The product key you used to install windows may not be valid
My Dell did not come with disks and I recently had to reinstall XP Pro on it. I did have a disk from another computer that I scrapped for parts so I used it. When I tried to enter the product key from the dell it said it wasn't valid so I used the product key from the disk and finished the installation. Now it is saying I can't install SP3 and other programs because of code. Microsoft also acts like it is not even XP PRO. How can I fix this w/o buying another Windows installation disk?
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Yes contact Microsoft by phone - you put in the old numbers - when they validated the code they give you new code on phone.
Most laptops come with software to create recovery disks that can restore to factory settings. Without the recovery CD's, it's best to contact Dell or Microsoft on how to proceed.