So, what is the problem ? Just use a windows XP CD kit in order to boot in recovery console. The serial number isn't on the CD kit, the CD is only the media. Or am I missing something from your story ?

Just for others' reference:

Q314058 - "Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console"

Good Luck,

Cetin


Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,


T. S. Eliot