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Old Jun 6, 2010, 6:56 PM   #1
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Default Windows XP Key

Hi all,

I'm new to these forums so not so sure on what sort of assistance I am going to get here. I've read all forums and have not found anyone to seem to have the same issue as me.

I had a laptop that I bought off a friend. It had windows 98 on it.
I uploaded windows vista to it and then stupidly lost the disc.
Everything was fine for a few months and I realised I had just about had enough with windows vista so I borrowed a Windows Xp home edition from a friend. I uploaded it all the way till the point of inputting the product key.
At this point he told me he hasn't got the product key :|.
So I had Installed windows xp home without a product key, and Cannot workout how to Basically, get rid of it.
I tried loading a Windows xp professional disc ( my own), ( and yes i had the product key for once )
But the Windows xp Home edition product key input would not dissapear.
That is where I am up to so far.
Really looking for some helpful assistance.
Thank you all very much in advance.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 7:10 PM   #2
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So, in a nutshell: you want one of us to provide you with a key code so you can pirate XP. That about the size of it? uh... I think I'll pass on this one.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 7:28 PM   #3
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That's an odd one (still asking for an XP Home Product key when you've installed XP Pro over it).

I'd delete the partitions on it, and reinstall everything from scratch.

What kind of laptop is it (brand/model) and how is it equipped (memory amount, drive size)?

I'd probably download a Linux Live CD and use it to delete any existing partitions on it, and create new ones.

GParted Live is one product that can do that for you. Here's a link to the latest stable release.


Download the .iso file and burn it to CD using a tool that knows how to burn a .iso file.

Here's one you can use:


After installed, when you "right click" on a .iso file you download from windows explorer, you'll see a menu choice for "Copy .iso to CD/DVD". That can burn the .iso file you download to CD.

Then, reboot your PC into the Operating system on the CD and it will load Gparted for you.

Here's a tutorial:


Basically, you'll just select your hard drive, then right click on any partitions on it and select the Delete choice. Then, create a new NTFS Partition (right click on the unallocated space you'll have and use the menu choice to create a new Partition making the type NTFS). When you select Apply from the menus, all of your steps will be applied to the drive.

Then, see if you can install your legal copy of XP Pro on the freshly partitioned drive with nothing on it.

As an alternative, you may want to consider installing a Linux distro on it instead. If you'd give us some info about your laptop (model, amount of memory, etc.), I could offer some suggestions on ones you may want to try.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 7:29 PM   #4
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I think you're screwed.

The only currently available Windows operating systems you can get probably won't work on that laptop anyway (which may have been a significant reason why you got fed up with Vista.) I suggest you consider either reinstalling W98SE, or look for a Linux release you can live with.
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 5:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
As an alternative, you may want to consider installing a Linux distro on it instead. If you'd give us some info about your laptop (model, amount of memory, etc.), I could offer some suggestions on ones you may want to try.
Again, let us know more about your laptop and I'll be glad to make some suggestions.

A more featured Linux distro will require more resources. But, there are some Linux distros will lighter requirements, too.

One distro that is supposed to be very light on resources in Lubuntu (less ram usage compared to xubuntu from reviews I've seen in the past).


Anti-X is a very lightweight distro that should run fine in 128MB (although more is better, depending on the software you want to run):


Puppy is very light, and very fast. It's geared towards older hardware. A new release just came out recently:


There are many puppy derivatives you may want to check out, too (basically remastered versions of it with a variety of different configurations, themes, installed software, etc..

Here's a forum that tracks them:


I'd probably look at Lighthouse Pup for starters, as it's got a lot more preinstalled software compared to most:


Note that if you updated your RAM to a bit more (i.e., 512MB or more), you could run much more full featured linux distros without any problems, with much nicer desktops, window managers, etc. I'd probably look at Linux Mint if you decide to upgrade your RAM to a bit more (but, you'll need more than 256MB for it):


SimplyMEPIS is another good choice if you have a laptop with enough resources to run it.


Mepis 8.0 should run in 256MB (but, I wouldn't try to get it working in anything less). I think the kernel is compiled for PIII or higher CPUs now. You'll need at least an Intel PIII or an AMD Athlon (K7) CPU to run Mepis 8.0. I'd probably avoid 8.5 for older hardware, as the newer KDE 4.x Window manager it uses has a lot of "eye candy" that will tax resources on old machines. Mepis 8.0 is a better bet for older hardware. See it's system requirements here (but, you do not want to try it in 128MB, or it will be slow and you won't have enough resources to run any more modern applications). ;-)


If you have 256MB or less RAM, your best bet would be one of the lighter distros, not Mepis 8.0. If you have more than 256MB, it would make a great choice.

For better suggestions, let us know more about your laptop (brand/model, amount of memory in it). I'm assuming it's an older model laptop if it came with Windows 98 on it and has very little memory. That's why I was suggesting lighter distros (Puppy and derivatives, Lubuntu, Anti-X), since they'll be faster on older hardware.

There are many choices, depending on your laptop model (I'd need to know CPU type and amount of memory installed). If you able to get Vista to run on it, perhaps it has more resources than I'd expect for a laptop that had Win 98 on it originally. Let us know more about it. ;-)

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Old Jun 15, 2010, 1:33 PM   #6
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If you installed Windows XP pro over top of Windows XP Home edition and used a Win XP Pro OEM serial key, the license for these have expired for online activation. This is a known issue with Microsoft. If you own a genuine Windows XP pro key you will have to call their activation department and they will generate you a new product key to install using their product key update utility.
This happened with a customer of mine and the only solution was call Microsoft and have them provide you a new key.

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Last edited by tswen; Jun 15, 2010 at 9:36 PM.
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Old Jun 21, 2010, 8:21 PM   #7
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Notebooks are proprietary devices. To install a new different OS requires that you have the many software drivers for the hardware unique to that notebook for the operating system which you are attempting to install.

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