I have several computers and one needs to be reformatted. The problem is that I have lost the recovery media for it. What I am asking is if it is possible to use the recovery media from a Dell desktop to an HP laptop. Both have the same operating system (XP Home) and I am assuming that since they were manufactured they have OEM versions on them. So, should I be able to use the dell cd to reinstall xp home and change the product key to the one that is on the computer once I have installed it? Thanks.

Just how old is this laptop?

Is there no restore partition?

I don't think Microsoft would be too pleased if you used one OS on two machines. You should be able to install windows but if you have to register it or get updates then it could be a problem. But please answer the above before you do anything.

The Dell cd will be customized for the desktop and i think you'll find that it will NOT work in the hp laptop. A regular(no brand name manufacturer) oem copy of xp home should work using the license from the Microsoft label that's on the hp.