Microsoft Windows licence query

  Rodders 17:31 08 Feb 2009

My Dad's PC has developed some form of problem - possibly a virus or similar.

I suggested that it was so bad that he may be best doing a reformat and fresh install. Though he can't find the disc that came with it - a Dell machine.

It's running Windows Home XP and he has the Product Key sticker on the case.

I have an MSDN download subscription, so I wondered if it would be within the licencing rules for me to create an installation disc for him and he can use his legitimate product key?

Or, are there better suggestions?



  grey george 17:38 08 Feb 2009

Check with dell there maybe a restore partion on the drive.

  Rodders 18:02 08 Feb 2009

OK, we'll look at that option also. I assume if such a thing did exist that it would restore it to the state it was in when it was bought - i.e. including all the Dell junk that comes with it.

If the barebones XP Home option is legal then it would be nice to have the choice.

  DieSse 20:14 08 Feb 2009

If he has the sticker, that's the vital part. After that any OEM copy of XP home of the same SP revision should do you fine. I'm not sure if it would cope with your download subscription version - have no experience of those.

It won't have any Dell specific drivers, so you will need to download them.You will get a nice clean install without the loads of Dell rubbish tho'.

  lotvic 22:08 08 Feb 2009

You will prob find that the Windows key on the Sticker is not the same key that has been used in the pre-activated factory install.
SIW (system information for Windows) or Magical Jellybean keyfinder will show you what key has been used.

That doesn't stop you using the key off the case to install from CD of course :)

What model Dell is it? There is usually a Restore (to factory fresh) partition. If you hold down Ctrl and press F11 at the Dell logo when the computer first starts up you will get a menu to choose Restore from if it's there.

PC Restore restores your hard drive to the operating state it was in when you purchased the computer.
Any programs or files added since you received your computer—including data files—are permanently
deleted from the hard drive. Data files include documents, spreadsheets, e-mail messages, digital photos,
music files, and so on. If possible, back up all data before using PC Restore.
To use PC Restore:
1 Turn on the computer.
During the boot process, a blue bar with w w w dell. com appears at the top of the screen.
2 Immediately upon seeing the blue bar, press <Ctrl><F11>.
If you do not press <Ctrl><F11> in time, let the computer finish starting, and then restart the
computer again.
NOTICE: If you do not want to proceed with PC Restore, click Reboot in the following step.
3 On the next screen that appears, click Restore.
4 On the next screen, click Confirm.
The restore process takes approximately 6–10 minutes to complete.

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