It may have changed with recent models, but the xp shipped with dells (and used on their recovery cd/dvd) used to be tied to the bios and activated automatically.
Did any of the units come with a recovery set? Does the system have a "make recovery disk" menu item?
I don't have any new Dells on my bench.
I am sure Dell support can tell you how to do what you want. Whether you can get to someone who can understand what you need to do is another story.
For clues read this link.http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/vista.htm
It is not directly what you are looking for but it details the difference between the recovery system used on xp dells and vista dells and may give you some clues that would be good to know before you contact dell.
Also, take down the name, and employee number of everyone you talk to at Dell and remember your purchasing dept will probably have a sales rep who can possibly get you past the standard page flippers if you end up in the black hole of dell support.
Also this MS whitepaper is kinda dated but addresses the general need of activating xp in a corporate environment.http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457078.aspx
Another link that seems more closely to fit your situation.http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet...sta-rollba.aspx
Edited by Ken-in-West-Seattle, 23 November 2009 - 09:24 AM.