Validate Product Key agianst i386



Dan
07-09-2005, 11:39 PM
Validate Product Key against i386

Disclaimer: It's hard to pose this question without sounding like
someone trying to scam the xp validation scheme, but here goes.

I'm working on a friends computer and it's fairly riddled with viruses.
It's an OEM system, so there is no XP CD. I've been able to build up
a bootable CD from the i386 directory that the OEM left in a recovery
folder. I'm about to do a system repair (boot CD, enter to enter setup
and not recovery console, highlight partition and hit 'R' for repair),
when it dawns on me that I need his product key. I bit searching finds
it stickered to the back on an MS hologram. Being paranoid, I checked
it against the key that the current copy was licensed with, and turns
out they are different. This isn't a big surprise since the oem
probably installed from an image.

So now, I need to figure out (before I start setup) if either of these
product keys match the i386 folder in the recovery directory. If they
don't match, I get half way through setup and can't get the product key
to recognize in setup. This would destroy the repair process and I
would have to resort to fdisk-format-reinstall. I'm hoping to keep all
his application settings and data (hence the choice of the repair
path).

Thoughts on a LEGAL way to do this without violating the terms of the
MS license.

-Dan

Rick \Nutcase\ Rogers
07-09-2005, 11:39 PM
Hi,

You're right in that the existing key in use was probably the result of the
system being installed from an image, it's quite normal and quite common.
There is no reason why using the key from the sticker should not work for
the repair installation, but there is also no way of validating it ahead of
time either.

--
Best of Luck,

Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
Associate Expert - WindowsXP Expert Zone
www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
Windows help - www.rickrogers.org

"Dan" <pcDrDan@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1116750374.776534.168020@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Validate Product Key against i386
>
> Disclaimer: It's hard to pose this question without sounding like
> someone trying to scam the xp validation scheme, but here goes.
>
> I'm working on a friends computer and it's fairly riddled with viruses.
> It's an OEM system, so there is no XP CD. I've been able to build up
> a bootable CD from the i386 directory that the OEM left in a recovery
> folder. I'm about to do a system repair (boot CD, enter to enter setup
> and not recovery console, highlight partition and hit 'R' for repair),
> when it dawns on me that I need his product key. I bit searching finds
> it stickered to the back on an MS hologram. Being paranoid, I checked
> it against the key that the current copy was licensed with, and turns
> out they are different. This isn't a big surprise since the oem
> probably installed from an image.
>
> So now, I need to figure out (before I start setup) if either of these
> product keys match the i386 folder in the recovery directory. If they
> don't match, I get half way through setup and can't get the product key
> to recognize in setup. This would destroy the repair process and I
> would have to resort to fdisk-format-reinstall. I'm hoping to keep all
> his application settings and data (hence the choice of the repair
> path).
>
> Thoughts on a LEGAL way to do this without violating the terms of the
> MS license.
>
> -Dan
>

kurttrail
07-09-2005, 11:39 PM
Dan wrote:
> Validate Product Key against i386
>
> Disclaimer: It's hard to pose this question without sounding like
> someone trying to scam the xp validation scheme, but here goes.
>
> I'm working on a friends computer and it's fairly riddled with
> viruses. It's an OEM system, so there is no XP CD. I've been able to
> build up a bootable CD from the i386 directory that the OEM left in a
> recovery folder. I'm about to do a system repair (boot CD, enter to
> enter setup and not recovery console, highlight partition and hit 'R'
> for repair), when it dawns on me that I need his product key. I bit
> searching finds it stickered to the back on an MS hologram. Being
> paranoid, I checked it against the key that the current copy was
> licensed with, and turns out they are different. This isn't a big
> surprise since the oem probably installed from an image.
>
> So now, I need to figure out (before I start setup) if either of these
> product keys match the i386 folder in the recovery directory. If they
> don't match, I get half way through setup and can't get the product
> key to recognize in setup. This would destroy the repair process and
> I would have to resort to fdisk-format-reinstall. I'm hoping to keep
> all his application settings and data (hence the choice of the repair
> path).
>
> Thoughts on a LEGAL way to do this without violating the terms of the
> MS license.
>
> -Dan

During the repair install process, if the XP media isn't of the same
type as the XP that is installed, you'll be asked to enter the PK before
any repair takes place. If your friends PK is rejected, you can then
back out of the repair before any damage is done.

