New computers have the same XP key

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sync

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We just bought some new computers which have XP Pro (downgraded from Vista Business). The first two I've looked at have the same XP key. That doesn't seem right. Is there any way a vendor can sell computers with the same product key?
 

sync

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I have purchased Microsoft software that came with volume licensing keys. This is the first time I've seen computers come with an OS installed with the same keys. The computers have Vista key tags with different keys.

I don't know how keys are obtained with an XP downgrade. I guess I'll find out if it is ok when I activate them.
 

sync

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Is there a way to tell whether a computer has an OEM or a VLK version of XP?
 

DaveBurnett

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That is OEM (obviously) and COULD be VLK as well
If it is a VLK it won't need activating.
Did you get a set of ULAs with keys on them? Or stickers on the machines?? You should have !!!
 

DaveA

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Yes, that is the typical LARGE OEM type of key.
 

sync

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That is OEM (obviously) and COULD be VLK as well
If it is a VLK it won't need activating.
Did you get a set of ULAs with keys on them? Or stickers on the machines?? You should have !!!
I have stickers but they are for Vista. We got an XP downgrade but no XP sticker.
 

DaveBurnett

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I think (but await confirmation) that you need to get ULAs for the XPs from the supplier rather rapidly.
 
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I think (but await confirmation) that you need to get ULAs for the XPs from the supplier rather rapidly.

On several HP/Compaq laptops I recently had in to down(up)grade from W7 to XP, the CD was shipped with the machine and can therefore be taken as legitimate. No sticker was provided but activation was automatic on first Net connection. If the OP isn't seeing any Activation Wizard or suggestion of a time limited system, there won't be any problems. Going from Vista to XP is most definitely an upgrade, imho. :D
 

sync

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I discovered that the computers have an OEM SLP license. I think that means the downgrade is done by HP and not the vendor.

The disks I got are interesting. There is a restore disk which must be used first. The disk says it requires a Vista or XP OS disk. There are disks for Vista Business SP1, XP Pro SP2 and XP Pro SP2. But there is no XP Pro key anywhere. The OS disks say they must be used with the restore disk. I tried one of the OS disks and all the options that do anything were grayed out.

With an SLP license, data in the BIOS together with a a digitally signed certificate, is used to validate the product key. Perhaps the restore disk automatically takes care of the key.

On one of the computers I restored an Acronis image from another computer. Then I changed the key back to the key that came with the computer. This computer will not pass activation. That is probably because the digitally signed certificate is missing.
 

DaveBurnett

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SLP means it is tied into the BIOS of that machine. All the MS genuine advantage and licensing stuff is bypassed.
 

sync

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SLP means it is tied into the BIOS of that machine. All the MS genuine advantage and licensing stuff is bypassed.
There are Windows files that must match the BIOS. If they don't match (they won't if you restore an image from a different manufacturer) then you get an activation message and you won't pass activation and you can't use Windows.

I found how how to get the files. After I copied them to the computer everything was fine.
 
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