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How do product keys work?

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#1 chris667


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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:27 AM


Sorry if this is a stupid question; I don't really do Windows anymore, someone has just asked me!

If I have a desktop with a Windows XP license key on the back, can I use any copy of the same version of Windows XP to reinstall it? For example, the student license one I get free from uni?

Just curious.

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#2 buddy215


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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:48 AM

Short answer...Yes
Assuming that no major hardware such as mother board as been replaced on the target computer.
Assuming that the install medium is not designed specifically for one brand/ model of computer.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#3 noknojon


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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:29 AM

can I use any copy of the same version of Windows XP to reinstall it

If the installed version was Home version or XP Pro or Media edition, the new install must match fully.
The Service Pac (SP 1 - 2 - 3) is not of concern, just the Install Version -

eg. You cannot use that XP key to install Pro, if the Original install was Home version -

Regards -

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