Hello all, I am trying to rebuild a computer for my kids. The hard disk is hoplessly infected and I do not have viable backup files ( I'm afraid of how far back the infection goes). Can I use a diffent computer's oem xp disk to install on a new harddisk in this machine? I have serial numbers and key for the old junk that I'm fixing but the key won't work 'cuz it doesn't match the serial number on the oem disk. Don't want to "repair application" because the drive is so bad, I just want to toss it. Not trying to steal anything this computer was legit and we used it for years, it passed ms authentication and was updated regular. Just beyond my own knowledge at this point. Thanks, Andy

wiping the harddrive with a oem disk of xp doesnt seem like a problem if there is a different authentication. all the authentication does is say hey microsoft this key is correct now stop fussing. i mean if every system had there own xp disk i would be in a world of problems.

wipe the harddrive using the oem and install xp put in the authentication that came with the computer itself and everything should be alright.(my opinion)

The serial numbers for the disks are actually keys to algorithms. A key from an OEM copy of XP will not work with a normal retail disk and vice versa. I am not sure if the OEM disk algorithms are vendor specific. You can contact the computer manufacturer and they will usually ship you a new disk for $10.

well, just spent 4+ hours on the phone with microsoft. seems that they say you cannot change components on your system without compromising your license agreement. The lady at licensing suggested that I would need to find an exact replacement for my hdd or I would be pirating the software. I'm a mechanic by trade and this seems so absurd I'm not sure how to react. I told her this is why people steal software, I'm trying to reload MY software license on MY computer. Funny thing is no one ever said the license was the problem, just that they were unwilling to help my load it back on the same machine it was on????? Andy