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Activate Windows XP on a virtual machine by using Belarc Advisor


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15 replies to this topic

#1 signofzeta

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 03:10 AM

Edit: This topic split off from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/545267/belarc-advisor-do-you-know-them/. The current content did not match original intent. New topic title reflects content and intent of subject ~ Animal

I feel like I need to bump this thread.
 
I have read that someone successfully used an OEM key to activate windows XP on a virtual machine by using Belarc Advisor, but I thought the key found on the COA sticker for OEM windows XP PC's are supposed to be tied to the motherboard?
 
Let's take this situation here.  I have 2 PC's. One is an 8 year old desktop that runs windows XP, one is a half a year old laptop that runs windows 8.  Both PC's have OEM windows, that is, both PC's came with windows preinstalled, so a retail copy of windows is not even part of this discussion.
 
8 year old desktop motherboard died.  Hard drive and its data is still intact.  Recovery discs were made 8 years ago.  This version of XP is Windows XP professional media center edition.
 
Laptop has virtualbox installed.  I got a copy of windows XP by downloading the XP mode installer file from Microsoft, which has the .vhd file that allows me to use XP in virtualbox.  That version of XP is windows XP professional.
 
When I boot up XP mode via virtualbox in my windows 8 machine, it asks for an activation key, or else I only get to use it for 30 days, unless I delete the virtual hard drive, and start over again.  I heard that nobody can use the same product activation key from an OEM PC, that is, theoretically, I couldn't use the same product key found on the COA sticker of the 8 year old desktop, but I have read that someone in these forums somehow used an already activated key from an old PC (both his old PC and my 8 year old PC have dead motherboards), to activate windows XP installed on a virtual machine on a totally different machine by using hard drive caddies, and Belarc Advisor.  How is that even possible?  Note that for him, he found his product key using Belarc Advisor.  I could technically still use Belarc Advisor to find the product key by inserting the HDD into a caddy, and plugging it into my laptop, but I do still have the COA sticker, so Belarc Advisor and HDD + caddy isn't necessary.
 
What I am asking is, how does Belarc Advisor, an HDD, with its data still intact, that came from an 8 year old desktop with a dead motherboard and a caddy help me activate windows XP on a virtual machine running on a half a year old windows 8 laptop by using the same activation key found on the COA sticker from the 8 year old desktop?  Can recovery discs technically "install" windows XP professional media center edition with the help of Belarc Advisor and the old HDD and caddy attached to the new laptop?
 
Is it even possible to reuse a product key found on a COA sticker from an old PC and activating windows XP, vista, or 7 on a virtual machine running in a different PC by using Belarc Advisor?

Edited by Al1000, 05 February 2017 - 01:36 PM.
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#2 cat1092

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 03:32 AM

 

Is it even possible to reuse a product key found on a COA sticker from an old PC and activating windows XP, vista, or 7 on a virtual machine running in a different PC by using Belarc Advisor?

 

No!

 

OEM COA's are tied to the computers they were originally installed on. 

 

We cannot assist with this type of XP Mode activation, because it's intended to be used with Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise via Windows Virtual PC. 

 

You'll need to refer to where you obtained the source of information for this, as XP Mode is not licensed to run in VirtualBox, on any OS. 

 

Sorry, we just don't do these things here. We play by the rules. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 02 November 2014 - 03:33 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#3 signofzeta

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 09:53 AM

I found out how to get windows XP mode working on windows 8 by looking at a post you made, but I can only use it for 30 days, and after the 30 days, I have to delete and "reinstall" windows XP, so I mainly use it to run the programs I want to run while I put the program files on a shared folder.

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/532426/do-you-need-a-clean-install-of-windows-8-to-make-recovery-disc/?p=3368474

 

 

I don't really care if I can re-use my old product key from a PC with a dead motherboard at this point, but I want some clarification on what wizardfromoz is trying to tell me on this thread, and I already tried to get clarification from him.  I just want to see if someone else could understand what wizardfromoz is trying to say.

