Are ever so slightly different. You won't know till you try it.
The good news is Microsoft will replace your CD for not very much compared to another full copy. Some fail to even ask for the replacement since they think the reciepts are needed. I offered to send in the CD and got mine but then again I registered my OS. Some won't which sadly makes replacement tougher.
I'll start with the basic question and then you can read as many details below as you think are necessary. Thanks.
Can I use a burned CD of WinXP Pro SP2 with the product key I have from my old damaged WinXP Pro (no service packs on the CD)? I currently believe doing so is not a legal issue as I explain below (feel free to explain why I'm wrong if I am) so I'm just wanting to know if it's possible.
I obtained an OEM copy of WinXP Pro when I built my computer 5 years ago (doesn't even have SP1 included on the disc). As far as I can understand it, it's a legal copy. It has the shiny CD like M$ products do as well as the shiny sticker with the product code on it and I bought it along with hardware so as far as I can tell, me being able to legally use this copy of XP is not an issue.
The problem is that I need to reinstall Windows on my computer and I have damaged the disc so that I cannot use it. Since it is OEM and I do not have receipts it appears that I cannot get a replacement copy from M$ and I don't even remember the name of the company I bought the software from when I bought it online five years ago.
One of my friends is still in school and the school has some sort of an agreement with Microsoft allowing students currently in a computer class to get a burned copy of the schools XP Pro SP2 CD. They are then required to log on to some academic site and put their information in to receive a valid code. They then have a free valid copy of WinXP Pro SP2. I'm wondering if he sends me a burned copy, will my code work with his burned disc? Since I'm using the code I payed for, as far as I can tell this would be legal if it works.
I thought that it may be possible that the CD they are burning only works with a range of product codes and that those codes are only available through academic avenues rendering my code useless for that particular CD. Basically I don't want to wipe out what's left of my limping computer with a fresh install using that disc and then find out that I cannot complete the installation because my product code doesn't work. Thanks for the advice.