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Cant replace pirate cdkey with legit cdkey SP1-SP2

Hi Guys

I have a pc which does not have a legit copy of windows on it. Its currently sp1, i bought a legit copy of windows xp sp2.. iam unable to update the key using oobe. says its invalid, is this a problem with a sp1 copy of windows not likeing a sp2 cdkey?
1 Solution
More likely mismatched versions of XP. If your pirated copy is a volume license (VL) copy, an OEM or Retail key will not work. Each version (OEM, VL, Retail, and Upgrade) has its own set of keys and a key from a different version will not work.
Original, SP1, or SP2 doesn't matter; only the version.
The easiest thing will probably be to backup your files, and do a clean install of XP.   The computer sounds old enough now, that a clean install will probably make is run a lot better.  It is kinda of pain to do it this way, but you should not have any problems with the product key this way.

If you are having problems with activiation, you can use the by phone option to call Microsoft - when you explain what you are doing, they will give you a very long number to type in which will allow the activation to complete - then you can do a windows update to get SP2.

Good luck.
If you decide to go that way as per cerrmj suggestion, slave the hdd and save off any files, hook it in behind the cdrom. Power off move the jumper to slave first,
Once done you have nothing to lose.
Defrag it scan it while slaved. You could even format it from here.
it pays to actually delete the partition windows setup will re-create it.

you can also try running a repair re-install then insert the new key
Perform a reinstallation of Windows XP, sometimes called a repair installation?

You will need the COA key
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.
Forced accept.

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