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My laptop has got several problems all pointing to needing a reinstall. Its genuine - and I can extract the key from the registry.

But where can I get a copy of XP Professional to install? A bit reluctant to use torrents, but would be over the moon if someone could point me to a genuine iso.

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phone call to microsoft might get it, but it's end of lifecycle. good luck – RobotHumans Dec 8 '10 at 14:44
@aking a phone call to Microsoft for a replacement CD? I'd like to see that. – Pekka 웃 Dec 8 '10 at 15:09
Paradigm shift ie. switch to Linux. – Aki Dec 8 '10 at 16:22

For a laptop, you may have to buy a replacement disc from the manufacturer. Many laptop vendors use custom ISO's for many of their models and the original key you got will only work with their custom ISO. I would contact them first.

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Good point too, although the handling cost for the replacement media is likely to be higher than the cost of buying a copy of XP pro – Pekka 웃 Dec 8 '10 at 15:09
Heh, yea, nowadays that's probably true. Especially if it's HP or Dell. They're really bad for ridiculous costs on replacement anything. – BBlake Dec 8 '10 at 15:12
@Pekka - the media is usually only about $10 or $20 – Joel Coehoorn Dec 8 '10 at 15:13
@Joel then they are more generous in the US than they are here. Acer for example wanted to charge me €40 for a Windows replacement DVD a few years back (Plus shipping IIRC) – Pekka 웃 Dec 8 '10 at 15:14
A lot of those images don't even require you to enter a key - it's mostly just for show. They're keyed to the manufacturer's BIOS and unlock themselves if installed on the correct hardware. (This is the basis of the exploit generally used by software pirates to crack Vista and 7, and the fact that it was broken wide open for Vista and unchanged for 7 tells me it is unlikely to change dramatically for any non-virtualized product anytime soon. Of course, from the looks of things, Windows 8 may be completely in the cloud...) – Shinrai Dec 8 '10 at 15:15

Genuine and iso in the same phrase are a difficult catch for windows xp on the internet. Try for a used cheap retail copy on Ebay :)

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+1. XP pro can be bought legitimately at very, very low prices. – Pekka 웃 Dec 8 '10 at 15:08

Depending on where you work, you might check with your IT department. I ran into a similar issue with Vista a little while back, explained that I had a legitimate key (shoot, I think I even brought my laptop in to show them), and they were happy to burn a copy for me.

Each IT department will handle this in their own way, but it never hurts to ask.

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