I got a new hard drive and decided to install vista to see if i liked it. Now my hard drive i use normally with winxp crashed and I figured I try the Vista Hard drive. Anyway the Vista I installed was a trial and i have no key. I'm happy with XP and would like to downgrade to XP. I cannot do so because I cant log into my desktop it ask's for my windows key. then brings me back to the login screen. I tryed to get to the Boot Menu when i restart and it wont work. I dont have a F lock on my keyboard, and I cant seem at all to get the XP CD to run. Thanks in advanced for anyone that can help.
Just for your information, there is no such thing as a trial version of Windows.
If you didn't buy it, you had no legal right to install it.
The 30 days allowed to activate the program is a grace period given to you so that you have time set it up and to contact Microsoft for activation.
For instance you buy a new computer, you don't have an internet connection, you need time to select an isp and get connected to the internet before you can go online to update your security and get your legal copy of Windows activated.
If you decided you do not want to keep VISTA and just need to boot into the system to get your personal data backed up so that you can reinstall XP instead - just call Microsoft support and explain the situation to them and they will walk you through the process of reenabling the OS to boot again (usually it can be rearmed 3 times to extend the usage without a product key) - If you intend to keep VISTA then again call them and they will explain how to purchase a legal key without the need to reinstall
Few things you can do. First find out if the XP disk you have is good at all or if it's only system that can't read it, so try to boot another PC with it. If the disk does not work anywhere, find another XP disk. If it does work at another computer, post what happens when you try to boot.
Or.. buy a Vista key and use it, or buy Win 7 and use that. I suggest going to Win 7.