This is how it works, If the XP CD is a Microsoft oem CD, yes it will work as its not tied to a Computer. But if the XP CD is a Manufacturers oem XP CD then no it will not work as the setup part of the CD as been changed to include a key that is locked to that computer
HI, Thanks for all the help and suggestions. Linux is very intersting but I am fixing this for my son at Uni who is used to XP. However, it's possible that My XP disc will work. I wasn't very clear in my original posting. Although the disc is marked Dell comp, it can in fact be installed on any OEM. The European Court in Germany passed a law which said the OS cannot be tied to the manufacturer. It was installed new as a stand alone disc in a self-built w/o any probs and not in a Dell Comp as originally stated. I bought the disc ( English) in Germany.
"However, it's possible that My XP disc will work."
Yes it's possible it will work.
However you would still be breaking the terms of the licence to use it that you purchased.
Whereas with Linux, you would not - you would be acting entirely legally.
Anybody that can use XP can use Linux - it's not as different as is sometimes made out. I run both on my system, and my son and grandson take pot luck on what's in use if they use my system. They've barely more than mentioned it. And bear in mind that you will get a fully functioning office suite - with XP you get nothing.