GA-K8N Won't boot - just get INVALID COPY Message

I have posted the following on one of the other topics, then realised it would be better to create a new topic seeing that it is more relevent choosing my own subject then using the one I did. Please excuse my stupidity (and lame explanation).

Anyway, to the problem...

I baught a second hand case and motherboard (a Gigabyte GA-K8N) for my sister, and she baught all the bits needed eg. processor, RAM etc.

When we set it all up and powered it on, the POST on the memory said OK, and the devices all were recognised and everything seemed fine. However as soon as it started (and I mean immediatly) to look to the C: drive to load Windows XP Pro (which she was using in her old PC... NOT a 64bit system if it makes any difference) I got a black screen with the error message on a DOS screen "Invalid Copy... Press any key to continue". On pressing the key, the monitor flicks on and off briefly then the message is relayed....again and again and again...

What could this mean?

Any help would be greatful, please email to YannisSpanopoulos AT (written with AT as @ and obviously no spaces).

I have checked the memory, processor, decompiled the system to it's bare-bone components, reset the BIOS, swapped the memory in the banks around... everything I can think!! :(


I recieved one reply which follows:


You are trying to boot from a loaded copy of windows loaded on a hard drive that was in another computer?

IF so that will more than likely NOT work.

Drivers are diff and just too many things different to make that work.

Will probably have to start with a fresh install of windows for that new configuration.

Hope that helps

My answer to this comment is below:

Hi - yes, that is correct. I am trying to boot from a hard drive already loaded with Windows XP Pro. However, what confuses me is that (having done that before with a different PC) usualy it will access the hard drive, then begin to load Windows, and then while loading it will crash. However, what happens on my sisters PC is that as soon as the POST has finished and immediatly as it accesses the hard drive it flashes up with a DOS screen saying invalid copy.

I tried to fix the Windows XP copy on the new motherboard by putting in the CD, loading up the XP Pro setup screen which works fine as usual, then choosing the existing installation of XP from the list that is provided and loading all the drivers etc. back on. However, once their all loaded and the system wants to reboot the exact same thing happens again! INVALID COPY!!

PLEASE HELP ME!! We're one short step away from now buying a new motherboard after getting all the new parts for this one!!

Thanks everyone
8 answers Last reply
More about boot invalid copy message
  1. First is the boot priority set properly in the BIOS and are there any disks in the other drives during start up. Are there any other hard disks in the computer? Sounds as though the system is either so drastically different that it is identified by Xp as illegal or it was cloned using a back up program that uses its own boot agent. You can try to use the recovery console on the Xp setup cd and repair the boot sector and run chkdsk/r to see if that helps but I really doubt it will work. Either way a full format and total reinstall is definitely in order. I would also suppose that there is a possibility of a nasty boot block virus. Again format the drive completely and reinstall. If that does not work try a low level format utility like drive fitness, sea tools, or other hard disk low level program might want to do this right off the bat. If none of this helps try another hard disk as the firmware might be damaged on the hard drive.
  2. Your XP Pro is only good for her computer, you will need to purchase another copy. XP has a security feature that prevents this.

    Boot from the XP cd and repair the installation. You will need your Driver CD that came with MB.

    If you replace the MB in the same case, you will need to call MS when prompted.
  3. Thanks for your reply.

    However, now things have got more complicated. As I previously mentioned, on the GA-K8N motherboard Windows wouldn't boot, so I ran the XP CD and tried to repair her copy of Windows. However, I still got the "INVALID COPY" message from the BIOS.

    I put her hard disk back into her origonal motherboard and tried to boot. Now I get a message saying "Invalid hard disk parameters, please set up CMOS" as soon as it starts to boot from the C drive. I cannot even load the XP CD to repair copy again. I've tried everything - reset BIOS, checked all settings. It is recognising the HD. Not sure what now!!!
  4. Gigabyte boards have a second backup BIOS chip try reverting to the back up. Do you have another hard disk to try? Again you are going to more than likely have to format and completely re install Xp. If you have an application such as partition magic or acronis try its boot loader. There is also reports of the drivers bundled with this board causing blue screens try disabling raid support in the BIOS. You can try to use the recovery console on the Xp setup cd and repair the boot sector and run chkdsk/r outside of this you are going to have to format the disk.
  5. Good idea to revert to other BIOS chip - how can I do that?

    If I put her hard drive into my XP PC, boot up on my hard drive and look into her drive from mine will it work to copy her pics etc. then I can format her drive? Does XP allow that seeing she has XP on hers too?

    Thanks :)
  6. If memory serves it should be F8 when you are in the BIOS. It should say on the first page on the bottom along with the other F-key commands. And yes you can put the drive in your pc so you can pull her info off. Just put it in and make sure you set the boot priority in the BIOS to your drive. You might get the WinXp boot loader after that asking which install to select. You can also boot with the Winxp Cd on her machine load the recovery console and delete the boot sector then it will be just a disk of data and not recognized as an OS on start. After you get data backed up I recommend a full format using the hard drive manufacture's utility they are free and will restore to factory shipped state and also detect and repair minor disk error.
  7. Thanks for your help - realy useful. I have copied her Hard disk onto mine. Her hard disk will not boot into windows on any PC now. However another problem - I need her XP cd key. I copied EVERYTHING from her HD onto mine, is there any way I can find her code from the documents there? I have tried using the crack programs online but they only tell me mine....

    I am a bunch of problems!! :)
  8. Absolutely none from a none active OS, it has been totally disabled by Windows Xp. In fact this might be becoming dangerously close to violating the end user agreements and possibly the law. My advice check the back of her PC to look for the COA, it has the serial. If it or any of the documentation has it, you’re good, if not contact Microsoft support with any materials you have. Believe it or not they are extremely helpful and if anything can be done they will do it. The notion of MS being the evil empire has been unfounded in my dealings with the company. Also if there is no way of validating your legitimacy, they might in fact apprise you of special offers, incentives and or discounts. If all else fails 75.00 USD on or EBay is your only track.
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