My notebook won't accept the Windows 2000 Product Key that IS ALREADY IN the registry!

Posted on 2005-04-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
My notebook was a company one which had a certain preconfigured Windows 2000 image installed on it. I need to reinstall/repair the Windows 2000 installation due to a BSOD. If I try the repair using a Windows 2000 cd, it forces a reinstall. When it comes to ask for the Product Key, it WON'T ACCEPT the one that is in the registry!! ( I am able to use a third party boot CD to verify the existing key).
                       I even verified a colleagues notebook, he also has the same Product Key as he is part of the same group at work.
          I would prefer to use the key that is in the registry, as I don't know what might happen if I enter a different valid key.Any ideas?

(please don't get me into repairing the BSOD, already tried various fixes from the net!)
Question by:corcorn
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    You're probably using the wrong installation medium. There are different installation CDs available (OEM, retail), and they have different key types.
    Try to use the CD (type) that  was used to create the image.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    "I don't know what might happen if I enter a different valid key"

    it you use a valid key it would just install win2000, no need to use the same key as in the past as long as you're using a valid win2000 key

    Author Comment

    That's not feasible re the CD, the CDs were specially created to do this corporate installation originally, they are not the standard Windows 2000 ones. It's not an OEM type, as the Product Key is in the 5-5-5-5-5 format.
    I don't want to use a different Product Key if at all possible.....


    Expert Comment

    The easiest way to do this is to make a windows 2000 cd that will not ask you for the cd key.  On a friends machine, copy the contents of the cd into a directory of your choice.  Once all the files and directories are copied over, edit the "serupp.ini" file in the i386 dir to look like this.


    The trick here is to change the last 3 digits of the pid to "270".  Save the file, it may be on "Read-Only" so check it before you save.
    Then, download this .bin file "" and extract it somewhere where you know its at.  After that follow the instructions on this link.  You should have you a bootable win2k cd that will not ask you for the product key in no time.

    This is really a guide for slipstreaming sp4 onto a win2k cd but I think it will help you greatly in your situation.

     NOTE: If you dont want to do that and you just want to get the ball rolling, use the makeboot option off the disc and make some boot floppies instead of making the disc bootable!


    Author Comment

           thanks a lot for that-do you know if this works for XP as well? I am now trying to get past the same issue on my nephews notebook running XP Pro  (he can't find the CD).

    Expert Comment

    Your welcome, did it work for you?

    XP is much more secure than that but one thing you may try is to copy the contents to the hard drive and edit the following file with your product key.  It may force it to go!  Your also going to have to extract the .bin file off the cd so you can make it bootable like in the w3k tutorial.

     C:\XPCD\i386\WINNT.SIF in notepad, and insert the following lines:


    Author Comment


    >Your welcome, did it work for you?

    Sorry, I should have said I had already gotten around the original problem (it was back in April )
     I think what happened was that I switched CDs, ie when it asked for the key I ejected the CD and put in a different win2k CD and it worked, so I no longer have that original problem.

    With this XP problem, I am doing a repair and I have managed to use a keygenerator mentioned in some forum here with the Digital ProductId from the registry. It still isn't accepted but maybe its down to the particular XP cd I am using (OEM versus retail etc).
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    by:Wayne Barron
    No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
    I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
    [PAQ - Refund]

    Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

    EE Cleanup Volunteer

    Accepted Solution

    PAQed with points refunded (500)

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