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Mindovermaster

winxp Windows XP Question

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I am repairing an old Compaq Presario 5000 for a friend. It has a Celeron CPU, 1GB RAM, 32GB HDD, 2 optical drives, Some old graphic card.

 

What he wants is for me to set it to factory settings, a clean Windows XP Professional install. BUT, he has no installation disk. And by the looks of it, he previously had 98 and ME on there. So, it could be from an update. I tried pressing F9 and F10 on startup, but it seems to do nothing.

 

Now, his 32GB HDD has 400MB of free space left. I can put in a larger HDD, but the thing is, I have no XP keys. And there is not one on the case. Only a ME key. I could probably haxor it, but I don't want to get in trouble.

 

There a way to do this? If not, I'm afraid I just have to say that there is nothing I can do about this ancient doorstop. If there's anything I left out, please tell me.

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Well if you can boot off a bartpe disc and if XP is still on there but won't boot you can grab the software registry key hives from c:\windows\system32\config and use a keyfinder on the hive to find the key. Then use that to install from a retail xp disk.

 

Lets just hope the product key doesn't start with FCK :D ... I think that was the product key from way back when Microsoft blocked in SP2

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XP will boot, but only very slowly. I'll try the Jellybean trick.

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OK, I got the product number, installing XP on a new 40GB drive I have spare. Fingers crossed! :D

 

Edit: I had old XP disks, just no serial to go with them. You know, sedimential reasons.

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I tried the XP Key on it, says its wrong. :/

 

I do not remember if this was a retail or OEM. Jellybean says 'Full Packaged Product'. So obviously it wasn't an upgrade. But, that's all it said, besides the product key, CD Key, and part number.

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As far as hardware goes on that old system, I strongly recommend a CPU upgrade to a compatible Pentium 4.

The Celeron range of CPU's have always been, and shall always be ... total and utter, dreadful, terrible crap.

 

It's worth upping the RAM to 2-3GB (if at all possible). Also, seeing as Windows XP support ends next April,

a fresh installation of Windows 7 would be a far better option in the long run. A larger hard drive would

be a good idea too ... at least 80GB or as big a hard drive as the system mainboard can support.

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As far as hardware goes on that old system, I strongly recommend a CPU upgrade to a compatible Pentium 4.

The Celeron range of CPU's have always been, and shall always be ... total and utter, dreadful, terrible crap.

 

It's worth upping the RAM to 2-3GB (if at all possible). Also, seeing as Windows XP support ends next April,

a fresh installation of Windows 7 would be a far better option in the long run. A larger hard drive would

be a good idea too ... at least 80GB or as big a hard drive as the system mainboard can support.

 

At that point, might as well as just drop cash for a new laptop. Chances are that ancient graphics chip wouldn't support Windows 7.

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Yea, he just wants to use it for his grandkids to play on. I added 512 more RAM, and my used 40GB HDD that I had sitting on the shelf. Really don't want to waste any more money on it. He got it for free from a good friend. All I want to do is get it running good again.

 

Please just help me get XP on it, activated and everything. The thing is mostly junk anyway.

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^ Buy a used XP CD cheap, on the internet.

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You're just using the wrong media. It could be upgrade or full (both are fully packaged products).

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I tried the XP Key on it, says its wrong. :/

 

I do not remember if this was a retail or OEM. Jellybean says 'Full Packaged Product'. So obviously it wasn't an upgrade. But, that's all it said, besides the product key, CD Key, and part number.

 

It sounds like you might have used an OEM disc for a retail key, or vice-versa. I'm not very familiar with Jellybean Key Finder so I'm not exactly sure if "Full Packaged Product" means the installation was not an upgrade, but that seems like a logical interpretation. Fortunately Microsoft produced an override tool of sorts years ago: the Windows Product Key Update Tool for Windows XP. This utility completely ignores they type of installation disc (OEM, Retail, Corporate) you used and even the installation type (Full Install, Upgrade). The only thing it cannot ignore is the wrong edition of Windows. (I.E. It will not let you install a Windows XP Home Edition key on Windows XP Professional or vice-versa.)

 

To use the Windows Product Key Update Tool, install Windows XP Professional from an OEM disc provided by Dell, HP, or any other major manufacturer. These restore discs have a product key already integrated so you will not be prompted during the installation. That said, their integrated product key obviously does not give you license to use Windows XP on the computer and will not activate. Once Windows is fully installed use the Windows Product Key Update Tool to change the product key to the one you recovered using Jellybean Key Finder. After reboot run the Windows Activation Wizard, which Windows XP should be prompting you to do anyway. If everything went well, Windows will activate at that point.

 

Another thing you might want to check before wiping out the old Windows XP installation is the PID associated with the product key reported by Jellybean Key Finder. It will be in the form XXXXXX-???-XXXXXX-XXXXX. If the second set of numbers starts with a 6, such as -640- or -641-, then the product key is for a volume license installation of Windows XP Professional and is probably pirated. A corporate key will not work with the Windows Product Key Update Tool, nor should you attempt it.

