QUESTION: You mention that my Win XP Home Edition CD would not be of any use to install Win XP Pro. But, WOULD it go ahead and install Win XP Home Edition and would it be legal?
Yes you could format your computer and reinstall your Win XP Home operating system provided that win XP Home is correctly licenced for use on a different machine ( likely if it is a full retail version, but unlikely if its an OEM version limited to use on the machine it shipped with)
For it to be legal it would need to be correctly licenced and for installation you would also need the correct product serial key for the Win XP Home installation...( the win XP Pro product serial key will not work on an XP Home installation)
It may be worthwhile checking with all your chums again to see if they still have their original Win XP Pro installation disc hidden away somehwhere in a drawer that has not been looked at recently...when doing house calls on folks to fix their computersI I was often surprised to be asked it it was worth keeping some installation discs that were issued with computers that had been replaced with different ones over the years, some discs went back to Win 3.1 and that's a few years old now (more than 25 years!) and some even had hung on to their old DOS discs!
As this computer did once belong to your sister It might be worth checking again with her to go through her cupboards and "hidey holes" to check if the errant disc is there. Did she perhaps make a disc image using Macrium or Symantec Ghost or Acronis or one of the many other disc imaging applications?
Other avenues you could explore are local computer clubs that almost certainly will have a member with the XP Pro disc you can borrow, or check with your local community groups, your church, your local U3a (University of the Third Age) your local library may also be able to help. Even a member of family (including children, grand children or dare I say it, great grand children!) of one of your chums may be a "whizz" on computers and be able to help. An ex employer or firm you have had dealings with may be able to help, its worth asking! As it's such a simple and quick solution it's worth while asking everone you can think of....after all Win XP has only been unsupported by Microsoft now for less than 5 years and there are millions and millions of folks still using it!
Do you know of a source from where you're pretty sure that I could just download the Macrium Reflect Free setup file without it wanting to install itself right then and there onto the computer doing the downloading?
Yes I sure do! here's the link:
Just ask someone to download it and save it to a new and unused or otherwise clean flash drive ( USB key) and you can use that to install Macrium onto your computer.