Help reinstalling w2k pro on a Dell Latitude C400 (laptop)

By pipeman
Nov 25, 2006
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  1. I have a Dell Latitude C400 (laptop) that I am trying to reinstall w2k pro on. I do not have the reinstall disks that came with the laptop. I called Dell to ask them if I can purchase replacement disks. They said that the reinstall image that is kept on the hard drive erases itself after 6 months. So I got a hold of a w2k pro disk and tried to use the key that is on the bottom of the laptop. It is a valid key but, it says it is invalid. I know the key is valid because it was the key that was on the machine before I reformatted. Do Dell's keys only work with "Dell" re-installs. Is there any other options I have besides buying an xp copy of windows. Computer stats are below:

    P III 866 MHz
    256 MB RAM
    20 Gig Hard Drive
  2. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody Newcomer, in training Posts: 205

    I have to admit, I haven't done too many w2k machines when it comes to reinstall the operating system, except my own Dell, for which I do have the disk for.

    If it's anything like XP, the problem may be, you are using a retail version, of w2k, to reinstall on a OEM install. The key on the bottom of your laptop is probably an OEM key, but the install is expecting a retail key.

    It may also have something to do with the updates that you have, on your computer, wherein if your old install was up to date with windows updates, and the disk you are using, does not include those updates, then it may expect a key that would have the updates on the install disk.

    ADDED: Did Dell say they didn't have the w2k disk?
  3. pipeman

    pipeman Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yeah, the only thing Dell offered me was to purchase a version of windows XP and install that.
  4. pipeman

    pipeman Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I know what you mean about the OEM version thing though. That is probibly the case. I need to get my hands on a OEM version of w2k pro.
  5. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody Newcomer, in training Posts: 205

    What was the problem you were having that led you to try and do a fresh install? Upgrading to XP is not a bad idea, but you could just put that money spent toward a new laptop, so you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
  6. pipeman

    pipeman Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I did wanted to do the fresh install because it was an older system that was bogged down with too much stuff. It was running slow. I like to do reinstalls on my systems about once a year. And the XP upgrade is a money issue, you are right.
  7. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody Newcomer, in training Posts: 205

    You could copy that retail CD to your hard drive, and change a file in the I386 folder and change a number to make it a OEM version, then slipstream that copy to a new CD and try that. I have done it a few times with XP and it works.
  8. pipeman

    pipeman Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Do you know which files I would have to change and could you walk me through, or point me in the right direction on how to slipstream?
  9. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody Newcomer, in training Posts: 205

  10. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody Newcomer, in training Posts: 205

    1) Copy the retail disk to a new folder, on your hard drive, perhaps your desktop, so you can find it easily.

    2) Once you have it copied to your hard drive, look in the I386 folder, and find the setupp.ini file, and click on it, it should open in Notepad, then change the PID number to look like this: Pid=51873OEM Then click on save and close out notepad. Now, open the setupp.ini file again, to be sure the changes were saved.

    3) Now, open Autostreamer, and select that copy of the entire CD you made and saved to your desktop and make an ISO of the disk, save it where you can easily find it.

    4) put in a new CD in your burner, and select to burn an ISO, and you should have an OEM version.
  11. pipeman

    pipeman Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks I will try that and let you know the results
  12. pipeman

    pipeman Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thank you very much. I followed your instructions and they worked perfectly.

    pipeman
  13. just_a_nobody

    just_a_nobody Newcomer, in training Posts: 205

    I am glad to hear it, so your computer is up and running?
     
  14. pipeman

    pipeman Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I didn't want to jinx it but yes the computer is working now. Thanks again.

    pipeman
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