Dell XP CD: legal and technical Qs

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Bob Levine, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Bob Levine

    Bob Levine Guest

    Dell always includes a full install version of XP with it's PCs. Most
    other OEMs include only a recovery CD which puts the same lousy image on
    the machine as it was when new.

    I have a friend with one of those other PCs. He wants a clean install.
    He's got a license and CD key which is on the sticker on the side of the
    machine. Is it possible and legal to use the Dell CD and use the CD key
    on the other machine to do a clean install?

    And the legal is important to me. I haven't brought this up with him
    because if it's not, I won't do it. If it is legal, is it technically
    possible? I know that the installer is tied to the Dell BIOS but I
    believe I read that if you installed it on another machine it would ask
    for a CD key and require activation.

    It would seem to me that since the other machine has a CD key, this
    would be perfectly okay, but I don't the legal aspect of it.


    Bob Levine, Jul 27, 2004
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  2. Bob Levine

    WSZsr Guest

    It is legal as he has a license for XP. What media he uses is immaterial.
    WSZsr, Jul 27, 2004
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  3. Bob Levine

    Gary Pigott Guest

    Exactly. the sticker is the license.


    Gary Pigott, Jul 27, 2004
  4. Bob Levine

    Bob Levine Guest

    Great. So that takes care of the legalities. Has any here actually tried
    it with Dell CD? Was my original thought correct? It will install, but
    will ask for a CD and need activation?


    Bob Levine, Jul 27, 2004
  5. Bob Levine

    Ted Guest

    It seems to me that any limitations on the use of the software
    on the Dell CD would [have to] be spelled out in the license
    agreement associated with said CD. Do your come with a
    shrink wrapped license? Is there one on the CD?
    Ted, Jul 27, 2004
  6. Bob Levine

    Tom Scales Guest

    Wait a minute. I think you are getting bad advice. It is legal to reinstall
    XP on the machine with which it came ONLY.

    I believe you are asking if you can put it on a SECOND machine. That is
    clearly NOT legal.

    Tom Scales, Jul 27, 2004
  7. Bob Levine

    WSZsr Guest

    I missed that Tom. You are correct.
    WSZsr, Jul 27, 2004
  8. Bob Levine

    Gary Pigott Guest

    It's legal to install the CD on a PC that already has a license sticker on
    the chassis.

    Gary Pigott, Jul 27, 2004
  9. A Dell OEM XP CD will install on a non-Dell system, but will ask for a
    product key and require activation after installation. It will do the same
    if you install it over an existing installation, even on a Dell PC -- the
    only installation that won't require a license code nor activation is
    installation onto a drive that is either not partitioned or is repartitioned
    and reformatted as part of the installation process (i.e., a fresh

    What happens when you try another maker's OEM license key is open to
    question - if it's a major (Gateway/e-Machines, IBM, HPaq, etc.), the need
    to activate may prompt the need to call Microsoft (in theory at least, just
    as a Dell OEM copy doesn't require activation on a Dell, neither should a
    Gateway/e-Machines copy on one of their systems.
    Edward J. Neth, Jul 27, 2004
  10. Bob Levine

    Bob Levine Guest

    No, I'm not looking to install it on a second machine. If it's legal,
    and if it's possible, I want to use the CD with the other machines
    already legally purchased CD key. The one stuck to the side of the case.

    Bob Levine, Jul 27, 2004
  11. Bob Levine

    Bob Levine Guest

    There's nothing with the CD that would take any of this into
    considerations. Like I said, I'm not looking to break any license
    agreements or laws. But it's only the media. I want to get a clean
    install of XP on a friend's machine.

    If I didn't care about the legalities, I'd just try it and find out.

    Bob Levine, Jul 27, 2004
  12. Bob Levine

    Tom Scales Guest

    OK, gotcha. I don't know for sure it will work (although it likely will, as
    XP OEM is XP OEM).

    Legal too.

    Tom Scales, Jul 28, 2004
  13. Bob Levine

    S.Lewis Guest


    I'd give it a try since those machines have their own (legal) COA's
    (stickers). I've read of (but not personally witnessed) someone who claimed
    to have done this with a Dell CD to another machine after the original
    machine was defunct.

    As the post went, the user/owner had to call MS for activation on the
    secondary (non-Dell) machine - but again, this is anecdotal.

    S.Lewis, Jul 28, 2004
  14. Bob Levine

    Ben Myers Guest

    Yes, I've tried installing XP Home from the Dell-supplied CD on a non-Dell box,
    and succeeded. During installation, it will ask for and you need to supply a
    valid product key. Legally, the product key must be unique. After completing
    installation, you have 30 days to "activate" the software, either on-line or via
    phone (worst case scenario). Activation of the product key causes Micro$oft to
    search its data base to see if the product key has been used before. You get
    only a few (three is it?) activations for a given product key, before you have
    to call by phone, beg, whine, and plead, explaining why the product key has been
    used so many times.

    In short, the Dell CD appears no different than any other XP Home CD.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 28, 2004
  15. Bob Levine

    Bob Levine Guest

    Thanks for the info everyone. I guess I'll give it try. The worst thing
    that will happen is I'll use the restore CD it came with.

    Bob Levine, Jul 28, 2004
  16. Bob Levine

    Pen Guest

    I have done it with a Dell XPH disk onto an Acer
    notebook that had its own license, but lost disk.
    Worked fine, but did require activation with M$.
    Pen, Jul 28, 2004
  17. FWIW, I used a Medion "recovery" CD (which, strangely, actually turned out
    to be a full version and not a "recovery" CD) to install XP Home on a Dell
    box and it installed perfectly without even asking for a product key.

    It did require activation though.
    The Social Outcast, Jul 28, 2004
  18. Hmm, valid WinXP product keys are apparently like gold nuggets but my
    company have just purchased 300 Dell boxes all with an obliging XP product
    key sticker on the side.

    I was curious as to what would happen if you used one of those keys?
    The Social Outcast, Jul 28, 2004
  19. Bob Levine

    MB Guest


    Are you saying then that there would be no hassle using my Dell CD to
    install XP on a non-DELL machine? (ie: there would be no activation problem
    even if XP is still installed on my DELL?)

    MB, Jul 28, 2004
  20. Bob Levine

    Tom Scales Guest

    You would have to call Microsoft to activate and explain why you were using
    a key that was already in use by your employer.
    Tom Scales, Jul 28, 2004
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