Ok I know this is a windows 8 forum, but cannot find windows xp. I am trying to get my Dads laptop with windows xp on it back up and running. We do not have the windows xp disk, I do have the key, and we are getting the error unmountable boot error.
Any help would greatly appreciated. thanks
I feel if you have a valid key MS should provide you with an ISO download on request. I'm surprised they haven't pulled Windows 7 from Digital River now that Windows 8 is out and adoption is going slowly.
You don't mention how the laptop came to be in this state but it sounds like either a bad hard drive, some missing or corrupt boot files or possibly a malware infection.
In any case without installation media or at least the recovery console installed you may be out of luck. Bassfisher's idea of borrowing from a friend or neighbor may very well be your best bet. XP was a bit finicky about product keys matching the media with respect to OEM vs. Retail so you'll need that to be correct as well as Home vs. Pro vs. Media Center Edition.
If it came pre-installed than perhaps there may be a recovery partition which you may be able to access with a key combination during POST.
Have you been able to remove the hard drive and test it for errors and infections by attaching it to another computer? Is the hard drive still recognized at POST during device enumeration or from within the BIOS screen?
As a last resort you may try contacting the computer manufacturer and see if they will provide a recovery CD for a small fee. Most can and some will.