?

    Any advice from you, or links/tutorial would be appreciated.  I purchased  XP for Dummies but it  pre-supposes the OS is already installed.

    Ron
    Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:34 AM
  • It's now late in 2007.  Is this tool that can convert a Home license into a Pro license available yet?

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 2:53 AM
  • Boronx,

     

    This tool isn't available. 

     

     

    Stephen Holm, MS

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 7:07 PM