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How to tell which XP Installation disk with work with my legal Product Key ?


Fren Banklin

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Hello All !

I have a Toshiba TE2000 that has a new HD and a legal Product Key.

post-1174-1235877418_thumb.jpg

I've learned about the various "Known Windows XP CD Labels" from TakTech.com, but still am unable to determine which particular disk I need to reinstall XP.

Obviously I need XP Pro. I've tried installing two different WXPVOL_EN (corporate volume) disks and the installs refuses the Product Key, so I assume this is the wrong one. And I can't seem to find the "SP0" OEM disk (WXPOEM_EN) anywhere. (And I've been looking for days....)

Rather than continue with trial and error, I'm looking for a way to use the information on the Certificate of Authenticity and determine which CD Label will go with it.

I've read lots of sites, but they all start from pulling the information (Product Key, Product ID, PID) from a working computer. Yet it seems MOST people would be where I'm at, with non-working computer, a legal Product Key and no installation disk. So where is this information ?

And there is a lot of information in the LunarSoft Wiki about "Product ID" codes, but no explanation about where you find them. Are they in the registry ? In a file on the Hard Drive ? In the Installation Disk ? In the C of A ? And what good does it do someone in my situation to know this information ? How do I find my Product ID, and once I know it, what do I do with it ?

Also, as an aside, what is the difference between a "Product ID" and a "PID". I thought PID was an acronym for Product Identification Code, which sounds a lot like "PID". Just tonight I learned they were different, and the key is most-properly called the "Product Key".

Any help appreciated, and thanks in advance,

- Fren

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That Product Key will work with OEM CDs. It will not (as in never) work with a Volume-Licensed CD because they use a different family of Product Keys.

On the CoA pic you have posted, directly underneath the top line is "TOSHIBA". That tells you that Toshiba is a Royalty SLP key user and if you have the correct Toshiba (re-) install CD it will install pre-activated. If you have the correct toshiba CD, then you won't actually need the product key from the CoA. You can also use the Product key on the CoA with an OEM cd, but in this case it will require to be activated.

You don't need to find an SP0 (a.k.a. RTM or "Gold") CD, since a genuine, valid, Product key will work with anything from RTM to SP3.

.

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That Product Key will work with OEM CDs. It will not (as in never) work with a Volume-Licensed CD because they use a different family of Product Keys.

On the CoA pic you have posted, directly underneath the top line is "TOSHIBA". That tells you that Toshiba is a Royalty SLP key user and if you have the correct Toshiba (re-) install CD it will install pre-activated. If you have the correct toshiba CD, then you won't actually need the product key from the CoA. You can also use the Product key on the CoA with an OEM cd, but in this case it will require to be activated.

You don't need to find an SP0 (a.k.a. RTM or "Gold") CD, since a genuine, valid, Product key will work with anything from RTM to SP3.

.

Thanks James, for the reply. I solved the immediate problem of getting XP Pro to install by following the same line of reasoning you've just described. I had spend almost 2 weeks trying to d/l an RTM (what does this stand for, btw) version of XP Pro, but after reading about the Product ID's I tried and .iso of a file I already had.

But lately I've been reading about "hacking" XP, and am wondering if this is something to experiment with. One of the features I most appreciate about having a real XP Installation disk (vs. a "Restore" disk from the manufacturer) is the ability to do a Repair Install. Do OEM install disks provide this functionality ? Would there be any advantage in attempting to modify the Installation disk so that it installs as Retail, vs. OEM ?

Also, back to an earlier point, it seems that you are saying the only "link" between a C of A and a disk is the name of the Manfacturer ? None of those other codes on the C of A reference back to a particular volume label, etc... ?

I do computer repair as a sideline, and am very interested in this whole subject. I routinely get calls from people that are in exactly the same situation that I was in; they have a valid C of A with a legal Product Key, a dead computer and no XP installation disk. Connecting these people to a workable disk might result in some income, as it seems there are not too many people that understand this subject area.

Would you happen to have any links to any reference material that might be helpful ? Or any other help you think might be useful, would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

- Fren

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RTM stands for Release To Manufacturing.

A Retail CD will require a Retail Product Key. Anyone with a Retail Product Key and therefore needing a Retail CD will already have one, because that's how they acquired their Retail Product Key to start with.

Royalty OEMs are always identified by their name being on the CoA: Acer, Dell, HP, IBM, Toshiba, or whatever.

Individually purchased OEM CDs will state OEM or SystemBuilder on the CoA.

See Microsoft's own CoA page for illustrated information on recognising a Genuine CoA: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/content.aspx?pg=coa. Other Microsoft pages show common counterfeit CoA's as well.

All "proper" Microsoft CDs (whether Retail, OEM/SystemBuilder, or Corporate) will be able to do a repair install. Sometimes the second CD in a dual-CD restore CD set can do a repair install too.

Right-click "My Computer" --> "Properties" to see the Product Code displayed. This information is held in the Registry, as is the Product Key. The Product Key is encoded, but easily recoverable with a Key Finder tool.

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