As to legality, f*^k it. All anyone can do is you an OPINION, or repeat
a UNSUBSTANIATED CLAIM of Microsoft's.

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"

Steve N.
07-09-2005, 11:39 PM
Dan wrote:

> Validate Product Key against i386
>
> Disclaimer: It's hard to pose this question without sounding like
> someone trying to scam the xp validation scheme, but here goes.
>
> I'm working on a friends computer and it's fairly riddled with viruses.
> It's an OEM system, so there is no XP CD. I've been able to build up
> a bootable CD from the i386 directory that the OEM left in a recovery
> folder. I'm about to do a system repair (boot CD, enter to enter setup
> and not recovery console, highlight partition and hit 'R' for repair),
> when it dawns on me that I need his product key. I bit searching finds
> it stickered to the back on an MS hologram. Being paranoid, I checked
> it against the key that the current copy was licensed with, and turns
> out they are different. This isn't a big surprise since the oem
> probably installed from an image.
>
> So now, I need to figure out (before I start setup) if either of these
> product keys match the i386 folder in the recovery directory. If they
> don't match, I get half way through setup and can't get the product key
> to recognize in setup. This would destroy the repair process and I
> would have to resort to fdisk-format-reinstall. I'm hoping to keep all
> his application settings and data (hence the choice of the repair
> path).
>
> Thoughts on a LEGAL way to do this without violating the terms of the
> MS license.
>
> -Dan
>

You shouldn't have any problem using the code on the COA sticker and if
you do just activate by phone and tell them you are doing a repair
install and the code doesn't work. If they ask where the install CD came
from just tell them it was supplied with the computer.

That said, a repair install may not rid the system of viruses. A clean
install would (in most cases) but I'm not sure that is the best course
of action either. It would be best to try to rid the existing installed
OS of problems, although I do undersand that for many this is more
trouble than it's worth considering time and effort required. If you do
elect to do a clean install (or a repair install for that mater) back up
data files first.

Steve

kurttrail
07-09-2005, 11:39 PM
Steve N. wrote:
> Dan wrote:
>
>> Validate Product Key against i386
>>
>> Disclaimer: It's hard to pose this question without sounding like
>> someone trying to scam the xp validation scheme, but here goes.
>>
>> I'm working on a friends computer and it's fairly riddled with
>> viruses. It's an OEM system, so there is no XP CD. I've been able
>> to build up a bootable CD from the i386 directory that the OEM left
>> in a recovery folder. I'm about to do a system repair (boot CD,
>> enter to enter setup and not recovery console, highlight partition
>> and hit 'R' for repair), when it dawns on me that I need his product
>> key. I bit searching finds it stickered to the back on an MS
>> hologram. Being paranoid, I checked it against the key that the
>> current copy was licensed with, and turns out they are different.
>> This isn't a big surprise since the oem probably installed from an
>> image. So now, I need to figure out (before I start setup) if either
>> of
>> these product keys match the i386 folder in the recovery directory.
>> If they don't match, I get half way through setup and can't get the
>> product key to recognize in setup. This would destroy the repair
>> process and I would have to resort to fdisk-format-reinstall. I'm
>> hoping to keep all his application settings and data (hence the
>> choice of the repair path).
>>
>> Thoughts on a LEGAL way to do this without violating the terms of the
>> MS license.
>>
>> -Dan
>>
>
> You shouldn't have any problem using the code on the COA sticker and
> if you do just activate by phone and tell them you are doing a repair
> install and the code doesn't work. If they ask where the install CD
> came from just tell them it was supplied with the computer.
>
> That said, a repair install may not rid the system of viruses. A clean
> install would (in most cases) but I'm not sure that is the best course
> of action either. It would be best to try to rid the existing
> installed OS of problems, although I do undersand that for many this
> is more trouble than it's worth considering time and effort required.
> If you do elect to do a clean install (or a repair install for that
> mater) back up data files first.

I mostly agree with this, especially since some viruses disable AV
programs from updating, BUT if you can clean up the viruses first, then
a repair install would be a better option than doing a clean install.

But in this particular case, I doubt you'll have much luck cleaning out
the viruses, and the most likely consequense is that you'll just waste
time doing a repair install, and will have to do the clean install.

