HP Windows XP and Windows XP CD Key invalid?

I seem to have lost my HP Windows XP CD and when I use another Windows XP CD and try to enter in the Windows XP CD Key located on the HP computer, Windows XP reports back that the CD Key is invalid.

Any way around this problem, other than phoning HP and getting a replacement CD?

Who is Participating?
Stormin_NormanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you know anyone who has an OEM xp cd, that would work. You are probably trying to use a retail or upgrade cd.

The keys from Corp, OEM, retail, and upgrade versions of windows are not interchangeable.
there is no legal way around this but the jail time for the illegal way may be worth then the time you save on the phone with hp asking for a replacement.

sorry but you have to call hp.

(dont tell them i said this but when u call just press pound repeatedly for like 30 secs and you will get a person REALLY fast)

What are you trying to do?  Rebuild your PC from scratch?  Perhaps there is another way to do what you need to do...

The CDs that are shiped by OEMs such as HP and Dell are hardcoded to only install on their PCs.  Additonally, Microsoft encodes their CDs so that if you have a retail key it will not install Windows from a Volume License CD, and vice-versa.


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Hello john s99, HP doesn't charge that much for the software you need. Make sure you have all pertinent info ready when you call them ie; model #, old key code, etc. Hope this helps you out...Booda2us
john_s99  what is it that you have done? Have you re-installed or run a recovery, why i am asking is the operating system intact still on the hdd?
Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is a freeware utility that retrieves your Product Key (cd key) used to install windows from your registry.http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml

There shouldbe a sticker on teh rear of the HP. But unless you provide more details I may provide mis informed suggestions.
HP normally ships with an OEM operating system these cannot be upgraded even using the legal cd, it can only be iunstalled on a new computer hense the OEM, original equipment manufacture.
These ship with an OEM recovery or similar.
What you do to perform a repair.
Configure your computer to start from the CD-ROM drive. . Then insert your Windows XP Setup CD, and restart your computer.

 When the Press any key to boot from CD message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.
 Press ENTER when you see the message To setup Windows XP now, and then press ENTER displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen.
 Do not choose the option to press R to use the Recovery Console.
 In the Windows XP Licensing Agreement, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
 Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
 Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.

Hi John,
I think what you want is to change your HP OEM Product Key (which you have lost) to the New Product key (The one you are trying). Right !
Ok It's not that easy, but it is possible, you may try these options,

Rocky XP 3.0 allows you to:

- To retrieve and change your XP Key
- To retrieve all Microsoft Products keys
- To save your XP activation file
- To retrieve your lost XP system passwords
- To retrieve your lost RAS (Remote Access Settings) passwords
- And to generate new passwords

Windows XP Product Key Modifier

This application automates the task of changing to a valid Windows XP product key, doing this manually is quite a nuisance.


If you face any problem, do let me know,


Call microsoft techsupport they will surely help you out
My friend had the same problem and microsoft techsupport resolved it.

Okay here is the number

(800) 936-5700 or (425) 454-2030

If your OS is already crashed then you may try these product keys, Select the right installation type, it will give you 14 days time, once the installation or repair is done download Rock XP and change it to a valid XP Key; Remember these keys can not be activated !

Windows XP Home Edition Full product                JKTVX-HCRXC-J2YC9-MX3K4-G9X26
Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade                    C84VB-JYVFD-P7HF4-6KKRJ-7M6XH
Windows XP Professional Full product DR8GV-     C8V6J-BYXHG-7PYJR-DB66Y
Windows XP Professional Upgrade                      FKTW8-Q7MJ7-JK6GW-9J9RV-HC3C2
Windows XP Home Edition System Builder (Full)   KGVXT-F9HVW-XGW9X-QVYVX-HQ9RD
Windows XP Professional System Builder (Full)    TTGHK-3RC33-BT9DR-3BVYV-BTQ98



the OEM CDs for the OS shipped with the computer have special licence keys. You need to setup from an OEM installation cd to use this key. If you want to use a non OEM media you have to use a non OEM licence key.

I would call hp to ask them to resent an original media. Be shure you have your product# and serial# when you call hp because they will ask you.


I'm just concurring with most of the above comments that the OEM key is not interchangeable with other types of XP install disks (retail/volume).

Any OEM install disk should work, even a branded one like Dell.

Microsoft is not concerned with the media that you use, so there's nothing illegal about it...it's the license that they are concerned with. If you have a valid key it will work. Activation will surely require a phone call to Microsoft. There should be no problem with activation as long as all is legitimate and you're installing on the original system that the key was issued to.
Windows simply checks the new key you entered against the original key that was used in the first install, which is stored in the registry, encrypted.  It is a little cat-and-mouse game that MS likes to play with people -- it is REAL curse to system builders, who mostly use a single master key, then later customize the key for each user.

If you had a valid key and you are trying to reinstall the OS, you either have to find that key, or delete the registry files that hold the key.  If you are really smart, you can move the C:\windows\system32\config directory out of windows to another location (i.e. the registry files) while you enter the new key, then move it all back before windows finally detects hardware and reboots -- but this is quite tricky to get right, and not for the feint of heart.  Better to find the original key you used.
Also, there are several programs available, some free, others not, that decrypt the product key from the registry for you to view.  A google search for 'windows product key viewer' will find them.  Since these are legit programs by groups like PC Magazine and others, there is nothing illegal about using them for valid uses.

But if you cannot boot the system, they wont help you.
john_s99  you have not made one comment or provided any feedback,
hows it going have any suggestions helped you? The suggestions will keep coming  but without any input from you we cannot progress any further on the subject. :)
Best wishes
john_s99Author Commented:
I called HP parts department and they tell me you can't order recovery CD's...

The woman said it maybe downloadable from the HP website... I highly doubt that thou.

Any other way at getting a recovery CD from HP?

dont call hp call microsoft tech support for a new key.

Also you dont need a reovery cd call up microsoft  for any new key , provide all your account details they will provide you witha new key


The key is not the issue...the install cd is. As already stated, you can use any OEM install cd (including Dell) with your valid key. You cannot use a retail or volume license install cd with your OEM key.

Am I correct in deducing from your question, that you are trying to do a clean, new install of XP?

If getting the media is a problem....

If you haven't repartioned your drive, and still have the original factory drive on the system, the recovery is within a hidden partition. Depending on your system model, F4, F8 or similar hotkey at bootup will initiate a system restore, restoring the OS to factory settings. If you post your model, we can help you along. The hp system restore will erase all data on the drive...so back it up if you haven't already.
ded9  if I may just say that john_s99 should never have used another xpcd on his HP, it had a recovery cd that was bound to his to computer . If he wanted to repair his machine with another xpcd other than his recovery the only way is to format it. HP- DEL -Compaqe computers are OEM versions of xp.
The recovery cd allows him access to a hidden partition that would have replaced his operating system repaired it.

Good one ded9  :) Lets hope its not too late for john_s99 if he started an install of xp retail cd.
I think I have the basic idea now, I am going to try a few of your  suggestions guys
good luck
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