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Hum, what part of "Really don't want to waste any more money on it" don't you get?

 

Yeah, Neobond, that's what I'm thinking.

 

I'll try that, Orange. It did say it's a Professional version.

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The product key entered is not a valid key for this system. Please check it for typing errors and try again.

Has jellybean ever been wrong?

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Has jellybean ever been wrong?

I don't want to spread FUD because I'm not sure if this issue still exists, but during the transition from Windows XP SP1 to SP2 Jellybean Key Finder stopped reporting the correct keys. It still reported something, it was just wrong. That is when I switched to ProduKey, which I have never had problems with in the years since. I tried to use ProduKey during the Windows 7 beta before the author added Windows 7 support, and it failed gracefully rather than reporting something wrong. So you can be confident with ProduKey that the key it gives you is correct. That said, I haven't used Jellybean Key Finder in a very long time, and I'm not sure if it still has the issue I described.

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Yeah, I'll try that. Jellybean did say it was with SP3...

 

Edit: OK, I ran Produkey, I get the exact same serial key. Could this have been haxed before or something?

 

Oh, and the computer has an AMD Duron, not a Intel Celeron

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If both Jellybean and ProduKey retrieve the same product key, it is correct. Did you check the PID while you had ProduKey open to make sure Windows is not pirated?

 

With a Duron processor that machine is fairly weak. Although Celerons were certainly not great, Durons were by far worse. I can definitely understand why Windows XP would run poorly on it, even after a clean installation.

 

Since your friend is only interested in giving the machine to his grandkids to use, is Windows XP an imperative? It will EOL fairly soon and stop receiving security updates. Not to mention that Windows XP already lacks most of the security mechanisms built into modern versions of Windows. If he is amenable, the machine would probably run much better and be more secure with Xubuntu 12.04 LTS or Debian 7.1 XFCE. His grandkids could just as easily browse the Internet and play basic games on such a system without the constant thread of malware slowing it down. You could also forgo this licensing nonsense if you didn't require Windows.

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Product ID? How would I know?

 

(Really, I'd consider putting Linux on this thing... But unsure if he can take it. As he is in his 60s)

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"I'd consider putting Linux on this thing... But unsure if he can take it. As he is in his 60s"

Never understood this logic - other than people that have not used linux at all. Do you think you get some prompt

budman@ubuntu:~$

And are expected to run some command to launch firefox or email software?

Its a ICON on the screen.. You click it to say run firefox or chrome, open up an application, check your email play a game.

Its for his grandkids to tool around in - what is there to do other than click and icon to run an application, then use said application.

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PID is short for Product Identifier. You can check it using the "Product ID" column in ProduKey. The number you should check is in the place of the 388, 142, and 531 in the screenshot below. If that number starts with a 6 instead of a 3, 1, or 5, the installed copy of Windows is almost certainly pirated.

 

produkey.gif

 

Screenshot Source: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

 

I agree with BudMan's sentiment about using Linux. There is nothing overly complicated about using its GUI, especially with a polished desktop environment like GNOME, KDE, or XFCE. If the only thing your friend or his grandkids will be using the machine for is to browse the Internet, check e-mail, and play games, there will be almost no perceptible difference on their part. I have installed Debian or some flavor of Ubuntu for friends and family members who have had no issues using it for basic tasks. In fact, it reduced support requests in a few cases because they stopped getting infected with malware. Even for older family members, all I needed to do was show them how to open Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice Writer, and Solitare (and place shortcuts to those applications on the desktop), and they have had no problems worthy of calling me about in years. It is not as difficult to migrate the average user as it might seem. And kids generally adapt much faster than their elders, even for more complicated tasks.

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bro... not want to be a as* but i'd use another ways ( :shiftyninja: ) to install XP on it... like no one gives a sh*t anymore and the support will end soon.. and if he just want it so that kids can play on it, i'd care even less :) - or install linux

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Numbers, as you explained, is 640. So shall I assume as much? I just forgot how the numbering system went.

 

As for Linux, you know how old people have enough trouble with Windows. If one day your Windows computer boots up with Ubuntu, you would say, "WTF?!", and put the Windows CD in and try to repair it.

 

On this old of a system, too. Maybe Lubuntu would work.

 

Edit: Oh, and next it's gunna be, "Grampa, this game won't load on this computer."

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I think "640" is volume license

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""Grampa, this game won't load on this computer.""

that is going to happen anyway when they try to run any decent game on such and old POS ;) They will be lucky to play minesweeper on it ;)

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This whole "old people will struggle if I move them away from Windows" thing is nonsense.

 

My mum moved to a mac at the age of 59 and couldn't be happier.

 

I put Ubuntu on a relatives PC and now all they say is "It runs faster"

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