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Thread: XP key not valid?

  1. #1
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    XP key not valid?

    I have a legit old copy of XP Pro, trying to install on a new sytem I pieced together.
    This copy hasn't been used in years.

    I'm using the key listed in the unattend.txt file and am told "not valid"

    Am I incorrect in trying to use this?
    If not, why isn't it working?

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  3. #3
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    For a regular off the shelf Retail bought disk, that is true, there is no product key stored on the actual Disk. If it's a Branded/modified OEM disk though it could be locked away somewhere. By branded I mean a Dell, Acer, HP, etc, labeled disk that would come with a PC when purchased. If the disk uses SLP activation the product key is entered automatically during the install and activation is silent and automatic. Assuming you use that disk on the PC it came with that is. If its a Dell disk and you try to use it on another brand or even another model, SLP won't work. The product code won't work either if you try to enter it manually.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  4. #4
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    Just thought of something else that can mess you up. I've reinstalled XP on a couple of PC's and used my own media. I used the product code on the COA sticker on the case. If I used a XP SP3 disk sometimes the product code was rejected, if I used a disk with no included service packs, it was accepted. My guess is Microsoft changed the algorithm that validates the product code on the newer disks? I also had to activate on line when using the code on the COA sticker. Likely because the PC originally used SLP activation, so the code on COA sticker was never used and its not stored on the MS activation server.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  5. #5
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, I'll have to wait until later to see if it's an OEM version or not.

    Couldn't even get to the activation part, just trying to complete the installation.

  6. #6
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    Thats what I was referring to in my second post. If I used an XP SP3 install disk the product code would be rejected during the install. If I used a regular XP no SP disk it was accepted and the install finished OK. It wouldn't activate online but phone activation was no problem. You can leave the product code section blank and still install. Then you get 30 days to enter a code and activate. The other thing that can get you is trying to use an OEM key with a retail disk or vise versa. You can't use a PRO key with a HOME CD etc.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  7. #7
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    I just reread this thread. I don't think you will get anywhere trying to use a code retrieved from the unattended text file. If its a regular off the shelf copy, that code is probably what gets used if you don't enter a code during the install. Its probably a trial key. If its a branded OEM disk that product code is only good on the original PC the CD was bundled with. At least thats the way I think it works. I know a little about it but I'm no expert by any means.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  8. #8
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Its most likely an example key for what you can do with teh unattend.txt if you setup an unattended install disc.

    You need to find the CD Key sticker, this would either be witht eh CD if you bought the OS alone or on the computer case if it came with a PC.

  9. #9
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YARDofSTUF View Post

    You need to find the CD Key sticker, this would either be witht eh CD if you bought the OS alone or on the computer case if it came with a PC.
    I know, that's the problem

    The sticker was taken off the CD sleeve and put on the computer. Computer was thrown out years ago.

  10. #10
    SG Enthusiast RaisinCain's Avatar
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    PM Me. I have a valid Product Key.

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