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Installing XP Home get message "cd key is not valid"


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#1
diggeryo

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I'm installing a fresh copy of XP Home on a friend's computer. They have a legitimate CD key that came with their computer (it's a Gateway). My friend did not have any recovery CDs or their own copy of Windows. So I am using an XP Home with SP3 ISO (which I burned to disc). I want to stress I am using their legitimately obtained CD kay, but it's telling me the "cd key you entered is not valid." Any idea why this might happen?

I installed XP on this person's computer about two and a half years ago, and didn't have a problem. Granted, back then I used their legitimate XP Home with SP2 disc that they had (which they have since lost), but it was the same CD key and worked without a problem.

I am getting this "not valid" message while trying to enter the key during installation, NOT while trying to activate after installation.

I'd appreicate some advice.

thanks,
mike.

Edited by diggeryo, 09 June 2009 - 09:35 AM.

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#2
kathiesnot

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Hi I am not too computer smart but have been where you are now for aobut 3 months, and this is what I found out your disc for windows has an embedded key in it, you will have a hard time to find it, so even if you where to put your own serial number into your friends machine when trying to install it to his computer it still will not work because it will not match the key that is embedded in his machine,
--so even if he has the number and he know what the number is, it will still not install, the embedded number inside the machine has to match the embedded number on the installation disc, that's how microsoft plays it,
--even though you have paid good money to have your computer and windows you still do not own the windows program, it is like renting, the only thing that will save you, is if he buys another valid number from microsoft and that again is going to cost him or her, or you can look for a new disc on ebay, if he has to go that route get a windows xp corporate disc, that is the only one that the serial number will never expire on, or you can go on the internet and download another program compatible with windows that is free. anyway if anyone else has a good suggestion for you I hope that they will put it up here for you. cheers, K.
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#3
hfcg

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The media does not have an embedded key code.
You DO have to have the same version of media as the key code.
To explain this, if your key code is for XP home SP1 you can not use XP home SP2 or XP pro.
Look at the disk to see what version it is and read the key code to see what version that is.
I believe you will find that they do not match.
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#4
diggeryo

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Hfcg, I believe you are correct. When I installed in 2007 using the same key, I had used a Home with SP2 disc. Now I am trying to use a Home with SP3 disc. I guess I will have to look for a Home with SP2 disc and then update to SP3 manually.

Thanks for the heads up!

mike.
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#5
Neil Jones

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You DO have to have the same version of media as the key code.
To explain this, if your key code is for XP home SP1 you can not use XP home SP2 or XP pro.


Yes you can. Any valid XP Home OEM key will work on any XP Home OEM CD regardless of whether the disk is the original, SP1, SP2 or SP3.
More likely the OP is using an upgrade or Retail CD - these do not accept OEM keys stuck on the side of the cases.
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#6
diggeryo

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More likely the OP is using an upgrade or Retail CD - these do not accept OEM keys stuck on the side of the cases.


NJ--you might very well be right about this. But this brings me to a question--If both were Windows XP Home with SP3, would a system be any different if installed from a retail CD or an OEM CD? Keys asside, what is the difference in the final Windows installation if installed from an OEM CD or a retail CD?
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#7
Neil Jones

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More likely the OP is using an upgrade or Retail CD - these do not accept OEM keys stuck on the side of the cases.


NJ--you might very well be right about this. But this brings me to a question--If both were Windows XP Home with SP3, would a system be any different if installed from a retail CD or an OEM CD? Keys asside, what is the difference in the final Windows installation if installed from an OEM CD or a retail CD?


There is no difference between Windows itself whether it's OEM or Retail. OEM licences are legally not transferable from one computer to another, whereas Retail keys are providing they're not on more than the number of computers stipulated in the licence, typically one. OEM licences legally die with the machine.

The only other noticeable differences save for the labelling of the disks on original disks is OEM keys have no upgrade ability (they'll insist on wiping the machine) and Retail keys are upgradable from previous versions of Windows and if you use them on an empty disk it'll ask you for a Windows 95 or later CD before it'll do anything else.

Apart from these caveats, operation and usage of Windows XP is exactly the same OEM or Retail. A very small handful of keys may not be accepted under a Service Pack 3 disk but this is the exception rather than the rule. As previously stated the validity of a key is not tied to which service pack the disk was built with, and all OEM keys should work under any OEM disk of any service pack. Likewise Retail/Upgrade keys are valid regardless of the service pack version on the disk and should work with any Retail disk.

Edited by Neil Jones, 10 June 2009 - 04:18 PM.

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