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PCstats Q & A - XP key confusion - PCstats.com PCstats Q & A - XP key confusion
Thu, February 03 2005 | 4:42PM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our final Q & A of the week comes from Larry via the reader feedback page. Remember to try our friendly forums for help too.

Q: I created a slipstreamed winXP SP2 boot disk as per your article, which was excellent by the way, but when I attempted to use it it would not accept the winXP key. I was trying to restore a Dell system for a friend of mine so when it prompted me for the key I naturally used his key that came with his Dell system, but it was rejected as being invalid. Can you shed any light on what I'm doing wrong? I made the slipstreamed disk with a brand new unregistered copy of XP Home which is the same edition his Dell came with.

A: From your description, I'm assuming you tried to use a retail copy of Windows XP Home with your friend's Dell XP Home CD key. As far as I'm aware, Microsoft identifies the copies of Windows XP it ships to Dell and other major manufacturers differently, so your version of XP Home would not identify his CD key as being legitimate for a retail copy.

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