General discussion

Can I upgrade from pirated to legit Windows XP Pro?

Hi - In Nov. 2001, I bought an HP Pavilion pre-installed with Windows XP. Shortly thereafter, my son, who builds and plays with computers the way some kids play with cars, offered to put his copy of Windows XP Pro on my machine to make it easier to network our computers (as I recall). Anyway ... it turns out this is a pirated version of XP Pro. I would like to buy a legitimate version and install it on my computer. I have two questions:

1) Do I need to buy the full version, or can I use the cheaper upgrade version?

2) Any pitfalls to watch out for? I'm hoping that I can just stick the CD in my computer and it will install flawlessly over the existing version. Is that hoping too much? For example, I get automatic notification when Windows updates are available and routinely install them. Will this present tricky questions for me, like whether or not to overwrite the newer files during install?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Sign me,

Hope Tugo Legit

Discussion is locked

Reply to: Can I upgrade from pirated to legit Windows XP Pro?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Can I upgrade from pirated to legit Windows XP Pro?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
DON'T DO THIS! Just change the "key". Here's how.
- Collapse -
If I understand you correctly ...

Okay, Bob. So if I follow, you're suggesting that I buy the new version of XP Pro, but simply use that Product ID (change the key) rather than actually reinstalling Windows. Do I have that right?

If I do, would you think I need to buy the full version, or just the upgrade version?

Thanks again.


- Collapse -
Re:If I understand you correctly ...

Your choice on the reinstall. It takes about 5 hours or more for most and the results can be a total do-over and all data gone. What more can I add?

As to the license, it depends. If you have a license to a qualifying OS and the CD's to reinstall the old OS, then the upgrade is cheaper.


- Collapse -
Additional Option

As an alternative, if you already have the install CD that your son used to put the OS on your make it legit you can simply buy the key and license from places like Software Surpluss or Trust to name a few.

- Collapse -
Since you asked, just what I have had happen

You really need to know which OS your son used in the first place. I have found that an Upgrade version will NOT accept a full version key. This was with WindowsXP Home edition. I had reinstalled the OS on a machine I was working on. The version key the owner had was an Upgrade key. I had used the disk from a full version for the install and the key was not accepted for activation. I had to wipe that install and then redo it with the upgrade disk and then the key was accepted. I have not used Windows XP Pro upgade but would assume it to be similar.

CNET Forums

Forum Info