XP Part I

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Hi,
I'm sure this question has already been answered many times before in this
forum. But, I'm new to XP and a little confused about some terms. I hear
terms like License #, Product key, registration and Certificate of
Authenticity, COA. The importance of a Product key I'm familiar with having
upgraded thru Win 95, 98 and 98SE. What is the importance of the other terms
and what role do they play in making sure I stay legal? I'm using a DELL PC
that came loaded with XP Home and as far as I know, I've never been prompted
by M$ to get a Certificate. I'm getting updates etc. Any explanation will be
helpful.
Thanks,
jll
(addy is fake)
8 answers Last reply
More about part
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    jll wrote:

    > Hi,
    > I'm sure this question has already been answered many times before in
    > this forum. But, I'm new to XP and a little confused about some terms.
    > I hear terms like License #, Product key, registration and Certificate
    > of Authenticity, COA. The importance of a Product key I'm familiar
    > with having upgraded thru Win 95, 98 and 98SE. What is the importance
    > of the other terms and what role do they play in making sure I stay
    > legal? I'm using a DELL PC that came loaded with XP Home and as far as
    > I know, I've never been prompted by M$ to get a Certificate. I'm
    > getting updates etc. Any explanation will be helpful.
    > Thanks,
    > jll
    > (addy is fake)

    This should help answer your questions:

    http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/activation_how.mspx

    Malke
    --
    MS-MVP Windows User/Shell
    Elephant Boy Computers
    www.elephantboycomputers.com
    "Don't Panic"
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Product key & COA

    Product keys are 25-character alphanumeric strings that are formatted in
    groups of five characters, separated by dashes. (for example,
    BCDFG-12345-HJKLM-67890-NPQRS).

    [[The product key also forms the basis for the product ID that is created
    when Windows XP is installed. Each licensed instance of Windows XP has a
    unique Product ID. The Product ID has 20 characters arranged like this:
    12345-123-1234567-12345. It is listed in the properties for My Computer.]]

    What is Windows Product Activation?
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/wpa_overview.mspx

    Understanding product keys
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/wpa_product_keys.mspx

    Product Key Validation: Frequently Asked Questions
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/pid_faq.mspx

    Retail COA
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/static/images/features/coa_retail_10_lg.gif

    OEM COA
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/static/images/validation/coa_4_lg.jpg

    Preinstalled Non-Windows Software COA
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/static/images/features/coa_oem_3_lg.gif

    How to Tell: Certificate of Authenticity (COA)
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/coa.mspx

    How to Tell: COA - Previous Retail Versions
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/archived/coa_retail.mspx

    How to Tell: COA - Previous OEM Versions
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/ww/archived/coa_oem.mspx


    --
    Hope this helps. Let us know.

    Wes
    MS-MVP Windows Shell/User

    In news:Zkbye.119849$x96.79847@attbi_s72,
    jll <jll@nobodyhome.com> hunted and pecked:
    > Hi,
    > I'm sure this question has already been answered many times before in this
    > forum. But, I'm new to XP and a little confused about some terms. I hear
    > terms like License #, Product key, registration and Certificate of
    > Authenticity, COA. The importance of a Product key I'm familiar with
    > having upgraded thru Win 95, 98 and 98SE. What is the importance of the
    > other terms and what role do they play in making sure I stay legal? I'm
    > using a DELL PC that came loaded with XP Home and as far as I know, I've
    > never been prompted by M$ to get a Certificate. I'm getting updates etc.
    > Any explanation will be helpful.
    > Thanks,
    > jll
    > (addy is fake)
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "jll" <jll@nobodyhome.com> wrote in message
    news:Zkbye.119849$x96.79847@attbi_s72...
    > Hi,
    > I'm sure this question has already been answered many times before in this
    > forum. But, I'm new to XP and a little confused about some terms. I hear
    > terms like License #, Product key, registration and Certificate of
    > Authenticity, COA. The importance of a Product key I'm familiar with
    > having upgraded thru Win 95, 98 and 98SE. What is the importance of the
    > other terms and what role do they play in making sure I stay legal? I'm
    > using a DELL PC that came loaded with XP Home and as far as I know, I've
    > never been prompted by M$ to get a Certificate. I'm getting updates etc.
    > Any explanation will be helpful.
    > Thanks,
    > jll
    > (addy is fake)
    >
    Thanks for the information. Apparently I was confusing registration with
    activation. My Dell PC has a label on it that shows the 25 alphanumeric
    strings and a # for the COA below a bar code. So apparently, I'm OK there.
    Now for another question (and it may be meaningless), I did an Everest on my
    machine and got the Product ID # and learned that the values for the Product
    key on the HD don't match those on the PC label. I have a tendency to let
    sleeping dogs lie and assume that the one on the HD is the correct one. Is
    that a safe assumption?
    Thanks,
    jll
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    jll wrote:

