Re: Installing Win XP Pro (just use another product key)

stulemanski wrote:
My wife's Toshiba Satellite laptop was bought in 2006 with Win XP
Pro preinstalled. (So we own a license to run XP Pro on this
machine - I assume this is an OEM license). Unfortauntely, the
laptop recently developed a software fault and would not boot.

The recovery disks that were supplied with the laptop were unable
to recover this problem, so I tried to reinstall Windows XP Pro
onto this laptop from scratch.

I have a genuine OEM Win XP Pro SP2 disc (from when I built my
desktop PC) and I used the 25-digit Product Key on the COA that is
stuck on the underside of the laptop (i.e. what I assume is the OEM
license that relates to the laptop).

During installation, when I was asked to input the product key I
was then told that the product key was not valid! This product key
is 100% genuine and was running perfectly well on this laptop from
the day it was purchased until now.

Can anyone tell me how to get Win XP Pro installed on this machine
again? Considering the number of illegal copies tha MS tell us are
in use out there, it is particularly frustrating to own a license
and not be able to install the software!

smlunatick wrote:
Toshiba's OEM XP License seems to be "tweaked" to only use the
officially supplied XP "recovery" media version of the install CD.

XP Guy wrote:
First of all, you will get no satisfaction from Macro$haft.
According to their EULA, you are restricted from obtaining even a
correct copy of the XP CD for your laptop by any means. If you no
longer have the original CD that came with your laptop, or (if it
never came with one) the recovery partition that would have a copy
of the XP installation files is no longer functional, then you have
no "legit" way (according to Microsoft) to put XP back onto your
laptop other than buying a new license key.

But don't worry.

Take your XP-pro SP2 cd and the license key it came with and use
that instead.

Don't let it bother your conscience. Meekro$oft is an illegal,
criminal monopoly that has been convicted of countless crimes
around the world. Think of them not like a respectible, decent
company, but more like the Mafia. Just like how you can't steal
from the Mafia, reusing an XP license key is no real crime.

And for any Milkro$oft appologists or sycophants that want to take
issue with what I've just said, then be prepared for several
paragraphs of verbal abuse if you attempt to defend your precious,
stinking piece-of-shit Microsoft and their corrupt and illegal
business practices.

Shenan Stanley wrote:
Or the op could just get a Windows XP generic CD (the one they have
maybe) and change the SETUPP.INI so that it works with whatever
particular type of product key they need it to...

Seems like the easiest thing to do.

Verbal abuse away - although not sure what I would have said to
offend your sensibilities. Should be funny.

stulemanski wrote:
Thanks to everyone for your replies.

Shenan - your initial suggestion won't work for me becuase
unfortunately, Toshiba tell me that "For your device no recovery
medium can be ordered, because it comes either not from the region
of Toshiba Europe, or it is too old for this service." [Since the
laptop was bought at John Lewis in the UK, I can only assume that
they feel 3 years is too old for someone still to be running the
same laptop. If that's what they consider to be beyond the upper
limit of the lifecycle for their product, it will make be seriously
consider alternatives next time a laptop purchase comes around!]

SMLunatic - this is a bit worrying as it implies that unless I can
get a Toshiba recovery disk (which they've already told me is not
available) then my license has just effectively been revoked?

XP guy - thanks for your viewpoint. I'd rather stay legit as far as
using the licenses that I've paid for. I suspect that parts of the
EULA may not stand up in a European court, and since we've actuall
paid for the license on the laptop I think I should be entitled to
use it.

Shenan - I have an OEM XP Pro SP2 CD. Can you explain in a little
more detail what I need to do in order to the SETUPP.INI file in
order to get it to work with the Toshiba laptop license key? (I
don't know whether this breaks some of the terms of the EULA, but
given that I have paid for a license, I believe I have a legal
right to use it - after all it is the license you are paying for
not the media it comes on!)

Mike Hall - I assuem by "re-using a license key" you mean
re-entering the license key that was originally used on the laptop,
and not *ahem* "re-using" the license key that came with my OEM XP
Pro SP2 CD (as this license is already in use on my desktop). [I
guess XP guy wouldn't have a problem with this - and since I've
paid for two licenses, I guess he would be right from a moral
standpoint]. Given Toshiba's inability to help so far, can you
suggest how to get the appropriate media?

Thanks again to all for your help - you can e-mail me direct if you
want at: stuart_lemanski (at)

XP Guy wrote:
I doubt anyone here will be able to walk or talk you through a
method of modifying your XP CD such that it would be recognized as
a correct Toshiba installation media by the product key that came
with your Toshiba.

I doubt that it's as simple as modifying a single .ini file.

