Reinstall using old XP code and pcsays its invalid

  andy625 13:40 04 Mar 2008

I've just reformatted my laptop. Before I did the reformat, I ran two programs to retreive the XP Pro CD key from the machine. Both came up with the same key which I assumed was valid.

I reformatted the machine (using an xp pro cd from a friend) when I enter the CD key it says its invalid. My friend gave me an XP key which enabled me to finish the reinstall but now I cant instal SP2 as it says my key isn't valid.

Should I try changing the XP key back to the one that supposedly was on the machine before the reformat (even though it rejected it when I tried using it during the install)??

The machine was purchased 2nd hand (5yrs ago) with XP already installed. I think it originally had W2000 on it as there is a W2000 sticker on teh bottom. I installed XP SP2 not long after I bought the machine with no problems, and the daily windows updates all install ok.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:12 04 Mar 2008

I reformatted the machine (using an xp pro cd from a friend) when I enter the CD key it says its invalid

Was your original program Home or Pro? yo cannot use a home serial no with a pro disk.

My friend gave me an XP key which enabled me to finish the reinstall but now I cant install SP2 as it says my key isn't valid.

It will be installed on his machine and is therefore invalid on yours as well.

one license one machine.

  andy625 14:20 04 Mar 2008

My original installation was XP pro - the same as the disk I've been lent, and I appreciate that its one license for one machine.

My question is: when I now enter the code from my original installation (that appeared legit inc SP2, updates etc), why do I keep being told that is invalid? Should I phone microsoft and find out if it actually was valid, or is there another way around it?

  xania 14:31 04 Mar 2008

There is a way around this, and there are plenty of offers on Ebay to buy it, but they are illegal. If you have a problem with your key, you will need to get in touch with Microsoft who will, if satisfied with your reasons, give you a replacement key. I cannot stress too strongly that any other approach would be a breach of software copywrite.

  crosstrainer 14:39 04 Mar 2008

Buy a copy, it's the only way. The illegal methods will only cause you grief in the end.

  andy625 14:39 04 Mar 2008

Thanks zania, if I contact microsoft, and for some reason I am told that the key I give them from my original install is illegal (I have no reason to think that it is), would they be any further action?

  ventanas 14:50 04 Mar 2008

"Would there be any further action" I doubt it. Small beer to Microsoft. Just state that the PC came with XP installed as you said in your first post. You have no idea whether or not that installation was valid as it was on the machine long before Microsoft brought in validation. If it's not legal then you will have to buy a retail copy, which will probably cost far more than the laptop is worth. (Already second hand 5 years ago)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:15 04 Mar 2008

license numbers in volumes

pre sp2

incl. sp2

If installing from an incl sp2 disk and you use pre sp2 number it wil say it is invalid.

Put your own key in
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.

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.

  andy625 15:24 04 Mar 2008

Thanks for the instructions Fruit Bat. The number I retreived from my pc before reformatting was after the machine had been upgraded to SP2. The disc I used to reformat was a pre SP2 disc.

It was when I tried to load on SP2 from a PCAdvisor cd, that I found out my serial no was invalid.

I'll follow your instructions and see what happens. Thanks.

  Terry Brown 15:46 04 Mar 2008

Try downloading the SP2 update from click here and loading that.

  andy625 16:14 04 Mar 2008

Fruit Bat
Just worked through your instructions and unfortunately its still coming up with the invalid code warning when I try the SP2 upgrade disc.

Terry, I haven't got the pc on the net yet, but I'll try that link later. Thanks.

I just remembered I did a Belarc summary on the pc before I wiped it, and the bit next to the Windows has got an
XXXXX-OEM-XXXXXXX-XXXXX Followed by the Key (Same as the one I also got from the other "find your key" program)
The symbol next to the Key in the report says that they think it could be be "the manufacturer's factory installed product key rather than yours" in case that verifys any theories.

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