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Windows XP CD-Key

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#1 rivers


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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:47 PM


I need to install Windows XP on a laptop that had a completley dead hard disk. I do not have the original install media(if there was any). Can I use other XP install media and use the Key on the sticker on the bottom of the laptop as a CD-Key. I doubt it is that easy but thought I would ask.

Assuming that this method doesn't work, is there any other way to "recover" the original XP License?



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#2 Animal


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Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:47 PM

Yes you can use the sticker ID, however the install media you use must be identical to the original associated with that code. Meaning if it was XP Home SP1. You must use a CD with XP Home SP1. Not XP Pro SP2 or any other designation on the media.

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#3 rivers

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:08 PM

Thanks for the reply. Regretfully I don't know what the original install was.


#4 Andrew


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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:30 PM

You can give it a shot then. Since the drive, as you say, is dead you won't we hurting anything by trying. The worse that could happen is that the Windows installer will balk at you.

You could also look on places like e-bay for a CD that matches your key.

#5 fairjoeblue


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Posted 19 June 2009 - 10:25 PM

You need a OEM XP disk that is the same version ,Home or Pro, that your XP sticker indicates.

You will need to have the XP key for the disk you use.
If you don't have the key put the disk in a CD drive of a working computer
Let it auto start & click Exit
Leave the disk in the drive
Open My Computer
Right click the CD drive & click Open on the menu
When it shows the contents of the disk open the i386 folder
Look foer a file named WINNT.sif
[Not all disks have it]
If the file is there open it with Note pad
The XP key will be in it.

Install XP on your unit using the disk & key to do the install.
Once you are to the desktop you will need to acyivate XP
Choose to activate online
You will get a message the key is wrong & a box to enter a new key
Enter the key off of YOUR XP sticker & click Retry
If it activates you are good to go
If it doesn't you'll have to start over, choose Activate by phone & call the number that is given.
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