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We installed a registered version of xp on a unit to see if it would run ok. It has and so we went out and bought a valid copy. What I need to know is, is there a way to simply put in a new product key so we can register or do we have to format and intall from scratch?
 

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I would assume so. BUT, you have to register that copy with Microsoft within 30 days, so if someone has already registered the test version you loaded up, it won't work.

I see no need to format if you bought the full version for PCs without an existing OS. But you WILL have to load up the one you bought.
 

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For the Corporate (volume license) version:

1. Run regedit and go to: HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents
on the right double click on "OOBEtimer" and change at least one digit of this value to deactivate windows.

2. Choose run from start menu and type in this command:
%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a
to get the activation screen and go to the second option which is activate by phone.

3. In the new screen choose the option to change product key, and type in the new product key (Corporate one only).

4. Close that window, reboot your system and enter the command in step 2 for the second time to verify your activation , you should see "windows is already activated".
 
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