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Old 22nd December 2006   #1
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Lost CD KEY/Can't access windows


I Can't get my CD Key, and I can't get into windows. What do I have to do here? I was in the process of redoing my windows xp service pack 2 install and when it came to the end it asked for me 25 digit cd key. So everytime I restart my computer it comes back to this screen. I have no idea on what I have to do, I just bought this computer from a friend and they don't have any of the cds for it. Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

*Edit*
Is there a way I can just buy a new CD and key? If so where and how much? And would this resolve my problem?

Thanks.


Last edited by Pimp240; 22nd December 2006 at 09:30.
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Old 22nd December 2006   #2
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You can go to any retail store and purchase a new XP cd and use that key code...Just need to make sure its the same version Home or Pro AND OEM or Retail.

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Old 22nd December 2006   #3
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I don't know what if it is home or pro.

Also OEM or Retail?

Sorry I don't know much about computers. But after I bought this it killed me when it didn't work.

And how much does that CD usually cost?

This will work right? because I mean, I started to install the service pack 2 without the 25-digit CD code. And the whole update is finished, but at the end it's asking for the code. So what you're saying is if I go buy a new XP cd and just enter that code. It will work? Because I tried entering the code for my other computer to see if it would work, lol, and it said wrong code. So a NEW XP cd and code will work and it won't say "Wrong Code"?

Because when I restart my computer it keeps asking me to enter the service pack 2 CD and enter the code in.

And will this completely restore the whole computer back to original? Like there will be no files and such on it? Sorry for all the questions, but I really have no clue on what I am doing.


Last edited by Pimp240; 22nd December 2006 at 09:41.
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Old 22nd December 2006   #4
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I am uncertain what you have done. Service Pack 2 does not request a CD key.

It is likely that a retail license for XP will exceed what you spent for this computer. Return it to your friends. If the computer is a branded item from a known builder, you can get the needed CDs and other necessary items at a modest charge. Call Tech support and discuss your issue.

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Old 22nd December 2006   #5
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Well, what I have done is, downloaded service pack 2 onto a cd and installed it onto my computer. Everything was going smoothely, but than it came to the last part, Installing Windows, and it asked for my 25 Digit CD Key.

How much does a retail license for XP cost anyways?

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Old 22nd December 2006   #6
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XP Home costs about $84 and Pro about $140.00..

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Old 22nd December 2006   #7
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Service Pack 2 does not require reinstalling Windows, hence my earlier question. Nor does it ask for a CD Key.

For a long time Microsoft offered essentially "amnesty" for XP installations where the license was clearly pirated. I believe they may have changed policies, but do not know this for a fact.

In any case, a Google search on XP for retail licenses should show a range of options. Depending on what you want, (Pro vs. Home vs. Media Center), (an N or non-N version), and whether the license if for Student use or otherwise, will change the pricing. As will whether it is a "Full" Retail (Microsoft support included) or an "OEM" license (no-Microsoft support, and only a clean installation is possible) matter as well. And to make your choices even richer, you will for a "Full" retail, be able to choose between an Upgrade or just "Full" retail release. The upgrade requires qualifying media during the installation.

Since you are being prompted for a CD Key, you likely would find a Student version (if you qualify), or an OEM version the most cost effective.

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Old 22nd December 2006   #8
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how would I go about finding these? just google search it?

And it is a pro version that I have installed.

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Old 22nd December 2006   #9
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In Google, type:

windows xp retail

You should avoid any offer:

. significantly cheaper than that suggested by large retailers
. any use of online auction sites
. use a credit card, please. This gives you a fighting chance to get your money back.
. Read carefully any return materials authorization information provided. If none is, go to the next site.

Remember though my earlier advice. If the box came from a big retailer such as a Dell, or HP or similar, talk to their Tech Support Department. This would be the cheapest solution all around.

If not from a big box manufactuer see my notes to find a good fit for your circumstance.

