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  1. #1
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    Laptop's OEM product key doesn't work with reinstall of windows?

    I purchased my HP laptop brand new back about 4 years ago. The HD recently died on it, so I purchased a larger HD and 2GB ram to give the thing more capacity and a little kick in the pants. Now I go to install windows XP using my windows XP Home disk (rather than the HP recovery disc crap which puts a bunch of other stupid programs on my computer that I don't want, and uses a total of FOURTEEN CDs to reinstall everything to original specs). When it came time to enter the WinXP Home product key, I assumed that the WinXP key provided with the laptop would work, but it did not. Says it's invalid. I copied it verbatim off the sticker on the bottom of my laptop. No go. Are OEM WinXP installations somehow mated to the hardware the laptop came with? Since the OEM HD died, I had to replace it, and chose to upgrade it. Is this what's causing my "invalid product key" issue?

  2. #2
    Member Randyman...'s Avatar
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    OEM CD License Keys aren't locked to the hardware per se - but lots of OEM discs will auto-activate if they see a known BIOS that is valid for that particular OEM. I know Dell install discs do this and don't even ask for a License Key during installation on a Dell Laptop...

    You can find an OEM version of XP that matches the legit license you have and you should be golden (won't auto-activate during install, but you should be able to enter the legit key and activate once the OS is installed). The "Brand" of OEM shouldn't matter - you just want a basic "OEM" version of XP like you'd buy from Newegg as an OEM package...

    Randy V - Audio-Dude/Musician/PC Guru/Crazy Guy

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  3. #3
    jaymz9350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stereo555 View Post
    Yes your correct . Windows OEM software is "mated" to the hardware is was originally installed on . Windows retail software however is not .
    I doubt a new HDD or RAM will cause this issue (I have changed both in a laptop without issue) It's usually the motherboard it's tied to I believe.

    Here's my question, is the XP home CD OEM and the same service pack? I had no problem using my XP home SP2 disk to load my laptop (I did it for the same reasons you stated).
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  4. #4
    Member Randyman...'s Avatar
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    Nealoc187's problem is he has a RETAIL XP Home disc but is trying to use an OEM License Key. If he gets an OEM Disc - it will work fine All you have to match in that case is the version (Home OEM license with Home OEM disc, Pro with Pro, MCE with MCE, etc).
    Randy V - Audio-Dude/Musician/PC Guru/Crazy Guy

    PC#1 (Main Rig) : Lian Li PC-V1010 / P8Z68-V-GEN3 / 3750K @ 4.5GHz + Ven-X / 16GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 / HD5770 "XXX" 1GB / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / (6x) 2TB 5K3000 on Areca ARC1222 in RAID-6 / Seasonic X660 PSU / 2407WFP-HC / RME "Multiface" 38 Ch. Audio I/O / Dynaudio AIR-15 + AIR-BASE-2 Studio Monitors
    PC#2 (Realtime DAW) : Lian-Li PC-K65B / Sabertooth X79 / i7-3820 @ 4.8GHz + TRUE / 8GB RipJaws DDR3-2133 / HD6570 / 120GB Intel 520 / 4x 1TB on Areca ARC-1210 in RAID-5 / RME "HDSPe MADI" 128 Channel Audio I/O / 2x SSL AlphaLink MADI AX / 48 Mic Inputs + Fully-discrete Mic Preamps + 4260Watt PA System with 5x 18" JBL Subs :-)
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  5. #5
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    Randyman... thanks for the response. Makes sense, though I didn't know there were different "flavors" of Windows XP Home (i.e. OEM, Retail, etc). Do you know if this is something that Microsoft would be any help with, since I am trying to use a valid and paid for Windows XP Product Key and it's just not working because the disk I'm using is a Retail disk? It's not as though I'm trying to pirate anything, I'm just trying to use the Product Key that I purchased with the machine...

  6. #6
    Member Randyman...'s Avatar
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    Yep. I believe the distinctions are Retail, OEM, and VLK. I'm not sure if "Student Editions" have their own flavor. The Service pack revisions shouldn't matter AFAIK (might as well slipstream SP3 and make an unattended installer with nLite IMO )

    MS will probably charge you for a disc. You might be able to track down a trustworthy source for the iso image - just make sure it is a source you trust. Most any Dell with Windows XP Home should probably have a bare XP Home OEM disc w/o any stupid bloatware - just ask some buddies or what not. Since you have a legit license key - there is nothing shady about this assuming you get a "clean" (virus free) copy...

    There is probably a way to modify the disc itself into thinking it is an OEM version (it is only an "identifier" - nothing in the OS itself is any different). I've never done that - but I hear it is not very difficult...