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/551895/will-a-virus-get-into-a-virtual-pc-even-if-it-is-virtually-disconnected/

 

So can I use recovery discs from the 8 year old desktop to install windows XP onto a virtual machine on my windows 8 PC?  Can I then use that OEM product key I found on the side of my old PC to activate that windows XP that I installed on a virtual machine on my windows 8 PC using those old recovery discs?  From what wizardfromoz said in that thread I linked above, and from my interpretation, he achieved that feat by using his Dell reinstallation disc to install windows XP into a virtual machine on a totally different PC, and using the same activation key found on the COA sticker of his old PC.  That is what I interpret what he is trying to say.  My responses are more like "That's impossible", or" I don't believe you" kind of posts, because from many sources, I hear that the key found on the COA sticker of a PC is tied to the motherboard of that PC only.

 

Now about Belarc Advisor, what does it really do?  Is all it does is find out your PC specs and all the activation keys and product keys stored inside your computer?  Apparently, wizardfromoz made a suggestion to use Belarc Advisor, with the help of a hard drive and a caddy (note that my 8 year old PC has a dead motherboard at this point), to be able to install the exact same copy of windows XP, that I used on my 8 year old PC, onto a virtual machine running on a windows 8 laptop.  Basically saying, from what I interpret from his posts, he is saying that the old product key that was on my 8 year old PC is salvagable, even though the PC itself won't turn on anymore.  Belarc Advisor will probably show me the same product key that is found on the COA sticker on the side of my computer, so I have a hard time believing that that activation key will suddenly work in a virtual machine running on a different computer just because I used Belarc Advisor to find out what that key is as opposed to just simply looking at the COA sticker.


Edited by signofzeta, 02 November 2014 - 10:50 AM.


#4 cat1092

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 03:10 PM

 

 

So can I use recovery discs from the 8 year old desktop to install windows XP onto a virtual machine on my windows 8 PC?  Can I then use that OEM product key I found on the side of my old PC to activate that windows XP that I installed on a virtual machine on my windows 8 PC using those old recovery discs? 

 

If they're OEM & it's a different computer, the legit answer again is no. 

 

There may be a chance, if one of these VM's are on the same computer it was licensed to, and you get a really sympathetic Microsoft representative to assist you, that may be possible, however this is at that rep's discretion. 

 

OEM keys are tied to the hardware, namely the motherboard, on which these were originally licensed to when shipped. 

 

Are all of these computers beyond repair? If not, we may be able to assist with repair guidance in the Hardware section of the forum. That is the best advise I can offer in regards to this. 

 

Honestly, I understand what you want to do, and would like to be able to help, but in the circumstances you're presenting, I cannot, except for what I stated above. During my time participating on these forums, have heard this question asked thousands of times, and it's always the same answer, OEM licenses (even those the consumer purchases & installs on a computer for their use) are tied to the motherboard they're activated on. 

 

Unfortunately, this is not a debatable issue here, regardless of what another member, friend, or anyone else informs you of. 

 

We just cannot do it. That's the bottom line. Continual discussion of the issue may lead to the closure of the Topic at the discretion of the Moderation or the Administrative Team. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#5 signofzeta

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 06:16 PM

I basically want your interpretation of what wizardfromoz is suggesting to me in this thread, although I am probably not going to follow his suggestion anyway.

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/551895/will-a-virus-get-into-a-virtual-pc-even-if-it-is-virtually-disconnected/

 

I am pretty sure that all Belarc Advisor does is find out what the product key for windows XP is that happens to be stored on my still intact hard drive that I could attach to a different PC with a caddy, and it does nothing else, even though I haven't tried using Belarc Advisor yet.  I am also 100% sure that product key is the same one as the one found on the COA sticker stuck to the side of that 8 year old PC, although I haven't tried to use Belarc Advisor to find out, I am very sure the product keys will be the same.

 

Based on the discussion between wizardfromoz and myself, on that thread I linked, do you think it is redundant for me to attach my old 8 year old hard drive that ran on that 8 year old PC to a newer computer via a caddy and use Belarc Advisor to find out what the product key is, when I still have the COA sticker still stuck to the side of my 8 year old PC?

