Hey all I was just wondering about something. I've read numerous times about xp product keys and how you can only use the software on one comp at a time. My specific XP recovery disk came with my computer and does not ask for a product key to be typed during install. Ive reformatted with this disk a million times and it has never asked me for a key.

I recently (well, months ago) used the same disk to install XP on my brothers computer, and again, no problems, no keys. I thought that having one OS on multiple computers would blacklist updates and what not, but so far we have both had no problems whatsoever. Or at least that's what it looks like as the "download/install updates" icon regularly pops up on our toolbars. I'm certainly not complaining, but whats going on?

Also, if I were to reformat my computer right now and attempt a re-install using that disk, would I run into any problems?


I believe the manufacturer's os cd's pull the cd key from an eprom in the system. I've never tested this theory, but you could download a product key finder and compare the info it retrives to the oem code on the side or bottom of the pc.

commented: I agree, your post must have beat mine by seconds. :^) +5

The cd only has the files necessary to install XP; the license is on a label attached to the computer case(or bottom of a laptop). I'm guessing both computers are from the same manufacturer and this is why the one disk worked for both. For example, a Dell disk wouldn't work on an HP and vice versa.

Well they are both Dell computers so I guess that makes sense. Seems a bit lax security wise. Certainly not complaining though :P.

Ok thanks guys was just curious.