Are XP instillation discs linked to their OEM no?

  AJ59 23:56 03 Apr 2006

I have 2 computers with XP installed, both with their original OEM numbers, but only 1 disc.
If I were format the computer which I dont have the original disc for, can i use my XP disc from the other computer to reload XP using its individual OEM no. Basically do the discs only work with the original OEM nos, or will they work as long as you have a genuine OEM no?
Any assistance/experience in this gratefully received.

  Forum Editor 00:31 04 Apr 2006

you may only install an OEM copy of Windows XP on a new computer, and on that computer only. The licence 'dies' with the machine on which it was first installed - you can't then go on and install the software on a second computer.

  Strawballs 00:36 04 Apr 2006

I think they are linked to a batch of numbers so the only way to know is to try, as you are using the original product key that came with the machine I can't see why you can't do that as long as it works. It is worth a try because I think it asks for the key before you format but someone else will tell you for sure.

  lotvic 00:43 04 Apr 2006

In the search box at the top of this page type OEM and read other posts on the subject. You should find it very helpful.

  bjh 09:10 04 Apr 2006

I think you can do this - and be legal! I do it on 4 or 5 machines with no problems.

I don't think you are doing anything against the Microsoft licence agreement - the machines all have genuine MS software, and you are just doing a reinstall.

My collection of XP disks are stuffed in boxes in a cupboard, along with untold other discs - magazine cover discs, drivers for modems long-gone, unlabelled CDR discs, etc. I keep one nice shiny disc with all the current drivers in a folder along with current software & driver discs. I'm sure that's been used on 3 machines with their (obviously different) product keys with no problem.

As Strawballs suggests, the only way of being sure is to try. I'd make a disc image (Acronis) before starting so you can go back to how you were.

So long as each computer is installed with a genuine Product Key, and the Product Key label is stuck to the machine, you should be legal, honest, decent & truthful!

  DieSse 12:23 04 Apr 2006

Just to make it crystal clear.

The numbers are not linked to individual CDs. But the numbers are in sets/batches which are linked to different types of CDs.

For instance, an XPHome Sevice pack1 CD may not work with a number from a SP2 CD. The only way is to try it.

Whilst when the FE says is a paraphrasing of what the MS Licence T&Cs says - I think what you propose to do is an arguable case. You will in fact end up with two (installed) copies of WinXP and two licence numbers which are the original licence numbers for the systems, and not transferred from another system - which is a perfectly OK situation. How the software actually got to be there, is not IMHO a point of issue - there are after all a number of ways that this can be done. I beleive it's the outcome that is important, not the mechanism.

You will find that MS end-user licence agreement (the one you are bound by) refers to "the SOFTWARE" - which of implies the Windows version on the CD you have. It does not refer to the actual CD itself and that particular copy of the software on the that particular CD (which would be odd, as all copies are identical, and there would be no way of ever knowing).

  DieSse 16:15 04 Apr 2006

*you may only install an OEM copy of Windows XP on a new computer*

Of course you may re-install it on a repaired computer that it was originally installed on, too.

And my understanding is that that also covers the replacement of a defective motherboard (though not an upgrade situation), in addition to other defective parts. click here

  flyboy 19:10 04 Apr 2006

I am working on my daughters compaq 700 laptop which she purchased quite some time ago. However, it had been frequently crashing for some time now. She asked if I could 'fix' it though her recovery CD was unusable.

Regardless, I used my Dell XP2 installation CD with Her Original Serial number taken from laptop casing. All went well, then it asked for activation which I attempted to do on line. It was not accepted but was offered telephone activation. I rang MS Uk and within minutes of explaining the method of installation and the reason(s) why, I was given a new activation code.

It is now working but slowly.

It might work for you as long as you have genuine serial numbers.

  AJ59 23:21 04 Apr 2006

thanks for all your help
Does anyone know what sequence of numbers as mentioned by DieSse needs to be the same to ensure the disc is of the same batch?
And if i want to make a disc image - Acronis - how do i do this and does it use up a lot of discs?

  DieSse 23:31 04 Apr 2006

*Does anyone know what sequence of numbers as mentioned by DieSse needs to be the same to ensure the disc is of the same batch?*

I don't see how that matters - either it will work, or it won't. I've never seen anywhere with this information.

*And if i want to make a disc image - Acronis - how do i do this and does it use up a lot of discs?.

How many discs it uses depends on how much there is on your drive. The image is compressed - and you can choose more or less compression, as you wish. On my installation the compression is about 2:1

It's drop dead easy to use, you just run the program and follow the instructions.

  terryf 23:46 04 Apr 2006

My 13.7 gb of progs and OS backups up to a 7.3gb file using acronis on an ext usb drive

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