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# problem

Last response: in Windows XP
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October 14, 2002 3:12:27 PM

I have run into a serial number problem.
I have a legit version of xp professional which has been great for 6 or 7 months.
Now it still works but keeps asking for a new serial #????
Please help. I refuse to go buy a new copy every time they put out a new service pack. I am considering reformatting the entire system. I have a new maxtor hard drive as well, but have heard that formatting with maxtor's Maxx plus software can also cause problems with WIN xp. All help is sincerely appreciated.

More about : problem

October 14, 2002 4:30:27 PM

Not enough information, friend. Can you post the exact error message that is displayed, and any information about the problem that might be listed in the Administrative Tools Event Viewer logs? When does the system ask for a new serial number ... when Windows first loads, when installing a new program, etc?

The easiest way to format a hard drive is with a Win9x <A HREF="http://www.mirrors.org/archived_software/www.bootdisk.c..." target="_new">boot disk</A>, but the <A HREF="http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/maxblast_plu..." target="_new">MaxBlast Plus II</A> software is compatible with WinXP. Older version did not work correctly, but that problem was solved about a year ago. Some of the information and/or opinions you might find on the 'Net are not always up-to-date.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
October 14, 2002 5:51:01 PM

When I last did windows update and tried to install sp1.
Says something like invalid or pirated serial number..????
However I am allowed all other updates like drivers and xp updates. Only sp1 does not get installed???
Don't tell me that I am going to have to fight with my mom n pop little computer shop, where I purchased about half of my computer including os XP pro.. Thanks a bunch
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October 14, 2002 6:15:52 PM

I'd call microsoft, not the shop that you got the computer.

I'm not really stupid...... I just play one on TV.
October 14, 2002 6:36:00 PM

Uh,oh ... that doesn't sound good.

I wonder if a Corporate Edition of WinXP Pro was installed on your system, with a pirated Product Key? If that was the case, you'll not be able to install SP1 unless you use a Product Key generator and create and install a new Product Key, which changes the serial number. The Service Pack detects pirated keys, and will refuse to install ... at best. On systems where it <i>does</i> manage to install, after a reboot, Windows won't load, which means the user has to load the Last Known Good Configuration to get back into Windows at a point that predates the SP1 installation.

All of which is illegal, of course ... and something that certainly should not be necessary if you bought a legitimate copy from the computer shop.

If you have access to your Product Key, and it looks like this:

FCKGW-RHQQ2-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (the X's being various numbers)

Or

If your serial number looks like these examples, with the numbers that are visible, as listed:

XXXXX-640-0000356-23XXX
XXXXX-640-2001765-23XXX

Then your serial number may be illegal, and that will also stop SP1 from installing. Which means the Product Key may have also been illegal.

You can see your serial number by right-clicking on My Computer, choosing Properties, and looking on the General tab.

Random thought: Since you can install all the other kinds of updates, that means your user name has Admin privileges, so that can't be the source of the problem.

I think that I'd be making a phone call to that little mom-n-pop shop if I were you, and asking a few questions. You certainly don't want to format and try to reinstall WinXP, and then discover your Product Key is invalid, or that you've been sold a Corporate Edition of the OS without your knowledge.

Do you recall if the OS was activated at the shop, or if activation was ever required at any time? Corporate Edition does not require activation or registration, even if you start swapping out hardware.

I like WinXP Pro Corporate, myself ... but if I had a system built by someone else, I'd definitely want to know if it was going to be on my system ahead of time. Expecially if I was operating under the assumption that I had the retail version of WinPX Pro on the hard drive. You should be able to make a informed choice about whether or not you want to break a few laws!

IMHO, any shop that knowingly passes out illegal versions of software, and installs it with invalid or hacked keys ... especially without the user's knowledge, just to make an extra profit ... these people should be reported to the authorities and the Better Business Bureau.

If your installation CD does not have holographic imagery, but just looks like a regular CD-R, then it's either a Recovery Disk with an image, or a "burned" copy of the OS. The burned copy is <i>not</i> acceptable.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
October 14, 2002 11:25:29 PM

Hey Toey,
Thanks for all the knowdledge.....
You were right on the money with the XXXXX-640-0000356-23XXX.
I built this rig myself, but bought various components and os from a guy - Josh, who I was told no longer works there!!! For now my system seems ok. A little longer to fully load desktop, but otherwise fine. How many laws have i really broken?? DOH!!! A man of your vast resources surely can point me in the right direction in order to correct this??? I read somewhere about generating a new key. How difficult is this?? What Are the differences and advantages of this "corporate" pro xp? Also I may sell this one to a friend and build a new. I really need to get the initial formatting process down. I have used the 98 boot disk then 98 quick install and then full install of XP. this is not the best, but is what I have had to be doing. If I were to go buy another XP disc, this time not just a copied CD inside a Microsoft case!!! Would I be able to install it on 2 systems or does microsquish and SP1 nail when you do windows update? How do you install win 2000 on a virgin system? THis rig will have to work right for my good friend. I am a speed freak so I will try yet again to build the ultimate system. I have become somewhat of a fanboy, but would highly value your HO. I have also built a few intel P-3 systems in the past. MY timeframe is X-mas as my friend needs a rig by then. Thanks a million. Morganwill
October 15, 2002 12:01:15 AM

Hope you don't mind, but I'm switching to e-mail, as this just got deep!

You should get a message from me as soon as I'm finished writing it all down.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
!