Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:42 PM
After putting a new larger HD into an eMachines system, I installed a retail copy of Windows XP Home which I had 'slipstreamed' with SP3 and all the security fixes since that was issued up until about a week ago. This is done quite routinely by thousands of people and works fine most of the time. This time, though, I hit a snag. I tried to use the Product Key printed on the back of the machine and the retail copy of Windows won't accept the key as valid. Well, the key IS valid. It's printed on the back of the machine. The product sticker on the back of the machine says it is for XP Home and the machine was purchased new in 2005 so it's got to be SP2. This retail copy is also XP Home SP2 (with updates slipstreamed into it). Surely there is a way to register a re-installed copy of Windows with the machine's original product key? Do you have to contact Microsoft directly (by phone) instead of going online? Or does the OEM offer some sort of option (like a patch for the key checking code)?