she messed up big time

  eysha 16:50 26 Sep 2008

Can anyone help with the following please?
my friend has a computer, a pen 3 and quite old now and was on windows 98 and all was fine. she decided she wanted to run windows xp so bought the disk. the computer ran like a cart horse so after a long time she suddenly decided it was too slow so wanted to turn it back to win 98 - herin lies the problem.
she inserted win 98 disk and got as far as product key number - guess what - she doesn't have it now as she threw out the box and put the disk in a plastic cd holder to savew space so she thought she would just return it to win xp, she has the product key for that, but the computer starts up in win 98 and asks for the product key every time it starts up and now she cannot get around this problem to return it to xp - she is stuck.
how can this be fixed? can she find the product key number anywhere on the win 98 disk and if so how/where? how does she get it back to win xp or even win 98? i am no good at helping her but i can ask on here for her. thanks in advance.

  GaT7 16:58 26 Sep 2008

I think the only [legal] way to get around this is to:

a. Reinstall XP (with the product key she does have)


b. Buy a Win98 / Win98se CD with a COA & product of eBay.

Better to do the first option & install more RAM to speed up the PC a little bit. G

  GaT7 16:58 26 Sep 2008

"Buy a Win98 / Win98se CD with a genuine COA & product KEY off eBay"


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:59 26 Sep 2008

"can she find the product key number anywhere on the win 98 disk"

No not possible.

To get back to XP
Set the PC to Boot from the CD as the first boot device in the BIOS (a message appears on the screen "Press ?? to enter setup" where ?? is usually Del Esc or an F key)

she can then follow e prompts to delete the partition Win98 is on and install XP.
Clean install windows XP
click here
click here
click here
click here

  baldydave 17:00 26 Sep 2008

I dont know a way of finding the key off win98 disc only once it is installed.To install XP restart pc as it starts keep pressing either the del key or f2 depends on pc bios as the bios screens starts(black with white writing) it will say to enter setup press del or f2.
Once you are into the bios go through the settings and look for the boot order setting make sure cdrom is first and hdd (hardrive)is 2nd save settings look at bottom of screen for which key to press normally f10 then put xp disc in cdrom restart pc
and follow on screen instructions to install xp

  Jak_1 17:01 26 Sep 2008

In all probability the product key is in a notepad file on the disk.

Is the XP disk a full version or an upgrade? If a full version then it should give the option to format and install, that would clear remnants of win 98 of the drive.

Once XP is re-installed, insert the win 98 disk but cancel the install, then, have a look on the disk for any notepad files.

  eysha 17:02 26 Sep 2008

Crossbow it is a legal win xp disk with the product key. the problem is the computer seems to be stuck at the section of the win 98 insert product key bit and is stuck there. It starts up at that place and she cannot get past it to return to win xp.
the win 98 disk is a genuine one but she didn't keep the original box it came in - she won't use illegal stuff.

  GaT7 17:14 26 Sep 2008

I'm sure everything you have in your possession at the moment is genuine - I wasn't doubting/questioning this.

However, solving the problem can be done legally or illegally ;-).

How much RAM does the PC have now? WinXP should do reasonably OK with anything 512Mb & above. G

  eysha 17:21 26 Sep 2008

Crossbow, no problem, she won't have illegal stuff and i know you were not suggesting anything other.
The ram is 750, if memory serves but over the 512 you mention.
I have been there today to try to help but it was beyond me which is why i came on here knowing the members here are wonderfully helpful and knowledgebale too. I will try to print out Fruit Bat's suggestions and go back tomorrow to help. cross your fingers as i am new to computer fixing myself but learning a lot if my head can take it all in, lol.
Thanks again.

  ronalddonald 17:27 26 Sep 2008

is to buy a new computer, that way she wont break any rules or regulaations of microsoft. Or use the windows xp disc on the computer she has. Once she's installed it may be you can help by downloading programs for herr onyou r computer using a pen drive liek spyware etc to help get her computer runninga bit faster. try here click here

by that way you can be a friend,

  woodchip 17:27 26 Sep 2008

She could try a Free Linux Distro, To try it, it can be run from CD without loading to Hard Drive. Comes with loads of Software. List you need a OS one click here

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