Finding product key after a format xp pro

  ray27 15:04 03 Aug 2009

My young nephew had MS XP PROFESSIONAL on a computer that he bought second hand.
Unfortunately it developed a problem and he formatted his drive thinking this would clear the problem.
It was only after he formatted the drive that he realised he did not have a copy of XP Pro or any product key so he was left without an operating system
The only thing he had was a copy of Windows 98 which he is now using
Is there any way he can retrieve the product key after a format? Will Magic Jelly Bean or another program retrieve the product key? Or is the solution that he will have to buy another version of Windows XP
Any advice would be most welcome as he hasn’t got much money to play with
Many thanks Ray

  Clapton is God 15:08 03 Aug 2009

Off to the shops, I'm afraid.

Unless, the PC has a separate 'restore to factory settings' partition and he can start over (again) with that.

  birdface 15:24 03 Aug 2009

Ray you could download the trial Version of Windows is ok to next year and then you would need to buy an OS.I am sure someone will give you some better information.but free for a year.

  Pine Man 15:28 03 Aug 2009

Have to agree with Clapton is God & buteman. Gone forever.

Why not follow the advice from buteman. Windows 7 is good until June 2010 but it will start closing down every two hours in March. You might like it so much that you buy a copy.

  ray27 15:50 03 Aug 2009

Unfortunately he is so brasic he cant afford to go onto the net he only wants the computer to play around with photos etc. I told him that windows 98 will still do the trick but he insists that he wants xp home and thought he could use my copy as he read that it can be used five times. I tried to tell him that the product key is unique to every owner and cant be transferred but he wont listen He will just have to save up his pennies
Many thanks for the advice
cheers Ray

  DieSse 15:57 03 Aug 2009

He could think about using Linux - that's free. Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) is what I have chosen - and there's loads of free photo-manipulation software too - the GIMP is the best known, and is even included in the Mint installation.

click here

Vastly better than Win98, definitely better than Vista, and arguably better than XP.

  Marko797 16:15 03 Aug 2009

I'm not sure all this advice you are getting here is strictly correct.

My understanding is that, if the PC in question still has the XP label on it, which is the serial number/product number you seem to have lost, then I think it is possible to re-install XP.

There would however be a need to borrow an XP Pro disk from someone, then upon installing, you use the serial/product number on his PC label.

If I'm wrong, then apologies, but I'm sure this is a possible solution.

  Sea Urchin 16:17 03 Aug 2009

But it sounds like there is no product key label on the machine - if there is then you are correct.

  Marko797 16:19 03 Aug 2009

by 'his' I mean the serial on label of the PC which your nephew owns.

  DieSse 17:02 03 Aug 2009

"My young nephew had MS XP PROFESSIONAL on a computer that he bought second hand."

If it was a legitimate copy then he should have had either an OEM sticker with the code on the machine - or a retail pack with the CD and key on the packaging.

It's quite possible without these it was a pirated copy of XP Pro anyway - there were/are a lot of those about. He could contact the vendor and ask where the key and/or CD are, as it shouldn't have been sold without them (the MS licence doesn't allow that if there is XP installed on the system).

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