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A few months ago I brought an older Compaq Evo from eBay, the hard drive had been wiped and a copy of XP Pro installed as it was an ex-business computer. I now want to reinstall Windows on it but I cannot figure out how since I was not sent any CDs and I cannot see any recovery partitions, is there any way I can without buying a new copy of Windows? Thank You.

asked Oct 21 '10 at 15:07

George's gravatar image


edited Oct 21 '10 at 15:10

You can check on the tower itself if there is a certificate of authentication, which includes a product key. If you can see the full key, it'll allow you to install the version of Windows it belongs to. You can call Microsoft and ask for a Windows XP CD matching the product key and they'll likely send you one after you explain your situation. If this fails however, you can always go to ebay or newegg, and purchase a copy of Windows XP relatively cheap.

answered Oct 21 '10 at 15:34

Alastor%20Moody's gravatar image

Alastor Moody ♦♦

I'm probably going to get told off for this.

But I had a legit key and no cd so I downloaded it as a torrent then used a program called win to flash to make a bootable flash drive from the iso and then installed it from the flash drive and used my legit CD key to register it.

Else if you have a m8 then use his cd and your key.

answered Oct 21 '10 at 18:25

SignOff's gravatar image


That's fully legal, as the download you got is considered a "back-up" of said disk you didn't have. Torrenting is a disorganised technicians dream.

(Oct 21 '10 at 20:04) Ross Walker Ross%20Walker's gravatar image

It's true. As long as you don't use an activation crack or different CD-key, it's all good

(Oct 21 '10 at 20:23) Gorkon5567 Gorkon5567's gravatar image

You can always borrow a copy from a friend. As long as you use your own CD-key from the tower, it's all good legally and morally. Alternatively, if you find the install disk online for download and still use your legitimate CD-key from the computer, that is legal as well since you own that product key.

answered Oct 21 '10 at 15:38

Gorkon5567's gravatar image


If you need to desperately reinstall then I would recommend you buying the CD - But you don't want the CD do you?? So I would think that on your tower or laptop there is a product key - Well here are the steps and please don't pirate it;

  1. Look on your tower or laptop for the serial key
  2. Phone Microsoft or go to your store with either a picture with you and the CD (for proof) or package the tower or the laptop and take it there
  3. Tell them that you want a fresh install for Windows
  4. They should either give you a disc or send you one

Thanks for posting though.

answered Oct 21 '10 at 16:07

thecomputergeek01's gravatar image


answered Oct 21 '10 at 17:10

Josh_M's gravatar image


Don't forget- even if you do get your copy of XP, you will only have the OS. Be sure to check the Compaq site before you reinstall to download the system drivers and get them onto CD/external drive so that you have them. I would also go to majorgeeks.com and get Avira antivirus, VLC media player, & Firefox. Lastly, don't forget Adobe reader/flashplayer/shockwave as well as Quicktime & Java.

Cheers & good luck!

answered Oct 21 '10 at 19:56

geekomatic's gravatar image


There's a freeware program called Double Driver that can locate and save the ones currently on your system. The originals from Compaq would be best, but may not be a bad idea to run it.

(Oct 21 '10 at 20:00) geekomatic geekomatic's gravatar image

make sure you keep a copy of the serial number.

after that, download a copy of windows xp pro http://www.tipandtrick.net/2008/download-unmodified-original-windows-xp-with-sp3-integrated-full-retail-and-vl-install-cd-iso-image-from-msdntechnet-plus-via-http-or-torrent/

download and burn it to a cd then use the serial that came with the PC

answered Oct 21 '10 at 20:38

Razor512's gravatar image


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Asked: Oct 21 '10 at 15:07

Seen: 1,117 times

Last updated: Oct 21 '10 at 20:38