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Using the same OS Disk on a second computer

by Jman787 / December 1, 2008 12:07 PM PST

I have an old Dell laptop that was really broken, so I used a Windows XP Professional OS disk from a different computer that crashed (and was thrown away) to reinstall windows. I would like to use this OS disk on another computer instead now - meaning that i dont want to use my old dell laptop anymore and would like to use my 2nd laptop. If I reinstall windows with that same disk on my second laptop, is all that is going to happen is that I wont be able to use my first laptop (dell)?

I hope I am explaining this well - you need more info just let me know!

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Ever heard of the MS "Activation"?
by Coryphaeus / December 1, 2008 3:28 PM PST

Once XP is installed and activated, it'll only work on that machine. If you try to activate it on the new machine, the activation will fail.

If you can convince Microsoft of your situation they might give you a new Key.

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To install that OS on another PC,...
by Paul C / December 1, 2008 6:40 PM PST MUST purchase another license. The EULA (End User License Agreement) is crystal clear on this point - to install a previously installed copy of Windows on a second PC, you'll need to buy a license for that PC. If you do not, you'll be unable to update or activate Windows.

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EULA and practices
by Willy / December 1, 2008 11:34 PM PST

This practice has been frowned upon by MS and what the OEM(Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.) expects of the s/w use. No lawyer here, but it has been common for users to re-use OS s/w on other computers provided no further use on the original computer is came on AND!!! it is the same brand OEM computer as was the old, like Dell to Dell. On top of that, just because you have similar brands systems, many times laptop install s/w is specific to that model series and may not be problem free or extra effort is required. Of course the proof of usage maybe getting the OS activated when asked, you maybe "denied" so beware. This usually isn't a problem for "volume users" like business/corporate though the activation may still be required, etc.. MS hears this all the time, so the real solution is to buy the retail or some generic OEM version from the likes of or other online vendors for new system builds/rebuilds.

tada -----Willy Happy

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This is for OEM only?
by ahtoi / December 2, 2008 1:07 AM PST
In reply to: EULA and practices

Or does this applied to a full boxed version?

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what is OEM exactly
by Jman787 / December 2, 2008 8:10 AM PST
In reply to: This is for OEM only?

Sorry, Im not sure what OEM is. Also, If I never use this Dell laptop again, why wouldnt it work on my second laptop (in my dell laptop I used a CD from another PC anyway that was broken and it worked)


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OEM versus full retail package (in a nutshell)
by Steven Haninger / December 2, 2008 9:03 AM PST
In reply to: what is OEM exactly

If you have a full retail boxed version of XP (generally ran about 300 bucks) you can re-install XP on another PC as long as it's no longer installed on the original. This would be if you built a new rig that was bigger, better and faster. If you use an OEM version, it's meant to be installed on one PC only and can't be used again when you build your bigger, better and faster rig. The OEM versions, which are usually about 1/2 the cost of retail, are meant for system builders. If you buy a PC with XP installed from a local builder and they include an XP disk, it will be an OEM copy. Now, these builders have a way to circumvent the activation issue if the PC you bought from them dies and they need to replace major hardware as part of their warranty. That's legal, as I understand it. It's not legal for a user to continue to reuse the disk...even if only on one PC at a the same manner as a retail copy.

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well the cd came with a dell computer
by Jman787 / December 2, 2008 9:27 AM PST

so I guess its not an OEM.

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If it came with a Dell ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 2, 2008 9:32 AM PST

it is OEM and the license for it is actually tied to the motherboard of the system it is first installed on.

It may well install to another computer but that is a violation of the End User License Agreement and could subject the violator to a $10,000 fine if caught at time of activation.

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So where would be a good place to get a cd
by Jman787 / December 2, 2008 9:49 AM PST

that I can use to reinstall windows?

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There are LOTS of places such as ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 2, 2008 11:08 PM PST

eBay (read product description CAREFULLY!), DirectDeals is also a legitimate source of both OEM and Retail XP Pro (notice that link indicates additional pages of XP Pro offers) but again be sure of what you are after. The upgrades for instance only upgrade existing MS operating Systems and will not install unless you can provide proof of an upgradable OS. Also, the media only offers are on ly good if the computer you are installing it on already has a vaild CoA. and also offer OEM and retail XP Pro.

If none of those trip your trigger try this link -

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OEM OS types
by Willy / December 2, 2008 11:23 PM PST
In reply to: This is for OEM only?

I found two types of OEM variations, one that came with your OEM type system(pre-installed), like Dell, HP, Compaq, etc., -OR- those sold for new builds like DIY'er builders. That last OEM type OS tends to be more generic and open to various end systems. In many cases this type of OEM OS must be brought with some new h/w in order to fulfill the requirement of its sale like a mouse, mtrbd., HD, etc.. Retail versions(includes upgrade) of OS are NOT hampered by OEM restraints, whatever they are. MS fully supports retail versions, while OEM versions are supported by the vendor you brought it from.

tada -----Willy Happy

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