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XP Key is invalid

By joseph.j.schneider ·
I recently bought a computer from a company that was going out of business. They wiped the hard drive so there was no information left on it. They said that the xp key on the label on the side of the case was valid and all I had to do was reinstall with a xp cd. I have a few of them sitting around so I tried to install with the key on the side of the computer and it says that the key is invalid. It isn't trying to activate and saying that it is bad, it is simply saying that the key is invalid when I am trying to insall windows. I can't even finish the installation. Have any of you ran into this problem or have any ideas as to why this is happening and how I can remedy the situtation?

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by ctrservices In reply to XP Key is invalid

The XP key on the side of the computer is valid only for the original software which came with the computer. If the PC was made by one of the major manufacturers, you can probably contact their sales department and order one for a small cost.

Installing from a different CD requires the key for that particular CD.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to XP Key is invalid

The above poster is correct if you have a proprietary box and right again if you have a White Box. But if you are using a OEM CD to install from it needs to be the same type like XP Home SP1, XP Pro SP2 or whatever the COA should have the version of XP that was installed and you'll need to use that Install CD.

If it's a propriety make you'll need to contact the maker for a set of Restore Cd's or you could just ignore the COA and use a known Key with your Install CD although the last option isn't strictly acceptable to MS if you are not on selling the unit it shouldn't hurt.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

There is one other possibility here you could have a Volume License Key if this came from a big company and if that is the case you'll need a Volume License CD to install from.

Currently MS has 7 Different versions of XP available {+ the Volume License ones} and they all require different Cd's to install from though the individual Cd's in each range don't matter you just need the right version of install CD.

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Agree to this post

by bmadams In reply to

I agree, this post is more right then the others...the COA and the side must match only 2 things:
1) the same Home, Pro
2) the same OEM, Retail, Volume License

it won't care if it is a newer or older SP1 or SP2

I have done this many times and it has always worked like this...

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by bernie908 In reply to XP Key is invalid

Go to the TechRep home page there is an article listed there under Most popular articles, titled "Get it Done, Change Product Key ...."

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by joseph.j.schneider In reply to XP Key is invalid

I tried to switch the key like you said but the computer still said that it was an invalid key. I installed the os with a generic windows key and then changed it trying both the registry editinig method and using a script. Still no luck. Any ideas why it still says the key is invalid?

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