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How do I replace my key? RRS feed

  • Question

  • The computer I got from Craigslist has been locked off and asking for verification for a week now, and I'm willing to accept the fact that I got sold a pirated version of XP Home and replace it. How do I do this without losing all my data? I was planning on buying a new version of XP Home, but I can't get into my computer to find out what version I have. If I buy an SP3 version, will the product key work to unlock my computer if it has SP2 installed? I don't want to have to reinstall and lose all my data if I can buy the right key and just replace it.
    Friday, May 7, 2010 10:59 PM

Answers

  • Hello Phenotype,

    You wrote, "I'm willing to buy another retail copy, but I need to know what version to buy."

    Without some sort of clue as to what license type is installed now (retail upgrade, retail full, or OEM), I cannot tell you with any certainty what to buy.  The product keys for the three license types above are not interchangeable, and I'd hate to tell you to buy one kind and later find out that it's the wrong one any have you waste your money.

    In your circumstances, here's what I would do:

    1.  Use an "offline operating system disc" (such as BartPE, Ultimate Boot CD, etc) to start the computer from the OS that is on the disc.

    2.  Attach an external hard disk drive, flash drive, or connect to a network storage location, then methodically offload whatever data is on the computer that you need to save.

    3.  After the data is safe, choose your operating system (if you choose Windows, purchase only from major online retailers or trusted local retailers, and whatever you do, don't buy it on eBay!!!) and do a clean installation of it, wiping out the current OS.

    4.  Cleanly install your programs, and then restore your data.


    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
    Saturday, May 8, 2010 4:13 PM

All replies

  • Hello Phenotype,

    Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) does not put your computer into Reduced Functionality Mode, but not activating the computer will.

    Can you start in Safe Mode with Networking, and do this:

    Please refer to the link below and run the MGA Diagnostics tool:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

    You will be prompted to either “Run” or “Save” the tool. Choose to “Run” the tool and follow the on-screen prompts. You will receive an “Internet Explorer-Security Warning” dialog box for the “Windows Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool”; you must choose to “Run” this tool when prompted.

     

    Once you are presented with the Diagnostics tool choose “Continue” to run the diagnostic report. If the “RESOLVE” button is available after running the diagnostics, please click “RESOLVE” to allow the diagnostic tool to attempt a repair.

     

    1.      After running the MGA Diagnostic tool, click on the “Windows” tab and then click on “Copy”.

    2.      Please return to this post and “Paste” the results here for additional review.

     

    Next, look on the computer itself, in the documentation you received with the computer or with your retail purchase of Windows to see if you have a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).  If you have one, tell us about the COA.  Tell us:

    1.  What edition of Windows XP is it for, Home, Pro, or Media Center, or another version of Windows?

    2.  Does it read "OEM Software" or "OEM Product" in black lettering?

    3.  Or, does it have the computer manufacturer's name in black lettering?

    4.  DO NOT post the Product Key that may be printed on the CoA.

    Not sure what to look for?  See this page for reference:  http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/en/coa.mspx

    NOTE: The data collected with the Genuine Diagnostics Tool does NOT contain any information that can personally identify you and can be fully reviewed, by you, before being posted.


    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
    Saturday, May 8, 2010 1:40 AM
  • I cannot access the computer in safe mode. Trying to do so only sends me to the login screen, and I get a message that I need to activate my copy of Windows before logging in, and that I can't do so in safe mode. The computer itself is a custom-built PC that I bought second-hand, so I don't have any documentation to refer to, and it probably does not have a certificate of authenticity.

     

    Look, I'm really only interested in finding out how I can use the "Change Product Key" function to re-activate my copy of Windows and access my locked computer. I'm willing to buy another retail copy, but I need to know what version to buy. I would like to buy the proper copy of Windows Home that would let me use the "Change Product Key" function--I really don't want to have to reinstall Windows and lose all my data if I don't get a compatible version. 

    Can you please just tell me whether or not the product key from the XP SP3 version will work if my computer only has SP2 installed?

    Saturday, May 8, 2010 5:14 AM
  • Hello Phenotype,

    You wrote, "I'm willing to buy another retail copy, but I need to know what version to buy."

    Without some sort of clue as to what license type is installed now (retail upgrade, retail full, or OEM), I cannot tell you with any certainty what to buy.  The product keys for the three license types above are not interchangeable, and I'd hate to tell you to buy one kind and later find out that it's the wrong one any have you waste your money.

    In your circumstances, here's what I would do:

    1.  Use an "offline operating system disc" (such as BartPE, Ultimate Boot CD, etc) to start the computer from the OS that is on the disc.

    2.  Attach an external hard disk drive, flash drive, or connect to a network storage location, then methodically offload whatever data is on the computer that you need to save.

    3.  After the data is safe, choose your operating system (if you choose Windows, purchase only from major online retailers or trusted local retailers, and whatever you do, don't buy it on eBay!!!) and do a clean installation of it, wiping out the current OS.

    4.  Cleanly install your programs, and then restore your data.


    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
    Saturday, May 8, 2010 4:13 PM