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Windows License Key Change From Dell's to Volume

Posted on 2009-05-18
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I don't ask a lot of questions so I decided to make this one worth 500 points :D

We use Dell's at my organization. The Dell's came with WinXP Pro SP3 installed. That was fine because the software we are using requests SP3 to be installed. The problem is we use Volume Licensing for XP at this location, So the normal procedure is to wipe every PC and install w/ our Volume License.

Here's the Catch. Our Volume License XP CD's are so old (Pre-Service Pack 1), that they don't install with this PC due to it's Raid 0 configuration. I sat with Dell and Intel Tech support and they all said that we need a SP1 or better image of the Volume License in order to install XP on the computer with this Raid Array.

So could I change the product key from Dell's most likely OEM copy of Windows to the product key for my Volume License?

The main reason is we are going to be creating an image of the first machine so using Dell's CD Key is not a real option. Would Microsoft provide us with a new version of the installation disks?
Question by:floridafayboy
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 24412036
see if this article can help you to change the key:

Author Comment

ID: 24412324
Yes I tried this, it's basically the same thing that Microsoft lists here.

It hasn't fixed my problem. If I do it through the microsoft activation wizard, when I try to update the key, it gives me an error saying invalid product code.

Author Comment

ID: 24412335
I guess they use two different XP installs. One custom Dell OEM version and the official Volume License one. So the key won't work on the OEM version. Is there any way to change the version post install?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 24412411
Only by doing a repair install with the volume licence installation disk or setup file from within windows itself.

You could always try the option to change the key and see if it accepts it ,if it doesn't it will tell you.

Author Comment

ID: 24412442
I'll try that, would save me a lot of time.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 24412465
Good Luck

Accepted Solution

MariusSunchaser earned 500 total points
ID: 24412780
Hi there.
If you have a volume contract, you must have an account on Microsoft's volume site. Using that account, you can download the last volume instalation kit.
I'd suggest you to use that kit and sp3 from Microsoft to make an image cd for all your computers with similar hardware configuration.
Here is a post that will help you make the image CD:
"Here's what I found. I was trying to make an unattended windows cd. Here's where you can get SP3. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389
Then you can go to this site that I found to show me how to make an "Unattended Windows CD." http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/view/web/1/ 
I used the "beginning users" tab to get started, plus all your trying to do is slip stream SP3 so you don't have to do all that other stuff if you don't want to.
I used nLite that I found in a thread here somewhere. This nLite program makes life a lot easier when trying to slip streaming a cd. Look for the Download link on the left side of the page. http://www.nliteos.com/
Here's instructions that show ya how to burn the slip streamed cd using Roxio Easy CD/Media Creator, or Nero.
You'll need an ISO buster program that you can get going to this link. It's free.
End quote.

LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 24412825
With Dell PCs, and other major OEMs, XP and Vista come pre-activated on them and don't use the key on the case; instead they use what's called a royalty-SLP key which is actually the same key on every machine they ship for a given edition of the OS. This special key only works on their brand PCs, since the key checks against the BIOS. You can use this program to double-check what the actual key being used by your Windows XP install is:

So you actually CAN image and copy the XP install from one PC to another, as long as they are all Dells.

However, if you still want to switch to your VLK:

You can slipstream SP3 onto your VLK XP install disc:

However, The XP Service Packs didn't add any new drivers to the install disc; there's a lot of issues trying to install XP onto RAID or SATA configurations on newer PCs.

You can, however, download and slipstream additional drivers onto the install disc. The easiest way would be to download the already assembled driverpacks from this site and slipstream them onto the install disc with the tool they provide:

Author Comment

ID: 24413011
Thanks F-King,
Repairing didn't work. I am Downloading the newest installation kit from the Volume Site. I think I'm going to do a fresh install. After all this hassle I don't want my image being corrupted due to a repair or CD key switch.

Thanks for the tips Marius, I think that will be the best route go full wipe and install of XP-Pro. Dell said that any XP Pro w/ SP2 installed will work w/ the Raid array.

I neglected to mention that I use Altiris to deploy and capture images. So the image making tools you folks gave me won't apply. I will definately check them out though, they are very interesting.

I'll let you know if the new version of Volume License XP works.

Author Comment

ID: 24413095
Knowing that the CDkey is the generic volume license Dell's ship out is good to know, but my boss wants us using the Volume License. So since I can't seem to change it post install, I'll have to re-install it from scratch.

Thanks anways.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 24413314
Just to clarify: Dell doesn't ship XP with a generic volume license key, they ship XP with a vendor-specific royalty-OEM SLP (system locked) key, along with vendor-specific OEMBIOS files.

The main difference between VLK and SLP is that a VLK install can be activated on any type of PC, while an SLP install can only be activated on a specific manufacturer's PCs.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31582583
After downloading the newest XP version from the Volume License Center on Microsoft's Site, I was able to get our license installed.

Thanks for the help!

Author Comment

ID: 24413837
I understand now what you mean. Thanks for the clarification.

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