change the product key on windows XP

By shop070 ·
I have an old laptop which it now claims the copy of Windows XP Professional (not sure OEM or volume licensing) is no longer genuine. I have a retail version of the software. Is there anyway of changing the product key to the retail version w/o having to reformat and reinstall the machine? There are other software on the laptop that I no longer have CD for.


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Well the first thing to do is look on the bottom of the NB

by OH Smeg In reply to change the product key on ...

For a M$ Certificate of Authenticity. On the COA there is a Product Key and the Version of the Windows installed.

If M$'s Genuine Advantage is now insisting that the copy of XP is no longer Genuine you can contact the Maker and request a New or Replacement Product Key. When you get this you can either use the M$ Product Key changer as listed above or Magical Jelly Beans Key Finder to change the 25 Digit Product Key to the New one. It is available for free download here but you need to know that sometimes IE can not access this site so you may need to use Firefox or another Browser to download the file.

You need to know that both of these ways of changing the Product Key only work on the same version of XP so if you attempt to use a Product Key off a different Version of XP neither will work.

If you have no joy there and have a unused Legit copy of XP on a M$ Branded Install Disc you can perform a In Place Install by following the directions here

If you do it this way you will retain all the installed Software but will loose any Patches or Service Packs for Windows XP that where released since your Install Disc was made. These will need reapplying after you do the in Place Install. Of course if you are attempting to use a System Makers Recovery Disc you can not do a In Place Install of XP as you don't have a Microsoft XP Install Disc.

If you want to save yourself the trouble of downloading and applying any service Packs since your Install CD was made you can use nLite to Slipstream the Service Packs and Patches to the New Slipstreamed Install Disc you make, with this piece of software available free here

You will however need to read the directions on the nLite Web Page listed under Guides to find out how to use this application.


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