Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Windows XP Pro Repair Installation: Product Key Problem

Tags:
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
Share
September 11, 2005 10:48:18 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Hello,

I got the following problem:

My work/home office notebook had originally Win XP Home preinstalled.
I was provided with XP Pro installation from my company, and installed it
over XP Home.

Everything was fine until the Windows got corrupted somehow (it did not
start, reporting that system32\config\system is corrupted). With a lot of
difficulties I was able to get to the point when I again had an option for
Repair installation with Windows installation CD (using tricks with Recovery
console, etc.) - I didn't want to lose a whole lot of custom apps installed.

I proceeded, and everything was OK, up to the point... when Windows asked me
for the Product Key!

The one I believed I used for the installation doesn't work.
I know there is a utility to reveal the Product key used for installation,
but it should be run obviously on a healthy system. All I have now is a
Windows setup screen with Product key entry form...

OK, I was without all my work files for a couple of days, and now I am
already willing to accept that I lose all my programs/environment, etc., I
just want my files back... I would be willing even to go back to Win XP
Home, if possible (I still have a Product key for it on the bottom of the
notebook, of course) - but how I can do that?

Is that possible to "downgrade" XP Pro to XP Home? I wasn't provided with
any installation CD for XP Home by the laptop manufacturer, there were only
"System Recovery" CDs, which would destroy everything completely and rebuild
the system from scratch.
Is that possible to somehow revive/retrieve the existing product key from a
system not functioning yet?

What other options do I have?

Please help!

Thank you very much in advance,
DP

More about : windows pro repair installation product key problem

Anonymous
September 11, 2005 10:48:19 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Not possible to down-grade.

Option 1. is to contact the company, explain your situation and ask for
the XP-Pro Install software and Key they used to upgrade your machine.

Option 2. is to buy your own XP-Pro CD and Recover using that Disk and
Key.

Hope this helps...
September 12, 2005 1:16:07 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Thank you for your info, I will try to obtain the original Product Key.

In the meantime, is that possible to access at least the recovery console
somehow?
If I restart, there is no option to boot from CD anymore, Windows proceeds
directly close to the point where it asks for the Product Key.

Thnak you,
DP

<compsalvage_cscs@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1126482298.554389.144160@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Not possible to down-grade.
>
> Option 1. is to contact the company, explain your situation and ask for
> the XP-Pro Install software and Key they used to upgrade your machine.
>
> Option 2. is to buy your own XP-Pro CD and Recover using that Disk and
> Key.
>
> Hope this helps...
>
Related resources
September 12, 2005 1:31:03 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Tell me how to effectively contact the company.... have XP Home that suddenly
quit working. Son's wife threw away installation disk inadvertently.
Doesn't have PID or Key. Needs software-has corrupt files but doesn't need
to completely reinstall. Can't get anywhere with Microsoft without PID.

"compsalvage_cscs@hotmail.com" wrote:

> Not possible to down-grade.
>
> Option 1. is to contact the company, explain your situation and ask for
> the XP-Pro Install software and Key they used to upgrade your machine.
>
> Option 2. is to buy your own XP-Pro CD and Recover using that Disk and
> Key.
>
> Hope this helps...
>
>
Anonymous
September 12, 2005 3:56:19 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Are you the original poster? If so, you said you got the software from the
company you work for. That's the company you need to talk to, since it's
their license.


"Mac" <Mac@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:C36CFEBC-3447-409E-86A9-989D61474F6C@microsoft.com...
> Tell me how to effectively contact the company.... have XP Home that
> suddenly
> quit working. Son's wife threw away installation disk inadvertently.
> Doesn't have PID or Key. Needs software-has corrupt files but doesn't
> need
> to completely reinstall. Can't get anywhere with Microsoft without PID.
>
> "compsalvage_cscs@hotmail.com" wrote:
>
>> Not possible to down-grade.
>>
>> Option 1. is to contact the company, explain your situation and ask for
>> the XP-Pro Install software and Key they used to upgrade your machine.
>>
>> Option 2. is to buy your own XP-Pro CD and Recover using that Disk and
>> Key.
>>
>> Hope this helps...
>>
>>
September 18, 2005 4:05:12 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Hello,

"D.Currie" <dmbcurrie.nospam@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:3okjgjF6btp8U1@individual.net...
> Are you the original poster?

No, I am.

> That's the company you need to talk to, since it's their license.

I did talk to them. We tried a number of product keys belonging to them, and
none of them worked.
I tried again to play tricks with recovery console - none worked.

