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Unable to install Windows XP Pro on a Windows Media Center Machine

By icanlkerr ·
I have a premade Sony Vaio machine (recent, last year or two) that came with Windows Media Center pre-loaded on it.

I'm going to be using the computer, but i don't like Windows Media Center, so i'm trying to install a copy of Windows XP Professional on the machine.

The Windows XP Pro CD is an OEM that has been successfully installed on a laptop with no internet connection.

When i boot from the CD, it goes through the setup process fine until it gets to the partition screen. It doesn't display the partitions, and it doesn't respond to any kind of interaction, including moving up and down the list of non-partitions. When you try to hit enter, it Blue Screens with the following error:

Stop: 0x0000008E (0xc0000005, 0x8081a799, 0xF6FD2778, 0x00000000)

Windows Media center also has a wizard that theoretically lets you upgrade windows media center to XP while the OS is running.

I've tried running the XP Pro cd this way. It sets up fine until it gets to the serial number section. At the serial number screen, it tells me that the serial number is incorrect (its not - i've doubled checked the number twice, and my coworker has doubled checked it twice, and it worked before on the laptop. The laptop never connected to the internet either, so its not an activation thing).
It also says that i'm allowed to skip the step until later, but it doesn't let me skip.

Any ideas?

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All Answers

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First Idea

by IC-IT In reply to Unable to install Windows ...

You already have that OEM version installed on a laptop.
Your OEM XP is tied to the laptop and should not be used for a second installation.
Buy a Retail full or upgrade XP Pro and try that.
You will be better off saving any data and doing a clean install.
Having said that; Media version is basically XP Pro with extras. Why not just disable or remove the components you don't care for?

And hopefully no TR member will assist you in stealing a copy of XP Peo. ;-)

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The main drawback to MCE

by Dumphrey In reply to First Idea

is the inability to join a domain without tweaking and a big pain in the Azz...

Bill is right, buying an XP upgrade copy is the way to go.

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I'll try it out

by icanlkerr In reply to First Idea

I got XP Pro with the intent to install it on this computer. My coworker installed it on his laptop without my knowledge >_<

I think he thought that Pro works the same as XP Home, that it just remains on "trial" until you activate it.

That's not what the problem is though, because i tried it on another computer, and the serial number on the oem works fine on the third computer, just not the one i'm trying to install it on.

the main reason i had wanted to go pro instead of Media Center was i heard it was a bad operating system, and just working with it, alot of the interface functions that i take for granted on other versions seem to be disabled on it.

I will take your advice though, and just try out media center. I'll have to figure out how to configure everything though.

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Been there, done that

by nepenthe0 In reply to Unable to install Windows ...

As you know, Microsoft does not sell XP MCE as a stand-alone OS. XP MCE is bundled with stuff on a custom installation CD provided by the computer manufacturer.

XP MCE is XP Pro with extra drivers to support multimedia apps (TV tuner, surround sound, etc). There is really no gain by attempting the conversion.

I returned my purchased XP Pro to CompUSA and obtained a full refund ($299). The folks there informed me that one can force an XP Pro installation with a toolkit supplied by the hard drive manufacturer.

So I pass on the intelligence. However, your efforts are unlikely to accomplish much, because you have all the XP Pro functionality in XP MCE (2005).

There is so much to tweak with XP MCE, and you can configure the explorer interface pretty much as you wish. TR's resources provide robust support. I recommend Using Windows XP Professional (Que Publishing, 3rd ed., 2005) ISBN 0-7897-3280-7 which retails for $50 (cheaper than XP Pro). This 1300 page door-stopper reference is chock full of solutions for nearly any user preference.

Rick/Portland, OR

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