From new this PC took ages to boot up and the HDD access light was flickering for most of the time the PC was switched on. It now takes over 10 mins to boot up. MSconfig was cleared of un-necessary startups. I would like to replace the HDD with a new one and load Windows XP from a "proper" OEM disk rather than the 5 recovery disks I had created some while ago.
My question is: Can I do this without invalidating my user licence (the sticker is on the case) and is there any Acer-specific software resident on the PC (in the Bios?) which would prevent this. The reason I ask is I previously owned a Packard Bell with "Tattoos" and "Glue" what a nightmare that was.
As long as the OEM disc is of the same version ie home or pro then it will work ok I did it recently on a Fujitsu laptop with XP home on it using a Home OEM disc that I have and the product code off the bottom of the lappy
Be careful as it not only has to be the same 'Home' or 'Pro' etc., versions but will need to be the same SP version also. Another thing to remember is that you'll need all the drivers for your motherboard as a clean install will not have them. I've used double driver (just google for it) to save all mobo drivers. DD will ask if you need to save all Windows drivers as well as the hardware. I always leave this option out (windows drivers) as most on the XP disc. Burn the mobo drivers to disc along with DD and you should be up and running in, well, a few hours, as you'll be updating Microsoft updates for a while!