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reformat hard drive & reinstall WinXP

by d-mitch / April 11, 2005 4:43 AM PDT

A friend asked me to reformat her hard drive and reinstall Windows XP Pro. She had a virus and tons of spyware and wanted to start over.

Problem: The XP CD she has is a burned copy - the kid that loaded it on her computer originally has gone to college and we can't get a hold of him.

The reformat/installation went fine till Setup asked for a Product Key.

The numbers he has written on the CD are a set of 5,3,7,5 - which don't match with the format asked for when the installation asks for a Product Key - which is 5 sets of 5 characters.

Any idea what he has given her? I wondered if he had bought a multiple license copy of XP and she had a legitimate copy - but the Product Key not working makes me wonder.

Would the best thing be to go out and buy another copy of XP?

Since I already started loading this burned copy - and it won't let me back out - do I have to cut the power to the machine to start over? Will this hurt the hard drive if I do?

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Which ever way you look at it
by AussiePete / April 11, 2005 5:12 AM PDT

it is either an illegal copy or she is breaking copy right - if it's not an original disk with a key and watermark it's a fake which ever way you look at it.
That aside the only hope you have is contacting the other bloke. There are programs that can extract key numbers but I think that is only for installed systems and not from the CD - try these links anyway,RNWE:2004-28,RNWE:en&q=windows+product+key,RNWE:2004-28,RNWE:en&q=windows+password+finder
As for exiting - have you tried ctrl+alt+del or pressing the reset button - if you have to turn the power off use the front power switch - as opposed to pulling the power chord out.

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by d-mitch / April 11, 2005 5:52 AM PDT

It looks like we're "up a creek" - Somebody is going to have to purchase a new copy of XP. *sigh*

Wish she would have done it right in the first place! Happy
thanks again!

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