    >
    > "jll" <jll@nobodyhome.com> wrote in message
    > news:Zkbye.119849$x96.79847@attbi_s72...
    >> Hi,
    >> I'm sure this question has already been answered many times before in
    >> this forum. But, I'm new to XP and a little confused about some
    >> terms. I hear terms like License #, Product key, registration and
    >> Certificate of Authenticity, COA. The importance of a Product key I'm
    >> familiar with having upgraded thru Win 95, 98 and 98SE. What is the
    >> importance of the other terms and what role do they play in making
    >> sure I stay legal? I'm using a DELL PC that came loaded with XP Home
    >> and as far as I know, I've never been prompted by M$ to get a
    >> Certificate. I'm getting updates etc. Any explanation will be
    >> helpful. Thanks,
    >> jll
    >> (addy is fake)
    >>
    > Thanks for the information. Apparently I was confusing registration
    > with activation. My Dell PC has a label on it that shows the 25
    > alphanumeric strings and a # for the COA below a bar code. So
    > apparently, I'm OK there. Now for another question (and it may be
    > meaningless), I did an Everest on my machine and got the Product ID #
    > and learned that the values for the Product key on the HD don't match
    > those on the PC label. I have a tendency to let sleeping dogs lie and
    > assume that the one on the HD is the correct one. Is that a safe
    > assumption? Thanks,
    > jll

    Dell, like other huge OEM's, images their hard drives. The Product Key
    on the hard drive is *not* the number you would use if you ever needed
    to reinstall Windows. The Product Key on the sticker on the back of the
    computer is the correct number for your specific machine.

    Malke
    --
    MS-MVP Windows User/Shell
    Elephant Boy Computers
    www.elephantboycomputers.com
    "Don't Panic"
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "jll" <jll@nobodyhome.com> wrote in message
    news:Zkfye.120887$_o.98374@attbi_s71...
    >
    > "jll" <jll@nobodyhome.com> wrote in message
    > news:Zkbye.119849$x96.79847@attbi_s72...
    >> Hi,
    >> I'm sure this question has already been answered many times before in
    >> this forum. But, I'm new to XP and a little confused about some terms. I
    >> hear terms like License #, Product key, registration and Certificate of
    >> Authenticity, COA. The importance of a Product key I'm familiar with
    >> having upgraded thru Win 95, 98 and 98SE. What is the importance of the
    >> other terms and what role do they play in making sure I stay legal? I'm
    >> using a DELL PC that came loaded with XP Home and as far as I know, I've
    >> never been prompted by M$ to get a Certificate. I'm getting updates etc.
    >> Any explanation will be helpful.
    >> Thanks,
    >> jll
    >> (addy is fake)
    >>
    > Thanks for the information. Apparently I was confusing registration with
    > activation. My Dell PC has a label on it that shows the 25 alphanumeric
    > strings and a # for the COA below a bar code. So apparently, I'm OK there.
    > Now for another question (and it may be meaningless), I did an Everest on
    > my machine and got the Product ID # and learned that the values for the
    > Product key on the HD don't match those on the PC label. I have a tendency
    > to let sleeping dogs lie and assume that the one on the HD is the correct
    > one. Is that a safe assumption?
    > Thanks,
    > jll
    >
    That's good to know. Thanks. So what you're saying is that same Product key
    may be on thousands of Dell PCs. If Product keys are so important, how does
    M$ sort all that out? Or does it not make any difference.
    Thanks,
    jll
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    jll wrote:

    >>
    > That's good to know. Thanks. So what you're saying is that same
    > Product key may be on thousands of Dell PCs. If Product keys are so
    > important, how does M$ sort all that out? Or does it not make any
    > difference. Thanks,
    > jll

    No, that's not what I'm saying at all. The product key on the sticker on
    your computer is unique. That is the product key you would use to
    reinstall Windows with your Dell operating system cd. The product key
    used to image the drive at the factory is irrelevant to you, the end
    user. I really don't know how to make the answer any clearer than this.

    Malke
    --
    MS-MVP Windows User/Shell
    Elephant Boy Computers
    www.elephantboycomputers.com
    "Don't Panic"
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "Malke" <notreally@invalid.com> wrote in message
    news:eN0kmrPgFHA.3692@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > jll wrote:
    >
    >>>
    >> That's good to know. Thanks. So what you're saying is that same
    >> Product key may be on thousands of Dell PCs. If Product keys are so
    >> important, how does M$ sort all that out? Or does it not make any
    >> difference. Thanks,
    >> jll
    >
    > No, that's not what I'm saying at all. The product key on the sticker on
    > your computer is unique. That is the product key you would use to
    > reinstall Windows with your Dell operating system cd. The product key
    > used to image the drive at the factory is irrelevant to you, the end
    > user. I really don't know how to make the answer any clearer than this.
    >
    > Malke
    > --
    > MS-MVP Windows User/Shell
    > Elephant Boy Computers
    > www.elephantboycomputers.com
    > "Don't Panic"

    I understand that the Product key on my PC label is the one I must use if I
    ever have to recertify. You've made that perfectly clear and I thank you for
    it. Here's what's puzzling to me. From what I've read before I began using
    XP, I understood that all Product keys were unique but apparantly that's not
    so.
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    jll wrote:

    >
    > I understand that the Product key on my PC label is the one I must use
    > if I ever have to recertify. You've made that perfectly clear and I
    > thank you for it. Here's what's puzzling to me. From what I've read
    > before I began using XP, I understood that all Product keys were
    > unique but apparantly that's not so.

    There are different licensing plans. Obviously, a huge OEM like Dell
    doesn't have a million different product keys. That wouldn't make
    sense, would it?

    If you want a more detailed explanation of Microsoft's licensing
    practices, start here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/default.mspx

    Malke
    --
    MS-MVP Windows User/Shell
    Elephant Boy Computers
    www.elephantboycomputers.com
    "Don't Panic"
Ask a new question

Read More

Microsoft Certificate Windows XP