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activation key, new hard drive no discs?

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 16, 2014 3:31:48 AM

I am in the process of restoring 3 of my old laptops. Since their hard drives had failed I fitted new ones.
All of them the laptops have the windows key stickers on the (XP I think all of them). However, I do not have their XP discs.
Are these keys of any use?
I.e. is there a way I can install windows XP on them using these keys are are they now inalid since the hard drives have changed?
May 16, 2014 4:06:22 AM

You should be able to use any Windows XP disk (assuming its the same version Pro / Home) with those keys. You should be able to find legitimate ISO's of them on the net. If you have a friend that still has a CD, you can use them.

As for them being invalid, the license is tied to several pieces of hardware, activation won't trip up if only the HDD has been changed.
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May 16, 2014 4:07:14 AM

As long as you manage to find an install disc for XP, you can use the codes to activate the OS as Windows activation codes are tied to the motherboard.
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May 16, 2014 6:12:13 AM

thank you for your replies.
So if I understand well, any XP OS CD (downloadable ISO or the one that came with my computer) should work with the keys of the other laptops provided that they are of the same XP version? (i had the impression that each XP CD was only matched a single key but I guess I was wrong)
So far I only tried an XP pro version from a CD that came with my laptop, on different laptop with XP home and it didn't work (i assume because of the difference in the versions).
I will try to find and download an XP home ISO and I will report back.
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May 17, 2014 3:17:03 AM

No the Product Keys aren't attached to a specific CD, however it is attached to the version of Windows. So if you have Home, then you will certainly need a Home CD. Sadly I probably have 5 or so actual CD's at home.
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