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Difference between CD, Product and activation keys

This is a discussion on Difference between CD, Product and activation keys within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, Two questions: 1. I am wondering what the difference among these three are. For example, I remember while installing


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Old 04-24-2011, 12:21 AM   #1
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Hi,

Two questions:

1. I am wondering what the difference among these three are. For example, I remember while installing my (legal) copy of XP about an year ago, at which time, though it accepted the CD key, when I tried to activate it using that same key, it said that the key was wrong! Now, it is an year later and I don't remember what exactly I did.

2. My XP machine is activated and kosher. However, I don't want to have to struggle with what I did last year. So, I used Magic Jelly Bean to try and get my activation code that is currently on my PC? I retrieved two sets of numbers.

A. The first one is the CD key/Serial number
B. The second one says "Product ID match to CD key data". Is this what is known as the "activation code"?

TIA.

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Old 04-24-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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legal copy of xp - explain. is it a full retail version? upgrade version? one that came with that specific system? retail oem or system builders version?

the key must match the version of xp that is installed. Is the key you recovered using magic jelly bean the same one that came with the disk you are trying to install with?

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Old 04-24-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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It is a legal copy provided by my (I.T.) company to employees through its portal. We just download the software and use one of a dozen keys provided. Well, I used MJB to recover the key that my current working laptop is using, which I had imaged an year ago, using the software as mentioned before. Since I know it is activated, I wanted to recover both the CD key AND the activation key, if they are different from each other.

All I am asking is, "Is the CD key the same as the activation key"? The results of MJB indicates a serial number whose format I am familiar with as well as the second key which is in a totally different format/pattern from the first.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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The CD Key/Windows License key is your Windows serial #, so to speak. The Product ID is just a way to identify the exact product version of Windows XP you're using. It isn't really a serial # for validation, but the product ID is tied to the CD Key to some extent. Not sure if that's what you're asking

Windows uses an algorithm, which based on the Product ID of the source installation disc, determines whether or not your CD key will be accepted. Does that sound confusing? MJB supplies the CD Key/Windows License key (whichever you want to call it)

The short version: If you need to reinstall XP, the install CD you use needs to have the same product ID that is on your system now (which is matched to your CD Key).

CD Key/Windows License format: MMDCX-URHF-YEIQP-XXXXX-XXXXX
Product ID format: 55274-OEM-076876xxx
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Garvin View Post
The CD Key/Windows License key is your Windows serial #, so to speak. The Product ID is just a way to identify the exact product version of Windows XP you're using. It isn't really a serial # for validation, but the product ID is tied to the CD Key to some extent. Not sure if that's what you're asking

Windows uses an algorithm, which based on the Product ID of the source installation disc, determines whether or not your CD key will be accepted. Does that sound confusing? MJB supplies the CD Key/Windows License key (whichever you want to call it)

The short version: If you need to reinstall XP, the install CD you use needs to have the same product ID that is on your system now (which is matched to your CD Key).

CD Key/Windows License format: MMDCX-URHF-YEIQP-XXXXX-XXXXX
Product ID format: 55274-OEM-076876xxx
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation, Fred. What I really was asking was this:

When I installed my OS, I entered a serial number in the format, MMDCX-URHF-YEIQP-XXXXX-XXXXX. After everything was done, it asked me to "activate" it. All I want to know is:

Is the information I type in to "activate" it the original serial number that I entered previously during installation, or is it something entirely different? i.e., is the serial number the same as the "activation" key? If not, how do I get the "activation" key? If it is different, is it safe to assume that MJB gives me only the s/n and the product ID but not the "activation" key?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #6
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I think you might be running into an activation problem. If you boot into Windows, there should be a pop up asking you to activate Windows. Click it and run through the steps. If it fails, there should be an option to call an automated MS phone number to help you complete the activation. I think the # Microsoft provides over the phone is the activation # to validate the install. You don't normally need an additional activation # to install Windows.

I think I understand your problem now. I haven't done one of these on XP in a while, so I think I have the above correct. MJB gives the Windows License Key only.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:25 AM   #7
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Thanks a million, Fred. You've been very helpful.

Have a wonderful day.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:03 AM   #8
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Anytime Music! You, too.

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