Although it might be possible to use a secondary XP disc (assuming it's the exact same version as your product key supports), your problem will be later.. The Recovery Discs from Dell include their Resource/Driver CD which will install all the correct hardware drivers after the operating system disc is used.. Without those drivers, you have a machine that simply won't work correctly. Have you tried contacting Dell to obtain the recovery discs? They will usually do so at a very minimal fee?
As to whether you want Ubuntu or not, it's up to you..
Hope this helps.
Greetings fellow Forum readers,
I'm thinking about reformatting my HDD and reinstalling WinXP. I'm using a Dell Inspiron Laptop E1505. Processor is Intel (not sure which chip), 1.6ghz, and I have 2GB RAM (a recent upgrade from the original 512MB). I've had this computer about 4 years, and it's at that point where everything seems to be slowing down. Boot up is slower, programs start slower, etc. The usual Windows experience over time. I've tried CCleaner and some other tools, but they're not helping much at this point.
I made the mistake of not getting the CD with the computer, so I'm wondering if I can reinstall with another XP disk but using my license number?
Also, any opinions whether this is worth it, or should I make the jump to Ubuntu? This is not my primary computer. We also have a new Acer laptop with most of the important stuff on it. Reality is I could live without the Dell, but I just like it!