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I'm in a bit of a bizarre situation and wonder if anyone could help. I realise this is a common post but I could not find a solution to my problem in any of them.

Not too long ago I purchased 2 copies of Win XP Home for my PC and my dad's. They were very cheap @ £58. Both were OEM versions and I was niaeve in thinking that there was no problem with that.

I need to re-format my PC's drive and do a clean install but I've lost my copy of Win XP, but fortunately still have the product key. Normally, I could just use my dad's disc but because its OEM and apparently I need the actual disc I used because the product key is associated with OEM discs (my dad's disc will be looking for his product key only).

I don't want to risk re-formatting my drive, installing XP and then finding out I can go no further at the product key entry. Does anyone know if I will be OK to use the other disc, as long as I have my product key?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.


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it should work and be legal so long as you use your product key but dont take my word on it

I know for sure that with older systems like 98 you could supply any valid key whatsoever, be it OEM or not but im not sure about XP

Member Avatar for san_fran_crisko

Thanks man.

I'm with you; I think it should be fine, but I just don't know...and nobody else seems to know either!

Microsoft won't offer any support because they recognise the serial code as an OEM version so tell me to contact my computer vendor.

keys are not coded into the disks, so go for it. A code is generated based on your licence key and your hardware config, is all. That is what you will submit for validation.

At worst you will have to ring MS and explain

Member Avatar for san_fran_crisko

Thanks for the help, folks. I think I'll go for it. PC is acting very very strange so I don't wanna leave it like this for much longer. Think theres a virus not being picked up.

I'll post whether I'm successful or not so people know for the future.

Thanks again.

Member Avatar for san_fran_crisko

Well, for future reference, yes, theres absolutely no problem using an OEM code to re-install, even if you don't have the original disc. All went very smoothly.


Thanks for the feedback it is helpful and appreciated


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