OEM CD installation on different OEM PC

  • Arcath
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I would like to use the windows xp cd from DELL (my friend's cd) to install it on my computer which is not DELL, do you think it is possible to do so or is it made so that only that machine can use it



Assuming your computer was bought with an OEM version of the same OS then yes, but there are some steps you should take, but that are not necessary. Here is an example:

Current HP desktops sold as a consumer/home system usually don’t come with a OS CD. Instead they have a portion of the hard drive partitioned as a system restore partition that can be booted from on emergencies and restore the OS. But what happens when the hard drive dies or you want a bigger hard drive? You can either jump through hoops with the manufacturer or if you happen to have the same OS CD from another OEM you can save yourself some time.

First off there are three types of product keys for windows OS’s, retail, upgrade, and OEM. Any OEM key will work with any OEM CD.

If you use your friends Dell WinXP Pro CD and use the product key from the sticker on the side of your HP that came installed with WinXP Pro, it will work, it will install, it will likely have a Dell wallpaper and Dell utilities when you are done, but it will work. If you are fine with having an HP PC with Dell logo’s everywhere then you are done. (Well sorta done, you still need to update all your drivers and run windows update 20 times.)

If you want it to work and you don’t want the OEM crap on your PC, then try the following steps:

1)Get a Windows 98 bootdisk (http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm) and partition and format the new drive, reboot using the diskette (and preferably using smartdrive) create a directory on the C:\ drive called i386. Copy the i386 directory from the OEM CD to the hard drive.

2)On OEM CD’s there is a subfolder under i386 called ASMS that holds all the crap that OEM’s want installed once the OS is done installing Remove this entire directory tree. No ASMS directory and no OEM crap.

3)Start the Windows install

CD I386 {ENTER}
WINNT{enter}

Some things to keep in mind:
This method is much slower, especially if you don’t use Smartdrive to copy the files (took over 2 hours just to copy the i386 directory for Win2K without it, about 35 minutes with it)
The HD is formatted in FAT32, so do the NTFS conversion during install if you want to use NTFS. But don’t repartition or you will have to start all over.
The OS is going to use generic drivers for all your hardware (Just like the retail version of the OS would), so you really should make updating drivers for everything a priority once the system is up and running.
If the only item in the PC that has changed is the hard drive you shouldn’t have any issues reactivating Windows XP. But if you are upgrading more then just a hard drive, you may need to take extra steps with MS to activate the product.
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