I recently tried to use an OEM disk to install XP on an HP laptop cos I
couldn't find the disk that came with the computer.
The whole thing installed fine took the HP CD key no problem at the
installing phase then asked for the CD key again once Windows was
installed and wouldn't go any further with the HP CD key, telling me
that it wasn't valid. I then got off my arse and found the HP XP disk
and went through the whole process again, it worked fine.
Its not very sophisticated but I'm sure there's some manufacturer/ MS
jiggerypokery that stops you using product keys from any old computer.
Dell machines are very strange, they do have an OEM version installed but
the CD which you use to install is made for Dell machines, so you cannot use
it to install XP on another machine, as it will say "this is not a dell
I have plenty of dell CD's pre 2006 as Dell no longer ship a CD with
XP/Vista on, they just give you a partition which holds a image of the day
you bought the pc.
How old is the PC, you say pre SP2 so I assume it does not have the recovery
partition, try pressing F12 and see if it will go into the Dell restore?
I can send you a Dell OEM installation CD of Windows XP home, just email me
your addy and i will bung it in the post tommorow.
OEM installs are installed by PC builders as a cut down version as it comes
with no manuals and limited support, it used to be only shipped if you
bought say a hdd then you could buy a copy of XP OEM, MS have sort of
scrapped that idea and you can now "according to MS" buy a OEM copy for
personal use and install it legit.
Something similar affected a friend of mine, a barrister, when he
replaced hos old computer with a new one. He called M$support to
complain that the key didn't work and they told him that he would have
to buy a new copy of XP. Now me, I woudl have bought the disks because
it would be cheaper than the hassle factor.
He started legal proceedings against M$ and within a day they caved in
and authorised his copy of XP. I was amused when it got to the stage of
M$ suggesting that he had ripped off a pikey copy of Windows. The number
of 000s on the documents he sent to them would have made even Bill Gates