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Windows 2000 Serial Numbers

Posted on 2003-10-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
Organisation buys a bunch of second hand computers.  

Valid licenses on them for Windows 2000 Professional but no CDs come with the machines.  Hard disks have been wiped clean.

OK, no problem, get a Windows 2000 Professional CD and start an install.  Get to license number and start entering the 25 letter code on the case.  No joy.  It won't take it.  Try three times.  Not interested.

So here's the question.

Are there differences in the Win 2K CDs for accepting serial numbers or what goes on here?

Note.  I did get the system installed but that's another story.
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Question by:dbrunton
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18 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:liddler
ID: 9648617
There is a dirrerence between am Upgrade CD, which will only work on systems with a previous MS OS (such as NT or windows98) and a full installation CD
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Rob Stone
ID: 9648625
You do get different versions of 2000 which do have different Keys.

If you have a system installed then you need to use something like a key finder from www.magicjellybean.com and get it.

Alternativly ask the people you bought them off where the key's/licences are.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:mapledrums
ID: 9649103
Microsoft differentiates between OEM, retail, Volume License Programme (VLP), corporate licenses & installation CDs. They are not interchangeable.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:mapledrums
ID: 9649113
And as mentioned by liddler, Upgrade Licenses as well.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 9650286
the license type should be determined by cd-key, so at first you should make sure that the license printed on the 2nd hand computers are valide; on the other hand, lets check the cd itself, to see what kind of media you have. just please list the content of your setupp.ini file in the i386 directory on your windows 2000 CD. Open it with Notepad of similar.
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LVL 49

Author Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 9652052
>> There is a dirrerence between am Upgrade CD, which will only work on systems with a previous MS OS (such as NT or windows98) and a full installation CD

Its not an upgrade CD that I used.  However the license on the side of the machine was was for BOTH NT 4 and Windows 2000.  Not two licenses but one combined license.  Would the 2000 CD used for that be different than a normal installation CD?  The Windows 2000 license was also for a 1-2 CPU machine as well.  Would that make a difference?

>> Microsoft differentiates between OEM, retail, Volume License Programme (VLP), corporate licenses & installation CDs. They are not interchangeable.

Does this apply to the way the license codes are used in installation or are the license codes interchangeable between the various types?

>> the license type should be determined by cd-key, so at first you should make sure that the license printed on the 2nd hand computers are valide; on the other hand, lets check the cd itself, to see what kind of media you have. just please list the content of your setupp.ini file in the i386 directory on your windows 2000 CD. Open it with Notepad of similar.

The licenses are valid all right.  No argument with those.  Need to check the CD again.

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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
mapledrums earned 500 total points
ID: 9652528
Your installation CD also determines the type of license that you can use. Basically, licenses are divided into OEM, retail, VLP, corporate, upgrades (i believe corporate is VLP). Installation CDs are also divided into the same catogories. Both are NOT interchangable. This is M$ "method" of stemming software piracy, or so they claim, but it sure makes IT administrators' jobs more challenging.

The "normal" type of licenses that one will encounter are usually 1 or 2 CPU types. If you intend to install on a system (usually a server) with more than 2 CPUs, then you use the advanced server edition. Of course, you can install the advanced server edition on a 1 CPU server. Note also that this version of OS also requires another type of license.

Well, it's just Microsoft. Not sure if you've heard about the uproar that companies have brought up over the licensing issue. On top of that, when you do upgrades in future, you'll have to obtain another license for it. If you need to find out what license you have & what you need to install the OS with, you can give M$ customer support a call & they should be able to help you with this. They provide free basic support. It's only the more "complicated" problems that they charge.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:mapledrums
ID: 9807902
Any updates here ?
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LVL 49

Author Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 9808649
Yep.

You get the points.  Bad me.  I forgot I had this one open.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:mapledrums
ID: 9810914
Thanks for the grade. Hope you got things sorted out.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:tibori
ID: 11046038
If anyone's still listening on this Q. I would be curious to know what the format difference for the license keys for the different versions of Win2k are? Specifically, I would like to differentiate between and upgrade and a full-version key, and oem keys. I seem to remember "OEM" being part of the key a full oem version, but how would I differentiate the others?
Thanks!
Tibori
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 11125551
tibori, you want differentiate the type of a MS software by just seeing its cd-key or product key? personally, i would say NO, at least, you can not get the answer from the official documentations. ragards, bbao
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Expert Comment

by:xp4080
ID: 11237572
Does anyone know just exactly what the XP upgrade looks for, in the
way of proof of previous OS?  Are there specific files, or does the old OS
really be fully loaded onto the hard disk?

I need to do a new HD install, and it seems a waste to have to put win98
on, just to get XP reloaded.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 11238022
it seems it should be another question, hehe. :)

anyway, briefly, i dont think you need to put old OS on the system before installing the new one. commonly, the installation program will ask you for the location of your old OS to proof its existence, you just insert the CD of old OS as needed. i did this with installing win95 upgrade version on a new box, but never tried with XP. i think it should be same, have a try, hehe. :)
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Expert Comment

by:jas1047
ID: 11973310
I have win2000, given to me by my son, my computer crashed and now I can't re-install it because I don't know the key. (he had previously installed it on the pc). he's not available for a few days -road trip- any suggestions on how I can get the key?? I'm not a patient Dad!!
Thanks
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:happythedog
ID: 12300631
you can get another one from many sources that i wont go into on a public board
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Expert Comment

by:cbusa
ID: 13938886
I am using a Windows 2000, SP4. Every so often, when I send a print job, it says no printer found. I check the printer folder and it is empty. I reboot and the printers return. This happens several times a day. Any fixes out there?
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:techleet
ID: 14444557
xp4080:
It doesn't look for anything.  It goes strickly by the cdkey you give it.
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