HI guys, I have to reinstall windows XP onto my samsung nc10 laptop because I want to sell it, but alas, I've just realized that the label at the bottom has faded out completely so I don't have a window key anymore. The thing is the lappy, when I bought it years ago, came shipped with an original copy of windows xp (I have windows 7 at the moment). What should I do to reinstall a genuine copy of windows xp?

Contact MS or the hardware vendor to see if you can get a copy of the key. The vendor may be the better bet since you can give them the serial number of the machine and they should (maybe, if you are lucky) be able to look it up in their database. That said, stick with Windows 7. It is more secure and reliable.

I could try, but they dropped support of XP ages ago, so I doubt they will help

As I thought, Microsoft are completely useless, but they did say though, that since my laptop is samsung, then samsung should hold a list of product keys associated with machines, so perhaps I'll retrieve it that way. I'll get in touch with samsung and see what they say

thanks unfortunately, I can't run anything on it because when I started the formatting I thought I had the serial number, so now the laptop is unusable, but thanks!

Too late this time but I have a couple of suggestions for next time.

  1. Partition your disk into C and D. Make C big enough to hold Windows plus your apps. My system is 70 gig C. Make D everything else.
  2. Install your base Windows system (drivers, etc.)
  3. Install all Windows and driver updates.
  4. Install the free version of Macrium Reflect (disk imaging)
  5. Install cCleaner (free version)
  6. Run cCleaner to get rid of all temp files
  7. Relocate your "My" folders from C to D


  1. Open a command shell as Administrator
  2. type DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded

This will remove all uninstall files for any installed Windows service packs. This could potentiially free up a lot of space.


  1. Make a disk image of C with Macrium Reflect - save to D:\Images
  2. Install your favourite apps
  3. Install all app updates
  4. Make another imge of C to D:\Images

You could call the first image something like "2015-09-05-Base" and the second "2015-09-05-Full".

If you ever brick your system you can just

  1. Reload the second image
  2. Apply all Windows/app updates released since you made the image
  3. Make a new image (supercedes the old image you just restored)

I do support for several family members and I have never had to spend more than an hour rebuilding a bricked system.

G'day Violet_82,

Let me understand this correctly ?

When you formatted the Hard Drive did you format the C:\ partition only or all of the hard drive ?

The reason I mention this is, because most if not all Laptops had a Manufacturers recovery partition on the hard drive from which the whole system could be re-installed. Most Manufacturers allocated F9 at startup to get to the recovery partition and re-install all the OS and software, or ask Samsung which key they use to get to the recovery partition.

Other thought is, if this does not work or you formatted the whole HDD and it is empty, do you have a genuine XP Pro SP3 CD or the files for it on a / another computers HDD (Hard Disk Drive) ?

Also, do you have, or have you downloaded from the Samsung website, the drivers for the Samsung nc10 laptop ?
- you will need them to install after you have installed XP from a CD or files on a HDD otherwise you will end up with "Device Manager" errors and your RJ45 (wired network) wireless, and other devises on your motherboard associated with your Laptop will not work correctly.

As for the xp pro sp3 Key, yes Samsung should give that to you, If you have a problem with them, let me know by giving me the serial number of your Laptop and any other information on the labels on the bottom of the Laptop.


thanks guys. I talked to samsung, here is the reply in full:

Dear Mr. XXX, 
Thank you for your email. Your customer reference number is 2118571455. 
This is to acknowledge that we have received your email about the product key. As I am trying to contact you on the phone number provided (xxxxxx), unfortunately I was not able to reach you.

In regards to your email, Samsung do not provide an installer or driver to all Samsung laptops and PCs, due to the software and drivers are pre-installed to the original Hard Disc Drive of your laptop. As you have mentioned that you have change your Hard Disc Drive (HDD), unfortunately, there is no possible way we can recover the product of the pre-installed windows. What we usually advise to our customers is to buy a new installer or driver to the Authorised Dealers of Microsoft. Or you may contact Microsoft (details below), for the purchased.

