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Fixing a store bought computer

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August 22, 2010 10:44:22 PM

Hello,

We have an old desktop pc at home. It runs Windows XP but the OS was corrupted beyond repair by a virus. We no longer have the recovery CDs BUT we do have the product key (it's on the MS sticker).

Is there any way to get this PC running again without having to spend money on rebuying the OS? I mean, we still have the product key and that's technically what one purchases when one buys an OS.

Any options?

Thanks!
August 22, 2010 10:56:24 PM

You could download an XP iso. As long as you're not downloading an activator, you're not technically pirating anything; you're merely replacing a disk that you no longer have, and using your paid-for CD key. :) 
August 22, 2010 10:57:21 PM

Download an oem iso version from torrents.
That means a clean version with no cracks or hacks.
I have done this for many different Windows OS.
Your good to go.
The below posters are incorrect i've done this procedure half a dozen times in the last year with an oem iso disc on various Dell's and HP's using the keys off the case stickers.
Did this last week for a buddy no problem XP Home oem burned off the net and key sticker off his Dell.Valid.
Worse case scenario is you can call Microsoft and explain your situation have done this a couple of times as well.They will validate.
Related resources
August 23, 2010 1:12:39 AM

The CD key on most Dells, HP, ACER, Compaq, ect, Will NOT Activate It will say invalid CD key.

IF its is a CD key used by system builders that install a OEM version of XP you will be fine. IF the sticker has the company name like Dell/ACER then the key will not activate. Most will install or but some will say invalid CD key when you put in the CD key during install.
August 23, 2010 1:17:29 AM

Or you can go to the vendor's site and see if you can download or buy the recovery disks for your computer.
August 23, 2010 10:09:39 PM

I was thinking the about getting OEMs from online but there are two specific questions i have for that specific thing:

1- does anyone know how i could recognize a legit OEM version and not some modified version or anything else? Better yet, does anyone have a link to one?

2- If i download an OEM, Would i have to get the same service pack the original key is for?
For example, when i built my pc (not the store bought one i asked the original question for) i couldn't install the OS for some reason. So I called MS and they told me it was most likely a faulty DVD and they offered to send me one but it would have to be OEM vista without the sp as opposed to the one with service pack 1 I had originally bought. I said okay and i would just DL the service pack ( i didn't want to wait a month until MS had the SP1 DVD in "stock") So i got the DVD and installed it and tried using my original product key and it said it was invalid. So then I used the one that came with the envelope in which my dvd came in and it worked. So EITHER the key is tied to the CD or the KEY is tied to the EXACT same OS including Service Pack. Which is it?

Thanks so much!

ps- i've also heard a lot of mixed results when trying to use OEM CDs with sticker product keys. so i really dont know WHO is right. I'll have to post results as soon as i can get a hold of an OEM iso to download.
September 6, 2010 3:28:54 PM

so i got a "clean, non branded" oem CD from a friend and it didn't work...so mythbusted. You CAN NOT use other CDs unless they're from the same manufacturer...even if the CDs are retail.



QUICK EDIT: I also called M$ to see if they can activate it for me but I'm not sure if they no longer provide support for XP but I couldn't get past the prerecorded message. It said something to the extent of, "it appears as though your product key is incorrect. Please call your computer's manufacturer for further assistance. Goodbye"
September 6, 2010 3:31:46 PM

DXRick said:
Or you can go to the vendor's site and see if you can download or buy the recovery disks for your computer.


and yes, you can get the CDs from the manufacturer but you have to pay again. I guess the only solution is to create multiple copies of your recovery cds in case you lose them, they're damaged, or they simply get old and for some mysterious reason stop working.

September 6, 2010 5:16:45 PM

Weird. I've used the regular oem disc with xp home sp2 and keys from cases to reinstall and have rarely had an issue. Same with Vista as well. Done that for a few folks that had the OS killed by viruses with no issues, maybe you guys just have bad luck.....
September 6, 2010 5:50:47 PM

iedgar10 said:
QUICK EDIT: I also called M$ to see if they can activate it for me but I'm not sure if they no longer provide support for XP but I couldn't get past the prerecorded message. It said something to the extent of, "it appears as though your product key is incorrect. Please call your computer's manufacturer for further assistance. Goodbye"


M$ is providing for service through 2014. I wouldn't bother calling them, they have awful service, and you'll have to speak with a man from India that speaks very little english. I'd just call your OEM and see what they can do.
September 6, 2010 7:31:59 PM

Pyroflea said:
M$ is providing for service through 2014. I wouldn't bother calling them, they have awful service, and you'll have to speak with a man from India that speaks very little english. I'd just call your OEM and see what they can do.



i know that's a fact for Windows Update, and support for PCs with SP2+ but is it the same for activation? lol I think that they would set a date because they're walking XP out the door not walking people with XP back in lol but i really don't know how their support works....i just know that i didn't get a live person no matter what buttons i pressed or how hard i screamed at the phone :whistle: 
September 6, 2010 7:32:37 PM

obsidian86 said:
linux


word.... :lol: 
September 12, 2010 2:30:02 PM

I can't believe this thread isn't solved yesterday i fixed a friends Sony laptop yesterday.
He didn't have an OS disc so once again i downloaded a clean oem iso and burnt a disc.Vista HP 64bit this time.
Viola it works and btw i've used Dell XP disc on a HP and it worked.
The only thing you have to do is have internet access and download the specific drivers like network ones for the pc you're working on.
I load them on a usb drive and transfer them to the restored pc.
An if you're working on an XP pc SP2 is no longer supported you need SP3.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389
Also you have to use the same OS version for example if it's XP Home you can't use XP Pro but that's just common sense.
!