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Using product key with different disc?

(7 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by ComputerWiz
  • Latest reply from ComputerWiz
  • Topic Viewed 4657 times

ComputerWiz
Posts: 3

So I recently acquired a laptop from a relative. I want to reformat it (using DBAN), because it takes way too long to get things done for as fast as the processor is. So my question is, can I use the product key from this laptop, (it was on a sticker on the bottom like all Dell's have) but I don't have the Windows XP Home Edition disc for this laptop. I do, however, have 2 or 3 other XP copies at home, so can I use those without getting an "ungenuine" installation. Thanks guys

EDIT: Whoops, wrong forum, sorry guys!

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

ComputerWiz, welcome. The Windows product key is tied to your system, not to the install disc. Since it sounds like you plan to use WGA and not try to circumvent it, there should be no problem provided that you install the same flavor of XP as the license key is designed for. For example, if the license is for XP Home OEM, you would not be able to install XP Pro Retail and use the key you have to activate it.

I suspect if the license key and XP flavor don't match that it will let you know. So, I would suggest that you activate it as soon as possible to be certain that you will be able to continue using XP.

Posted 5 years ago
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ComputerWiz
Posts: 3

so do think I'd be good installing a Retail XP on a computer with a OEM installation(?) The question mark represents the fact that I saw a copy of XP was purchased at the same time, but separately from the computer, but I'm assuming the computer had the operating system preinstalled too.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Well, I don't know the answer to that one. I would actually be curious to know myself. Is it the activation that decides whether the flavor of XP is Retail or OEM; or, is it the installer? This is why I suggested that you activate ASAP. If it's not going to work, you want to know right away.

EDIT: quick update. A google search suggests that the OEM key will NOT work with the Retail disc. :-(

Posted 5 years ago
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jonhill987
jonhill987
Posts: 161

I know the answer to this. if you use a retail disk and OEM key it will not work, It will install but will not activate. It defiantly will work if you use an OEM disk as I have used my HP OEM disk with the key on a relatives Packard Bell computer (after they lost their disk), it wouldn't work with the retail .iso I downloaded for them.

Posted 5 years ago
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InDiSent
InDiSent
Posts: 1084

Jon is right, an OEM key will not work with a retail install. There is Possibly a way around this though. Does your Dell have a recovery partition? Or are the XP install files in a folder on your C: drive? If they are then you can use Nlite to make an install cd. If that doesn't work for you then their are two solutions. First, if your family member calls Dell they can get them to send a new OEM CD. The other alternative is you can go to a local mom and pop computer store where they build custom PCs and such. They usually have a collection of those Dell CDs reminiscent of the collection of old AOL CDs people used to have. If all else fails.......is it illegal to share and OEM CD with others if you don't share the KEY?

Posted 5 years ago
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ComputerWiz
Posts: 3

Alright guys, thanks for the advice, I'll try some of those things. By the way, ScottW I haven't reformatted the HDD yet, so the copy I'm running now is genuine and active.

Posted 5 years ago
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