Lost my serial code for Windows XP? WOAH THIS IS SERIOUS

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Haruhi, May 2, 2010.

  1. Haruhi macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2008
    Windows XP Service Pack 3

    I have the legit disk and I have had it installed on my mac for a while... but now the 30 days have run out, the OS needs to be activated, and I have searched the whole house for the case with the serial code on but no use!
    I have heard I can ring them up, but it is expensive...?
  2. Ice Cream Man macrumors member

    Ice Cream Man

    Jan 1, 2003
    Just call MS, i've never paid for a call. But really you might keep better track of that in the future.

    Of course i purchased my Windoze online so my key is in a PDF in my documents, and printed off in my desk.

    But this kind of begs the question why didn't you just enter the key when you loaded it, haven't you done updates? Didn't you need the key to verify it is a Genuine Copy to get all the fruits of updates. Also, depending on your copy, it wont matter, it will keep running in "restricted mode" after the 30 day. You wont get desktop wallpaper/background, and you'll have to wait 15sec at login, but aside from that, it not terminal.
  3. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    Unlike with Vista or Windows 7, you cannot install Windows XP without a valid product key, so basically the issue you are talking about does not even exist. If this was a legal copy of Windows XP, just click on the activate button and it will activate. If Windows asks you for a new key, than phone activation is your only option and it won't cost you anything - just tell the system that you using this software only on ONE computer. (Which I hope is the truth.)

    There are some freeware tools available that can read the product key out of a running installation. Download "AIDA32", for example. Among many other things, this utility will also display the product key that you used to install Windows.

    AIDA32 is NOT an illegal key generator. All it does is show the product key that you have actually used to install the software. It will NOT generate one for you or activate Windows with some hack.
  4. Haruhi thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2008
    ^^ Because even then I could not find the disk

    ^ It asks you for the key on installation, but you don't have to enter it. Mind you its the OEM version
  5. Ice Cream Man macrumors member

    Ice Cream Man

    Jan 1, 2003
    This isn't actually true. There is a later build of XPSP2(and all builds after it) that does install without key, and most of the branded OEM also do this. Not all of the non-branded ones do until the later builds.
  6. Haruhi thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2008
    ^ ^ Yes. Mine is Srvice Pack 3 and OEM. You can tell by the disk that its completely legit. No chinese copy could make that kind of replica.
    when you rotate it in the middle of the disk, one angle says 'Genuine' and at the other angle it says 'Microsoft'. the whole thing is 3D
  7. Ice Cream Man macrumors member

    Ice Cream Man

    Jan 1, 2003
    The only problem you'll run into is MS doesn't technically support OEM copies. The OEM is supposed to, but as you may be the person who built it, or you got it to run on Mac. You don't get any support. You would have to call the company you purchased it from to get the OEM key that they pay the license for.
  8. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    This was a common problem with XP OEM for a while the key was on a nondescript sticky label on some OEM packaging that many folks just threw away. NewEgg used to be full of comments/complaints about this.

    As Ice Cream Man says the OEM license was designed for a system builder to install a system for resale without support from MS. It I'd not marketed or designed for individual end users. So caveat emptor, buyer beware, when buying OEM.

    First call the vendor who sold it to you, then call MS. You'll probably get it fixed, but your OEM "savings" have been wiped out by these shenanigans.

  9. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    ^ I believe what you just said is true. OP, that would mean you're SOL. Search for your serial number really well. Good luck!
  10. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Actually, I have a retail version of XP that allows me to not enter a code, and still install for 30 days. Wonder if this is a post-SP3 deal.

    Now if the user is locked out, which I think you get 30 days for, Im not sure what good will come from accessing windows other to activate. There is no code on the system, which is the original problem.
  11. Haruhi thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2008
    This is what I did
    1: Called microsoft, wouldn't give me code.
    2. Reinstalled xp for 30 days
    3. Used a hack to stop activation thing (sorry, had no other choice)
    4. Left xp like that (working)
    5. Made the switch to windows 7 but left xp in case I need to use on future.

    Not too pleased with M$, but then I never have been.
    Guess it's my fault for not checking up on OEM, but 2yrs into the future who'd have guessed the cover would have flown off the face of the earth?

    Not too pleased with M$, never hav
  12. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    I am sure that M$ is not happy with you either. They simply want to be be paid for what is theirs as would you!
  13. KeriJane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009

    Actually, you're wrong.

    The Chinese make VERY convincing copies of "OEM" XP SP3 with a totally legit-looking holographic disk and perfect COA.

    How do I know?
    I've got one right here! :(

    It installs flawlessly and doesn't insist upon a CD Key. The CD Key provided appears to work but once the system is running no Activation reminder appears.
    If you try to update Windows, Windows Genuine Advantage notifies you that your copy of Windows is bogus and please call them up to purchase a legit Key Code.

    It you send them money, they will send you a legit Key Code that cannot be re-installed using an installation disc! Ugh! You have to re-install with the bogus one and re-enter the legit one.

    Don't ask how I found this out. :eek:

    Buyer Beware, especially when buying XP on eBay.

    Have Fun,
    Good Luck,

    PS. For my Mac I got the "Full Retail Boxed" version. OEM Licensing is just too restrictive.

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