Roll on to this weekend and I decided to rebuild my computer and reinstall XP. Unfortunately before I wiped the hard disk, I'd forgotten that the sticker on the top of the computer had the original Vista serial number. It also meant that I lost all means of finding out what serial number that my installation of XP had.
My initial plan was to just reinstall XP from the recovery partition on the computer but after a few attempts to access it using Ctrl F11 I ran out of patience and installed from a CD copy I have. I only realised that I was without my serial number when it came to the prompt screen for typing it in and at that stage it was too late. I did manage to finish the installation with someone else's registration code but I don't want to leave things that way. I want my own legal version of XP that I've paid for.
So where I am now is that I've got XP up and running on the computer but I've not put it on the internet or done anything with it. I've also got a laptop so that's what I'm online with now. Is there any way I can access that recovery partition and create some sort of bootable CD or DVD from whatever's there? After many failed attempts to access the recovery partition when the computer boots up, I've given up all hope of being able to do it that way.
My warranty with Dell ran out ages ago so I don't think I'll get any help from them. I can't find anything on their help pages anyway.