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Obtaining Win XP Media Center CD?

Posted on 2011-03-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a Sony VGC-RB52 desktop computer with a dead hard drive.  I plan to purchase a new hard drive.  The Win XP Media Center Ed 2005 key is on the back of the computer.  Besides having to call Sony to purchase a recovery CD.  Is there a way to get the media inexpensively?
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Question by:ttran40
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35049153
Get a Sony reinstall CD on eBay.  Other than that, Sony is going to be the best place.  You will need a Sony-branded reinstall CD for your product key to work to activate Windows.
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by:marsilies
ID: 35056960
Just to clarify what PowerEdgeTech wrote: If you use a generic OEM CD of XP Media Center and the key on the side, you won't be able to use online activation. You'll still be able to activate it over the phone by calling Microsoft.

However, there's no way to legally obtain a copy of the install CD without also purchasing another license and key with it. You can buy an OEM copy of XP Media Center on a site like TigerDirect for around $90, but for that price you may as well buy an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Home Premium. Ths Sony support site has info on Windows 7 compatibility:
http://esupport.sony.com/perl/model-home.pl?mdl=VGCRB52

Another option would be to find a local tech store that will re-install Windows for you on a new harddrive. They typically will have copies of every major Windows release they can use for re-installation.
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marsilies earned 200 total points
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 50 total points
ID: 35058119
I did actually mean to mention that, while it will not automatically activate, you can usually activate over the phone if you use non-Sony media that matches the version you have a product key for.  

It is typically cheaper and easier all-around to obtain a copy of the media from your manufacturer, unless, like Dell, they have implemented a 1-free-copy policy for media (although may be subject to availability).  

Also, when you buy an install CD/DVD on eBay, eBay's rules state that it must include hardware - this seems to satisfy both eBay rules and Microsoft rules (although, technically, I realize it should be the original hardware - I.e. the computer itself - that should be included with the media).

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