Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

XP Product Code Lost; What Now?

Last response: in Windows XP
Share
January 12, 2013 7:29:39 PM

Hi there,

About a year ago, I got a Windows notification on my HP Pavilion a730n telling me that I would have to authenticate my version of Windows(XP Pro) to continue using it. Well, the original version of Windows that the computer came with when purchased was the Home Edition, and since then we had upgraded the software to Professional, so the sticker with the product code on the side of the PC box is no longer valid, and the code for the updated version is no where to be found! Seeing no other options, I figured that I could just try and update the whole OS to Windows 7, or Vista, but I don't know if this computer's hardware will support this.

Could you help me out?

Product specifications link: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&dlc=e...


More about : product code lost

January 12, 2013 8:06:13 PM

If the installed Windows XP is functional you can retrieve the Product Key Code from the registry with one of many applications available for download, and freeware. Click on the link for some of them.

14 Free Product Key Finder Programs

If it's not functional you can possibly retrieve the key remotely from another Windows Installation on the same or another computer (HD installed as slave (if IDE drives) or second HD (if SATA drives). The host windows can be installed on another partition on the same hard drive, or another hard drive), it's also possible to retrieve the Product Key from a Live CD.
January 12, 2013 9:02:39 PM

Chicano said:
If the installed Windows XP is functional you can retrieve the Product Key Code from the registry with one of many applications available for download, and freeware. Click on the link for some of them.

14 Free Product Key Finder Programs

If it's not functional you can possibly retrieve the key remotely from another Windows Installation on the same or another computer (HD installed as slave (if IDE drives) or second HD (if SATA drives). The host windows can be installed on another partition on the same hard drive, or another hard drive), it's also possible to retrieve the Product Key from a Live CD.


It's not functional. Could you please explain in more detail the process of retrieving the key remotely from the same or another computer? I'm lost.
Related resources
January 12, 2013 10:36:54 PM

The procedure to follow depends on what you have available... do you have another computer available, what type of computer?
January 12, 2013 10:42:58 PM

Chicano said:
The procedure to follow depends on what you have available... do you have another computer available, what type of computer?

I have an HP p7-1054 with a N-Alvorix-RS880-uATX (Alvorix) as the mainboard.
January 12, 2013 11:10:05 PM

You also asked about the Pavillion 730, if it's hardware supports Windows Vista or 7 and the answer is yes it can support either... You can directly update the failed XP to Vista and later update vista to 7 if you want to.

If you don't want to update it for now, you have several options:
You can download the Registry Restore Wizard, next remove the hard drive from the pavilion 730 and install it as second drive on the HP P7-1054, configure the boot.ini file from Control Panel\System\Advanced\Setup and Recovery\Settings\Edit... edit the file as follows:

[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


Next execute the RegResWiz application and select D:\WINDOWS (be sure to select the right drive letter), next, and mark "Fix the system registry to that of a previous date".. next and select the last date, and press next... when it finishes reinstall the hard drive on the Pavillion 730 and see if it will boot.

Another option is to Download the Hiren's Boot CD .ISO, burn it to a CD, run the CD on the Pavillion 730, partition the hard drive and install either a copy of Windows XP or Windows Vista or 7... and from that new installation execute the Registry Restore Wizard.


EDITION: You can alternately ignore editing the Boot.ini file and from the Registry Restore Wizard select the "Custom" option instead of the Drive letter... I'm not sure but I think it can work the same to restore the failed system's registry to a previous date.
January 13, 2013 12:06:28 AM

Chicano said:
You also asked about the Pavillion 730, if it's hardware supports Windows Vista or 7 and the answer is yes it can support either... You can directly update the failed XP to Vista and later update vista to 7 if you want to.

If you don't want to update it for now, you have several options:
You can download the Registry Restore Wizard, next remove the hard drive from the pavilion 730 and install it as second drive on the HP P7-1054, configure the boot.ini file from Control Panel\System\Advanced\Setup and Recovery\Settings\Edit... edit the file as follows:

[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


Next execute the RegResWiz application and select D:\WINDOWS (be sure to select the right drive letter), next, and mark "Fix the system registry to that of a previous date".. next and select the last date, and press next... when it finishes reinstall the hard drive on the Pavillion 730 and see if it will boot.

Another option is to Download the Hiren's Boot CD .ISO, burn it to a CD, run the CD on the Pavillion 730, partition the hard drive and install either a copy of Windows XP or Windows Vista or 7... and from that new installation execute the Registry Restore Wizard.


EDITION: You can alternately ignore editing the Boot.ini file and from the Registry Restore Wizard select the "Custom" option instead of the Drive letter... I'm not sure but I think it can work the same to restore the failed system's registry to a previous date.

Thanks, Chicano! I think I'll work on these options and see what I can do. But just two quick questions for now.
1. Is there any risk in harming my P7-1054 if I used it for this?
2. Could I just go buy and re-install an XP Pro operating system on the Pavilion 730?
January 13, 2013 12:18:45 AM

No, there is no risk of harming your 1054's installation, just re-edit the boot.ini file back to default (removing the added line), or before you edit it, back-it-up. From the File menu and select Save As to save a copy, and later you can restore the boot.ini backup copy to C:\ and select yes to the prompt that says Boot.ini already exists, do you want to replace it?..

Yes, if you'd rather buy a new XP CD just make sure it's of the exact same edition to do a Repair-reinstall on the Pavillion 730.. that's if you can find XP for sale... but if you can't, you can probably find it online. In any case you have several doable options... check back if you have any further doubts.


