XP Home OEM dilemma

  keja 12:13 03 Feb 2006

Hmm, don't know what to do here....

Last year, I thought I might finally get round to upgrading my (then 4+yr) old laptop from WinME to XP. As it's old I wasn't too sure whether that would work, so decided to buy the cheaper option from a reputable online retailer.

However.... as it was then my only pc and I didn't want to find myself with no pc (and no internet access to find help) I didn't quite get round to it.

Microsoft are withdrawing support for WinME, so I thought - New Year, time to get it working - and thought I'd check for advice on installing it.

Now some of the posts here say I can't install the OEM edition (which I bought thinking I only needed it for one pc) on my old pc.

I doubt the retailer will take it back after several months - and why did they sell it if it was illegal?

The full version at £160+ is a lot to pay for a (now) 5yr old pc - and it might not work too well either.

Any advice on this?

  ventanas 12:18 03 Feb 2006

If they just sold you the CD then it was illegal. For the rules click here

But even if you bought before these came in it wouldn't have made any difference. Unless you were buying a new machine, or a qualifying piece of hardware (which must be installed and in use) OEM has always been a no go. But that didn't stop anyone selling them.

You must, I'm afraid, buy a retail copy. An Upgrade cd would do for around £80

  spuds 12:45 03 Feb 2006

There's as been quite a number of forum post on this very subject recently, due to Microsoft's change of attitude.And the comments got rather heated at times.

The way that I understand the position now, and I stand to be corrected, is that the OEM can be installed on a 'new' computer, and only on one 'new' computer. If the 'new' computer dies, then the OEM software will die with that computer.Previously it was a case of buying a piece of hardware with Microsoft XP OEM products,but I think this rule as now been relaxed slightly.Remember though, that any OEM support, other than that which is available on-line visually, then it is for the seller to supply this support, Microsoft will not.

  ventanas 12:51 03 Feb 2006

The rule about buying a piece of hardware with OEM Windows has actually gone altogether. It is no longer possible to do this. The rules are now, IMHO, much clearer than they were before.

  keja 14:18 03 Feb 2006

Yes, I did buy it with hardware (memory, I think), and according to the retailer's site that complied with Microsoft's rules.

Is there likely to be anything in the installation/cd/program itself that would identify it as pre-dating the new rules - which surely should show it was legitimate?

I had no intention of breaking the law and was just trying to do the best I could on a tight budget.

(Some advice on the internet seems to suggest that a fresh install is preferable to an upgrade.)

  keewaa 14:25 03 Feb 2006

I thought , as long you have a windows product key, it is the key that allows you to install XP on whatever machine you want. Surely it is the key that makes XP machine specific, and if the old machine only had ME, can't any XP be installed on it, as long as the key is present to use?

  Taw® 15:23 03 Feb 2006

Lots of debates happen here regularly and some good advice on the legal side is given. Personally I do not see MS chasing after you for what you want to do. It is illegal for riding a bike on the footpath, how many people do you read about being prosecuted for [email protected] Before the legions fall on me and send me to purgatory I am not condoning the installation of illegal installing of software, but merely stating that common sense should prevail in this issue.

  countryboy 16:08 03 Feb 2006

Go on install it. who is to know that it was not supplied with the computer? Just about every custom built PC is/can be supplied with an OEM copy of windows just in case you need to reinstall.

  ventanas 16:15 03 Feb 2006

As has already been said, there is no reason why it should not install and work. You did buy hardware with it, and if it was before the date of the new rules, then all is legal, assuming you have installed the memory. You should remember that if the memory fails, then the XP licence goes with it. (But who is going to know).

First of all I would run the XP disc and view the hardware compatibility report that is offered. This will warn you of any potential problems. XP will probably have drivers for all your hardware, bearing in mind its age. But modems are nearly always a problem. I would download new drivers first. if all is ok then yes, I would go for a reformat and clean install if the current ME has been there for a while. Make sure you back up everything you need first. For info on what to expect click here

Keewaa, no it cannot. Please view my link in my first posting.

  ventanas 16:18 03 Feb 2006

Should have mentioned, once you're up and running dont forget all the Windows Updates. Be prepared for quite a few.

  keewaa 19:28 03 Feb 2006

So do things like the windows update site, where validation is required, analyse things like this, or is it purely checking for a correct key for the installed XP?

What happens when the HDD goes phut?

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