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Solved: Windows XP

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by txearlybird, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. txearlybird

    txearlybird Thread Starter

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    Here's my dilemma. We purchased a new computer, then tried to "clean up" the old one by removing some unused programs. After shutdown and then reboot, a window comes up with the following:

    This copy of Windows must be activated with Microsoft before you can log on. Do you want to activate Windows now?


    I click yes, then get a choice of doing it 1. online 2. by phone. I chose by phone. To make a long story short, after reading the numbers on the page to the operator she says that that number does not match.​

    I had Windows XP installed at a local computer repair shop which has since gone out of business. I do have the CD but it does not contain the product key. Not on the CD and not on the sleeve.​

    I'm desperate and willing to try anything including buying another copy of XP but I'm afraid that if I install a new copy on top of the old one, I'll mess things up even more.​

    Any and all help would be very much appreciated.​

    Thanks in advance.​

    Early Bird​
     
  2. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    Another example of a local computer shop doing a consumer a disservice. Obviously the version of Windows XP they installed was illegal. Without the product key, you're stuck. You'll have to buy a new copy of Windows XP.
     
  3. txearlybird

    txearlybird Thread Starter

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    Thanks, DoubleHelix. Please tell me, what is going to happen when I buy a new version and install it over the old one? Will this cause more problems? Or, can I buy a new copy and just use the key that comes with it to activate the one that's already on the computer?
    Other options I have is to reinstall Windows 2000 which came with my computer, but again I'm afraid I cause more damage when installing over the XP version.
     
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    I don't have first-hand experience dealing with illegal copies of Windows. I honestly don't know what your options are for installing. I've read some posts here where people have successfully changed their registration key provided the versions of Windows are identical meaning they both need to be upgrades/OEM/full retail/etc. Since you're dealing with an illegal install, I don't know how you'd tell. I'd only know to do a full reinstall.
     
  5. txearlybird

    txearlybird Thread Starter

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    Ok, will I lose the contents of my hard drive if I reinstall?
     
  6. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    A full reinstall would require you to back up and restore your data and reinstall all programs. As I said, I don't know if this is what you need to do. You can wait to see if someone else has any ideas.
     
  7. txearlybird

    txearlybird Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your help, DoubleHelix. I'll wait for more suggestions because I can't do a backup now due to the fact that I can't even log on
     
  8. nessyguin

    nessyguin

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    Hi txearlybird . You can back up your data (photos , videos , music, etc) by physically removing the hard drive from your old computer and installing it in your new one as a slave/storage drive . It's not as daunting as it might sound so post back if you are willing to give it a shot . You'll get step by step instructions if you so desire . Once you've backed up your files replace the hard drive in the old PC . I suggest you dont overinstal but rather format (wipe) your hard drive and do a clean instal of Windows . The downside of this is that you will lose all installed programs (though you can reinstal them if you still have valid serial/registration keys for them) but you'll have a clean operating system - many pirated OSs have a few nasties embedded that a repair instal will not overwrite .
     
  9. Brook_bond

    Brook_bond

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    Hi, before you do any of that I would check that the sticker that the key is on is not either on the back of the case or on the inside somewhere. I have had the same thing before and it turned out the Product key was just wrong and it was on a sticker inside the case!

    Worth checking before you either loose data (worst case senario) or splash the cash!
    Brook
     
  10. txearlybird

    txearlybird Thread Starter

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    thanks for the help y'all. I'm still contemplating on what to do. I did look at my CD really good and it seems to be authentic, i.e. it has the Microsoft Logo and all the other holograms (sp) it's suppose.
    I don't have a case for it, Brook. Just a regular sleeve and there's nothing on it, inside or out.
     
  11. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Brook_bond was referring to the PC case, the shop may have stuck a product key sticker on the PC someplace, so be sure to look, even on the bottom and inside of the case.

    You can just input the new product key, the activation process has an option just for that:
    How to change the product key at the time of activation

    The shop may have used a pirated/counterfeit copy, which may or may not have something nasty hidden someplace waiting to be activated, or may have simply imaged a pre-activated genuine copy to save time. Only way to be 100% sure is to wipe the drive and do a clean install.

    If you go that route you may want to download and run something like Belarc Advisor or SIW. They will capture most all the product keys for installed software so you won't have to try to find the original CD case/manual

    System Info Tools
    Everest
    BelArc Advisor
    SIW - System Information for Windows
    SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  12. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    The CD may certainly be authentic, but it doesn't sound like that's what was used to reinstall Windows by the local computer shop.

    Did you look on the computer case itself to see if there's a key? What version of Windows is the CD? Pro or Home? What version is installed on the computer?
     
  13. txearlybird

    txearlybird Thread Starter

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    Ok, I checked the case inside and out and I did find the product key for Windows 2000 that came with the computer.
    Does anyone know that if I contact Microsoft and pay the $59.00 fee, do they guaranty to solve my problem?
    Sometimes I just HATE 'puters
     
  14. txearlybird

    txearlybird Thread Starter

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    I just had another brainstorm. The product key is listed in the control panel under system. Why can't a Microsoft tech do a remote login and check to see if I have a legal copy and if so, give me the PID?
    What do you all think???
     
  15. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    That's the Serial Number, not the Product Key. You can run any of several apps to get the actual Product Key that XP is installed with, but the problem is that key is not valid for your installation, and is probably not the Key that your CD would need. The code you read to them over the phone is based on that Product Key, which they are saying is wrong.

    BelArc Advisor
    SIW - System Information for Windows
    Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder

    Jerry
     
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