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Confused about an operating system.

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I recently purchase an almost new Dell PC without a Hard Drive ( Dell dimension E510 With a Windows XP Media Center Edition System, of course with no system at all in the computer cause it doesnt have a Hard Drive) and decided to buy the hard drive and a new operating system but... the problem here is that i can not find a retail copy of this particular version, all i could find is the OEM version, so.... my cuestions here are these.

as far as i know, the OEM version of this XP System is only good for one use and can not be use again on any other computer. well... it makes sense but... can i re-use that same CD on the same computer in case of a crash? how about creating a Recovery CD with the original CD? or... am i gonna be able to use the system recovery or system restore if there's one instaled with this OEM version? how about creating a slipstream with sp2? can that be done? to make this shorter... i just dont want to buy something that i will end up using just once, you know?

and i also would like to know if... i install Windows XP Home Edition instead of the Media Center. would that work, or be a better idea? wich of these two will work better, or be more secure?

I've heard of an Operating system called: OBUNTU. if i use that one will every program work fine in that operating system?

im sorry if i ask too much but i just want to make the right desicion and dont regretted later. =)

if any could help me with these, i would really apreciate that and thank for ever!

thank you all in advance.


Edited by Jayzee000, 28 September 2008 - 10:30 PM.

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In general, OEM software may not be transferred from one system to another system. However, the computer system can certainly be updated with new components without the requirement of a new software license. The only exception to this is the motherboard 1. If the motherboard is replaced 2, the computer system is deemed "new" and a new license would be required. Other PC components may be upgraded, including a hard drive. Though if the hard drive 3 is replaced/upgraded, the operating system must first be removed from the old hard drive. To restate: the operating system is "married" to the computer system on which it is originally installed.

Product Activation

Windows Product Activation is what Microsoft calls the technology it created to cut down on so-called casual copying of its software--for example, installing the same license on several PCs in a home or small office. WPA creates a numeric identifier of a PC's hardware by looking at ten different components.
That data is transmitted to Microsoft along with the product key, the 25-character code found on the installation CD that users enter during installation. (Those who don't have Internet access must call Microsoft and read both long numbers to a representative). Subsequently, if the OS is reinstalled--say, after an upgrade--WPA generates the numeric identifier again and sends it to a Microsoft server that checks it against the original identifier. If the two are significantly different, the PC can't be used until another call is made to Microsoft.
People who buy new PCs with Windows XP preinstalled are even less likely to run into Windows Product Activation challenges. When XP is factory-installed on a PC, it identifies the machine solely by looking at its BIOS. Users would have to swap out the motherboard for one from a completely different vendor before the PC would identify the action as a reinstall and require contact with Microsoft to continue.
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