Edition: I just checked the Pavillion 730's specifications, and it says it comes with 512MB of DDR RAM, I thought it had at least 2GB of DDR2 because socket 775 systems mostly came with 2 to 4 GB of DDR2 RAM. So, if you still have that original RAM installed, then that won't support Windows Vista or Seven, the processor socket does but you'd have to add more RAM up to at least 1GB for Windows 7 and probably 2GB for Vista.. 512MB would probably make Vista sluggish. So your best option seems to be staying with Windows XP repaired by any means.
January 13, 2013 5:16:41 AM

Inquirist said:
Hi there,

About a year ago, I got a Windows notification on my HP Pavilion a730n telling me that I would have to authenticate my version of Windows(XP Pro) to continue using it. Well, the original version of Windows that the computer came with when purchased was the Home Edition, and since then we had upgraded the software to Professional, so the sticker with the product code on the side of the PC box is no longer valid, and the code for the updated version is no where to be found! Seeing no other options, I figured that I could just try and update the whole OS to Windows 7, or Vista, but I don't know if this computer's hardware will support this.

Could you help me out?

Product specifications link: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&dlc=e...


The COA key IS still valid. So reinstalling XP home is an option. But you will need an OEM edition XP home disk or the restore partition.\

But before you do anything, what is the current status of the machine? Is it just stuck on the activation screen and wont let windows boot?
January 13, 2013 4:47:24 PM

FALC0N said:
The COA key IS still valid. So reinstalling XP home is an option. But you will need an OEM edition XP home disk or the restore partition.\

But before you do anything, what is the current status of the machine? Is it just stuck on the activation screen and wont let windows boot?

Yes, Windows is locked and won't load the desktop unless I enter the 25-digit product key that came with the XP Pro operating system.
January 13, 2013 4:53:14 PM

Chicano said:
No, there is no risk of harming your 1054's installation, just re-edit the boot.ini file back to default (removing the added line), or before you edit it, back-it-up. From the File menu and select Save As to save a copy, and later you can restore the boot.ini backup copy to C:\ and select yes to the prompt that says Boot.ini already exists, do you want to replace it?..

Yes, if you'd rather buy a new XP CD just make sure it's of the exact same edition to do a Repair-reinstall on the Pavillion 730.. that's if you can find XP for sale... but if you can't, you can probably find it online. In any case you have several doable options... check back if you have any further doubts.


Edition: I just checked the Pavillion 730's specifications, and it says it comes with 512MB of DDR RAM, I thought it had at least 2GB of DDR2 because socket 775 systems mostly came with 2 to 4 GB of DDR2 RAM. So, if you still have that original RAM installed, then that won't support Windows Vista or Seven, the processor socket does but you'd have to add more RAM up to at least 1GB for Windows 7 and probably 2GB for Vista.. 512MB would probably make Vista sluggish. So your best option seems to be staying with Windows XP repaired by any means.

Thank you for letting me know this! Honestly, I was a bit wary that what little RAM the 730 had was insufficient. And even though I am already thinking to just repair XP, I am still planning on upgraded the memory.
January 13, 2013 4:55:02 PM

You should NOT need to enter the product key for reactivation. What triggered the reactivation request? Did you change hardware?
January 13, 2013 5:00:15 PM

FALC0N said:
You should need to enter the product key for reactivation. What triggered the reactivation request? Did you change hardware?

I'm not sure. The only hardware I changed was the GPU. I'm sure that would have nothing to do with it though. Windows just said that 'it needed to be activated in order for me to continue using it', or something, and it gave me about a 3 day notice.
And I don't have the product key... It's lost.
January 13, 2013 5:00:40 PM

If you can get in using Safe Mode, you can force an activation process by making a small Registry change and that will give you more options that just entering the Product Key. You will have the option to go on the telephone to Microsoft and explain whatever has happened.
January 13, 2013 6:38:59 PM

Inquirist said:
I'm not sure. The only hardware I changed was the GPU. I'm sure that would have nothing to do with it though. Windows just said that 'it needed to be activated in order for me to continue using it', or something, and it gave me about a 3 day notice.
And I don't have the product key... It's lost.


Then you shouldn't need the product key at all, just activate it. If online activation doesn't work, should be able to call the number provided and MS would give you the activation code. That should be it.

XP was a little more sensitive to hardware changes triggering a reactivation than later versions. The GPU was probably enough. Perhaps in combination with other small changes. I once had a virtual cd drive trigger. Trigger a reactivation on XP.

Edit: I should add that this wouldn't have happened if you had stayed with the original OS as this type of reactivation doesn't happen with OEM SLP. So before somebody says "i changed X number of things on my HP or dell and it didn't ask me to reactivate", there is your answer.
September 13, 2013 9:37:57 AM

I have only tried it on a XP Professional CD, but it should work for the Home and OEM versions of Windows XP from restore disks.

How-To: Find Windows XP Product Key from the Windows XP CD:

1) Insert Windows XP cd into a working computer.
2) Exit the Autorun introduction.
3) Open “My Computer”
4) Right Click on the Windows XP cd-rom drive and select explore.
5) Open the USWXP32P_ZX folder. (It may be as a hidden folder. If you cannot locate the folder, you may also search for unattend.txt and mark “Search Hidden Files”.)
6) Open the sysprep folder.
7) Open unattend.txt

Your CD’s product key is contained within the unattend.txt file.
!