OS Reinstall - definitive answer?

  onthelimit 20:16 21 Jan 2011

I've been following this thread click here, and I'm really confused.

Can anyone give a definitive answer as to how to reinstall (say) XP on an OEM and non OEM machine, ie, what disc can be used and how to overcome the activation problems that I (for one) keep encountering. Not looking for anything illegal, but just a way to reinstall what was a legal installation after a crash, component change or whatever.

Many thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:43 21 Jan 2011

1. Number must match type of system

i.e XP pro - XP home - XP media centre

2. Number must match Retail or OEM

3. Number must match patch version
ie. no sevice patch
XP with SP1 - XP with SP2 as far as I'm aware there are no Install Cds of XP Sp3 (but I may well be corrected)

4. Number must match batch version

i.e. XP-Home with SP2 has several batches of CDs issued


1 you can't really get round must be correct version

2. if you have the number for the disk install using that number and then edit the registry to suit the number on the machine sticker and phone for reactivation

3. Install older version i.e. sp1 instead of sp2
using original disk number, update service pack, edit registry and phone for reactivation

4. as per 2

I have probably done all of these at one time or another when repairing machines for people who have let their PCs get so bably infeste that the only thing left is a format and reinstall.

Biggest problem is Certain manufactures like Packard bell that "tattoo" their hard drives / motherboards / BIOS to the installed Operating system so if you change HDD motherboard you then seem unable to reinstall or even use the original operating system number.

  GaT7 22:56 21 Jan 2011

If it's a non-branded PC (e.g. your own build, & not P'Bell/Dell/HP/Acer/etc), then I've found an OEM version doesn't have to match the Service Pack version. How do I know? Well, I've almost always updated an OEM SP1/SP2 to SP3 (via slipstreaming with click here) without a single issue.

I've had the same experience regarding the non-OEM (i.e. retail) version & a self-made PC.

So if yours is a self-made PC, you'll be virtually free of any patch/batch issues.

FB's 1st & 2nd points are valid for any kind of PC though. G

  lotvic 23:15 21 Jan 2011

I use Acronis TI, saves a lot of messing about.

  onthelimit 09:03 22 Jan 2011

Thanks all. FB - a bit more info on how to do this would be helpful.

  Taff™ 09:06 22 Jan 2011

As per my thread in your original posting I`m with Crossbow here. Fruit Bat /\0/\`s other points are valid and the tattoo problem I`d forgotten about I must admit.

We established that you have an OEM system and an OEM XP disk to match. Why don`t you try a fresh install and post back with any problems along the way - I`m confident we can resolve any issues for you.

  birdface 09:10 22 Jan 2011

I used to use a 5 in 1 disc with various versions of XP on it to reformat my computer.
I would then add the keycode that was on the COA sticker on the side of the computer and never had any problems doing it that way.
Off course if it says XP Home on the COA sticker that is what you have to install.

  onthelimit 14:04 23 Jan 2011

This was a Medion OEM XP Home. Managed a reinstall with an old Dell Home disc - all went well and no probs with activation.

The 5 in 1 disc sounds usefull - available?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:22 23 Jan 2011

Change KEY

Changing the Windows XP product key may be necessary if you discover your current key is pirated or illegal but you don't want to reinstall Windows XP to activate your new legal key.
Or you do not have the original disk and have had to use a friends disk to reinstall.

Changes to the registry are made in these steps. Take great care in making only the changes described below.

1. Click on Start and then Run.
2. In the text box in the Run window, type regedit and click OK. This will open the Registry Editor program.
3. Locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder under My Computer and click on the (+) sign next the folder name to expand the folder.
4. Continue to expand folders until you reach the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents registry key.
5. Click on the WPAEvents folder.
6. In the results that appear in the window on the right, locate OOBETimer.
7. Right-click on the OOBETimer entry and choose Modify from the resulting menu.
8. Change at least one digit in the Value data text box and click OK. This will deactivate Windows XP.
9. Click on Start and then Run.
10. In the text box in the Run window, type the following command and click OK.

%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

11. When the Windows Product Activation window appears, choose Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows and then click Next.
12. Click Change Product Key.
13. Type your new, valid Windows XP product key in the New key text boxes and then click Update.
14. If you're taken back to the previous screen and prompted, choose Remind me later.
15. Restart your PC.

  GaT7 16:00 23 Jan 2011

Changing the Product key can be very easily done (no registry editing, etc) with Microsoft's own utility called Windows Product Key Update Tool click here. Also available for Vista & Win7 on the same page. G

  onthelimit 18:20 23 Jan 2011

Thanks everyone - very useful.

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