Computer Newbies forum

General discussion

Question about a lost Windows XP CD...

I may need to reformat my friend's laptop, but she doesn't have the CD's that came with it. She does of course have the registration key. So, what are my options about reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows? I'm not looking for anything illegal. I do have the OS CD that came with my relatively new Dell desktop PC, so I'm wondering if I can just use that CD and her registration key. Both of these computers are running the Home version, by the way.

Jon

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Question about a lost Windows XP CD...
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Question about a lost Windows XP CD...
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Jon, There May Be A Problem With The Dell CD

In reply to: Question about a lost Windows XP CD...

As long as you have the legal authentication key, it's generally legal to create a single backup Windows XP CD for reinstalling the operating system on your computer. In this case though, unless your friend's laptop is a DELL, it probably won't install. Dell CD's have a special "marker" which will ONLY allow them to be installed on DELL computers.

If your friend has a Recovery CD, then that will include the full reinstall package including Windows XP. Likewise, if the laptop is a brand name computer, your friend should be able to contact the manufacturer and get a Recovery CD to use.

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
Nope, but check anyways

In reply to: Question about a lost Windows XP CD...

If your friend laptop if some big OEM brandname like IBM, Dell, or Gateway, etc., she's better off requesting a recovery/restore CD set for her model. The cost is less than buying retail and as a laptop is keen on starting out OK. Otherwsie, since XP home versions do sell at retail pricing, wait until a sale.

Using your Dell system OS, is illegal as it was intended for your system and not "multiple systems" install. However, OEM OSes tend to be acceptable within thier product offering but that's not a given, plus you'll need possible later drivers, etc. for a full install, be ready for that.

enjoy -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
Ok..

In reply to: Question about a lost Windows XP CD...

Her laptop is an HP, btw. What about using my Dell's CD to repair Windows? Would that not work either?

Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Probably Not...Dell Is For Dell..

In reply to: Ok..

Collapse -
Depends.

In reply to: Ok..

I think it would be a good lesson for you. You may have nothing to lose and as such can confirm what happens.

Bob

Collapse -
Don't Bother

In reply to: Depends.

I tried a Dell disc on an old partition. Didn't work.

Collapse -
Her laptop is an HP,

In reply to: Ok..

Did you contact HP about getting a replacement?? May be cheeper than outright buying one.
When you do a repair it asks for the key number and you would have to use yours and then activate it. John

Collapse -
It worked :) :) :) ...

In reply to: Ok..

I actually decided to try it right after my last post because I figured I had "nothing" to lose anyway. And it actually worked! At least it worked after it almost gave me a heart attack. Haha. I tried the repair part (NOT the recovery console) and got all the way through it without a hitch. Then, before it would log on to Windows, it required activation. I tried to do it through our home network and for some reason, it wouldn't connect. So, I tried to do it by phone. It gave me an Installation ID to read off to a computerized system at Microsoft. When I first read through all the Install ID, the machine on the phone told me that it was unauthorized or something like that. Basically, it wouldn't let me activate it. Well, I tried starting that over to see if it would give me a new Install ID. It didn't. However, I noticed at the bottom of the window a button saying something like "Acquire New Product Key", so, with nothing else to lose, I clicked that. It asked me to type in that system's Product Key; so I "flipped" the laptop over and typed it in. That time it gave me a different Install ID. So, I called Microsoft back, went through the whole bit again, and it actually activited it.

It appears as if everything that was on the laptop before is still there. The major reason I wanted to do this was because she had a LOT of Trojans and spyware on the laptop. (When I first ran AdAware, it came up with over 900 critical objects.) And the trojans had deleted some of Windows files. On the whole it would appear to work fine, but if you tried certain actions, errors would occur. For instance, I had a problem running a .bat file; I think the autoexec.nt file was corrupted. I knew how to fix that, but there were a couple of other minor problems (more annoyances than actual problems) I wanted to fix.

So, basically, I was able to use my Dell's CD to repair Windows XP on an HP laptop. It just took some "guessing" to do it. Wink

Thanks to everyone for the input. That's why I like this board so much.

Jon

Collapse -
It worked :) :) :) ...

In reply to: It worked :) :) :) ...

Thanks for updating!! Many times people will not repost wiht their results, so we are left sitting in dark if what we suggested helped. I did have a gut level feeling that it might work, but I knew the activation might mess it up. John

Collapse -
No Problem...

In reply to: It worked :) :) :) ...

It seemed like no one was completely sure if it would work or not, so I thought I should report the results. Not to sound conceited, but I thought everyone who posted would want to know for the future.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for posting and giving their input. It's greatly appreciated.

Jon

P.S. If I had tried it and it didn't work, you would've probably known anyway...because I would have came back asking for more help. Haha.

Collapse -
Recovery Disk

In reply to: Question about a lost Windows XP CD...

Contact HP, you would be able to purchase a replacement recovery disk for a fraction of the price of a xp retail pack. I purchased mine fo $12 Singapore Dollars.

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS!

Best Black Friday Deals

CNET editors are busy culling the list and highlighting what we think are the best deals out there this holiday season.