 

From my own interpretation of what wizardfromoz says, it seems that using the key found with Belarc Advisor somehow magically removes the restriction that the product key must be for that motherboard, but I doubt it.

 

So I want you to tell me, what does Belarc Advisor really do, as it pertains to the what is being suggested by wizardfromoz in the link I posted above, and are wizardfromoz's suggestions guaranteed to not work?

 

With a hard drive caddy, can I still access the hard drive contents without having to boot into the operating system, or is it such that once the motherboard is dead (blown capacitors), the data from that hard drive can never be retrieved anymore?

 

I forgot to mention, in post #23 in the thread I linked above, wizardfromoz found that he has a product key and a license number.  What does the license key even do?  I know I use the product key to activate windows when I first install it, but the license number?  When I first activated windows XP 8 years ago, or even activated any windows on any of my computers, I don't remember using a license number, so why is that needed?

 

Basically I want your interpretation on what wizardfromoz is suggesting because what I read is that he wants me to use Belarc Advisor for the sake of using Belarc Advisor.


Edited by signofzeta, 02 November 2014 - 07:11 PM.


#6 cat1092

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 11:36 PM

If you wish to discuss Belarc Advisor, cool. I used the tool to ensure my Windows 7 & MS Office keys matched up with those I had on record, so that I wouldn't be running into snags during activation (or re-activation). One required a call to the Windows Activation Center anyway, but after I stated it had just been on that computer, all was OK. The automated assistant had me to read the numbers across the activation window, and I keyed in each group at a time, when requested. Then, the assistant said "Great!". I then had to enter a string of keys one box at a time in all of those blocks, and after they were entered, it was about 10-15 seconds, Windows 7 Pro was activated. No big deal, and I never spoke with a human during the call. 

 

Note that the keys generated by Belarc won't necessarily be the one on the COA sticker, in fact it likely won't be. Some brands of OS's won't accept the one on the COA attached to the computer for a clean install, and I know that HP is this way, because I had a new one in 2009. I wanted to clean install to not have the junk software installed, and the key generated by Belarc worked, whereas the one on the sticker wouldn't even be accepted by the Windows 7 place to enter the key. 

 

So, Belarc is a good tool, however as I noted earlier in this Topic, this program does a lot more than find software keys, it can be a part of one's overall security plan, making sure that updates are installed, giving the user a list of the software on the computer & when last used. Letting the user (or Administrator) know if portable Flash drives & other USB devices has been inserted to the machine & when. List of networks it has been connected to. 

 

Belarc Advisor is a system management tool, a personal auditor, so to speak, not just a key finder. For example, let's say you have children and the computer is the only one in the house. You instructed your child not to be on the computer, or after a certain time. Belarc plays the role of watch dog, if the report says someone was on the computer, on a certain account between the times of 9:45 to 10:35PM on that date, then rest assured the report is correct, because it's it's job, to monitor your computer by auditing usage. 

 

There are other products that can also find the keys on a computer, but that's beyond the scope of this Topic. 

 

Nor am I going to get in the midst of an issue between two or more members over it. I'm just stating part of the capabilities of the software, and it has worked for me. However, beginning with Windows 8, this will not work if it's an OEM computer. The key is in the UEFI chip, and there's been posted ways to find that code. I have no idea if these works, because I've not needed to use any of these types of product key finder software.

 

If you wish to use the software, fine, if not, that's OK by me also.

 

What you do with the software is your business.

 

Cat                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Edited by cat1092, 02 November 2014 - 11:50 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#7 signofzeta

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 12:56 AM

I just used Belarc Advisor, and it is as I thought.  All it does is display the specs, product keys, and security stuff for your computer, and it does nothing else when it comes to trying to salvage and reuse my product key tied to a dead motherboard.

