Interesting XP product key problem

  quaggydog 07:54 19 Aug 06

I am trying to rebuild a friend's laptop (bought from ebay in a bit of a sofware mess).
He has bought an HP Pavilion with XP Pro installed and an (apparently) legitimate HP/Compaq XP Recovery CD. But... the recovery CD is XP Home... and he has been given no product key for it.
Having identified the product key in use for the current installation of XP Pro (using Belarc advisor), can I use key this to reinstall XP home from the recovery CD?
I imagine not. And if I can't, any suggestions as to what I can do?

  FelixTCat 08:35 19 Aug 06


You could phone Microsoft and tell them exactly what has happened. I understand that they can make you a reasonable offer foe a legitimate key.



  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:11 19 Aug 06

Is product key stuck to underside of laptop?

Try under the battery.

  Forum Editor 12:10 19 Aug 06

is (as you expected), no - you can't use the HP recovery disk with a key for another installation of Windows - it simply won't work.

As Fruit Bat /\0/\ says, the correct installation ID should be somewhere on the machine, it takes the form of a small plastic-covered sticker, and on HP machines is usually on the underside of the case.

  quaggydog 12:26 20 Aug 06

Well, thanks to your help, I found the product key and initiated the install of XP home using the supplied recovery disc. And all went very smoothly but, amazingly, I was never asked for the product key!! So problem is solved, but now I am wondering why I wasn't asked for a product key!!!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:37 20 Aug 06

An image of the installed system was saved to a hidden partition.

Using the recovery disc restored the image, rather than doing a full install of XP from scratch.

  quaggydog 13:03 20 Aug 06


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