The only complication from re-using the product key that came with
your XP-cd is that you will need to avoid downloading the WGA thing
from Micro$haft when ever you perform a windoze update on that
system. So never set that system to perform automatic updates.
Always perform supervised, interactive updates where you can see
what is available and choose to NOT download WGA when offered.

Shenan Stanley wrote:
Modifying the OPS CD so it can work? Who knows - maybe so.
Depends on what the actual issue ius when the original poster is
trying to use the CD and a few other points...

First - verification is needed... These points, one by one, must be

- The product sticker on the Toshiba Satellite laptop (the one with
the problem) - what does it say it is for?
(Windows XP Professional? Windows XP Home? Windows Media
Center?) - The " genuine OEM Win XP Pro SP2" CD you have, are you
sure it is Windows XP Professional with SP2 integrated OEM? (See
below for what to look for in the CD's SETUPP.INI to verify generic
OEM.) - The " genuine OEM Win XP Pro SP2" CD you have, since you
said it was "from when I built my desktop PC", is it a generic CD -
unmodified - bought from someplace virtually alone (not bought with
a PC like an IBM, Dell, HP, etc...)?

If the sticker on the bottom of the Toshiba Satellite laptop is for
Windows XP Professional and that CD is truly generic - it should be
no problem to use that product key *unless* that product key has
been deemed leaked (possible, unlikely.)

But the sticker on the bottom of the Toshiba and the CD needs to
match flavor and type (Home, Professional, Media Center, etc; OEM,
Retail, MSDN, etc.) If - by chance - Windows XP Home is involved -
you may have to concern yourself with SP2b <- a special release
where the product keys changed up a bit. If Windows XP Home is not
involved - no big deal.

Modifying (as I said) a Windows XP generic CD so it can use
differing product keys (OEM, Volume, Retail, etc)? As for actually
doing what I said, "change the SETUPP.INI" - just assuming I made
no typos (in the quoted part, I did not) it looks like I could use
other advice I give all the time:

Now is a great time to point you to one of the easiest ways to find
information on problems you may be having and solutions others have

Search using Google!
(How-to: )

One could search for no more than "setupp.ini" and find plenty of
ways to modify the CD.


Which gives you the basics of what you need to change on the CD
itself (before burning a new bootable CD from the results) to
accept a given type of key. You could use this knowledge to
confirm the CD you have is an OEM CD. Locate "SETUPP.INI" on the
CD itself, open it with Notepad, find the "Pid" line and see if it
ends with "OEM". Then you will know what you might have to do

If the OP will come back with the requested verifications - we can
try to go from there. Some people would love to help the op
instead of pushing their own opinions. ;-)

In the end - all the OP loses is time in trying.

Worst case scenario - once versions are verified the same - they
can install using the product key that came with the CD they are
trying to use, get it installed and use a Microsoft tool to change
the product key to the one on the sticker on the bottom of the

The Genuine Advantage Product Key Update Tool is only valid for
users attempting to change their current non-genuine Product Key
to a genuine COA sticker or genuine Product Key - all without a

That may be - in the end - the fastest solution. Although the
workaround would have to be remembered for any future needs (or
better backup techniques/tools used - like imaging software.)

XP Guy wrote:
The Pid value is what we're interested in. What's there now looks
like a standard default. There are special numbers
that determine if it's a retail, oem, or volume license edition.
First, we break down that number into two parts. The
first five digits determines how the CD will behave, ie is it a
retail cd that lets you clean install or upgrade, or an
oem cd that only lets you perform a clean install?

The last three digits determines what CD key it will accept. You
are able to mix and match these values. For example you could make
a WinXP cd that acted like a retail cd, yet accepted OEM keys.

Now, for the actual values. Remember the first and last values are
interchangable, but usually you'd keep them as a

Retail = 51882 335
Volume License = 51883 270
OEM = 82503 OEM

So if you wanted a retail CD that took retail keys, the last line of
your setupp.ini file would read:


And if you wanted a retail CD that took OEM keys, you'd use:


Ok, this is useful information. I had always thought that there
were differences in some of the actual files (key kernel files for
example) between different flavors (OEM, VLK, System Builder) of
the same version of XP.

Here's more examples of Pid numbers. These are taken from the
"System Builder" version of XP-pro (specifically the "2002"
version). The System Builder CD is what small or medium-sized PC
builders use when assembing systems from scratch.

This is from an XP-Pro SP1 CD with files dates March 31, 2003:

ExtraData = 786F687170637175716954806365EF

This is the same product, except with SP2. These numbers are the
same even for different file or release dates (and even for the
last version which included SP3):

- Aug 4, 2004 (sp2)
- Feb 28, 2006 (sp2)
- April 14, 2008 (sp3)

ExtraData = 786F687170637175716954806365EF

Okay. Yes. I did provide that information via links and keywords a while
back. ;-)

Shenan Stanley
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way