So, now it's officially a recovery operation :) 
I do not care any more about the Windows installation and whatever
applications installed there, settings, connections, passwords, etc.
I only want to recover my working files.

How can I do that? How I can copy my files to some media? There is no floppy
drive, and no CDR capabilities under Recovery console.

Please help!

Thank you very much in advance,
DP
Anonymous
September 18, 2005 4:05:13 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

"DP" <no@email.com> wrote in message
news:o zuhuYAvFHA.1252@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
> Hello,
>
> "D.Currie" <dmbcurrie.nospam@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:3okjgjF6btp8U1@individual.net...
>> Are you the original poster?
>
> No, I am.
>
>> That's the company you need to talk to, since it's their license.
>
> I did talk to them. We tried a number of product keys belonging to them,
> and none of them worked.
> I tried again to play tricks with recovery console - none worked.
>
> So, now it's officially a recovery operation :) 
> I do not care any more about the Windows installation and whatever
> applications installed there, settings, connections, passwords, etc.
> I only want to recover my working files.
>
> How can I do that? How I can copy my files to some media? There is no
> floppy drive, and no CDR capabilities under Recovery console.
>
> Please help!
>
> Thank you very much in advance,
> DP
>
>

The easiest way to recover your files is to take the hard drive out and
connect it to a working computer. You can install it internally, or get
yourself an ide-usb adapter or drive case.

If fiddling around inside the case makes you squeamish, you can take the
computer to a local shop (I'd suggest avoiding the mega-big-box places) and
have them do it for you. If your data is somewhat organized, it shouldn't
take them long, time-wise, and probably not too many CDs if you don't have
music or photos or videos.

Another option is to do a parallel install of Windows, meaning you install
in a different directory on the same drive. Install just enough to get your
data backed up, then format and start over.

Yet another option is to do a new install on a new hard drive, and use your
existing one as a backup. This will work best if you uninstall the current
drive first, so the new install of Windows can't see it, then install the
old drive as a secondary or slave. You can grab your data and then format
the drive and use it as spare storage.
September 18, 2005 3:24:19 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

Hello,

Thank you for the comprehensive response!

> The easiest way to recover your files is to take the hard drive out and
> connect it to a working computer. You can install it internally, or get
> yourself an ide-usb adapter or drive case.

Can do that for sure. I am reasonably confident in dealing with PC
components, it's the latest Windows
security/recovery/repair/access/backup/authentication/validation stuff that
makes me a little bit uneasy :) 

> Another option is to do a parallel install of Windows, meaning you install
> in a different directory on the same drive. Install just enough to get
> your data backed up, then format and start over.

Could be a good option indeed.
So, if you choose, say C:\WINDOWSNEW forlder instead of C:\WINDOWS, and
install there XP Home - the old installation files (except those, I guess,
which reside beyond Windows) will be preserved? And, more importantly, "My
Documents", old mailboxes, and old custom folders will also be preserved?

Thank you,
DP
Anonymous
September 18, 2005 3:24:20 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

"DP" <no@email.com> wrote in message
news:o a1mOUGvFHA.2792@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
> Hello,
>
> Thank you for the comprehensive response!
>
>> The easiest way to recover your files is to take the hard drive out and
>> connect it to a working computer. You can install it internally, or get
>> yourself an ide-usb adapter or drive case.
>
> Can do that for sure. I am reasonably confident in dealing with PC
> components, it's the latest Windows
> security/recovery/repair/access/backup/authentication/validation stuff
> that makes me a little bit uneasy :) 
>
>> Another option is to do a parallel install of Windows, meaning you
>> install in a different directory on the same drive. Install just enough
>> to get your data backed up, then format and start over.
>
> Could be a good option indeed.
> So, if you choose, say C:\WINDOWSNEW forlder instead of C:\WINDOWS, and
> install there XP Home - the old installation files (except those, I guess,
> which reside beyond Windows) will be preserved? And, more importantly, "My
> Documents", old mailboxes, and old custom folders will also be preserved?
>

It shouldn't overwrite anything, but you'll have to go hunting for the
files. The old windows files will all still be in Windows, and the documents
and all the customizations for the user will be under the user's name in
Documents and Settings. Customizations for individual programs won't be
touched, so those will still be there. Just to make things easier for
yourself, when you create a user in the new install, pick a name you didn't
use before so it's easier to sort the old from the new.

I've done this a number of times with no loss of data, but there's always
that odd chance that something will go astray or that you'll forget to copy
something before you format. So make a list of what you need and make sure
you get it all. When in doubt, copy more than you think you need.
!