E-66

Reformat a HDD and maintain product activation of a PC with a VLK?

28 posts in this topic

To sum it up,

Your box was sold with an OEM Windows 2000 Pro license

the school bought a VLK upgrade license which allow them to install XP on a given amount of machine without having to activate (that's the point of VLK, it is not double license, it's the key to do those "activation-less" install).

The school sold the machine as is and without install media, that's two mistakes.

You're left with either

-reinstall Windows 2000 if you own (or buy, or borrow, but ...officially ...not copy it) a Win2000 media. Using the key on the sticker or finding the pre-activated key for Compaq Win2000 Pro and a Compaq Media that goes with it. Good luck with that.

-keep the actual install as a Ghost image as backup and if you feel the need to, shrink the partition. Ghost and GPartEd are 2easy solutions. Ghost is more secure IMHO and probably faster. GParted is free.

Keep in mind that a normal XP install would need at least 15 of those 40Gig if you don't want the PC to crawl on a full partition within 3 years. Being a Windows 2000 box it will be a ~1GHz machine with probably 256Meg of RAM if not less.

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Thanks for the additional info, Ponch. I have a better understanding of the 'license stuff' now.

Since I'm more familiar with Ghost I'm going to give that a try first. It's a pretty spartan install of XP. I think Office was installed on it at one point, but there are no signs of it now, and my parents don't need it anyway. Total disk usage on the machine (including the page file) is around 2.5 GB, so I should be fine, space-wise. All that's getting installed on it is Firefox, Sandboxie, and CCleaner, and I'll be moving My Documents to a different partition. This is just going to be a PC for them to use for e-mail & web browsing.

Oh, and it's a 2.4 GHz P4 with 512 MB of RAM. A local PC shop sells used 1 MB DDR chips for $8, so I'll add one of those as well.

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A couple of things -

1 - The Key is of value if you wish to "construct" a CD from HDD contents

* - see my given links

2 - The School should NEVER have allowed THEIR key to be released

* - discussed enough

3 - It MAY have been "somebody" attempting to "Fix" (or upgrade) a Win2000 install

* - therefore, it may NOT have been School Approved in the first place

4 - "Total Disk Usage=2.5gb" - betting that Install Folder (I386) doesn't exist

* - therefore (see below) you would need a CD for #1 above

For fun, to confirm whether it's the School's or a "pirated", you could do a WWW search on it. If it's found at all, it may/may not even be a GOOD install (hacked components). Be aware that "hacked" ones may/may-not allow Updates or tolerate a GOOD Antivirus. If it indeed is the School's (not on the www), you walk on shaky ground.

Just sayin'...

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Or don't be paranoid.

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I have never heard of a school using anything but OEM computers as they usually purchased them in quantities at a special price. I seriously doubt you mean Volume License. The good guy/gal at MS probably understood that you gave him/her an OEM-type Product Key and indicated that it would not work with a Retail CD. Ponch has sufficiently described the "ties" of the two types of Keys you seem to be describing. And there should be (if I'm correct) a COA Sticker somewhere on -OR- inside (they sometimes "hid" them) the box.

The education sector is confusing to say the least. There are upgrade pathways where a school may enter an agreement with an OEM to purchase 1 OS but install a different one. Purchasing the license is required, and the OEM COA would be on the PC but the OS installed wouldn't really match. I think its a cost savings for the school to do it this way. One method is to use an Open License. An example would be to say the school would buy 300 PCs from an OEM with XP Home. Then using the upgrade path they actually install say XP Pro VLK. The only difference is that the PCs would not (or should not, that is) have any special OEM BIOS stuff in it, it should be stock. That is so that recovery media from the OEM wouldn't activate on the PC (they could use the COA and phone it in I guess) but also the school doesn't receive recovery media anyways. This is also valid for Windows 7 and Office 2007, maybe others but those are the only ones I've dealt with.

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Just thought I'd update my progress....

I used Ghost 2003 to image the C: drive, then used Norton's Gdisk (Norton's version of Fdisk) to partion the HDD the way I wanted to. Installed the HDD in a working XP system to format it, then put it back in its original case, booted to Ghost and restored the image file to the now smaller C; drive, and everything worked perfectly.

