Complicated Windows product key situation

  Pineman100 19:26 13 Jun 2009

Sorry if this takes a lengthy explanation, but I'm after some advice.

My old Dad (93!) has my old Mesh computer. It was bought in 2000, pre-loaded with Windows ME.

A few years after I got it, I bought a retail upgrade to Windows XP, and the machine has run happily on this ever since. Until last week, that is, when it suffered a hard disk failure.

I fitted a new HDD, and began reinstalling Windows XP. This proceeded fine until the installer asked me to insert the previous Windows ME disk for verification. The machine didn't come with a Microsoft Windows ME CD, but with a Mesh Recovery Disk, so I inserted this. The installer refused to recognise it.

So I reformatted the HDD and this time I booted from the Mesh Recovery disk, intending to install ME then run the upgrade to XP. Once again, the Mesh Recovery Disk wasn't recognised. I can only assume that the installation of a new HDD has changed the computer's identity, causing this problem.

So I borrowed a friend's XP disk and installed from this successfully. When I got to the point of entering the product key, I used the key that came with my XP upgrade. This was refused as being 'not valid'. So I used my friend's product key (I figured that, as I legitimately bought the right to run XP on this machine, that would be OK). So the installation was successful.

However, I'm now not sure what to do about activation. If I activate this copy of XP that has my friend's key, will it be acceptable?

If not, what do you think I should do? As I said, I believe I have done everything honestly and above board, but I don't know how to get a valid activation.

Any advice please?

  VOT Productions 19:32 13 Jun 2009

If your friend's PC is running that key, the answer is no, because Microsoft allows one key per PC

  VOT Productions 19:34 13 Jun 2009

Answer:Reinstall Windows with a new CD and a new key.

  MAT ALAN 19:35 13 Jun 2009

(I figured that, as I legitimately bought the right to run XP on this machine

YUO DID but with your copy of ME and your upgrade copy of XP...

If i read this right you now have the same O/S on two PCs, the problem is and with all good intention taken into consideration it is still ILLEGAL....

  recap 19:36 13 Jun 2009

Unfortunately 288003 you are in breach of the End User License Agreement by using your friends product key. One key - one computer.

You could ring Microsoft to ask if you can use the Upgrade on the new HDD once you have re-installed Me, they may give yo a new Key?

  VOT Productions 19:40 13 Jun 2009

If you have the old HDD try to plug it and try to run the Mesh Recovery Disk

  recap 19:44 13 Jun 2009

Microsoft contact Telephone Number:

0870 60 10 100

"Hearing Impaired (TTY Device): 0870 50 30 400
*Numbers prefixed 0870 will be charged at national call rates. Please note the numbers and tariffs above apply to BT landlines. Call charges from landlines may vary depending on your service provider. Calls from mobile phones may cost more and differ depending on your service provider. Customers should contact their service provider for more information on specific charges and check the latest available tariff list. The price that customers pay per call may also be determined by the call plan designated by their service provider."

  MAT ALAN 19:49 13 Jun 2009

click here

could solve ya problem for less that 25 quid....

  Taff™ 08:24 14 Jun 2009

Microsoft`s Key Update Tool may solve the problem. click here

  jimv7 09:31 14 Jun 2009

Borrow or buy a win 98 or me cd, then use your upgrade xp cd to install windows.

Insert the 98 or me cd when asked.

  Pineman100 13:49 14 Jun 2009

I think the idea of buying a new version of Windows ME looks like the cheapest solution. I'll go ahead with that.

Many thanks to everyone for your advice and ideas.

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