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Matching XP Disc to Installed


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#1 Shandley

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:35 PM

Greetings,

I have found that after a few years of fixing my work's computers, I have mixed up the XP Pro discs that go with the machine. Since they are all bought at different times, I am having a hard time matching the discs to the installation.

I found that when I go to do a repair, the computer's windows Key sometimes is not accepted because I used the wrong disc. I am trying to sort it out now but does anyone know a way to match them up?

Edit:
I have noticed that on some of the Product Key Stickers, there is a number that starts with X##-#####. Some are X08-#####, some are #10-#####, one is X11-#####. The first 3 digits match some of the discs but not the rest of the numbers. Does this mean anything to anyone?

Edited by Shandley, 08 October 2009 - 12:37 PM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:15 PM

If they are Microsoft install CDs...and not recovery/restore disks...the disks don't matter.

Any version of a MS XP Home install CD can be used to install XP Home on any system...it's the license key that determines whether the install will be a functional, useful one for that computer. An invalid license key results in a No Go.

Ditto for XP Pro.

I have about 10 valid licenses for using XP Home...I use the same slipstreamed CD to install each of of them or repair install any of them.

XP MCE is a little different, since many of those systems came with some version of MCE installed...users may or may not have a CD which reflects the O/S or one of the subsequent updated versions.

You don't need to match disks...you need to match licenses.

And you should not attempt to use a CD reflecting an earlier SP-level (e.g., SP1) if you have a system that reflects SP2 or SP3. The result will probably be a complete overwrite of all existing system files...where the intent was to conduct a repair install of XP.

There is one difference that users need to be aware of. Any MS OEM/System Builder version of XP...expects to find 1 hard drive which has no partitions on it and 1 optical drive. Attempting a clean install with these or a repair install with any other drive arrangement...may not work out as anticipated.

Louis

#3 Shandley

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 02:53 PM

I've been through too many installations and repairs without the right disc. Then I try disc after disc and finally one works. It seems since one installation relates itself to the hardware, I need to keep the key the same and find the right disc for it. You say you need to match licences but the licences are attached to the hardware in the computer. So I need to match the disc to the computer.

I should have mentioned that these discs are 'OEM' discs. They were purchased with a licence for their specific computer. I suppose this would make the difference, eh?

And you should not attempt to use a CD reflecting an earlier SP-level (e.g., SP1) if you have a system that reflects SP2 or SP3. The result will probably be a complete overwrite of all existing system files...where the intent was to conduct a repair install of XP.


Can you use a later slipstreamed version? IE: SP2 installed, use a SP3 slipstreamed disc?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 03:13 PM

Well...let's understand :thumbsup:.

There are two types of "OEM" CDs floating around, with the difference being one of misunderstanding what that CD is and can do.

One set is put out by Microsoft and are currently sold as "System Builder" versions...were formerly solde as Microsoft OEM versions, meaning that the user/installer is responsible for support. These were primarily bought by persons who build their own systems (like me) and who have no need for "Microsoft support" or support by any other commercial entity.

The other set of CDs associated with "OEM" are CDs issued by Dell, Gateway, Compaq, eMachines, etc....with systems which they have assembled for sale to consumers. These CDs, in many cases, are referred to as "install CDs" or "recovery CDs" or "restore CDs".

These are somewhat modified versions of MS XP install CDs and cannot generally be used in the same manner that a Genuine Microsoft XP CD can be used to repair or reinstall XP. These manufacturers are responsible for the support functions relative to the Windows installed on their systems...that's why they supply drivers, updates, etc. for their system...support for the system lies at their feet.

When I say that I have OEM licenses...I don't mean that I have licenses from Dell, Gateway, etc. I have Microsoft OEM/System Builder licenses...which I purchased individually when I put my systems together.

Louis

#5 Shandley

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 03:15 PM

I am with you there. I have System Building OEM CDs. Not 3rd party manipulated installation CDs.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 04:30 PM

Sorry, I didn't answer your questions about slipstreaming (Old-Timers is rearing it's head).

I have slipstreamed one CD with SP3 and I use it for any install that I want to repair. I know which license key applies to which system (although I have made a mistake before) and...as long as I get the right license with the right system...all is well.

There are no keys embedded in Microsoft System Builder/OEM CDs, so the key license used is the only variable between the contents of CD1 versus CD2, other than the SP-level.

A slipstreamed CD should be made which encompasses all 3 SPs.

You have to remember...slipstreaming an XP install CD includes the install for any SPs included. My slipstreamed CD starts with a CD that includes SP1 (as part of what is being installed)...and I add SP3 (which includes SP2). So the result of using that CD to repair/reinstall XP...moves that install to an SP3 level.

Which is what I want, I see no point in having less than maximum protection of the O/S when there are known deficiencies which can be overcome by having SP3 installed.

It's like those persons that don't seem to understand why Flash Player and Java have so many revisions/updated versions. Those updated versions come about because of known malware exploitation of previous versions and Adobe/Sun have taken steps to minimize the vulnerabilities users experience by using their applications.

It's the same with SP3 versus SP2 or any other level of security updating.

Louis

#7 Shandley

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 05:00 PM

So as long as the disc used is at a later SP (or same in the case of SP3), I should be safe?

One small side question, what would I put as a 'label' when burning with nlite doing this with a Windows 2000 Pro disc?

#8 hamluis

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 05:33 PM

I don't even use a label...when burning any CD/DVD...it doesn't affect the outcome.

<<...what would I put as a 'label' when burning with nlite doing this with a Windows 2000 Pro disc>>

I don't understand your question. I don't know anything about Win 2K, never used it other than a few times at work. If nLite supports it, it should work the same way XP does when it comes to slipstreaming (if that's what you are asking).

Louis

#9 Shandley

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 05:46 PM

I looked at the tutorial on this site about how to slipstream an XP disc. It says it can do a windows 2000 disc too. During the burning step, there is a bit of setup. One criteria is to enter a 'label'.

Here is the link to the guide:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/slipstreaming-windows-xp-to-create-bootable-cd/

Attached is the photo of the step with the label option

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#10 hamluis

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 05:57 PM

As I said...it doesn't matter, it's nonessential data that every burn process asks for. I just leave it as it is.

If you want to name your disk...it will only show up when using Explorer view with the disk in the optical drive...feel free to name it whatever.

Louis

#11 Shandley

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 06:07 PM

Much thanks for all of your help!

#12 hamluis

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 07:51 PM

Easily done, happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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