Bootcamp help needed-mostly MS issue

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by FSonicSmith, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. FSonicSmith macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2007
    I have searched all of the previous bootcamp threads but haven't seen this issue addressed.
    Two months ago I purchased a MacBook Pro and an iMac, both to be used for work purposes. I installed bootcamp on each and bought a brand new copy of Windows XP with SP2 to install from a reputable source, our office IT consultants. I was told by our office IT consultant that the copy of Windows XP may or may not allow an install on both a laptop and a desktop, that "it would all depend". I installed the same copy of Windows Office on each.
    My MacBook Pro laptop continues to run Windows just fine. The IMac, however, when booted up in Windows mode, immediately indicates that a new Windows key code is required without in any way that I can discern specifying if it is "asking" for a new key code for XP or Office. I tried to enter both key codes and both are rejected.
    So here is my dilemna. I don't want to shell out the money for both a new copy of MS Windows XP and MS Office when one of them is probably what I need, not both. My first thought is that Office is likely the problem (since I installed the same copy on each), but given that the key code prompt is immediately upon booting up the computer in Windows mode, I am worried it might be the XP that is the issue. Is there any way to tell for sure without spending hours on the phone with MS?
  2. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Sounds like a Windows problem, not Office, and it sounds to me like your IT guys gave you a copy of Windows that has been activated a few too many times. Short of buying a new copy of Windows, I think you're SOL.

    Of course, you could always just buy a mouse (or something else you might need) at NewEgg and get the OEM version of Windows for half price....
  3. FSonicSmith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2007
    The Windows XP disc was sealed and the IT Company we use at our office is very reputable. In fact, they insisted they were not permitted to sell me a copy at a discount without purchase of a major hardware item, and not just a mouse as you perhaps in jest suggested NewEgg does (and I do like NewEgg, FWthatIW). As I said, I was warned that it-the XP-may or may not allow an install on both a laptop and desktop with the same key code (though how in the world the encoding on the disc would detect a distinction between a laptop and a desktop is beyond me!)
    But yes, I think it is likely the XP given the immediate "flag" as soon as I boot up that I must register Windows with a new key code.
    MS is a major pain in the ass, though we all know that already. Why not have the register prompt specify which Windows (XP or Office) it is referring to? Why does the company even call two very different products, the operating system and the software package both by the same name, Windows, anyway? Total MS arrogance and marketing. I will likely suck it up and spend another $300 ( for a copy of each.
  4. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The CD-KEYs on Windows discs are supposedly only good on one machine (detected by its hardware configuration, so while it can't distinguish between a desktop and laptop necessarily, it knows it's on two different computers), but the code shouldn't be throwing up any flags if it's only installed on two computers. It would need a higher number than that to throw up an "Activated on too many machines" flag... least that was my understanding.
  5. notsofatjames macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2007
    Wales, UK
    Do you use the two computers at the same time?

    If MS have spotted that the same Liscence Key has been used on 2 different hardware specifications (your laptop/desktop) they might put some sort of stop on one of the liscences. Im not sure quite what or how they could have done this (or if they have the right to). You could try re-installing XP on the computer giving you the problem, but when it comes to activation, the key might get rejected because its already active on another machine. In that case, you'd have to phone them to ask them, and they'll probably tell you, the key is for only one computer, and not for installing on two. Legally, if you want both computers to run XP, you need 2 liscence keys. And before you flame MS, its the same for OSX. Legally, you need two copies of OSX to run on two machines. But there just arent liscence keys etc on OSX.
  6. asmith3006 macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2006
    Erm, how are they being a pain in the ass by forcing you to buy the correct licenses? And what do you mean "which windows"? Office is NOT Windows. They are Both Microsoft products, not Windows so if it's saying the Windows key has expired then that is refering to Windows, not office
  7. FSonicSmith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2007
    1)Obviously this basic fundamental is lost on you and so I will take you back to the fundamental baserock of MS's evils; MS gives OEM versions of their products away to manufacturers for practically nothing in order to bolster their near-monopoly but charges consumers who need the same software individually (without the new computer) exhorbitant amounts. They then do everything possible to make it even more painful for those who try to be honest (and not use bootleg copies, etc) by making it impossible for legitimately purchased bona fide sets of software to be used on more than one computer. If you analogize to the concept of fair use of copyrighted music, once I legitimately purchase a music CD, I have every right to copy it as much as I deem fit for my own use, as long as I don't copy it for others' use, particularly for commercial benefit. Not so with software; if I have three computers all to be used by me for the same purpose, I still need to buy three sets of the same damn thing-identical software.
    Now I fear all of this will be taken as the rantings of a Oliver Stone-like paranoid lunatic by some, and at a minimum, far afield of the original topic by most, but that is just the basic premise of the comment. It's not like buying three widgets of hardware where the cost of manufacture is equal for each widget I buy. For software, the cost of providing me the product (a 50 cent DVD with data) is minimal and it is the license to use the software that I am buying. Again and again and again. Are you getting it or am I wasting away my fingertips for nothing here?
    And also FYI, MS on the computer screen when running windows fails to specify which Windows product needs to be re-registered, Windows XP or Windows Office. They are both referred to simpy as "Windows". You may have them conceptually segregated in your mind (as do I), but they are both called "Windows" by MS. I agree it should simply be "Windows" and "Office" and not "Windows XP" and "MS Windows Office" which then become "Windows" and "Windows".
  8. Homer2556 macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2007
    Clearly the OP is not informed properly about MS. Windows and Office are two separate programs. Office is not an OS. You can't install it as such. When MS is asking for a CD-key on startup, it's talking about Windows, not Office. With a new install of Windows you are required to register the license with MS, either over the web or phone. If you've already done so with the copy on the laptop, you won't be able to do so on the iMac. You'll need another legal CD-key for the iMac. Yes, it sucks; get over it.
  9. FSonicSmith thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2007
    Believe it or not, I agree with you on all counts. Except, I was clear, and remain clear, as to the difference between Windows XP as an OS and Office as an application. I did suck it up. I purchased new copies of each XP and Windows for the desktop. It makes sense that on boot-up, the call for registration would apply to XP and not Office.
    And yes, it sucks that I had to spend $600 in order to have my MBP laptop and my IMac desktop run bootcamp with Windows by having to purchase two new copies of XP and two new copies of Office.
  10. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    When you initially install Windows OS and activate it, you are activating it for use with that hardware. No personal information about you is sent to microsoft. If you consider hardware personal information then yea they send that... When windows boots up it phones redmond to find out if it was installed on the same computer last time it check.

    Windows checks these hardware:

    Display Adapter
    SCSI Adapter
    IDE Adapter (effectively the motherboard)
    Network Adapter (NIC) and its MAC Address
    RAM Amount Range (i.e., 0-64mb, 64-128mb, etc.)
    Processor Type
    Processor Serial Number
    Hard Drive Device
    Hard Drive Volume Serial Number (VSN)

    After XP takes note of all those things it creates some code and sends it microsoft along with your cd-key. None of that code is installed in your hard drive. So even if you reformat with the same hardware and reactivate it again there will be no problem.

    But if you change more than 3 of those things within 120 days of the original activation and reformat you maybe asked to contact microsofts activation center.

    After 120 days, microsoft "forgets" your hardware.

    So lol, to make it short, you're SOL you need another valid cd-key.

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