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This is an area that I am not entirely familiar with, hence the following question.

I have a service customer some of whose problems can be traced to a bootleg Windows XP Pro install. When I apprised her of this, she "did the right thing" and obtained a legal OEM copy of XP Pro.

What I would like to do is an in-place reinstall to pick up the new, legal key and a new activation -- while losing as little of the current install as possible. Can anybody give me some quick pointers? Are there instructions somewhere for doing this?

As always, any help is appreciated.

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Last Post by Catweazle
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i belive there is a tool out there that will let you change the key.


if you do a reinstall you wont be able to keep any installed programs. however you can keep physical files

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I have a service customer some of whose problems can be traced to a bootleg Windows XP Pro install.

If the bootleged copy is the root of the problem then why would you want to keep it ,and just change the key and activation . I don't think what you want to do is possiable ,but it might be !

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OK....

I have XP installed on a hard drive which has corrupted, if I get a new hard drive, will I be able to re-activate XP on the new drive?

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I can't believe the answers I'm seeing here - they're rather bizarre responses to a simple question!

An 'In-place upgrade' should reset the lot. It'll activate as a new installation. All it does is reinstall Windows over the top of the existing installation, using the codes and keys of the new OEM CD. You even have to install updates again afterwards.


Edit: Yes DWard, you'll be able to re-activate. The worst you'd cop would be the need to reactivate by phone, but I doubt that would happen.

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This is an area that I am not entirely familiar with, hence the following question.

I have a service customer some of whose problems can be traced to a bootleg Windows XP Pro install. When I apprised her of this, she "did the right thing" and obtained a legal OEM copy of XP Pro.

What I would like to do is an in-place reinstall to pick up the new, legal key and a new activation -- while losing as little of the current install as possible. Can anybody give me some quick pointers? Are there instructions somewhere for doing this?

As always, any help is appreciated.

Might be easier and faster to run sysprep -factory and then reseal the system without generating new SID.
sysprep is in the deploy.cab on the xp cd. Read the included .chm files first before using sysprep :)

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This is an area that I am not entirely familiar with, hence the following question.

I have a service customer some of whose problems can be traced to a bootleg Windows XP Pro install. When I apprised her of this, she "did the right thing" and obtained a legal OEM copy of XP Pro.

What I would like to do is an in-place reinstall to pick up the new, legal key and a new activation -- while losing as little of the current install as possible. Can anybody give me some quick pointers? Are there instructions somewhere for doing this?

As always, any help is appreciated.

Actually, you won't have to reinstall anything unless you want to. You can keep the legged version on the machine and simply change the key and then hit the website for all of your updates and patches. This will make your windows version completely legit. However, some people feel morally challenged to this process and want to install the OEM legit copy and erase the legged copy...in that case you'll have to do an inplace upgrade and run through it like catweazle said.

:idea: Changing the microsoft key
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;328874

:idea: Changing the Key at activation
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;810892

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It's not real hard to do an In-place upgrade, and you don't have to sit there watching!

Here's the Microsoft info:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315341&Product=winxp

Why get too technical when it's not necessary?

Check the related KB articles for your listed article... I dunno, but I think the possiblity of losing data sounds complicated to me. Sysprep is not a toughie, all it does is strips away the registeration info and forces you to do an activation (if the bootlegged xp is not the volume license edition), more or less. No re-installation, no regedit.

312369 You May Lose Data or Program Settings After Reinstalling, Repairing, or Upgrading Windows XP

312368 Data Loss May Occur After Reinstalling, Repairing, or Upgrading Windows XP

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I personally would just do a clean reinstall.

I actually had a bootlegged version XP a friend had given me. I thought, "what the hey-- I'll save some cash", and I installed it. It turned out that it was some kind of pre-release demo or something... You didn't activate it, you only entered in the 25 digit key. That started crashing, causing all sorts of problems. I'd be to worried about a botched install to even let that other stuff give it a chance to screw up my system.

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Clean install would be my preferred option too. Anything less is risking exacerbating existing installation problems.

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