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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Reformatting and Reinstalling Windows XP Pro SP 3

    Hello,
    I'm going to reformat and reinstall windows xp pro sp3 on a laptop. I have the product key for the Windows version but i know that if I reinstall windows sometimes it will say that
    it needs to be validated or that i'm using an illegal version.

    Where can I find a version through microsoft of pro to download and what solution can I use to validate the version on the reformatted PC?

    Thank you very much,

    Commonsense101

  2. #2
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Sorry, but as a Computer Tech, I have to ask...... "Why do you want or need to reformat your HD?"

    You know, you're also going to loose all the hardware drivers installed on that PC. Do you have all those, on a CD or some other media? Laptop drivers are a not more proprietary and specific than those on most desktops.
    Does that lappy have a restore or recovery partition, with the OS and drivers on it?

    I would do almost anything to avoid reformatting and reinstalling windows on a Laptop. Been there, done that!

    Cheers Mate!
    The Doctor
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    CommonSense101,

    I'd highly recommend that you take an Image Backup with a product like Macrium Reflect Free BEFORE attempting this task. Don't forget to make the BOOT recovery media also. Then if anything goes wrong in the process at least you can easily recover to the position you were in before you started.

    Good Luck, and pay attention to the good Doctor's advice about drivers!

    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commonsense101 View Post
    Hello,
    I'm going to reformat and reinstall windows xp pro sp3 on a laptop. I have the product key for the Windows version but i know that if I reinstall windows sometimes it will say that
    it needs to be validated or that i'm using an illegal version.

    Where can I find a version through microsoft of pro to download and what solution can I use to validate the version on the reformatted PC?

    Thank you very much,

    Commonsense101
    If you have a legitimate version of Windows XP, it will validate, if not, a call to MS will rectify the situation.
    You cannot download a legitimate copy of Windows XP from MS, or anywhere else for that matter. Only the service packs.

    To perform a clean install properly go here.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Hello everyone and thank you for your responses.
    The laptop is about 8 years old and has seen better days. Its used in a department of ours that doesn't need much in the way of power or programs. Its used to simply install updates into machines we have in our industry. Over the years its very bogged down and full of crap. I've done all the basic cleanings and defragmentings and to little prevail.
    I'm hoping to see if I can make it usable again. I'm also a noob in the IT world getting my feet wet and need the experiences. I don't have any of the CD's on this one so i'll have to plan ahead and back up drivers etc. Just that hurdle of the OS to get around. I'll contact MS hopefully that works.
    Thank you all for any advice,
    Commonsense101

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Follow RetiredGeek's advice and make a disk image prior to proceeding.

    Along with basic cleaning and defragmenting, you should also go through the control panel "Add/Remove" programs section and uninstall
    all those programs that are no longer needed.

    You should also go through MSCONFIF's startup menu and disable all those items you deem inappropriate.

    Lastly, check with your company for an installation disk. If it is their laptop they will/should be responsible for furnishing one.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Thanks to MS

    You will need a CD (or Win on a USB) to reinstall. It must be the same version (home, pro etc) Unfortunately, many computer manufacturers don't bother to provide the CD. And many users have lost or misplaced their CD (if they ever had one) over the years. Once upon a time, there was a site that provided FREE copies of each version, sans a activation key. But in their zeal to stop piracy, MS shut them down. While I don't like piracy and believe they should all be keelhauled. This does absolutely nothing to stop piracy, and instead actually forces legitimate users to resort to using stolen pirated versions acquired from dodgy torrent sites. MS should require computer makers to supply the original CD instead of making it so much more difficult for ligit users than pirates to reinstall Windows. You can instead either do what MS recommends and Buy a copy of Win8 from them. (this being their current solution to any reinstall needs) Or buy, for much less, a downloadable copy of WinXP (again without the key)from one of various online providers. It is that key that makes the copy legitimate.

    Sorry about the rant, I do free support for low income elders, and this has been an ongoing pain for me when a virus or grandkid wrecks a part of the OS. And it then needs either a repair install or full reinstall. They never have the original Windows disk.
    Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you went after.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commonsense101 View Post
    Hello everyone and thank you for your responses.
    The laptop is about 8 years old and has seen better days. Its used in a department of ours that doesn't need much in the way of power or programs. Its used to simply install updates into machines we have in our industry. Over the years its very bogged down and full of crap. I've done all the basic cleanings and defragmentings and to little prevail.
    I'm hoping to see if I can make it usable again. I'm also a noob in the IT world getting my feet wet and need the experiences. I don't have any of the CD's on this one so i'll have to plan ahead and back up drivers etc. Just that hurdle of the OS to get around. I'll contact MS hopefully that works.
    Thank you all for any advice,
    Commonsense101
    Even though the usage is simple you should consider replacing the notebook. The time you have spent and will spend is worth more than the relatively inexpensive cost of a notebook. I'm guessing from the age that it is an XP machine. IMO, it is not worth it to try to keep it working.

    Unless you need something that is ruggedized you can get a notebook for very little money that will do the job.

    Joe

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