Alright, so I acquired a computer to use as my HTPC; the only issue is that it is an HP computer that has an OEM copy of XP Home installed, and it is full of crap and has so many corrupt files it makes my head hurt to simply think about. A fresh install is necessary, but I can't do it because I don't have the recovery cd. It has the product key plain as day on the side, so I only need the software to run it. I can get this via torrents, I'm sure, but the only one I've found so far is an OEM copy with SP3. I think the computer is about 5 years old, and I'm pretty sure only SP 1 was around at that time. Did Windows use the same algorithm for SP1-SP3? I.E. will my cd key work with this OEM SP3 cd? I don't want to uninstall everything.........and then be left with absolutely no OS. Or, if anyone has a better way to go about this, I'd appreciate it!
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Did you try hitting F10 after you see the BIOS splash to boot from the hidden Recovery partition?
Sorry, I've never dealt with that before. I've heard about it, but what will it do? I really need to erase everything on the hard drive, if I can. Also, after I've recovered, will that still be able to be used?