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How can I copy a Windows XP Home Installation Disc?
October 10, 2007 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I have a legitimate XP key but no disc, a FUBAR OS and no PC friends. What do I do?

I bought Windows XP Home (not OEM) years ago, but had the installation disc and the certificate stolen out of my car. I have my activation code but none of my friends run XP (stupid Mac users), so I haven't been able to borrow a disc.

Assuming I find a disc, can I make a CD to CD copy?

I've read this but my windows is currently fried (bad reinstallation from a scratched disc from a coworker) - I don't have a proper OS to copy anything from.

Is it best to create a slipstreamed CD?
posted by OrangeDrink to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
 
Assuming I find a disc, can I make a CD to CD copy?
Yes.

Is it best to create a slipstreamed CD?
Slipstreaming is something IT admins do to make installing OSes with specific settings and preinstalled programs easier for multiple machines. Since you're just installing this one time, there's no need.
posted by junesix at 11:00 AM on October 10, 2007


You can probably get a free/cheap CD from Microsoft.

At one point in the past, out of frustration, I bought Windows through MS, online. They sent me a Windows CD in the mail - that cost nothing - what I was paying for the key code, which was sent separately in an email.
posted by gnutron at 11:09 AM on October 10, 2007


I have installed XP using separate CDs and activation keys with no problem. IIRC, you might have to use telephone activation instead of the online activation, though.
posted by roomwithaview at 11:12 AM on October 10, 2007


You have a few choices:

1. Contact Microsoft and pay them whatever media fee they want.

2. Download a torrent of the CD. (a little risky). You should search for "XP Retail"

3. Borrow one from someone. You might luck out with a OEM disc.

4. Go to your local ma and pa computer repair shop and ask them if they'll burn you a copy of their disc.

5. Or use one of those "CD repair kits" on your damaged windows CD you had from your last post. You might luck out.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:23 AM on October 10, 2007


It's not "risky" to use a torrented copy. Just grab a flavor of XP Home and your key will work, it'll even pass WGA, assuming the key isn't magically blacklisted.

Even if it is, there are ways around that too, but those probably shouldn't be discussed here. Email me if you need help w/ that.

Lastly, if you DO torrent it, make SURE you're running peerguardian2 while you slurp it down.
posted by TomMelee at 11:49 AM on October 10, 2007


TomMelee: "It's not "risky" to use a torrented copy. "

Why isn't it risky? In theory, couldn't someone create an XP install ISO that includes trojans/keyloggers/backdoor stuff?
posted by sharkfu at 11:56 AM on October 10, 2007


It's not "risky" to use a torrented copy. Just grab a flavor of XP Home and your key will work, it'll even pass WGA, assuming the key isn't magically blacklisted.

Of course it is. Most OS CDs on bittorrent networks include custom code of all different sorts. There's no way to know whether or not any of it is nefarious. If it's a custom job, antivirus won't find it.
posted by Malor at 12:54 PM on October 10, 2007


Most OS CDs on bittorrent networks include custom code of all different sorts. There's no way to know whether or not any of it is nefarious. If it's a custom job, antivirus won't find it.

Most OS CDs are going to be straight ISO rips, possibly with a keygen. Running the keygen is risky, but if the OP still has their product key, they won't need to do that.
posted by !Jim at 1:29 PM on October 10, 2007


Microsoft won't provide replacement media without the CoA (I've been through this).

The best bet is to make a copy of an actual genuine XP Home CD (so that you know it's lineage). Most should work with your existing key - however it's possibly going to matter what type (Retail keys generally don't work with OEM CDs, and ditto the other way).

Problem with a Torrented version is at least two things -
1) There aren't likely to be many Home Edition torrents around, it's not highly in demand.
2) Pirate copies of Windows are usually 'volume' licenced copys or have parts of the authentication system removed. You're unlikely to be able to get a legitimate install with one, and will be reliant on hacks to get around Genuine Advantage and stuff.

You basically need to find someone with a disc you can copy. I think that's the best option. I don't know how that sits you legally, from Microsoft's point of view, I believe, if you don't have the certificate (licence key or not) you don't have a licence. So even with a legitimate key, you're possibly not legally entitled to the software.
posted by sycophant at 1:37 PM on October 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks, everyone. I'll let you know how I handled it.
posted by OrangeDrink at 3:19 PM on October 10, 2007


(Just so we're clear...)

So you need someone in Oakland to email you so that you can get hooked up. Riiiiight?

I'd help, but I'm in Utah. Surely there's a MeFier near you who has what you need.
posted by SlyBevel at 4:53 PM on October 10, 2007


Do you know anyone who does software development for windows? (.NET, VB, Foxpro, etc) See if they have an MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscription. When I worked at a software development firm, our MSDN subscription came with isos or physical media for every microsoft product, pretty much ever made. At my current job, we don't have a media subscription, but the isos are still available for download through the microsoft licensing website.
posted by notpeter at 10:33 AM on October 11, 2007


I know someone who recently had to use bittorrent to get ISOs of Windows XP MCE to fix a friend's computer. Dell had neglected to supply them with a restore disk, just a piece of cardboard with a picture of a CD (mockingly?) printed on it and couple of hidden partitions with files in them that they had no clue what to do with, and with Windows halting with a STOP three seconds into the boot process they were useless. The friend had the original product key glued to the computer's case, but these keys are tied to the computer's original OS version, so it had to be that precise version to use the key, and with Media Center Edition being OEM only, bittorrent was the only solution.

(The person who fixed the computer also had a devil of a time with the SATA hard drive on the friend's computer, which Windows XP Install couldn't find without specific drivers present on floppy disk, but that's another story.)
posted by JHarris at 4:11 PM on October 13, 2007


very helpfull, this is a Dell issue, I will attempt to use a reinstall disk from an identical
dell. I do have the microsoft tag on the crashed computer. The original reinstall disk was
lost. Both computers have Identical hardware and both run xp home. The problem is a
hard disk crash. I was worried that that I could not get a reactivication since there is
no hard disk readabilty at all.
posted by george123 at 10:42 AM on March 30, 2008


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