 

I am wondering.  A product key is supposed to be 25 characters separated by a hyphen in five groups of five right?  When I use Belarc Advisor, I see a string of characters in in 4 groups of five, and I wonder what that is supposed to be?

 

It goes something like this:

 

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-AAOEM (Key: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx)

 

Also, what exactly is Microsoft Powershell?  The key comes in the form of xxxxx-xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxx

 

Where "x" is any alphanumeric character.

 

I also want to know your thoughts on why a company like HP would not allow the consumer to use the same product key to reinstall or recover windows?  The 8 year old PC was an HP, so based on what you said, the product key, which is a string of 25 characters, found by Belarc Advisor might have a chance that it may be different from what it says on the COA sticker?

 

I also want to know one thing.

 

I have a PC with a dead motherboard.  PC won't power on.  Motherboard is beyond repair, well repairable, but it isn't something I could do myself.  (I don't have cap replacement skills nor do I have the cash to get someone to do it).  Let's say that this PC ran window XP, and the hard drive still has windows XP installed.

 

I remove hard drive from that computer.

 

I put hard drive in caddy (I do not really own a caddy, but let's say that I do), and attach it to a different PC, a laptop that runs windows 8.1.

 

First of all, can I install anything, namely Belarc Advisor, or save anything onto that hard drive attached to the laptop via a caddy?

 

If not, is it possible to get the specs of that dead motherboard PC by running Belarc Advisor on a different PC as long as the hard drive from that dead PC is attached to the new PC?

 

So in short, can Belarc Advisor find the specs from a PC with a dead motherboard?


Edited by signofzeta, 03 November 2014 - 12:57 AM.


#8 cmptrgy

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:20 AM

Cat, as usual you provide very good explanations and I can use a little help

I have used Belarc's report many times and the product ID has always included OEM followed by the 25 character Product key

The Belarc reported 25 character Product key has never failed me when I had to use it

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting my cousin in VA and she has a Win 8.1 laptop

I ran Belarc and showed her the product key it reported in case she ever needs it

I also noticed it has UEFI and it sounds like I should help her get the product key in the UEFI chip instead

I'll find out how to do so but I'd like your opinion as I don't have Win8



#9 signofzeta

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:55 PM

Let's take a hypothetical scenario here.

 

Let's say I have a product key that I want to retrieve, and that I don't have any physical paper copies, or that I haven't written it down somewhere.  I installed this product and therefore the product key is installed on an old PC with an OEM license of windows, but the motherboard is dead, so the PC cannot boot, much less power on.  Hard drive and its contents, including the OS, is fine.  Belarc Advisor has not been run on that PC while it was still alive.

 

Is Belarc Advisor useful in retrieving product key in the scenario above, provided I have another PC and a means to attach that hard drive externally or internally as a second hard drive?

 

I see two obstacles.  I heard that Belarc Advisor only displays information from the boot drive, or at least that is what Google search tells me.

The second obstacle is an OEM license of windows cannot boot onto another computer, so I can't boot the OS in order to run Belarc Advisor on it.

 

Are these 2 obstacles true?  I know that the fact that I can't boot an OEM OS on a totally different computer is true, but is the fact that Belarc Advisor only works on the boot drive true, or does it also scan stuff in external drives?


Edited by signofzeta, 03 November 2014 - 05:19 PM.


#10 cmptrgy

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 07:09 PM

signofzeta I'd like to take a stab at some realistic scenarios

On the computer with the dead motherboard; it's a dead PC

--- If you were replacing a component and the motherboard was ok, you'd have a chance to recover whatever you have in mind

--- Keep in mind, I cannot see your PC, so I have to interpret by what I perceive is going on

--- Since the hard drive is good, we need to know whether or not you just want the data from it or do you want to continue using it

 

"Is Belarc Advisor useful in retrieving product key in the scenario above": Not that I'm aware of

 

"provided I have another PC and a means to attach that hard drive externally or internally as a second hard drive?"