If the original license was a "Full" retail from Microsoft:

How to replace lost, broken, or missing Microsoft software or hardware
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=326246

Quote:
• Replacement of CD or Product Keys for Retail Purchases of Software

To replace a CD or Product Key, you must contact PSS. To locate the appropriate phone number for your product, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/default...EN-US;CNTACTMS (http://support.microsoft.com/default...en-us;cntactms)

======================

• Replacement Microsoft Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or System Builder software media

To replace OEM or System Builder software media, contact the OEM where you acquired the software. To determine whether the software is an OEM or System Builder version, follow these steps:

1. Visit the following Microsoft Web site, and then follow the steps:
http://support.microsoft.com/default...s;oemdirectory (http://support.microsoft.com/default...s;oemdirectory)

2. If you determine that you have OEM software, identify whether the software is an OEM or System Builder version

If you have OEM software, the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) has the PC Manufacturer's name listed under the software version name. For more information about COA, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/h.../ww/faq.mspx#1

If you have System Builder software, the COA will list the name "OEM Software" or "OEM Product" under the software version name.

If your OEM software company is no longer in business, contact Microsoft Sales Information at (800) 426-9400 for more information about alternatives to acquire genuine software.

If you purchased your software from a system builder that is no longer in business, you can fill out the following appropriate replacement form and submit it by fax to the number indicated. Note that there will be a $30.00 U.S. charge (plus applicable tax) for media replacement.

• United States, Canada, Latin America, or South Americaa. Download the replacement request form from the following Web site:

http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...ement_Form.pdf

b. Submit the media replacement form by fax to (661) 702-2944.

• Asia-Pacific (all countries except China and Japan)

a. Download the replacement request form from the following Web site:

http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...a5137ccbd/APOC

b. Submit the media replacement form by fax to (65) 6779 2481.


Last edited by Bill Castner; 22nd December 2006 at 12:31.
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Old 22nd December 2006   #10
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I honestly have no clue as to which one I need to be getting. I don't want to get the wrong one. Like I said I know nothing about this computer(because it was bought from a friend) or computers in general. So this makes things a lot more difficult. Sorru if i'm causing hassle here. Just not understanding it.

After further staring at the blue screen, i noticed it says, the 25-character Product Key uniquely identifies your copy of Windows XP. So is this saying that the Produc Key is the Key for the Windows XP I am installing? Or what is currently on my computer? I am so confused right now.


Last edited by Pimp240; 22nd December 2006 at 13:21.
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Old 22nd December 2006   #11
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There is little I can help you with. You have a non-bootable machine, and no documentation. And, apparently, no COA key on the side of the case.

Because you seem like an honest fellow, I wrote extensively about your options earlier. I does not seem to me that you have explored any of them.

Best advice: do not buy used cars or computers from "friends." Do not date their ex-girlfriends. Do not marry their ex-wives. But your "friend" needs to be more forthcoming here, or tell him you want your money back.

Best Holiday wishes,
Bill

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Old 22nd December 2006   #12
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You should go back to your friend and ask:

Is the XP installation a retail installation meaning did your friend install XP on this machine, and if so, where is the XP cd? That cd will have the Key with it.

Is the XP installation an OEM installation meaning did XP come installed with the Computer from the Manufacturer?

In either case, why isn't there a sticker on the case of the computer with the Key?

You're better off buying a XP cd and installing that. This whole thing sound fishy.

Regards - Charles

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Old 22nd December 2006   #13
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It is an OEM. Not retail.

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Old 22nd December 2006   #14
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Originally Posted by Pimp240
It is an OEM. Not retail.
That's even more reason to get your own XP and clean install it. If you have to reinstall or repair your OS, can't do it now.

How to: http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/setup.html

If you have a Cd with a previous version of Windows such as Winows98 or WinME, you can get the "upgrade" version of XP - Home or Pro which is a full OS - at approx half the cost of the "Full" retail version. I think that works out to approx 100.00 USD or less.

The reason you need a 98 etc cd for the upgrade version is becasue during a clean install, XP asks for proof of a previous version to justify the half price. During the install process, you have to insert the prevous version, the install inspects it, and then just continues on with the XP install.

Regards - Charles

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Old 22nd December 2006   #15
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If it's an OEM version installed by one of the companies that make computers (Dell, Gateway, etc.) call them. That would be the cheapest route. Dell for instance, used to only charge $5 dollars for one. It may be different now, I don't know, but it would be worth checking out. You may run into a road block though since you aren't the original buyer of the computer. I don't really know about that. It can't hurt to ask though. Maybe your friend could purchase it for you.

What brand of computer is this?

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