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Windows Xp install will not accept the key on the sticker

    Question

  • I have ran into this maybe a dozen times over the years. An OEM off the shelf computer running windows XP home/pro, the owner loose the disk or never makes the disk etc...
    The machine has a genuine sticker on it with the product key. I load from a generic OEM  disk and type in the key that is on the sticker and it refuses to accept it. Sometimes I can install with a different key then go back and change it to the key on the machine, but on a rare occasion. even that does not work. What causes this ?

    I see this most often on Compaq and Toshiba brand machines. I have had this happen on maybe 1 in 25 different machines, and it has happened with SP1 SP2 SP3 installations. Customers don't care that they lost the disk etc..., they just want it fixed asap, and when you tell them they need to order replace meant disk from the OEM they just take it some where else that will often load illegal copies etc...

    So what is cause and the fix ?
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 2:21 PM

All replies

  • To expand the details even further here is one example:
    Toshiba laptop came with xp home sp2 pre-loaded, machine had to be wiped, no recovery, no installation disk. Pulled product keys and imaged machine, before wipe. Loaded machine from xp home sp2 oem disk. Installed product key does not match product key on sticker, tried both keys neither worked. repeated with xp sp3 oem disk same results, went into the image to the windows\i386\setupp.ini file and the replaced the setupp.ini in the xp home oem sp3 iso burned my 20th different copy of xp home and loaded that, and even after all that product key on the sticker did not work, I had to use the key I pulled out the machine when it was still working, but had I not done that, there would have been no way to use this machine's valid license without getting replacement disk from the OEM.

    Then to top all that off, windows activation claims both keys are invalid and system won't activate over the internet, the windows product key update tools doesn't work and you have to call in and spend an hour on the phone getting a new key.


    This is insane to have to do this to install and activate a legitimate license.
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 4:09 PM
  • If my understanding what your saying is correct, because I don`t know exactly what you mean by("An OEM off the shelf computer running windows XP home/pro, the owner loose the disk or never makes the disk etc...
    The machine has a genuine sticker on it with the product key. I load from a generic OEM  disk and type in the key that is on the sticker and it refuses to accept it.)". 

    But if you mean you`re trying to use the key on the back of the computer for a disc other than the one that came with that computer, then that code will never work.  I fyou bought a new disc, you should have that disc`s #`s for it.

    But other than that,, I need more detailed info.
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 4:11 PM
  • hello
    i too have had this problem and yes while the machine has a key  on the outside of the machine the the computer has an entirely different code that is valid
     i suspect that the outside code is a general license for the mfgr and that the machine has a sub code that actually affects that is specific to that machine
    i have seen mfg oem software with 2 product codes on the same sticker on the cd box one will validate one will not go figure
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    Friday, February 19, 2010 3:41 PM