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Thread: No Windows CD

  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    No Windows CD

    My son may have to reinstall Windows XP on a replqacement hard disk. XP came installed on the PC, but he thinks that he was not supplied with any installation CD. However, there is the usual sticker on the case of the PC with the product key. Am I right in assuming that it is perfectly OK for him to use someone else's CD to re-install, but enter his own product key data?

    Ian

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    Re: No Windows CD

    NO, he may NOT have been given a CD, but MOST OEM's provide ways to "Burn" your own copy. Also MOST major OEM's will provide a replacement CD at a reasonable cost to registered owner of their machines.

    What OEM built this machine? With more information we may be able to add more help.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: No Windows CD

    I can't answer as to who the OEM was at the moment - he's in Brighton and I'm in Bristol, though I could find out. (Not one of the big names, though.) And yes, he should have burned a copy, with hindsight!. But is it OK just to use another CD but his own product key, or is there a difficulty with that?

    Ian

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    Re: No Windows CD

    You may try it as some may work, but if the CD is a OEM branded then it will not unless it is the same brand.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: No Windows CD

    Ian,
    I'm not sure on this but I don't think the key will work on another CD copy of the OS.

    If it were to work, then a single key could be used multiple times to install one copy of Windows anywhere. Kind of defeats the purpose of a key, no?
    BOB
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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: No Windows CD

    I think this is why Microsoft moved to an activation system: they can't possibly afford to make each CD different, so they remove access to certain functionality if the key is used too many times (after 30 days if I recall correctly, although I might be confusing Windows and Office...).

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    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: No Windows CD

    That was my assumption. He would be quite OK on activation. If he replaced the hard disc, and reinstalled WIndows with the original product key, he would be OK as the hardware would be all the same except for the changed hard disk. I suppose there is no harm in his trying - if it doesn't work he can think again, like try to obtain a disk from the OEM, or (last resort!) buy an off-the-shelf copy of XP Home.

    Or is my logic flawed?

    Ian

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    Re: No Windows CD

    Ian,

    I found the following here....

    [i]If you have successfully activated the OS already, and if you are reinstalling it on the existing hardware, this trick should do just fine. Here it is:

    Copy the file c:windowssystem32wpa.dbl to a floppy.
    Reinstall Windows XP.
    Boot to a DOS disk if you are using FAT, or to the Recovery Console if using NTFS.
    Copy the file from the first step above back to c:windowssystem32.
    That
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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: No Windows CD

    One thing to bear in mind if you are re-installing with a 'vanilla' disk is that you may need specific drivers which don't come as standard. What I have done in the past (with Dells and Sonys that have come with XP home and I upgrade to XP Pro) is to copy the complete Windows folder to another partition. When XP asks for the driver location, it finds them in the original Windows folder and as it does so, I make a note to copy them for future use.

    (I think there may also have been a specific 'driver' folder on one system so I would check for what else may have been installed when new.)

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    Re: No Windows CD

    Ian,

    Some information:

    1. There are many "flavours" of Windows XP, and the Product key from one DOES NOT "open" another - for example, DELL OEM Product Key for Windows XP Home Edition does not open neither HP OEM Windows XP Home nor retail Windows XP Home, etc.

    2. If you obtain your original Windows XP OEM Installation CD, it will be outdated: you will need reinstall most likely SP-2, then all post-SP-2 updates (more than 80 as for today). And this is in addition for reinstalling and updating all installed programs and settings. In my experience, it is two or three days job.

    3. There are many third-party programs which can copy or "image" entire hard drive to another one. (You cannot copy Windows installation "from inside" Windows.) If Windows installation is not infected by viruses and malware and works good, this is the best solution. When you swap the drives after copying one to another, Windows would not trigger product reactivation (it is minor change in computer configuration) and only will prompt you to restart computer once on the first boot.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: No Windows CD

    Thanks. As I said, I am asking about this at a distance as my son lives in another town. It may be that his hard drive has failed, or it may be that it is infected. It is probably not possible, in either case, for him to copy the installation from the old HDD to a new one. He can live with doing the updates to SP2 etc. I will suggest to him that he contacts the OEM to see if they can supply a suitable disc.

    Ian

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