I was a little hesitant to try it because of the trouble someone else had in trying to do the same thing (mentioned in the link in post #4. He tried it and the re-image kept hanging at 99%), but it has worked without a glitch for me.

Thanks for all the replies and efforts to help.

Next on the list: trying to figure out how to disable the PXE/network boot thing that adds at least 30 seconds to the overall boot time. I've been through the BIOS a dozen times but no change I've made has made any difference.

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Just remove/disable it from/in the Boot Order screen in BIOS.

Odd that USUALLY there's somewhere to Disable the Network Boot. It won't SPECIFICALLY say PXE since many Network Boot Firmware will have both RPL and PXE as methods.

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Just remove/disable it from/in the Boot Order screen in BIOS.

I've tried, but it doesn't work. I've Googled about it and it seems to be an issue others have had too.

What about resetting the BIOS with the motherboard jumper and/or removing the battery? Is it possible that with the type of PC I have (former school PC) that some BIOS settings have been password protected?

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If you can get into the BIOS, it's not password protected. You don't have to enter one to go into it do you? Nothing gets "hidden" because of a PWD (AFAIK)...

F10 = BIOS Setup

F12 = Network Service Boot <-Does that work/have anything in it?

AH! Found it! MAYBE "F12" allows for directly accessing... I found the BIOS Setup Manual. Get it here for free (just a CAPTCHA to enter) -

http://www.manualowl.com/m/Compaq/Evo-D510/Download/107300

According to it, under the heading "Security" is

Network Service Boot Enables/disables the computer’s ability to boot from an operating system installed on a network server. (Feature available on NIC models only; the network controller must reside on the PCI bus or be embedded on the system board.)

Also note that AFAIK to enter the actual Intel Boot Agent use Ctrl+S (mine does that) to change any "options" - BEWARE of setting too low a "Time To Display Message" (I leave mine at 3 sec.).

Edited by submix8c
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I've had F12 disabled in the BIOS, but it didn't make a difference.

You can hit Ctrl+S to get to the Intel Boot Agent setup, and I've messed with the limited options there, also to no avail.

Network Boot Protocol: PXE or RPL (remote program load)

Boot Order: Use BIOS Boot Order (this is the only choice, and the order I selected is HDD first, CD-ROM second, network disabled)

Show Setup Prompt: Disabled

Setup Menu Wait Time: 0 seconds

Legacy OS Wakeup Support: Disabled

Nothing has worked. It insists on looking for a way to boot from a network and adds 33 seconds to the boot time. After it gives up and goes to the HDD it boots up right away. On the "Windows XP" screen the moving blue dots only go across the screen 1 time and then right to the desktop.

It's not that big a deal. It bothers me more than it will my parents, but I'd like to eliminate the delay anyway.

Edit: You edited your post while I was composing ;)

The F9, F10, & F12 options in the BIOS only seem to change whether or not you see F9, F10, & F12 on the screen during boot. Their functions work whether you see them or not. It seems like F12 is being held down automatically during POST! As far as what you quoted, the Network Service Boot, I've had that disabled since the day I got the PC... still no change.

Edited by E-66
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(I know, absolutely silly, but...)

...but it worked! A million thanks to you.

I had it jumpered as Master, like I have with every other PATA HDD that was the boot drive of the system. I don't know if I would have ever eventually tried messing with the jumper settings, but I'm sure glad you found that for me.

I don't have it jumpered as CS now, I just removed the jumper entirely which is the setting for a single drive system, and by the time the CRT monitor warmed up it was just finishing showing the desktop. :thumbup

Who knew it was so easy to get excited over a PC that's almost 10 years old? Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.

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:blink:

Hoping the CD/DVD drive wasn't on the same cable?

Ennyhoo, apparently what was happening was the Boot Device wasn't getting properly recognized, the Other Devices were checked, then when all else fails, try ANY recognized (even wrongly ordered jumpered).

Edited by submix8c
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