Windows XP OEM or Full Retail

  Maccyroo 11:59 20 May 2006

I am currently fixing a friends Acer laptop after a HDD failure.
The laptop originally came installed with an OEM version of Windows XP but my friend has none of the original discs.
I have purchased a new HDD but am confused over the OEM licensing rules.
To set up windows XP on the new HDD can i buy an OEM version because it originally had an OEM version (discs lost) or will i have to buy a full retail version to get it to work properly.
I assume that as with most OEM's that the original OEM disc was tied to the specific motherboard in the laptop and I don't want to buy the cheaper OEM from DABS to find it won't load.

any help, info would be really appreciated


  dontmeshwithme 12:30 20 May 2006

No, the OEM software that you can get from the likes of ebuyer or dabs can be used on any machine configuration. The are some limitations on the use but these should not affect you.

  961 14:43 20 May 2006

An OEM version should suit you fine. However, buy from a recognised reseller such as Dabs or Novatech for the going rate of around £50-£60

Don't be tempted to buy from E-Bay vendors however attractive the price

  Muzzz 15:53 20 May 2006

I'd Get some more advice on this, as OEM are shipped with new computers i think the licence is only for that system and cannot be used on any other system even if you had another computer you couldn't install it on that. Also i've heard that there may be something in the MBB that knows its a diff HDD drive thats being installed and won't allow you to install it equally buying an OEM version will have specific machines built into to it, so when you try to install it' it will recognise that your computer isn't one on the list and again won't install. I may be talking pants but i'd def check it out before wasting 60 quid on a OS. best place to check it out is whoever you got your PC from.

  ed-0 16:00 20 May 2006

An OEM disk will be fine.

Dabs or ebuyer will be fine. It would be risky, in my opinion, to get one from ebay.


The tattoo you mention is always on the computers hard drive. If you change the hard drive, you have no tattoo and as far as the OEM disk can see, it is a new build.

I have used OEM disks a few times in this situation.

  Dipso 23:10 20 May 2006

As your friend has the licence, the sticker on the rear of the laptop, you should be able to reinstall Windows with any XP home disc.

This happened with my fathers Acer desktop. The hard drive died after he had had it a week. Although I had the self-made back up discs they wouldn't load onto a new hard drive and I couldn't get an Acronis Image to load either. In desperation I tried an original XP Home SP1 disc and this loaded on no problem and allowed me to enter the number on the sticker on the reverse.

  woodchip 23:13 20 May 2006

If you can still get hold of a OEM then get it as you will not be able to soon

  Strawballs 23:15 20 May 2006

Dipso I think that they come in batches because I tried using the OEM disc (XP Home) that came with my HP lappy on a friends machine who lost his disc and it said that the product key was wrong

  ade.h 23:30 20 May 2006

HP OEM CDs are non-standard; sort of slipstreamed by HP. The HP version of Windows Help and Support is one of the differences, and I think there are other more significant but less obvious ones.

  Strawballs 23:40 20 May 2006

click here if you use the slipstream guide here but skipping the SP2 intergration stage you can extract windows out of the HP disc ignoring all of the HP stuff you can leave yourself with a windows disc.

  Dipso 23:44 20 May 2006

My disc is Windows XP SP1 and my Dad's PC was bought 2 years later so had SP2 installed and it still worked. Just thought it was worth a try and would save his mate some cash. He does have a legit licence afterall, seems a shame to have to fork out for another.

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