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Windows XP Pro Activation w/o CDs or original product key?

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Since the computer is going to your parents. Use a restore disc from the web site . I have used them and they are easy to use.As mentioned above.Linix is has some great distributions like Mint.
But for the average user..Win Xp is going to be easier to get software for and drivers. Yes Win Xp is going away..However you can upgrade to WIN 7 when that happens.