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question about changing WinXP activation after install (not about crac

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#1
erfahren

erfahren

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awhile back I was working on someone's pc - installed a new hard drive (I think it was a hp/compaq) and was having trouble with doing a system recovery (reinstalling windows) from its recovery disks (I kept getting BSOD's). Wanting to see if it may have been a problems with the disks themselves I installed Windows XP HE off of an Windows XP HE upgrade disk I have (it's never actually been used on a computer). That seemed to work so I tried the steps outlined here to change the activation key to the key that was on the green Microsoft Windows XP HE sticker on the back of the pc. I'm pretty certain it worked; the activation accepted the key. (I later got new recovery disks for the pc from hp/compaq and reinstalled using them).

I wanted to confirm that this was always possible so tried doing that on another pc I picked up used (an old Dell gx260 with a wiped and failing hard drive & no recovery disks). It didn't work - said "incorrect key". I wasn't sure of what all I did the first time so I went and called the Microsoft Windows Activation and went through the steps they outlined and it activated. I think I just activated that copy of Windows XP to be used on that computer - I didn't really want to do that (I ordered the recovery media for the pc from Dell and was going to use that.)

the questions I have:
did I just render that copy of Windows XP I used useless to be used on any other computer?
Once I use the Dell recovery disks to reinstall WinXP on it will it de-activate that copy of WinXP I used - activating the Dell version to be used with the pc instead?
is what I was attempting to do in the first place possible (using the computer's OEM product key instead of the key on a WinXP install disk) - I'm pretty certain that worked the first time?

I come across computers without the recovery media often - it seems that most people don't consider them important enough to save (arghhh!! - my pet peeve). A lot of pc's have recovery partitions that can be used - I come across many people knowledgeable in computers who don't seem to know that (and end up wiping them off the hard drive). I do know there's a difference between OEM versions of Windows and the Microsoft Windows installation disks - although I can't say that I understand all of that completely since I've seen WinXP install disks labeled OEM that looked the same as ones that aren't - that's a sort of a separate issue though.

anyway - I apologize for the verboseness of my post, but wanted to provide enough info. - thanks

Edited by erfahren, 04 February 2011 - 07:16 PM.

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#2
submix8c

submix8c

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1 - I tried the steps outlined here to change the activation key to the key that was on the green Microsoft Windows XP HE sticker on the back of the pc. I'm pretty certain it worked; the activation accepted the key. (I later got new recovery disks for the pc from hp/compaq and reinstalled using them).

2 - I wanted to confirm that this was always possible so tried doing that on another pc I picked up used (an old Dell gx260 with a wiped and failing hard drive & no recovery disks). It didn't work - said "incorrect key". I wasn't sure of what all I did the first time so I went and called the Microsoft Windows Activation and went through the steps they outlined and it activated. I think I just activated that copy of Windows XP to be used on that computer - I didn't really want to do that (I ordered the recovery media for the pc from Dell and was going to use that.)

the questions I have:
3 - did I just render that copy of Windows XP I used useless to be used on any other computer?
4 - Once I use the Dell recovery disks to reinstall WinXP on it will it de-activate that copy of WinXP I used - activating the Dell version to be used with the pc instead?
5 - is what I was attempting to do in the first place possible (using the computer's OEM product key instead of the key on a WinXP install disk) - I'm pretty certain that worked the first time?

A lot of pc's have recovery partitions that can be used - I come across many people knowledgeable in computers who don't seem to know that (and end up wiping them off the hard drive). I do know there's a difference between OEM versions of Windows and the Microsoft Windows installation disks - although I can't say that I understand all of that completely since I've seen WinXP install disks labeled OEM that looked the same as ones that aren't - that's a sort of a separate issue though.

1 - The key you installed with was the key to the Upgrade - yes, it installed fine. The "change of the key" to the Sticker worked and activated (the COA key).
2 - "Incorrect Key"? I'm confused. You mean using the COA key with the Upgrade CD? Won't (shouldn't) work. "Forced activation" of the Ugrade key via Phone Activate? (long process). If so, yes you used it once.
3 - See #2
4 - Recovery CD's are a "special flavor" that are pre-activated (see OEM Pre-Activation thread). Complete "replacement" of the Upgrade Install. Doesn't use the COA key.
5 - Again, shouldn't work as the main files are different between OEM-generic (System Builder kits)), OEM-specific (post System-builder), and Retail (including Upgrade)
* - The key to the Upgrade has (maybe) been used once. The COA key has been used (definitely) once. Any key used once will more than likely be useable again (not repeatedly). COA keys are generally of the OEM-generic flavor. Always use a "keyfinder" method to get the OEM-specific key if building "your own flavor of Pre-Activated" (see thread mentioned). OEM Recovery (including the CD-type) will include the specific PC's drivers as well as "junk" software. Preferable to use those for Re-Installs (with the internal key, not the COA key which is generally a "last resort" key). All OEM CD's are not the same as OEM-generic is one type and each Vendor has their own "special" type.

Whew!

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#3
erfahren

erfahren

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thank you - you cleared a lot of that up for me.

2 - "Incorrect Key"? I'm confused. You mean using the COA key with the Upgrade CD? Won't (shouldn't) work.

I was pretty sure I was able to deactivate windows and use the COA key to reactivate it. I might be mistaken - I lose track of what all I try sometimes.

I was mainly concerned that I "used up" that upgrade cd of mine in the process of testing that process out to confirm it - since I was just planning on junking the hard drive I was installing it to. I didn't know an install cd could be activated more than once. (I'm not sure why I went and called microsoft, though, that was a little crazy.)

Always use a "keyfinder" method to get the OEM-specific key if building "your own flavor of Pre-Activated" (see thread mentioned).


(from thread)
... However, if you don't have the Dell OEM CD, but have another manufacturer's OEM CD, you can make your own Dell OEM CD ...

I didn't know that was possible - that could come in extremely handy. I'm going to have to try that out.


Whew!

lol - I had kind of an essay question thing going on there, didn't I - sry
I really do appreciate your help, though. thank you!
_
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