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You might not need the validation code to perform a recoveryTry pressing F11 during boot. As soon as you turn on the computer keep pressing F11. That might boot it into the automatic recovery process.
If that doesn't work I am going to need at least a model # XXXXX go forward.
Have you replaced this hard drive before? Try pressing the F11 key repeatedly once you see the Packard Bell logo. Sometimes it is difficult to get into the recovery mode.
Do you have the windows Vista Installation DVD?
Sorry it took so long for a response but it is going to be very difficult to restore this computer without a validation code.
The Packard bell master disk checks a special part of the hard drive for hidden information. If this hidden information isn't there then it asks for a validation code. If you want to want to use the master disk your going to have to "tattoo" this hard drive with that special information and to bypass the validation code. Here is a link that may help you do this. It is a very long and tedious process that may not even work correctly as this is an XP machine. Unfortunately Packard Bell doesn't exist in the US anymore making it extremely difficult to repair.
I would try entering in your serial # XXXXX the validation code.
If this doesn't work unfortunately i think your best bet might be to acquire a Windows Vista CD. Remember you do not need to purchase a copy of windows vista you only need the installation media as the CD-KEY is printed on a sticker on your computer. If you cannot find a friend with a copy you might want to check ebay.
Good luck. Please let me know how you make out and if I can help any further.
I was just doing some more research and i found these codes
PB98 or PBE98
Try entering them also
Please let me know how you make out as I really want to solve this problem.
I also just read somewhere that this code is a 5 letter code near the serial #.
So I would check by the serial # XXXXX try entering in any set of 5 digits and see if the master disc will accept it.