XP product key differs

  keewaa 11:05 24 Nov 2005

I'm setting up a new Dell PC for a friend and noticed that the product key on the sticker on the side is different to what magicjellybean keyfinder AND belarc say the XP key is.

I checked my own Dell PC which also has different numbers using belarc / jellybean as opposed to the sticker, and another Dell as well.

If I needed an XP key for these computers in the future, are both numbers valid, if not why 2 numbers and which one is the right key?

  ACOLYTE 11:17 24 Nov 2005

I would have thought the one on the case is the correct one,unless you have installed another version of the OS,but if one doesnt work try the other.

  PaulB2005 11:19 24 Nov 2005

I have seen this too.

I believe the one on the case is the individual license for the PC but the one Keyfinder brings up is a "Volume License" used to install across many machines so Dell don't need to enter 20,000 product keys a week by hand.....

  keewaa 12:01 24 Nov 2005

Ah, thanks Paul.

  PaulB2005 12:08 24 Nov 2005

Well that's what i've been told. Currently watching to see who corrects me.

  keewaa 12:09 24 Nov 2005

Makes sense as I've found the same thing on 3 Dells

  interzone55 12:39 24 Nov 2005

Yup, that's what the OEM's do.

Microsoft allow the use of one volume license key for a certain number of PC's.

When a PC is made, the hard drive is ghosted from a master copy held on a ghost server, the license key will allocated for a certain model, usually all models with a particular motherboard will use the same key. This has two advantages, one manufacturers do not have to enter the license key individually into thousands of PCs, and two the end user does not have to activate the PC when they get it, and when they inevitable have to reload it.

If the motherboard is changed for a different model the PC will then need to be re-activated, as the license key is locked to the old motherboard. We used to get round this altering the DMI string on the motherboard to match the one on the old board.

  PaulB2005 12:42 24 Nov 2005

So what's the point of the Product Key on the case? If that key isn't used a) why have it? b) what's to stop you giving it to someone else?

  Chegs ®™ 13:27 24 Nov 2005

I get my key in its correct form using magicjellybean,yet Belarc and such just produces a numerical string.How does this show my key?

  woodchip 13:35 24 Nov 2005

Both key's are the same. The one on the sticker gets modified by XP when you impute it to the system. It changes it so it does not look the same. If you use the one that software find and try to load XP with it, it will not work. The key on the sticker as letters and numbers I think the other that shows is only numbers

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