Reinstalling Windows and stuck at set up due to product key no longer working

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

robhanlon

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
9
Hi
I was cleaning my laptop by reinstalling Windows XP Pro.

I reformated first as it was FAT32 and I wanted NTSC next time.

When I tried to reinstall Windows XP Pro from the CD it went into set up mode and was all OK until I got to the product key - for some reason it no longer works. So I can't reinstall XP Pro and it is stuck in the set up loop. No idea why the key won't work.

I do also have a Vista Home CD and key but the system is stuck in the setup loop so I don't seem to be able to install that either. I've put the CD and tried to boot it but no joy.

Can anyone help?

Thanks Rob
 
Joined
May 3, 2006
Messages
22,445
You can boot to Vista DVD and then reformat with it to install Vista but I would more bet that you are failing to read the product code correctly. Too often 8 and B get mistaken or U and V and there are more such...
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
81,730
Rob:

I've done a hard drive format and fresh install of XP more than 50 times and I've never been prompted to enter the 25-digit product code during the format and install process - which involves 2 restarts. Once the install process is complete, that's when I receive a prompt to activate XP - at which time I go online and enter the 25-digit product code.

Did you boot from the XP CD, delete all current partitions, create a new C partition, format it in the NTFS file system, then install XP?

---------------------------------------------------------------
 

robhanlon

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
9
Thanks for your replies.
I think the disc is an oem one that a friend gave me. the code is correct but not working as it did when i first installed it years ago.

I formatted the hard drive first before putting the install CD of XP in. I then tried to install XP - which took me into the set up stage and got as far as asking me for the product key which didn't work.

I've just realised why Vista won't boot. It's a DVD and the laptop is old hence on CD drive. I'll try to get it onto a pen drive and see if I can boot that way.
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
81,730
How did you format the hard drive before inserting the XP CD? :confused:

The XP CD does all the work, including formatting the hard drive.

-------------------------------------------------------------
 

robhanlon

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
9
just did it through windows


  1. Right-Click on the “My Computer” icon either on your desktop or in the Start Menu and select “Manage.”
  2. Step 2
    A new window titled “Computer Management” comes up. Select “Storage” from the left hand side by clicking it once, then select “Disk Management(local)” from the right side by double-clicking it.
 

aka Brett

Banned
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
16,918
That dont make any sense either as you cant format the partition you are using.It should have been grayed out or told you it was unable to perform the request as it is in use.
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
81,730
You can't format the hard drive within Windows. You have to boot from the XP CD and do it from there.

---------------------------------------------------------------
 

robhanlon

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
9
That's strange as that is how I did it - from Windows.

Anyway I have the disk formatted so nothing on it and a Windows XP CD which the product key doesn't work and therefore I'm stuck in the blue screen setup. Is there any way out of this?

thanks Rob
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
81,730
Rob:

Regardless of whether the product key will be accepted or not, the XP CD will allow you to boot from it, delete all current partitions, create a new C partition, format that new C partition in the NTFS file system, then install XP. The entire process involves 2 restarts.

Once XP is installed and you're up and running, you'll be prompted to activate XP within 30 days. Once you're online, you click the entry in the Start menu to activate XP. When the connection is made to Microsoft, a screen will appear with 5 boxes for you to type in the 25-digit product code in 5-digit increments.

What you apparently did was to insert the XP CD within Windows, then reinstall it over itself. That doesn't format the hard drive.

-------------------------------------------------------------
 

robhanlon

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
9
That doesn't seem to be happening with this. I have reformatted and created an ntfs partition and the CD of XP did boot - but it goes so far installing XP and then asks for the code.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
3,775
Did you get a message in white lettering on a black screen that said, "Press any key to boot from CD"?
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
81,730
If your computer booted from the XP CD, a black screen would appear with a flashing white cursor, then the command Press any key to boot from CD would appear.

If you pressed any key before the command disappeared, a blue setup screen would appear.

Instead of saying "Yes I think so", it that what occurred?

------------------------------------------------------------------

I've never been asked for the 25-digit code until AFTER the install process was complete, so I don't know why you are. :confused:

------------------------------------------------------------------
 

aka Brett

Banned
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
16,918
Start over
To start with you cant format C from within windows while booted to it
You either didnt have the install on C or you formatted another partition.

be sure you are actually booting the cd.
If you are not seeing the instruction to press any key to boot the cd
Then you are not booting the cd
Different bios have different setups...the machine I am on now is f12
So i hit power start tapping f12
A menu appears
I select the dvd drive
A few seconds later I am prompted to press any key.
The dvd drive reads the cd and starts doing its thing.
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Staff online

Members online

Top