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Old 02-14-2005, 11:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Have the serial key but not the disk!

First of all, I am NOT trying to do anything illegal! Quite the contrary!
I have a Compaq computer that was given to me when the hard drive failed now I want to reinstall the operating system but have no disk to do so. The comp. has a serial key attatched (Win. XP home) How do you suggest I go about doing this legally. I have a copy of XP home that I purchased when it first came out but when I use the key attatched to the machine it says "thanks for playing but you get nothing!" I called MS and got hung up on 3 times (send all the American jobs to India, please!). I know thousands of people must have this problem but I can find no information that pertains to my dillema. I do have the "Quick recovery" disk set but when I insert them it says to call Compaq tech support, would that be the easiest solution? I don't think the call is free and I don't think they could do much from there considering the computer won't get past that screen (Call Compaq) Any ideas?
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/g...cname=bph07143

Get the recovery CD from HP/Compaq
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have the quick restore disks, are they the same thing as recovery disk ( I would think so)? My problem is the person that gave me this has no idea if the disks she gave me are the correct disks, I believe they are but when I boot from the "Recovery disk" it says starting Windows 98, however when I put in the "quick Restore disk/s I also get starting Windows 98 even though it says XP Home edition on the label...I am so frustrated with this, It should be illegal to sell a computer without the disk it was installed from! There I vented I went to that link and got some info but now it seems to be down, go figure Thanks for the help, I'll keep you posted on my situation.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure that the disks you have are supposed to be the recovery disks that I mentioned. But I don't think that it should be saying Win98 when it boots off of the CD. I think that the seller must have accidentally given you the wrong disks

So, you still might need to get the CDs from HP, unless the seller can find the right CD.
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yep, definately contact HP for disks.
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Why would MS hang up on you like that? I have never seen or experienced anything of the sort...They probably thought you had a pirated version or something like that. Strange.
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well after doing some searching it appears that installing a new Hdd has it's disadvantages;
HP PCs that ship with Microsoft Windows XP do not come with recovery CDs. Instead, they use a hidden space (partition) on the hard drive to store the recovery information. The use of a hidden partition provides a convenient process that eliminates the use system recovery discs that may be lost or scratched. Recovery discs for Windows XP are available from HP for a minimal cost.
So I don't know where these recovery disks came from but they appear to be XP Home edition recovery CD's, thats what they say right on the label, ignore the previous part about Windows 98, I think that single "recovery disk is from another computer, I have set it aside for obvious reasons. I am assuming she ordered these disks and now I will try what it says to do on the web site, just booting from the cd's doesn't seem to be the way to go. To make a long story short...I'll let you know what happens!
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well apparently if your hdd goes bad your screwed since
"they use a hidden space (partition) on the hard drive to store the recovery information. Using a hidden partition provides a convenient, more stable recovery process". That is a quote from the HP/Compaq website. I guess I need to find "the hidden partition" on the old hdd (which died) and copy it to the new hdd so that it can restore the information found on any Windows XP CD, I'm sorry but that sounds like a "less convenient, and a less stable recovery process". Wouldn't you agree?
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey,

I have a Compaq Presario S5500UK PC. It comes factory set with a 'recovery partition'. Nothing to do with Windows XP Recovery though, but as already said, yes...the partition containing the factor OEM Windows XP OS.

However, with all Compaqs and HPs, there is a tool which enables you to burn the recovery partition onto CD-Rs or DVD-RWs. Cheeky aint it!? Because they save not mass producing these recovery discs for the user, but instead the user has to start burning his or her own recovery discs...with personal discs!

Anyways, it is highly advised in the manual to burn a set of recovery discs, incase the recovery partition goes corrupt. Then you could rid of the recovery partition on the HDD using the Compaq Recovery Tools CD. So if you aint burnt any, gotta buy the recovery CDs ...
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So by contacting HP/Compaq and obtaining these disks, it will enable me to use the Quick recovery cd's to reinstall windows and use the serial key located on the computer? I realize your not certain about this but in theory this should work...Correct?
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