I have recently purchased a brand new Acer PC with Windows XP Home pre-installed.

Acer do not supply a Windows disc and instead you have to make a backup disc when starting the PC for the first time which is to be used for any sebsequent recovery.

As I have a genuine Windows XP Home COA sticker on the case please advise if it would be legal for me to use my brothers Windows XP Home disc to do a fresh install on my PC and use my own COA to activate it or indeed if the installation would even accept my own COA.

I know the laws surrounding Microsoft products are very strict and do not wish to deviate from the legal line although I feel I should in some way have a Windows XP Home disc so I may install the OS as a clean install if I wish rather than have the PC set to Acer specs with a lot of their branded cheap software to unistall.

Also, would you be able to advise, why, when I run Belarc advisor I am told that my Key starts with CXCY9 yet my COA sticker quotes an entirely different Key starting VFGRJ?

I'm not bothered about retaining any of Acers OEM software, all I want is a clean install.


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hi ,Welcome to daniweb ,if its legal or not, i do it all the time when customers bring me the computer and no windows cd ,as long as you are using you key why not ,
i also do it with my own laptop and my daughters new compaq does the same as you acer .acer is going to make you make a copy and use that !! as for belarc not sure why the key is different

It's legal.

You have a license to use it, as obviated by you having a CoA sticker. The disc, no matter where you get it from, is just the media you install the OS with. As caperjack put it, if you're using your own key, and not someone else's, or a pirated key, you're good to go.

Thanks for the advice.

As I said, I'm legal with my own genuine COA key so I'll go for it. Will borrow my brothers disc at the weekend.

Make sure the disc is OEM, and not retail or upgrade, or else your product key won't be accepted.
See here for more information: Product ID information

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