Install XP on HP Pavilion 533w using Dell CD
Posted on 2005-04-18
A customer has a Pavilion 533w that came with Windows XP. No recovery CDs were provided, instead it's got the recovery software on a partition. There is a sticker with their XP Product Key on the machine. Well, you guessed it -- the hard drive failed.
I have a Dell XP Home CD that I slipstreamed to SP2 using nLite. I was able to install XP onto this machine without issue. I was never prompted for a product key. Shortly after boot I was presented with the Activate Windows dialog. I closed it because I wanted be sure I did this right.
Tried to launch the Activate Windows program again later and it's not there. The first time I saw it it was waitng for me in the system tray. I tried finding it in the Start menu but it's not where Windows Help says it should be (All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Activate Windows).
Next, I tried to download Microsoft Antispyware because I knew it would validate my install before downloading. I tried the method where you plug in your key, but it didn't match.
So, can I use the techniques explained elsewhere to replace my product key? Is there another way to make this work?