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Article ID: 310637 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 7.4

This article was previously published under Q310637

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SUMMARY

When you try to install Microsoft Windows XP, you receive an error message after you enter the product key.

This article contains several step-by-step methods that you can use to resolve this problem and install Windows XP.

This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.
You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.

Symptoms of the problem

When you try to install Microsoft Windows XP, you receive one of the following error messages:
The CD Key which you entered is invalid. Please try again.
The Product Key used to install Windows is invalid. Please contact your system administrator or retailer immediately to obtain a valid Product Key. You may also contact Microsoft Corporation's Anti-Piracy Team by emailing piracy@microsoft.com if you think you have purchased pirated Microsoft software. Please be assured that any personal information you send to the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Team will be kept in strict confidence.

Methods to resolve this problem

There are seven methods that you can use to resolve this problem. Try the following seven methods in the provided order. The instructions for each method guide you through each step and describe how to verify that the problem is resolved.

Method 1: Enter the correct product key

  1. Type the correct product key, and then click OK.
  2. If you receive an error message, type the correct product key again by using the number keys on the keyboard instead of using the numeric keypad, and then click OK.
  3. If you still receive an error message, continue to method 2.
Note If you cannot locate the correct product key, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS). For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support)

Method 2: Turn off the antivirus software

  1. Turn off the antivirus software.

    Note For more information about how to turn off the antivirus software, view the documentation that is included with the antivirus software or contact the antivirus software manufacturer.
  2. Turn off the antivirus settings in the basic input/output system (BIOS) of the computer.

    Note For more information about how to turn off the antivirus settings in the BIOS of the computer, view the documentation that is included with the computer or contact the computer manufacturer.
  3. Try to install Windows XP again. If you still receive an error message, continue to method 3.

Method 3: Check the installation CD and the hard disk for damage

  1. Check the installation CD for damage, such as scratches or cracks.
  2. Replace the installation CD if the installation CD is damaged.
  3. Check the hard disk for damage.
  4. Replace the hard disk if the hard disk is damaged.
  5. Try to install Windows XP again. If you still receive an error message, continue to method 4.

Method 4: Verify that the system date is correct

  1. Verify that the system date is set correctly in the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings for the computer.

    Note For more information about how to set the system date in the CMOS settings for the computer, view the documentation that is included with the computer or contact the computer manufacturer.
  2. Try to install Windows XP again. If you still receive an error message, continue to method 5.

Method 5: Restart Windows without any extra drivers

  1. Restart Windows without any extra drivers. This provides a clean installation environment.

    Note For more information about how to start Windows without any extra drivers, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    192926  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192926/ ) How to perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 98
    267288  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/267288/ ) How to perform a clean boot in Windows Millennium Edition
    310353  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310353/ ) How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP
  2. Try to install Windows XP again. If you still receive an error message, continue to method 6.

Method 6: Install Windows XP at a command prompt

Step 1: Restart Windows in MS-DOS mode

Windows 95 or Windows 98
  1. Click Start, and then click Shut Down.
  2. Click Restart in MS-DOS mode, and then click OK.
Windows 2000 and later versions
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Insert a blank floppy disk in drive A, and then right-click Floppy (A:).
  3. Click Format, and then click to select the Create an MS-DOS startup disk check box.
  4. In the Format dialog box, click Start, and then click OK.
  5. When the disk formatting is complete, click OK, and then click Close.
  6. Restart the computer.

Step 2: Install Windows XP

  1. After you restart the computer, type Drive:\setup.exe at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

    Note In this step, Drive is a placeholder for the drive that contains the Windows XP installation CD.
  2. Windows XP Setup starts. If you still receive an error message, continue to method 7.

Method 7: Copy the installation files to the hard disk

  1. Click Start, click Run, type command, and then press ENTER.

    Note If you are using Windows XP or a later version, type cmd instead of command.
  2. At the command prompt, type cd\, and then press ENTER.
  3. Type md wincd, and then press ENTER.

    A new folder named Wincd is created.
  4. Type xcopy Drive:\*.* wincd /V, and then press ENTER.

    Note In this step, Drive is a placeholder for the drive that contains the Windows XP installation CD.

    The contents of the Windows XP installation CD are copied to the Wincd folder.
  5. Type cd wincd, and then press ENTER.
  6. Type setup.exe, and then press ENTER.

    Windows XP Setup starts.


APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbexpertisebeginner kbprb kbinfo kbceip KB310637
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