    Last edited by Randyman...; 04-26-10 at 10:39 PM.
    Randy V - Audio-Dude/Musician/PC Guru/Crazy Guy

    PC#1 (Main Rig) : Lian Li PC-V1010 / P8Z68-V-GEN3 / 3750K @ 4.5GHz + Ven-X / 16GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 / HD5770 "XXX" 1GB / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / (6x) 2TB 5K3000 on Areca ARC1222 in RAID-6 / Seasonic X660 PSU / 2407WFP-HC / RME "Multiface" 38 Ch. Audio I/O / Dynaudio AIR-15 + AIR-BASE-2 Studio Monitors
    PC#2 (Realtime DAW) : Lian-Li PC-K65B / Sabertooth X79 / i7-3820 @ 4.8GHz + TRUE / 8GB RipJaws DDR3-2133 / HD6570 / 120GB Intel 520 / 4x 1TB on Areca ARC-1210 in RAID-5 / RME "HDSPe MADI" 128 Channel Audio I/O / 2x SSL AlphaLink MADI AX / 48 Mic Inputs + Fully-discrete Mic Preamps + 4260Watt PA System with 5x 18" JBL Subs :-)
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  7. #7
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    Randyman... do you know anything about this tool? I saw it referenced in another thread re: the same problem I am having, on another forum.

    http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/sel...XPPkuinst.aspx

    MS website isn't very descriptive about why someone would need such a tool.

  8. #8
    Member Randyman...'s Avatar
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    I'm not sure if that would have any effect on using an OEM license with a Retail disc. I think that is more for crooked OEM vendors that sell one license to multiple end-users causing them to fail WGA. You could try it and see - but I believe you can't even install XP w/o a valid license key - so you can't get to the XP Desktop to run this app - correct?

    Randy V - Audio-Dude/Musician/PC Guru/Crazy Guy

    PC#1 (Main Rig) : Lian Li PC-V1010 / P8Z68-V-GEN3 / 3750K @ 4.5GHz + Ven-X / 16GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 / HD5770 "XXX" 1GB / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / (6x) 2TB 5K3000 on Areca ARC1222 in RAID-6 / Seasonic X660 PSU / 2407WFP-HC / RME "Multiface" 38 Ch. Audio I/O / Dynaudio AIR-15 + AIR-BASE-2 Studio Monitors
    PC#2 (Realtime DAW) : Lian-Li PC-K65B / Sabertooth X79 / i7-3820 @ 4.8GHz + TRUE / 8GB RipJaws DDR3-2133 / HD6570 / 120GB Intel 520 / 4x 1TB on Areca ARC-1210 in RAID-5 / RME "HDSPe MADI" 128 Channel Audio I/O / 2x SSL AlphaLink MADI AX / 48 Mic Inputs + Fully-discrete Mic Preamps + 4260Watt PA System with 5x 18" JBL Subs :-)
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  9. #9
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    Well I read this thread on the MS support website and decided to give it a try.

    http://social.answers.microsoft.com/...5-ad4deff99bbd

    I did as the MS support moderator suggested (and as I had thought of doing already, but was uncomfortable doing). I entered the key that came with my windows XP Home Retail CD (the same key I used for my desktop, the computer that I actually BOUGHT windows XP Retail for). So I was able to complete windows installation, and then I ran that tool (had to install wireless drivers so i could connect to internet to run the tool). It said it was successful, and under system properties it is now showing an OEM registration, so I think I'm all good now. I think it worked! Here's hoping everything worked ok and I'm good to go...

  10. #10
    Member Randyman...'s Avatar
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    Sounds good! So this will allow you to transfer an OEM license to a Retail disc (assuming you have a temporary key you can use to get the initial installation to go through)! The ultimate test will be if you pass WGA

    Good to know
    Randy V - Audio-Dude/Musician/PC Guru/Crazy Guy

    PC#1 (Main Rig) : Lian Li PC-V1010 / P8Z68-V-GEN3 / 3750K @ 4.5GHz + Ven-X / 16GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 / HD5770 "XXX" 1GB / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / (6x) 2TB 5K3000 on Areca ARC1222 in RAID-6 / Seasonic X660 PSU / 2407WFP-HC / RME "Multiface" 38 Ch. Audio I/O / Dynaudio AIR-15 + AIR-BASE-2 Studio Monitors
    PC#2 (Realtime DAW) : Lian-Li PC-K65B / Sabertooth X79 / i7-3820 @ 4.8GHz + TRUE / 8GB RipJaws DDR3-2133 / HD6570 / 120GB Intel 520 / 4x 1TB on Areca ARC-1210 in RAID-5 / RME "HDSPe MADI" 128 Channel Audio I/O / 2x SSL AlphaLink MADI AX / 48 Mic Inputs + Fully-discrete Mic Preamps + 4260Watt PA System with 5x 18" JBL Subs :-)
    NAS#1: NSC-800 ITX Case / Asus P8H61-ITX / i3-2120 / (8x) 1TB 7200.12's in RAID-6 on Areca ARC-1220 Card
    NAS#2: 12TB ReadyNAS Ultra-4+ / (4x) 3TB 5K3000's
    And 7 other i7/i5/C2D/C2Q PC's

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