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XP Pro Illegal Copy

By MRA2 ·
I got this "hand me down" computer a few months ago. When I went to install SP2 upgrade, the program indicated that I have an illegal copy of XP Pro.
I DO NOT want to wipe out my Hard drive, or reinstall alll the software.

What do I buy? Win XP Pro OEM, upgrade or Full Retail. The Price range is very wide.

Repeat: I DO NOT want to wipe out my hard drive or reinstall all my software

Thanks,
Alan
NYC

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by TheChas In reply to XP Pro Illegal Copy

For personal use, I usually get the OEM copy.

In your specific situation, what you need is a license.

One thing to try, is to determine the history of this PC, and see if it should have a valid license.

Do you have the original Certificate of Authenticity for XP on this PC?

If so, you might be able to call Microsoft and get an updated Product ID that will take care of things.

If you don't have the CoA, and cannot determine if the copy of XP on the PC is legitimate, then you need either a license, or a new copy of XP.

Do you have the XP CD?
The OEM copy has a statement on it to the effect of:
"For distribution only with a new PC."
The upgrade version should have the word "Upgrade" on the CD.

If you have just a restore disk, and the system is a name brand, try contacting the original manufacture. They might provide a new key to you.

Keep in mind that the upgrade version requires that you have either Windows 98, Me, or 2000 to qualify.
You will need the original old version CD should you ever need to re-install XP clean.

Chas

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by JEPott In reply to XP Pro Illegal Copy

Here is some info about each of products you mention:
OEM - Can ONLY be installed on a new computer (unless it's a rebuild on the system) and should be done through an OEM System Builder.
Upgrade - Is only legal if you own a previous copy (with COA) of Windows (98, 98SE, ME, 2K) and will only work on a re-install if you have a previous version disk.
Full Retail - What you probably need to legally buy.

I'm not going to tell you which to get, that's up to you, but I will tell you how to get the new product key put in so that it can be activated without re-installing.

Once you have the new copy of Windows XP, simply follow these steps:

1) Edit the registry of the illegal machine.
Use Regedit and find:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents
2) In the right pane, right-click the ODBETimer binary value and select Modify. Change at least one character of this value to either a number from 0 to 9 or to a letter from A to F, and then click OK and close the Registry Editor. This renders the current product key invalid and deactivates Windows.
3) Reactivate Windows using your new product key.
4) Click Start | Run and enter the command: %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe /a
5) Windows will launch the Product Activation Wizard.
6) Select the option to telephone a Microsoft customer service representative to activate Windows.
7) Select the Change Product Key option and enter your new product key.
Click Update and close the window.
If Windows returns you to the previous screen, just select the Remind Me Later option. When the wizard is finished, reboot the system.
9) When Windows reboots, your next step will depend on which Windows XP version you are using. If you have XP Home or Professional, you?ll be prompted to reactivate your copy of Windows through the normal activation process. If you have XP Corporate, no activation is required and your machine should have a valid product ID.

JEPott

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to XP Pro Illegal Copy

Well if there is a CoA on the case it might not be all bad.

If you have a Volume License copy of XP Pro it is most likely a Legit Copy but SP2 has declared that particular Product Key invalid.

If that is the case you'll have to ring MS and with the original CD read the numbers off the inner ring and they will e-mail you a replacement Product Key in 7 - 10 working days.

As for the Official story with OEM product provided you buy some hardware it can be as little as an IDE lead you qualify for an OEM product and you can buy and use it quite legally. The only down side is that MS will offer you no support that extra $100 + is what you are paying for with the Retail Version of the product MS Support.

If it is a name brand Box then you can ring them and get a new product Key all you'll need is the Make, Model Number and Serial Number. The make and model will be on the front of the case and the serial number on the back of the case, the CoA if it has one should be on the right hand side cover of the case and if there is one there all you need do is ring MS for a new Product Key. But don't use their method of changing Product Keys as it is time consuming and fraught with risks in editing the registry use Key Finder available from

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml

It's much faster and there is no possibility of messing up the system.Incidentally the above posted Registry Hack will work perfectly but it may not accept a New Product Key off a new CD unless the CD falls into the same category or type as the original Copy was. If it was a Volume License Copy neither an OEM or Retail Product Key will work with it the same applies to OEM not working with Retail and the other way around as well. By the way the message isn't being spat up because you are attempting to install SP2 but because of MS Genuine Advantage that has been installed recently onto their Down Load site which checks the Product Key and decides if you have a Genuine Copy.

Col

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by cjk_service In reply to XP Pro Illegal Copy
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