Ok in the EULA it says the licence is like permission to use the software, It does not mean that you own it.

I have a copy of XP home upgrade and a laptop which once had windows 98 (now no cd) - but the certificate of authenticity and serial is there.

Using the 98 serial number can I upgarde to XP?

you will need the cd ,you have to put it in the cdrom when asked during the xp upgrade .

But you will be required to enter a new serial number, provided on your XP packaging.

I never had a CD. I had a recovery partition whcih was destroyed by a virus. All i have is the COA and serials

i mean can i use my 98 licence as means to upgrade

I KNOW!!!!!!!!

With xp UPGRADE it wants proof that you are eligible such as existing installation or CDROM of your old system which for me is windows 98.

I have neither of these and am, wonderin if as proof i can give my Windows 98 serial number

No. An upgrade version requires that you have an old edition of a product. I don't think you are even asked the old product's key.

damn, so i cant upgrade without an existing system/cd ?
Not even if i have all the original certificates and serials?
Can i get a replacement 98 cd?

I suppose. Try contacting the original vendor who provided you the computer. He may be able to help.

Lenovo dont wanna hear jack about old IBM machines

i understand now what you want to do !!
you need a win98 cd as said above and the key to the xp upgrade you have .so you can install the upgrade as a full version xp,without having win98 loaded on the computer .any win98 cd will do .it has nothing to do with the win98 key on the computer case

OK here is the problem from the top:

1, I had a recovery partition for win98 (NO CD EVER!)
2. It was destroyed by a virus
3. I would like to install XP upgrade. I still have all the win98 COA etc.... so therefore isnt my licence still valid?
4. If so, how can i upgrade!

You will need to get a CD of the previous OS. Doesnt matter if you own it, or if it's Win98, ME, 2000. During setup of XP, you'll need to pop in the said CD when it asks you to. Thats it.

Damn. ok thanks. The only other os cd i have is NT4 workstation,

Damn. ok thanks. The only other os cd i have is NT4 workstation, can u upgrade that to home or is it pro only?

Damn. ok thanks. The only other os cd i have is NT4 workstation,

so,have you tried using it it is a windows os disk

upgrade nt4 u need xp pro. ill just have to sell my home upgrade and buy a ful student or oem version