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"

Robert Moir
07-09-2005, 11:39 PM
Dan wrote:

> So now, I need to figure out (before I start setup) if either of these
> product keys match the i386 folder in the recovery directory. If they
> don't match, I get half way through setup and can't get the product
> key to recognize in setup. This would destroy the repair process and
> I would have to resort to fdisk-format-reinstall. I'm hoping to keep
> all his application settings and data (hence the choice of the repair
> path).
>
> Thoughts on a LEGAL way to do this without violating the terms of the
> MS license.

I'm not sure what part of what you describe could *possibly* be called
illegal.

Can't he get a restore disk of some kind from the OEM? How do they think
he's supposed to recover the machine in the event of a problem?

Dan
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Well I've noticed from lab and test work that I do, certain media may
require certain keys. I have two XP Home CDs, and key 2 doesn't work
on CD 1 and vice verse. No idea why. But both keys work with the CD's
they are coupled with.

My real fear is that the i386 folder they landed on the drive, won't
work with the key they stickered to the back. Once I start I'm
committed. The ominous first step in the repair processes is "Deleting
files".

I'll probably bring the CD to my lab and see if I can get through an
install. Just seems like there has got to be a better way to do this.
Requires I make a second trip.

Rick "Nutcase" Rogers wrote:
> There is no reason why using the key from the sticker should not work
for
> the repair installation, but there is also no way of validating it
ahead of
> time either.

Dan
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
I've only noticed the repair option avialable when the CD and HD have
the same XP flavor.

kurttrail wrote:
> During the repair install process, if the XP media isn't of the same
> type as the XP that is installed, you'll be asked to enter the PK
before
> any repair takes place. If your friends PK is rejected, you can then

> back out of the repair before any damage is done.

Dan
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Steve N. wrote:
> You shouldn't have any problem using the code on the COA sticker and
if
> you do just activate by phone and tell them you are doing a repair
> install and the code doesn't work. If they ask where the install CD
came
> from just tell them it was supplied with the computer.

I mentioned earlier (*1) that I've seen CD's and keys that were
unswappable. So I have my doubts that the i386 directory in thier
image wil match the i386 directory associated with the stickered key.

*1:
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/493a4f5bb9abdb91

> That said, a repair install may not rid the system of viruses. A
clean
> install would (in most cases) but I'm not sure that is the best
course
> of action either. It would be best to try to rid the existing
installed
> OS of problems, although I do undersand that for many this is more
> trouble than it's worth considering time and effort required. If you
do
> elect to do a clean install (or a repair install for that mater) back
up
> data files first.

I already scaned the system from another partition. I'm certian that
it's clean, the infected system files are gone, hence the need to
restore system files from CD.

Dan
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Robert Moir wrote:
> I'm not sure what part of what you describe could *possibly* be
called
> illegal.

I'm pretty sure the key finder is illegal, even though they used to put
it in the registry.

> Can't he get a restore disk of some kind from the OEM? How do they
think
> he's supposed to recover the machine in the event of a problem?

Yes, he has a restore disk. It will restore the system to the exact
state that it was in 2 years ago. I'm hoping I can do better than
that. As for getting an XP disk from the OEM, they won't talk to me
unless we shell out big $$$ for "support".

Dan
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Steve N. wrote:
> you do just activate by phone and tell them you are doing a repair

Do they actually have *PEOPLE* answering those activation phone
numbers?!?!

kurttrail
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Dan wrote:
> Well I've noticed from lab and test work that I do, certain media may
> require certain keys. I have two XP Home CDs, and key 2 doesn't work
> on CD 1 and vice verse. No idea why. But both keys work with the
> CD's they are coupled with.
>
> My real fear is that the i386 folder they landed on the drive, won't
> work with the key they stickered to the back. Once I start I'm
> committed. The ominous first step in the repair processes is
> "Deleting files".
>
> I'll probably bring the CD to my lab and see if I can get through an
> install. Just seems like there has got to be a better way to do this.
> Requires I make a second trip.
>
> Rick "Nutcase" Rogers wrote:
>> There is no reason why using the key from the sticker should not
>> work for the repair installation, but there is also no way of
>> validating it ahead of time either.

I've repaired with VL Media over OEM, and had to give a new PK before
the repair install started.

