Solved: MS Product Keys

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old100

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Jan 12, 2004
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Friend has an upgraded PC with XP with a HD that is going bad. He has CD but has lost product key. Does MS put some ID on HD that can be used in replacing HD ? Could I copy/ clone present HD and install on new HD? Can you move OP XP to new PC? He also lost key for MS office CD.
 

Squashman

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Lots of options to retrieve your XP Cd key.
RockXP and Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder are my favorites. I love Belarc for full system information though.
 

Byteman

Gone but Never Forgotten
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Jan 24, 2002
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Hi, Just additional info-


old100 said:
Does MS put some ID on HD that can be used in replacing HD ? Could I copy/ clone present HD and install on new HD? Can you move OP XP to new PC? He also lost key for MS office CD.


I don't think all your questions were answered.

1.Could I copy/ clone present HD and install on new HD?= yes as long as the original XP is not being used anywhere else.
There are quite a few utilities that will do cloning.

1a. Does MS put some ID on HD that can be used in replacing HD ? Microsoft uses a hardware ID that is in the Registry and encrypted... The Product Activation data is stored in a file and can be transported and you may need to save it when you copy a hard drive- would pay to find out first.

Depending on the type of XP you have (OEM or Retail) you may or may not have to activate again Replacing the heart of the computer, (the motherboard for instance with a big upgrade) will prompt for new activation, even with a Retail version of XP. You should be able to copy over to a bigger hard drive without problems, but if you also do other major changes to hardware it may want to be reactivated. Only you calling in to explain can make the new activation happen.



2. Can you move OP XP to new PC? No/Yes - but only the Retail versions of XP can be. OEM versions which are less costly cannot be moved once they are installed AND activated on that original PC- it's their's for life or until Microsoft chanes things.

Don't put a hard drive from another system in and boot from it in a new hardware environment- always set the drive as a Slave if you need to copy data.

3. He also lost key for MS office CD Belarc Advisor and some other utilities show this.
 
Joined
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Be careful with Belarc and the product key--it doesn't always show the "correct" key. Is there not a sticker on the side of the machine?

If the drive is still functional, it can be cloned...
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
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611
telegramsam said:
Is there not a sticker on the side of the machine?
If your computer came with XP then there should be an XP on the back, bottom, or side of the computer. See if you can find it. It's a rectangular sticker.
 

old100

Thread Starter
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Jan 12, 2004
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236
The unit is an upgraded 98 to xp Pro. He has no sticker and did not keep the sleeve. Many people just never think about the future when they install any software and do not keep track of the keys or even the CD's. I preach about back-up but some do not listen until it is toooooooooooooo late. Thanks for info.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
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Hi telegramsam,

It's probably more helpful to say that the Belarc Advisor shows the OEM product keys by marking them with an "e" footnote (they'll also have an OEM in their Product Ids that show) instead of "doesn't always show the correct key". You might also mention that this only happens on a few of the largest OEMs (e.g. consumer Dell boxes) computers as shipped from the factory.

Your comment makes it sound like the Belarc Advisor (and all other Product Key showing programs, since they all show the OEM key in those cases) is intentionally misleading the end-user.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
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Sorry Maggicfinggers, but Aida 32 doesn't "guarantee" proper keys as those keys have never been put on the computer for some OEM computers (they're only on the sticker put on the outside of the case). Those (very few) huge OEMs are allowed by Microsoft to use their OEM product key to install Windows on the master drive image used to make those computers.

If you're still convinced that Aida32 will always get the proper keys, look at this forum thread at the lavalys (developers of Aida32, now called Everest)

The Belarc Advisor also gives product keys (a.k.a. serial numbers) for many other programs that Aida32 and others don't get (e.g. Adobe). That's one of the reasons that Belarc products are so popular with software license managers at businesses.
 
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