I've got to reinstall Windows XP Professional on an HP desktop computer with the original serial number label sticked on the back of the case.

I had to reformat it because somebody had the lovely idea to install Windows XP on it with a FAT32 filesystem, so it was full of viruses including rootkits, and there was some sort of file system error that made one infected file not erasable even by attaching the hard drive to another pc nor by analyzing it from any sort of live utility bootable cd.

Now the problem is that I don't have any Windows XP OEM HP cd, and if I try to install XP from a vanilla XP original cd it won't take the HP serial. I also tried the msdn version of the cd but I've got the same problem.

Is there any workaround to this? Can I make an HP-compatible OEM cd from a vanilla cd using by some sort of tool or by tweaking some config files?

And what if I install xp using a volume license key, then I do some tweaks to substitute the serial by putting in the original HP one.
Is that possible? Is that regular?

HP should sell you a replacement OS CD for a small cost. Go here to order.
I know that you have formatted your drive and therefore you do not have the necessary files on your HD, but, go to this site and you may find a way you can make a CD!
It is possible to make a new boot disk to repair your windows, you must have a i386 Directory (Folder) on your Hard Disk
This is essential. Without this, the procedure will not work. To find out whether you can re-create your bootable Windows XP setup disk, look for into your system drive (usually the C: drive), and see if you can find a folder named I386 in the root directory. That is, use the search function on your PC and see if you have the C:\I386 folder on a hard disk.
If your PC or laptop came from the major PC vendors like HP, Dell or Acer, chances are that there is an I386 folder at the root of drive C:, unless you've deleted it.


a friends or any legit Windows XP Professional disk ,will take the HP key from the tower , i do this all the time when reinstalling window on peoples computer that have no disk of there own ,, legit winxp pro cd only not cracked one ,

You should be able to install the OS and use magic jellybean (has to be an older copy, they removed that functionality) to change the key.

I believe MS even has their own key changer software which is supposed to be more robust than the Magic Jellybean one (which is why they no longer have that feature).

OS and use magic jellybean (has to be an older copy, they removed that functionality) to change the key.

Doesnt work if they are different SKUs. E.g a retail key wont activate a VLK version.