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Reinstalling XP


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#1
pip182

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Hi, quick question:

I'm trying to repair/reinstall XP on my Compaq but my PC never came with an XP disc. My version has a valid CD key but i've had to borrow a disc to do the repair - does it matter that it isn't the disc for this particular version of Windows? I originally had Service Pack 1, now upgraded to Service Pack 2, and the disc I've borrowed is XP Service Pack 1a. I realise that I'll lose Service Pack 2, that's not problem.

I figured I can use any Windows disc since I have a valid product key, I'd just like to make sure before I get halfway through and it all goes wrong!
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#2
gerryf

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It depends...

Without getting into all the weird things system builders do, the first thing that is important to know is that the system key type and the CD must be the same

There are several types of keys and matching CDs

Windows XP upgrade
Windows XP retail
Windows XP OEM
Windows XP corporate (also known as volume license)

The sticker on your machine is probably a OEM key, so you would need a OEM CD

Your key will not work with another CD type.

ALso, you should know that you likely do not have an traditional OEM install on your PC, even though you have an OEM sticker. Large system builders have a special kind of volume license key that is pre-activated

You can usually re-install Windows on PCs like this with a special boot partition or recovery CD
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#3
pip182

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Hi gerryf,

Just compared the product key sticker on the top of my pc to the one on the borrowed disc - the borrowed one is OEM but mine says either HPO or HPQ on it instead. Guess they must be different. Problem is i'm trying to install a new motherboard so the new motherboard won't give me an option to use the Compaq recovery discs I've made. Does this mean I effectively can't upgrade my pc at all without an original disc?
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#4
gerryf

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that is exactly what it means--legally

Here's the rub on OEM installations--an OEM install is a license for a MACHINE, not a person.

We could argue whether swapping motherboards out is a new machine or not, but Microsoft does consider it to be. Therefore, they have licensed that.

Now, whether you could use that key to use on a new motherboard...I do not know. Maybe. Maybe not.
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#5
pip182

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Thanks for the help gerryf, I've emailed Compaq directly to see what they say (not that I expect much of a response). This is my one and only PC so i'm not going to mess it up by trying it without knowing exactly what i'm doing.

Annoying really. Bloody system builders. :tazz:
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#6
gerryf

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always build your own, or failing that, buy from a maker who provides you with software.

A pox on Compaq, HP, Dell, Gateway, etc
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#7
pip182

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Yep, just heard back from Compaq and they say I have to buy a new version of XP and install that.
Great. :tazz:
Guess I'd better start saving up for a new PC instead. Cheers anyway gerry!
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