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Re-install Vista 32bit Home Premium - Product key not valid


New Member
So I have the fun task of reinstalling Vista on an Acer Aspire laptop, but I'm having some issues with the reinstall.

Now I have a valid and legal product key on the base of the PC. The product key is for Vista Home Premium 32bit OEM.

I don't have a Vista disk (Acer laptops dont ship with them) so I located a Vista 32bit Home Premium disk and tried to use that. After all the licence is the product key, not the media. However during install it tells me my product key is not valid.

Funnily enough I've never had this problem before - mismatched disks with product keys. As far as I know if the product key is valid (and for the same version of windows as the disc) the install should work, surely?

Does anyone have any experience re-installing on Acer laptops or will I have to shell-out £2/hour + goodness knows what for the magic Acer special recovery disks to re-vamp my machine?


My Computer


OEM copies do sometimes have this problem. If you are sure you are installing the same version of Windows as your product key, install Windows without the product key if necessary and activate using the free phone activation (if online activation is not working, and you make the effort to phone up, Microsoft assume you are telling the truth and activate your copy of Windows anyway) This should fix the problem.


My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 420
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.50GHz
    Stock Dell 0TP406
    4 gb (DDR2 800) 400MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 3870 (512 MBytes)
    Sound Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Dell 2007FP and 1 x (old) Sonic flat screen
    Screen Resolution
    1600 x 1200 and 1280 x 1204
    Hard Drives
    1 x 640Gb (SATA 300)
    Western Digital: WDC WD6400AAKS-75A7B0

    1 x 1Tb (SATA 600)
    Western Digital: Caviar Black, SATA 6GB/S, 64Mb cache, 8ms
    Western Digital: WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 ATA Device
    Stock PSU - 375W
    Dell XPS 420
    Stock Fan
    Advent Optical ADE-WG01 (colour change light up)
    Dell Bluetooth
    Internet Speed
    120 kb/s
    Other Info
    ASUS USB 3.0 5Gbps/SATA 6Gbps - PCI-Express Combo Controller Card (U3S6)

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