--- On this other computer, what OS is on it compared to your hard drive you want to continue using or get the data from

--- I don't recall what it's called but I have a kit in which I have connected someone's hard drive externally to my computer and pulled out the data they needed but it's been a while since I've done so

--- So we need to know, what do you want to do

 

"I see two obstacles"

1) "I heard that Belarc Advisor only displays information from the boot drive, or at least that is what Google search tells me."

--- What's the obstacle, what are you expecting from Belarc?

--- Belarc doesn't fix anything, it provides important information about someone's computer and Cat has covered that pretty well

2) "The second obstacle is an OEM license of windows cannot boot onto another computer, so I can't boot the OS in order to run Belarc Advisor on it."

--- Yes this is an obstacle and Cat has covered that pretty good also

 

"Belarc Advisor only works on the boot drive true, or does it also scan stuff in external drives?"

--- I'm not aware of Belarc scanning stuff in an external drive, it generates a reprt of a computers OS, CPU, memory etc. 

 

I summary, it sounds like you have another PC you can work with or will get and you'd like to continue using your good hard drive or just get the data of of it

 

Cat

This was a good read for me: Windows 8 activation & BIOS explained

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/windows-8-activation.html

To retrieve the product activation key 2 free utilities are mentioned

Nirsoft ProduKey: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

Belarc Advisor: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html



#11 cat1092

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 01:41 AM

cmptrgy, glad you found some resources!  :thumbup2:

 

I suppose you have seen that beginning with Windows 8, the Belarc keys aren't the actual one to use when installing. Though for optional software, such as Microsoft Office, the correct one will be displayed. 

 

With Windows 8 or 8.1, the procedure to recover the computer may vary. If it shipped with Windows 8, and 8.1 cannot be fixed, then 8 will have to be re-installed, and upgraded to 8.1. I have one of these systems & the OEM recovery DVD, so no COA has to be entered. It's the same if 8.1 were installed & cannot be fixed, I'd have to re-install Windows 8 & upgrade to 8.1. 

 

If the computer shipped with 8.1, then the proper media will be needed (a Windows 8.1 DVD of the correct bit version). These has both the Core (that many calls "Home") & Pro versions built into the media, the key will be found in the UEFI for the install of the proper version & manual entry won't be needed, nor prompted for, as long as the proper media is booted from. Same as with Windows 8. 

 

However, if the computer shipped with another OS, that's another matter altogether. In my case, I kept a paper copy of the email with the keys, plus it's still in my email, in a folder named "Software Keys" for fast find when needed. As of yet, haven't had to use any product key finders with this OS & hopefully won't have to. Though I checked these when reinstalling MS Office & that one matches up, the one by Belarc for Windows 8 Pro shown different than the key that I manually entered for activation & Speccy showed an entirely different one, before the upgrade to 8.1. 

 

That one defied logic to me, why would two separate utilities show different keys to a clean installed OS, both different from the one I typed in, yet Office Pro Plus 2010 shown perfectly as installed? It was certainly a good thing that I kept my emails on these. Many loses or misplaces these (or their boxed version), and have deleted the purchase email. That can make it difficult to recover. 

 

Hopefully the issue you're working with has been solved by now.  :thumbup2:

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#12 signofzeta

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 02:16 AM

signofzeta I'd like to take a stab at some realistic scenarios

On the computer with the dead motherboard; it's a dead PC

--- If you were replacing a component and the motherboard was ok, you'd have a chance to recover whatever you have in mind

--- Keep in mind, I cannot see your PC, so I have to interpret by what I perceive is going on

--- Since the hard drive is good, we need to know whether or not you just want the data from it or do you want to continue using it

 

"Is Belarc Advisor useful in retrieving product key in the scenario above": Not that I'm aware of

 

"provided I have another PC and a means to attach that hard drive externally or internally as a second hard drive?"

--- On this other computer, what OS is on it compared to your hard drive you want to continue using or get the data from

--- I don't recall what it's called but I have a kit in which I have connected someone's hard drive externally to my computer and pulled out the data they needed but it's been a while since I've done so

--- So we need to know, what do you want to do

 

"I see two obstacles"

1) "I heard that Belarc Advisor only displays information from the boot drive, or at least that is what Google search tells me."

