In-place upgrade without the OEM Windows disk?

Hello,

I have a client's machine that got a blue screen c000021a when booting.  I know I can repair this by performing an in-place upgrade although she does not have the WIndows XP disk since she never created the recovery disks.  I believe I read somewhere that I can download the Windows disk from Microsoft's site and use the product key on the side of the machine but no sure exactly where I read that or how to download the software.  Has anyone run into this issue before?  Does anyone know how I can do an in-place upgrade on a PC that doesn't have the recovery disks?  If I use my own disk then it will ask for my product key I believe.
TeddyZ83Asked:
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SysExpertConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Order media from

http://www.restoredisks.com/?gclid=CMuDyOD80pkCFQJN5Qodu1RhKA

They handle most of the Large OEM's, if you can not buy directly from the OEM itself.. ( HP and DELL should sell you recovery media with no problem )

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KrazyRhinoCommented:
You can use your disk. There is an algorithm it uses to verify the key is legit. Yours should work with her key (Unless yours is an WinXP SP2 disk they changed the algorithm for SP2 so you might un into problems if hers is pre-SP2).

and it isn't exactly an "inplace upgrade" it is more of a "repair install". An Inplace upgrade means you are going from XP home to XP Pro without doing a full reinstall or from XP to Vista. If you are repairing the broken OS is when the "repair install" is used.
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Blizz127Commented:
if its a dell or gateway or other brand name system you might not be able to use any regular disk.. you can try (backup the drive) and install with your disk but the keys might not work... what kind of system is it?
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TeddyZ83Author Commented:
The XP disk I have is SP1.  Last time I tried doing this though it asked for the product  key and I tried entering the one from the sticker on the machine and it didn't work.  I had to enter the product key from my disk and then it came back with WGA saying it's counterfeit.  I can't use my disk and product key.  
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KrazyRhinoCommented:
"I believe I read somewhere that I can download the Windows disk from Microsoft's site and use the product key on the side of the machine but no sure exactly where I read that or how to download the software." This is incorrect.
MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network) offers its users the ability to download nearly anything Microsoft makes, but it has a fee to be part of the network and you can't use the product keys for "live" stuff they are only designed for testing purposes.
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jcimarronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
TeddyZ83--You do not want a "recovery" disk (use of which will wipe out personal data) but rather a full OS installation CD.  As mentioned by SysExpert the PC maker should sell one at a reasonable cost if proof of purchase of the PC is provided.
Then you perform a repair install as mentioned by KrazyRhino.
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
P.S.  The above assumes you really do not want to perform an UPGRADE (to a different version of the OS), but rather want to repair the existing OS.
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TeddyZ83Author Commented:
Yes, I meant a "repair install" but it is also known as an in place upgrade per 3rd paragraph of the microsoft knowledge base article 315341.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315341

Thank you for your input.
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jcimarronCommented:
TeddyZ83--And thank you for yours.  Seems a strange use of the word update.
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