Microsoft UK Headquarters
Microsoft Campus
Thames Valley Park
RG6 1WG 
Telephone: 0344 800 2400

For you able to check on the product key, you may follow the guidelines below. However, please be reminded the product key works only to the pre-installed software. 
1. Copy and paste the following into a Notepad window:
Set WshShell = CreateObject('WScript.Shell')
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead('HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows 
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead("HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId"))
Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Cur = 0
x = 14
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 - i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = "-" & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function
2. Click on the File.
3. Then Save As, change the “Save as type” to “All Files”.
4. Then name it 'productkey.vbs'. We’d recommend saving to the desktop for easy access.

I hope I was able to answer your queries today. Thank you and have a nice day.

If you require additional assistance please contact us on 0330 726 7864 (UK) or 0818 717 100 (EIRE).

Alternatively you can visit our Support website where you will find FAQs, How-To-Videos and other useful information for Samsung products.

Kind regards,

Sherryl A.
Customer Service Representative

Funny thing is, you try to do things legally and they literally throw poo over your face, not wonder they have no chances in winning against piracy. Anyway, luckily, things have changed slightly: my laptop was half broken and that's why I wanted to sell it, but yesterday I disassembled pretty much the whole machine and managed to fix the screen issue I had, so the laptop now works OK, and I won't selling it anymore. Also, since I won't be doing any windows specific development on it, like MVC - at least not for now - I decided I'll install ubuntu again on it, so problem solved.
@Reverend Jim, your solution is applicable if you have windows already up and running it seems like, whereas that's not the case for me, as I don't have a valid product key (the label at the bottom is worn out so unreadable) sorry.
@pcbugfixer, I might be jumping the gun here, and apologies if I've misunderstood, but what would you do with the serial number of my Laptop and any other information on the labels on the bottom of the Laptop that I couldn't do? To answer your other question I'm aware of all the rest as I've formatted loads of laptops in the past.

G'day Violet_82,

The reply you received is lame, as expected for a standard almost automated Consumer reply, which by the looks of it most likely did not relate to the circumstances of a formatted HDD and whoever received your message and replied did not read your questions and would have replied differently if they had.

You said, "@pcbugfixer, I might be jumping the gun here, and apologies if I've misunderstood, but what would you do with the serial number of my Laptop and any other information on the labels on the bottom of the Laptop that I couldn't do? To answer your other question I'm aware of all the rest as I've formatted loads of laptops in the past."

My reply is simple,
- I am a Reseller, Technician with 35+ years experience and when dealing with manufacturers, unless you are also a Reseller, I would get more assistance from them and they would release information to me that they might not to you.
- If you have "formatted loads of Laptops in the past", in which case as you say "I'm aware of all the rest", then why did you need to post here and did you attempt to perform any information or other recovery before you formatted the Units HDD ?

Other points are;
- I have access, which you might not have and doubt that you do, to all the updates for windows XP that you would need to have the XP installation function correctly and make it sellable, if you still want to sell. Installing Ubuntu on it might not make it as sellable, because Ubuntu is not a well known OS (Operating System).

  • Next, I can still support Windows XP, Microsoft does not anymore. Once the nc10 is running and you have internet access, I can remotely connect, using my ScreenConnect or the TeamViewer, and upload and or install the drivers and updates needed for XP or any other OS.

  • Considering that XP is not supported by MS anymore, I would advise installing Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit, if the Samsung nc10 laptop can support it, if not the 32bit is also good and would make it a better selling point.

  • For the Drivers, both XP and Win 7 32bit you could go here "http://www.notebook-driver.com/samsung/sumsang-nc10-netbook-windows-drivers-software/" and download them. Note the "Related Drivers & Software" on this page. Easier to download from and not as confusing as Samsung.

  • Samsung Australia (similar to UK) is yet another source of information for BIOS, Drivers, manuals, etc., for the nc10 "http://www.samsung.com/au/search/?q=nc10%20laptop" that would also work on the laptop.

I think that should cover most points in reply to your questions to me.
- For XP, we are wasting too much time. Go Win 7 32bit !!!


