windows dell oem cd key problem.

By alidabiri ยท 14 replies
Nov 9, 2005
  1. hi,
    i am building a new pc. everything is assembled. trying to poweron. i have a dell oem win-xp cd with no cd key and no coa. the coa was supposed to be attached to the pc. this product was advertised to "not needing product key" the manula says "you may be asked for a cd key under certain conditions". what conditions are those? anybody can help me on this?
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Even with the key it won't work. You can't use an OEM Windows XP key on a normal install.
  3. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    the cd key is on I386\setupp.ini

    i think this is the cd key on this file:
    ExtraData="a 30 digit string"
    i thought changing OEM to 270 will make it work. but the cd says that you may be asked for a key in certain conditions. the cd is for install on a new machine and it's advertised as such in as a Dell oem cd. what's the solution to get this cd installed in a new machine?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    All OEM CDs work with all OEM keys. Yes, you can make the CD look like OEM/Corporate/Retail by editing that file but that doesn't give you anything - you would just have to supply a different kind of key. Not to mention that without a COA you are not really allowed to install anything. Maybe you were shafted by the people who sold you the computer?

    Have you actually tried installing? Nothing bad will happen if it asks you for a key and you don't supply one and cancel out.
  5. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    these are legit oem cd's

    these are legit cd's that are being sold as authentic microsoft os cd's but they don't come in a retail package and do not have a manual. they're sold at several eligit places anywhere from $49.00 to $84.00 and are registrable and updatable and eligible for updates. i'm just trying to find out if the cd key actually resides in the file or not? and what does changing OEM to 270 do to installation?
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    the dell cd has drivers and a batch setup for dell pc
    if you don't change the pid file and you load OS you will only be able to use a dell reg key
    when you try to activate it will come up with invalid id string
    as pc is not a dell.
    you may need to reburn an iso with spk2 slipstreamed and all the oem files deleted
    on boot with this type of error you may get a prompt that certain files are missing or the machine id is wrong
    I bought one of these cd for customer who backed out of the dell build and I tried to use on a regular build and could only get it to work up to activation called dell
    (I am a reseller)they told me the oem copy I have will not work on anything but dell.this was a legally bought copy with it's own good key
    PS there also may be something that looks at bios
    friend of mine upgraded his gateway bios with a generic one and it would no longer accept the xp key that came with the machine
  7. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    There is no CD key hidden on your installation disks.

    There are special files used by OEM installs that will authenticate Windows to a string stored in the PC BIOS. When this authentication is successful, the OS will install without prompting for a CD key or product activation. If it's not successful, then it will continue installation as a normal Windows setup, with exception of specific modifications by the OEM.

    The special files I'm referring to are in the /i386 directory:
  8. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Is your old Dell still running? If so download WinKeyFinder 1.66 It takes about a second to run the program on your old Dell and show you the activation key. The program is FreewareInstall the OS on the new computer. When you go to activate it there will be a screen asking you to call Redmond. There you will talk to a cyber bimbo who will not be able to help you, and will transfer you to a live human. Be nice. Kindness gets more done. Especially these people who have to get abused everyday. She will ask you some questions. Just tell her the motherboard and hard drive got fried by a bad power supple. She will ask if this operating system is on any other computers you own. Tell her this is the only one. She will reactivate the key and give you a number larger than the population of the earth to pste in the boxes and you are good to go. Till you get to the Validation tool when you go to install the updates.<g>

    Legally you are only allowed one instance of the OS running, and trying to use it on 2 or more computers is illegal. All that being said, I'm not sure the Dell CD will work on another machine. My Compaq CD won't. But my eMachine CD will. The Compaq I believe is activated by their proprietary CMOS chip.
  9. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    dell oem xp cd

    thanks guys.
    how do you get around these problems to install this cd? they are selling these cd's legitimately. they're not boot leg copies. they are just over-stock items purchased from dell, i suppose. they claim that the cd's would work.
    i don't have a dell pc. i am buliding a new pc from scratch. asus-p5rd1, pentium 4 - 2.66 - 775.
    the bottom line:
    how do i get this operating system in, when i power up the new pc?
  10. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    cd key is on dell oem cd

    just to let you know that the cd key is on the cd in I:\386\winnt.sif it looks like this
    ComputerName = *
    FullName = "Owner"

    Language = 0409

    InstallDefaultComponents = Yes


    UnattendMode = Fullunattended
    UnattendSwitch = Yes
    Oemreinstall = Yes
    OemSkipEULA = Yes
    FileSystem = *
    WaitForReboot = No
    and so on. i checked around and these surplus cd's are authorized by Dell and Microsoft.
  11. icantwinn

    icantwinn TS Rookie Posts: 26

    if you dont have a cd key then ur sol. because on dells the windows cd key is on the side of the tower next to the service tag. those disks are useless unless you buy a cd key from M$.
  12. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Not necessarily. The proprietary CD's don't require activation because the key and activation app are included on the CD. When you do a fresh install from a proprietary CD you aren't asked for activation. That is how it has been. However there is a second later of activation M$ has started using. The
    Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool (KB892130) which has to verify the validity of the windows before you can update or install service packs. Any genuine Windows XP CD can be used to install windows as long as you have a valid key.
  13. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    who did you check with
    by microsofts own EULA and Dell this disc can only legally be installed on a dell
    you can buy a generic oem that will work on any build
    but not the dell .
    I have made a few attemps to install with this key and it would not activate untill I put it on a dell
    how did you get around it
    or maybe it was just my bad luck,getting stuck with the dell oem.that would be,just my luck
  14. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    dell oem cd installs without asking for key.

    the dell oem cd that i purchased is meant for a machine without any os - i.e. a virgin pc. after i put the machine together, i put the dell oem cd in the cd drive and powered up. the oem cd is a bootable cd. and it started installing xp. it didn't (or should i say i hasn't) ask for a cd key, even though i had the key ready during install.
    it finished installing, and now it says that i have 30 days to activate. i wonder if it was supposed to do that.
  15. cozofdeath

    cozofdeath TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Didn't you just say...
    could that answer file be why
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