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XP Licensing

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#1 dobber1978


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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:42 PM

Bought an Acer computer and it came with XP Media installed on it.

It has the license sticker on the side of the machine but what exactly does this sticker entitle me to?

Reason being, and some of you may have been reading my other post, but I lost my motherboard (MB) and I am being told now that I have to replace the MB and that I will have to buy a new operating system as the one I was provided with will only work with my Acer MB, one expense that I don't want.

When I bought my machine it did not come with any WinXP disk, no software disks at all, just instructions to make my own back up disk, did that but Acer and the computer shop that I took my machine to says it won't work on a new MB.

What are my options? Could I get a copy of WinXP Media and install it using the Key on the side of my machine?

Thanks, any help is appreciated,


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#2 skullpeddler


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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:58 PM

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I'm aware once you buy a key you can install it anywhere you like as long as it is only installed in one place at any one time and you use the correct media that correspond with that key...

i.e. Home key goes with Home disk, Pro key goes with Pro disk, etc...

So if you can get your hands on a XP disk of the correct version its definitely worth giving a try.

I know some manufactures have their own OEM keys and stuff but that hasn't been an issue for me yet when reinstalling systems for customers.

I would be interested to know if their is a problem with doing this...

#3 hamluis



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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:24 PM

<<Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I'm aware once you buy a key you can install it anywhere you like as long as it is only installed in one place at any one time and you use the correct media that correspond with that key...>>

To put it simply...there are different types of licenses...and each license is governed by its terms of use. These are readily available with the license or can be found on the Microsoft website.

The most basic types of licenses:

a. Volume licenses. Provided to a business or enterprise, allows them the right to install XP on a number (volume) of systems. See article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volume_license_key

b. OEM licenses, there are 2 types:

1. Licenses sold to individuals who put together systems for their own amusement (like many forum members) or for resale to others (individual users who put together systems on a custom basis or for resale).

These licenses are now called System Builder licenses, where before they were simply known as MS OEM licenses. These licenses can only apply to one system and are not supposed to be moved to another system when that one dies, etc.

2. Boxmaker (Dell, HP, Gateway, eMachines, Acer, etc.) OEM licenses. These licenses can only apply to one system, the system exhibiting the tag from MS with the license/key.

Since boxmakers have managed to avoid providing an install CD for XP to many of their customers...their use of recovery partitions/CDs also serves to reinforce the fact that the install of the O/S cannot easily be moved to another system or hard drive.

c. Retail licenses. These are the only licenses which can normally be transferred to a different system, but the install cannot be duplicated on two different systems using one license.


I believe that the update licenses are considered to be retail...don't know, I've never owned one.

The most important principle behind any license: One key allows for one install on one system at any time (since volume licenses are a special category). I own 8-10 licenses for XP Home...I can use those licenses on a maximum of 8-10 systems at any single point in time.

As for OEM licenses not being moved to other systems or newer components...I personally find that there is little difficulty obtaining valid activation after upgrading a component (such as a motherboard) or upgrading a system so much that it becomes a new entity. That is said from the perspective of one who has upgraded components and who was willing to obtain a new license...if such decision had been mandated by the PA mechanism.


#4 thcbytes


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Posted 09 February 2009 - 11:11 PM

I had a similar experience and here is how it played out.

I had a hard drive fail on one of my XP machines. I have an image of all my drives in the event of hardware failure. I replaced the hard drive, and also updated the Mobo and processor. I restored the image to the newly installed hard drive.

Microsoft detected that there was a hardware change and XP would not activate. I called Microsoft and explained my dilemma. They confirmed with me that I did not transfer the original OS to another computer and that all I was doing was restoring my original image with hardware changes. They gave me a new activation code and I was able to log on. I was very grateful but was willing to pay for another license if I had too. :thumbsup:

(edit - spelling)

Edited by thcbytes, 09 February 2009 - 11:13 PM.

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#5 the_patriot11


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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:44 AM

I think if you have an actual CD and key, that as long as you only use that one Cd an da key at one machine at a time, then in my mind its totally legal-I find its really underhanded to force someone to buy a new copy of XP just because their motherboard failed, its cheasy and underhanded, and if you have the actual CD and product key, in all honesty microsoft will never know the difference. I have one copy of XP that I have put on 2 or 3 computers over the years-always after the other one was rendered inoperable (either through failing or me dismantling it for parts) but I do only use one copy of it-period. I wont run it on 2 computers at the same time. ive never been taken to court for it and microsoft has never questioned me. technically i have 2 copies of XP, one on my laptop but I dont have the actual boot disk for it, but its legal i have the product key, and an old one that I saved the product key from that i had a boot CD with. one activation key for one copy of windows on one computer at a time, and I really dont think youll have an issue, even if bill gates knew you replaced the motherboard without buying a new copy, I sincerely doubt hed do anything about it. hes more interested in the people who hack the registry and redistribute it over the internet free of charge.



Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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