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"

kurttrail
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Dan wrote:
> Robert Moir wrote:
>> I'm not sure what part of what you describe could *possibly* be
>> called illegal.
>
> I'm pretty sure the key finder is illegal, even though they used to
> put it in the registry.
>
>> Can't he get a restore disk of some kind from the OEM? How do they
>> think he's supposed to recover the machine in the event of a problem?
>
> Yes, he has a restore disk. It will restore the system to the exact
> state that it was in 2 years ago. I'm hoping I can do better than
> that. As for getting an XP disk from the OEM, they won't talk to me
> unless we shell out big $$$ for "support".

LOL! Why would the Keyfinder be illegal?

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"

Dan
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
kurttrail wrote:
> LOL! Why would the Keyfinder be illegal?

I'm sure a DMCA lawyer on a bad caffine jones could make a case for it.

My reading of DMCA is if you look for something that's hidden, that was
hidden to prevent piracy, your a crook.

But that is only in the US. If your outside of US DMCA (as I believe
the keyfinder.exe people are) your in luck.

kurttrail
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Dan wrote:
> kurttrail wrote:
>> LOL! Why would the Keyfinder be illegal?
>
> I'm sure a DMCA lawyer on a bad caffine jones could make a case for
> it.

But they haven't.

>
> My reading of DMCA is if you look for something that's hidden, that
> was hidden to prevent piracy, your a crook.

DMCA is about the circumvention of copy protection, and in and of itself
the keyfinder does not circumvent the copy-protection.

But I'm sure you can find a lawyer to say otherwise.

> But that is only in the US. If your outside of US DMCA (as I believe
> the keyfinder.exe people are) your in luck.

And your opinion is not precedent in the US. Please show actual legal
precedent that shows a utililty that finds your product key is in FACT
illegal.

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"

T. Waters
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
"Dan" <pcDrDan@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1116818029.328489.244940@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>
> Steve N. wrote:
> > you do just activate by phone and tell them you are doing a repair
>
> Do they actually have *PEOPLE* answering those activation phone
> numbers?!?!
>

Robert Moir
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Dan wrote:
> Robert Moir wrote:
>> I'm not sure what part of what you describe could *possibly* be
> called
>> illegal.
>
> I'm pretty sure the key finder is illegal, even though they used to
> put it in the registry.

I'm pretty sure its not, actually. It doesn't help you rip off copies of XP,
simply find out what key should be tied to a particular install.

>> Can't he get a restore disk of some kind from the OEM? How do they
>> think he's supposed to recover the machine in the event of a problem?
>
> Yes, he has a restore disk. It will restore the system to the exact
> state that it was in 2 years ago. I'm hoping I can do better than
> that. As for getting an XP disk from the OEM, they won't talk to me
> unless we shell out big $$$ for "support".

Well thats one OEM he knows never to buy from again, isn't it....

pcDrDan@gmail.com
07-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Robert Moir wrote:
>
> Well thats one OEM he knows never to buy from again, isn't it....

I've actually never heard of an OEM that has a different / better
policy on windows installs.

Thats why I still don't buy from OEMs. The "free" software they
"include" isn't free at all.

Steve N.
07-09-2005, 11:41 PM
Dan wrote:

> Steve N. wrote:
>
>>You shouldn't have any problem using the code on the COA sticker and
>
> if
>
>>you do just activate by phone and tell them you are doing a repair
>>install and the code doesn't work. If they ask where the install CD
>
> came
>
>>from just tell them it was supplied with the computer.
>
>
> I mentioned earlier (*1) that I've seen CD's and keys that were
> unswappable. So I have my doubts that the i386 directory in thier
> image wil match the i386 directory associated with the stickered key.
>
> *1:
> http://groups-beta.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/493a4f5bb9abdb91
>
>
>>That said, a repair install may not rid the system of viruses. A
>
> clean
>
>>install would (in most cases) but I'm not sure that is the best
>
> course
>
>>of action either. It would be best to try to rid the existing
>
> installed
>
>>OS of problems, although I do undersand that for many this is more
>>trouble than it's worth considering time and effort required. If you
>
> do
>
>>elect to do a clean install (or a repair install for that mater) back
>
> up
>
>>data files first.
>
>
> I already scaned the system from another partition. I'm certian that
> it's clean, the infected system files are gone, hence the need to
> restore system files from CD.
>

Try SFC /SCANNOW first.

Steve


Validate Product Key agianst i386