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Installing XP on another comp, WGA question

Last response: in Windows XP
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December 10, 2010 2:47:50 PM

Bout a year ago, I purchased a copy of XP from a local computer parts store. The thing is, it didn't look at all like a genuine XP CD or case, there wasn't even a product key included. It was just a CD-R disc with a printed XP logo slapped on the front in a cheap single CD case. The store was a licenced microsoft dealer and what not, so I assumed it wouldn't be an issue. I asked the dude why there wasn't a product key included, and he said that it was "on the CD" and would automatically register with microsoft when I installed it. I bought it, since it was the only dang place to get a copy of XP, and at the time I didn't want vista/win 7 for my cheap gaming rig. Later on, I installed it with no issues at all, but, the odd thing is, I was never prompted to imput the product key in the install process. As soon as I get everything installed, I waited for that annoying bubble to pop up saying "heeey, lets register this copy of XP, you got 30 days", but it never came up...

Fast forward several months later, and my rig dies on me. The guy at the store I got the XP copy from said that if I wanted to install it on a new computer, I would have to call microsoft and tell them you're building a new one-blah-blah. I get a new rig put together, but wasn't looking forward to sinking 70 bucks on another copy of XP, or spending an hour on the phone with some dude in India, and wanted to see what would happen if I tried to install my 'registered" copy of XP.
Whatta ya know? Same thing, product key page never pops up, neither does the "register in 30 days" bubble... Odd.

I install SP3 for this rig since I was having driver issues, and evertime I restart the comp, I get a pop up that asks if I want to install WGA, but I hit cancell every time, and it doesn't force me to install it by giving me a 30 day limit or anything.

So now I'm thinking that the copy I bought was either an older service pack, or the comp store I bought it from somehow removed the WMA program which keeps it from registering with microsoft.

So my question now is; I'm building my younger brother his own comp for x-mas, and was wondering if using my copy of xp would give me issues, or if it's even legal (this will be the 3rd computer with xp from the same disc)? If the WGA program isn't on the disc, then I assume it wouldn't be, since it never registers.

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December 10, 2010 4:03:51 PM

This type of disk is not legal to sell, the only type of disk that will work that way is a volume license key, which is sold to corporations licensed globably. While the key will work on a large number of computers, it's legally only allowed to be used on the computers owned by the company that purchased the volume license, and can only be installed on how many PCs the key was bought for. You can't sell such a disk to a general user for a home PC.

No legit, or at least honest, seller of XP would sell a burned disk like this.

I'm going to go the opposide of area51 and say it's probably NOT a legal copy that you have.

If you use jellybean and get what the key is, if you check on it, I'm sure it will come up as a "volume license" key. I could be wrong, but in my experience the only time you see a no key installation of XP is if it's totally pirated and is a crack, or is a volume license and should not have been sold to the public.
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December 10, 2010 4:53:25 PM

Interesting.

So either way, they sold me an illegal copy?

That's pretty risky, especially since they've got multiple stores in town. What's funny too is that I was in one of their stores not too long ago to get a PSU adapter, and they no longer sold the XP copies. I'm guessing either someone reported them, or they stopped burning copies before someone caught on.
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December 10, 2010 5:05:40 PM

iamnatman said:
Interesting.

So either way, they sold me an illegal copy?

That's pretty risky, especially since they've got multiple stores in town. What's funny too is that I was in one of their stores not too long ago to get a PSU adapter, and they no longer sold the XP copies. I'm guessing either someone reported them, or they stopped burning copies before someone caught on.


At least you were good enough to check on it instead of just installing the thing. I see people selling corporate Windows versions often. While they do install and are registered, they are not "legal", especially if someone sells them for a profit that does not get passed on to the company that made the software.
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December 10, 2010 5:11:51 PM

Best answer selected by iamnatman.
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