Fair enough pcbugfixer, I didn't know you were a reseller, apologies if I sounded a bit funny, it's just that when people asks for those details I think it is legitimate to feel a bit suspicious.
Let me also clarified a few points also. Samsung misunderstood the issue to an extent, I didn't replace the HD, I just formatted it, and I couldn't use any script because the formatting process had already started unfortunately (yes my fault but I was absolutely sure I had the windows key).
Why post here? Because, as said, I realized too late that I had no windows key.
The reason why I formatted it, was because I had in mind to sell the laptop, and since it came with windows xp, I wanted to put it back. But like I said, I managed to fix the screen issue which prompted me to decide to sell it in the first place, so eventually decided to keep it. Yes windows 7 is a good idea, but I don't want to buy it to be honest, that's why I put ubuntu on it.

Microsoft can't give you a new license key as they don't know what key was shipped to you in the first place. Samsung might know what key was shipped with the hardware but they can't give you a new one as they have no way of knowing if you have the PC (and are entitled to it).
If they gave you those keys, and you'd stolen the PC or scribbled down the key from a machine you found on a desk somewhere, the real owner would now have trouble if he wanted to reactivate/reinstall his computer because you've just used his license...

Lesson to be learned: keep notes of your license keys, and don't rely on those stickers to last forever.
And another lesson to be learned: don't scream how evil Microsoft (and Samsung or whomever) are for not giving you things for free.

well, I'm not necessarily screaming at them for not giving me things for free, I'm screaming at them for not helping me, which may or may not result in them giving me a free key. Fact is, they couldn't do anything to help. Of course, lesson learned, I will make a note of the windows keys from now on (starting from my main computer) but my point is, I'm not surprised if people resort to piracy to get software if software companies don't have any way to help people if they need help. I don't care if they can't determine whether I'm lying or not, if somebody needs help and they can't give any, people will go elsewhere, it is pretty obvious.

G'day Violet_82,

Microsoft has 100% stoped support for Windows XP / Server 2003 and any operating systems below this. As such the support Desk's just do NOT help anymore with these OS's. Noteworthy is that most other Software Publishers have also stoped support for these OS's.
- I would remind you that "Microsoft Update" not 'Windows Update', if correctly setup in a new installation of XP Pro SP3 with for example MS Office 2003 will still update Critical and the Office Updates. I ran the Microsoft Update yesterday and it still worked !

Oracle (Jave) still has support for XP Pro SP3 with the last Java CPU (7u79) and PSU (7u80) release downloadable from here - http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre7-downloads-1880261.html

Other companies who also realise that there are more than 600+ (some say 300+) Million XP users still in existence world wide (contrary to Microsoft and most Peoples popular believes) BitDefender (Anti-Virus Publisher) Ranked #1 with 97+% detection is yet another that still supports XP with their 2015 releases and plan to continue with the 2016 releases, the reason I know this is because I am an Agent of BD. There are others that still support XP Pro SP3, so not all is lost for the existing XP Users.

Hence I said that I could because of the aforementioned reasons in this and previous posts.

Also once I had the Serial number I could most likely get the XP Key from Samsung and would then be able to turn that into a Win 7 key. I make no promises but I would try.

Turning to Piracy is done by some people who are ignorant of the procedures available to them from Software Publishers and do not know what to ask for or how to handle the Help Desk call when speaking to a Publishes Support Desk person. Having said that, I am also reminded that some Publishers Help Desk People are a bung of morons, and I don’t say that lightly !!!


a bung of morons

Is that the official collective noun? :)

G'day "happygeek"

Simply typo, should read " ... bunch of morons" no and it ain't a collective noun ☺

Then one has to be cautious on forums as to what or which terminology in combination might be deemed offencive and thus punishable by administrators.

1. A person who is considered foolish or stupid.
2. A person of mild mental retardation having a mental age of from 7 to 12 years and generally lacking in communication and social skills enabling some degree of academic or vocational education. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.

Well bless my soul and spank by bottom " .... and is now considered offensive.".

So as I cannot edit the post anymore, deem this "a bung of morons" to be "a bunch of morons" and they ain't a bunch of daisies ☺

You have to keep your sence of humour in this Industry. ☺☺☺


I actually like 'bung of morons' and will be stealing it for use elsewhere should the opportunity arise :)