Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:19 AM
I'm not sure why there are any questions here regarding Windows Activation...it's all pretty clear as explained at the Microsoft website and the terms of sale/EULAs which govern the sale of the system to buyers.
But...I'll tell you how I see the questions you have raised here.
An HP and a Dell system...are each considered to be OEM systems, issued/sold with corresponding licenses that are also considered as being "OEM". There, the resemblance ends...each is s a totally different organization, each doing things in the manner decided by the heads of the respective manufacturer.
Microsoft has issued various pronouncements to the world...stating that OEM licenses of any of their operating systems...are tied to the system for which said license was assigned/issued. That means simply that such license is not intended to be transferred or used on a system other than the one it was originally attached to.
Quite simply...disks made by either...are not intended to be used on systems made by a different manufacturer.
Having a valid license to install XP (any version) on a system...does not mean that any CD or set of CDs will do. In general, a Microsoft Genuine XP CD (which is not the same thing as issued by any OEM system manufacturer) can be used, along with the valid license key, to install XP on some (if not all) of these OEM systems. I haven't experience with all of them, but I do know that this works for some. Of course, the CD must match with the license issued for that version. If the license is for XP Home, then the CD must be for XP Home...and so on for all the other variations of the O/S.
Recovery/restore disks...are issued by the system manufacturers. Such are not equivalent to MS Genuine XP CDs and should not be regarded as such by any user with an OEM system...who wants to do repairs or installs where the directions call for a MS Genuine XP CD. Since these recovery/restore disks...are issued by the system manufacturers...they dictate how, when, where, etc. they are to be used. Microsoft does not...no one but the manufacturer of the system...decides such.
Any questions about these recovery/restore disks (or partitions...or both) should be addressed to manufacturer of the system. From what I've seen, most of them have the details for such posted at their respective websites.
You have an HP system...you need to contact HP about obtaining replacement disks (which you stated that you have done) or review the documentation available on your system (at the HP website or in your owner's manual)...to ascertain the answers to questions about such.
The possibility exists that you could use your HP license to attempt repair or reinstallation of Windows....if you borrow/acquire/have someone burn you a copy of the corresponding MS Genuine XP CD...but I cannot say for certain that will work with all OEM systems.