Laptop - Microsoft Windows - Installer - License

Most people who’ve bought laptops, would see a pre-installed version of Windows, for which they’d have already paid. Recently things have changed but still for the majority of the laptop models available, Windows is the most commonly used option.

I own a Dell XPS M1210 which too came pre-installed with Microsoft Windows XP. Since the machine was low on hard-drive space, I had to eventually knock-off all Non-Linux partitions to make more space. Recently I was able to swap my Seagate SATA Laptop Drive (160 GB) with the one that was shipped with the Laptop. This made me rich in disk space. So, being a small PC gamer, I decided that I do want to have a copy of Windows XP installed on my machine. And why not, I already have paid for it and own a license.

Here’s where the fun started. Over the years, my laptop’s CD/DVD drive had been mal-functioning. I seldom used it. For installing Linux, I never had issue because most Linux Distributions support installation off the USB Stick. But to install Windows XP using the USB Stick was a very tough time. I had to dig up a lot of docs on the internet, most of which were very particular (to EEEPC) and never worked. The only article that I came across, that worked, was this.

After having the USB Stick WIndows XP Bootable, I ran into a new problem. The copy of Windows XP Installer didn’t accept my License Key. This started a whole new set of problems. It led me to suspect that something must be flawed in the USB Installation method, especially that it uses the ramdisk image from WIndows Server 2003.

Left with not much choices, I was disappointed. I wanted to install XP on my laptop but was not able to. Last night I tried a Desi thing. I wiped the CD/DVD Drive’s lense with my shirt and gave the Windows XP Installer CD another try. And Bingo, It booted off it. Sometimes Lord Mahadev just want the Sweet Time be taken. Now with the Installer CD working, I hoped things would work. But it came to the same License key problem. My license key didn’t work. I had to struggle a lot in getting it to work.

Two things here:

Overall now I’m done with the Windows XP re-incarnation on my laptop.

There’s just one glitch remaining to solve. My HDD’s partition layout is this:

rrs@learner:~$ sudo fdisk -l
[sudo] password for rrs:

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x1d05272a

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System  

/dev/sda1 1 255 2048256 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 * 256 4143 31230360 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 4144 5359 9767520 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 5360 19457 113242185 8e Linux LVM

sda4 is the LVM partiton where my root and swap partitions reside. Under Windows XP, sda4 is listed as a “ Windows XP Fault Tolerant Partition “. I’m not touching it at all when in Windows, but its mere presence makes my mood go bad. I’d rather preferred if Windows XP was completely unknown about this partition type ( 8e )