Options for activating my XP?

By BlitzJG
Dec 8, 2011
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  1. I just successfully reformatted my computer, but given that I had it custom built in over seven years ago I lost any product key I had for Windows. I found several Dell Re-installation CDs with Windows XP Home edition with SP2 that i slipstreamed for installation. But I don't think these came with a product key so I am apparently using a 30 day trial if I can't get it activated...

    What are my options?
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,823   +1,434

    If you lost your product key, your only option would be to purchase another key.

    Do you not have an OEM sticker on the case somewhere with the product key?
  3. BlitzJG

    BlitzJG Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 46

    No unfortunately. My tower was put together by a friend after i purchased the different components, How do the keys work, are they one time use, or specific to a CD?
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    If it was put together by a friend then either he must have a copy of Windows with the product key (ask him for it!) or he installed a pirated version (can't help you there...)
  5. Ahmadfini

    Ahmadfini Newcomer, in training

    There should be a serial key sticker on the side of your computer if your computer came with XP
  6. mike1959

    mike1959 TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,046   +15

    If you bought all the components for your pc, and you bought a retail version of XP at that time, you would have got a sticker with the product key on it, to stick on the case top or side, so that it's ready to find later on, if needed.
    You can use XP for 30 days but then it must be activated.
    (You can install it again for another 30 days.)
    The product key is then linked to several of the main parts of your pc, (motherboard, hard drive, CPU etc ) and that number is unique to your pc.
    The product key is 5 groups of 5 letters and/or numbers.
    If you buy Microsoft Office, it has it's own product key.
    Going into 2012 you could install a Linux distro for free, use it till Windows 8 comes out, could be June it seems.
    If you use a pc mostly on the net, then Linux would give you Firefox or Chrome, and others, and Libre office is compatible with MS Office. And it's all free.
    It's what I am using to post this. (Linux Ubuntu 11.10)


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