--- What's the obstacle, what are you expecting from Belarc?

--- Belarc doesn't fix anything, it provides important information about someone's computer and Cat has covered that pretty well

2) "The second obstacle is an OEM license of windows cannot boot onto another computer, so I can't boot the OS in order to run Belarc Advisor on it."

--- Yes this is an obstacle and Cat has covered that pretty good also

 

"Belarc Advisor only works on the boot drive true, or does it also scan stuff in external drives?"

--- I'm not aware of Belarc scanning stuff in an external drive, it generates a reprt of a computers OS, CPU, memory etc. 

 

I summary, it sounds like you have another PC you can work with or will get and you'd like to continue using your good hard drive or just get the data of of it

 

Cat

This was a good read for me: Windows 8 activation & BIOS explained

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/windows-8-activation.html

To retrieve the product activation key 2 free utilities are mentioned

Nirsoft ProduKey: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

Belarc Advisor: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

 

In another thread, I mentioned how I used to have an OEM license of Windows XP, but the motherboard it was supposed to work on was fried, so I am stuck with using a 30 day trial of windows XP on virtual box, in which I can reset that 30 day timer by deleting that virtual hard drive and reinstalling XP.  In order for me to keep the saved files, I decided to make a shared folder between the host and the guest machine, and save pretty much everything in that guest folder.  I mainly use XP to run certain programs that do not run properly on Vista or newer.  I basically want to know if virtually disconnecting the guest machine from the internet will block all viruses from entering the guest machine from an outside source, and not via the host machine.   I don't really mind if the guest gets infected, as I can just delete the virtual hard drive and reinstall windows XP, but what I am more concerned is if a virus can get into my host machine via the guest machine, even if the virtual network cable is unplugged, but this here is not what we are trying to talk about.

 

In that same thread, someone mentioned hard drive caddies, and Belarc Advisor, in hopes of being able to use the same OEM key to activate windows XP on a virtual machine running on a totally different computer.  At first I didn't believe him.  First thing he did was somehow, he got an OEM key, from his Dell desktop, which is currently dead, working on a virtual machine on an Acer all in one PC.  I don't know how he did it, but he did it.  He mentioned using one of those Dell reinstallation discs, so I don't know how the dell windows XP reinstallation discs are different from any other recovery disc, then again I see a bunch of Dell windows XP reinstallation discs on Ebay, so it could be that those discs work like Windows retail discs more than it works like a recovery disc from another PC manufacturer, I don't know.  He also used Belarc Advisor to find out what his key was from his Dell desktop, but I assume that he ran Belarc Advisor before his Dell died.

 

Here is the thread that is discussing this. 

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/551895/will-a-virus-get-into-a-virtual-pc-even-if-it-is-virtually-disconnected/

 

Just start reading at post #14

 

In my scenario, I have an 8 year old HP desktop that ran Windows XP, and a half year old Asus laptop that is running Windows 8.1, and also has Virtualbox and VMware installed.  Wizardfromoz is trying to help me salvage that Windows XP OEM key from the 8 year old HP desktop, but maybe I should have just told him that I haven't run Belarc Advisor on it, meaning that Belarc Advisor is useless with respect to trying to salvage that Windows XP OEM key from the 8 year old HP desktop.

 

This is probably why I am asking all these questions about Belarc Advisor.

 

As for the 2 obstacles. 

 

The first is that Belarc Advisor cannot look at specifications and product keys unless you boot into that specific drive.  Meaning that if I have 2 drives attached, and each of them have its own OS, Belarc Advisor can check the specs of Drive 1, but not Drive 2 unless you boot into the OS that is in drive 2.  What if there is a restriction that denies you access in booting drive 2, maybe because the OS is an OEM OS, and it only works on a specific motherboard?

