format hard disc problem. No Windows key code.

  montrachet 08:46 07 Oct 2005

I have a laptop from Dell, an Inspiron 2650GT. The problem is the computer is infected with viruses and I wish to reformat the hard disc to clear it out completely. Unfortunately the Key code for the copy of Windows XP has gone missing. I have talked to Dell who say they cannot help, in spite of my having the original invoice with all the reference numbers. When I try to format C 'format C:/' nothing happens. Anybody out there come across this and have a solution.
Thanks in advance.

  Stuartli 09:10 07 Oct 2005

Run Belarc Advisor.

  mgmcc 09:27 07 Oct 2005

<<< When I try to format C 'format C:/' nothing happens >>>

How are you running the command, which should be:


with no BACKSLASH and definitely not a forward slash. You cannot format "C" drive if, at the time, you are running Windows from it. If the drive is FAT32, you could boot with a Windows 98 "boot floppy" and run the command from the A:\> prompt.

With an NTFS drive, you could run FDISK to remove the "non-DOS" partition, then boot with the XP CD and let its Setup partition and fromat the drive and install the operating system.

  Newuser4165 09:43 07 Oct 2005

The product key should be on a label attached to the laptop.However,if it's missing then you can retrieve it from the registry using a program such as Belarc Advisor as mentioned by Stuartli.You need to retrieve the key code from the pc's registry BEFORE you attempt to reformat otherwise you may have a problem reinstalling Windows.
Another similar program is Everest from Lavalys -click here.

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