Answer for:

Windows XP Pro Activation w/o CDs or original product key?

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OH Smeg

The first is that HP places a COA Certific of Authenticity on every box that they make and this has the Product key on it a group of Letters & Numbers of 5 characters in 5 groups.

This is the Product Key and according to HP it should be for XP Home.

Now the real problem HP uses a Volume License Copy of XP which doesn't need Activation or you to enter the Product Key so I suppose the question here is how did this copy of XP get onto this machine? Usually HP has a Hidden Partition on the HDD which is a Recovery Partition which can be used to reload the system to As New Condition or as it came from the Factory. The way to do this is in the Users Manual which if you don't have is available for download from here

http://h20000.www2.hp .com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DocumentIndex.jsp?contentType=SupportManual&lang=en&cc=us&docIndexId=64180&taskId=115&prodTypeId=12454&prodSeriesId=362557#7

remember to remove the space from between hp and the .com for a working link.