 

The second obstacle is the OEM obstacle.  I theoretically can't boot an OEM operating system on any PC except for the PC that this OEM OS came in, but I have read of someone who has achieved that task.  So if I can't boot an OEM operating system on a different PC because the motherboard is fried, I can't check the product keys and specifications of that PC whose motherboard is fried.  Do you know what I am getting at?

 

From what I read on Google, Belarc Advisor has a huge weakness, in that it cannot display the specs and product keys from a hard drive that was attached to an OEM PC with a dead motherboard, because the PC itself won't boot or power on, and the OS won't boot on a different PC, so if I have a product key hidden inside that hard drive, Belarc Advisor won't retrieve it.

 

Back to that discussion I had with wizardfromoz, can anyone here tell me the difference between the product key and license number?


Edited by signofzeta, 04 November 2014 - 02:37 AM.


#13 cmptrgy

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 07:12 AM

Hi spignofzeta, excellent summary

"Back to that discussion I had with wizardfromoz, can anyone here tell me the difference between the product key and license number"

See if this helps: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/wpa_overview.mspx?mfr=true

--- The product key is a 25 character alphanumeric code shown in five groups of five characters each (for example, BCDFG-12345-HJKLM-67890-NPQRS). Keep the product key in a safe location and do not share it with others. This product key forms the basis for your ability to install and use Windows

--- The product key also forms the basis for the product ID that is created when Windows XP is installed. Each licensed instance of Windows XP has a unique Product ID. The Product ID has 20 characters arranged like this: 12345-123-1234567-12345

--- So the product key is used to install Windows, Office suites etc. The product key ensures the system product. Together if's to ensure a product is legally installed onto a system in accordance to EULA's

 

Cat, another excellent explanation again. What gets me is for something so important it's such a hassle for so many computer users. It's something like a cars VIN, usually not known, but easily determined from the owners registration. Even if it isn't understood, at least it's easily available



#14 cmptrgy

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 11:30 AM

"I mainly use XP to run certain programs that do not run properly on Vista or newer"

Although this technically isn't a fix but could be a possible solution for you to continue using XP

--- Look around for anyone who's willing to let their XP go

One of my friends had a similar situation; one day when she was talking to some of her friends, one of them had an XP that still ran excellently but that person had bought a new computer and was more than willing to let the XP computer go for free. So my friend took the computer, installed whatever she was interested to continue using in XP and is very happy to be doing so

Personally though I hesitate to promote using XP on the Internet



#15 cat1092

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 03:15 AM

Why just not find a cheap XP computer on eBay? I found a very nice one for $29, though it had a Vista Business COA, and the drive was wiped. The machine had been cleaned very well inside out, and except for the RAM upgrade & $10 for a used CPU on eBay, it was a great find. I was able to re-install Vista through the COA with a retail DVD & had to phone activate, but never had to speak with anyone. 

 

There are many XP computers listed, and this is a buyer's market. Computers that were $400 in 2009 are more like $50 now, and you have both eBay & PayPal protection on the purchase. Here's a clean HP w/COA, all you need is install media. 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Compaq-dc5750-AMD-Athlon-64-3800-2-4GHz-1GB-80GB-DVD-RW-XP-COA-/331331589976?pt=Desktop_PCs&hash=item4d24e6d758

 

From the same seller where I got this one from. 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiplex-740-DT-AMD-Athlon-X2-4050e-2-10GHz-2GB-80GB-CD-RW-Vista-COA-/331319769048?pt=Desktop_PCs&hash=item4d243277d8

 

These are good computers, especially if you have some components to reuse. I had lots of components laying around, look at the WEI of the RAM, & both graphic scores. 

 

CaptureWEIDetailsOptiplex740RAMUpgrade.p

 

Here it was, running the Windows Technical Preview, before adding anything except the graphics card. 

 

CapturePNGTaskManagerOptiplex840.png

 

If you're using it for gaming, these are going to preform much better on a physical machine, and you won't have to deal with activation issues. As long as you get the one that matches the COA on the computer, or get one with XP already installed. VM's aren't good for gaming. If you have a older HP desktop, you may have some RAM to add already. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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