Re-Using a Windows/Office Product Key

By ohm.paul ·
I have an old Dell (dimension 4700) that I bought years ago with XP Pro pre-installed. Now that the Dimension has died, I bought a new computer without an OS. Is there anything saying that I cannot use the product key from the Dimension's XP Pro install (which is labeled on a sticker on the tower) on my new computer?

It seems like if I should have the right to use a product key in this way because I paid for the license in the first place, but I am not sure. I'm sure that you have the right to do so if you purchase the Windows XP software separately, but can you do the same thing if the software or OS is pre-installed on the computer?

Can anyone tell me for sure?


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by IC-IT In reply to Re-Using a Windows/Office ...

The Dell had an OEM XP license and was only valid for that one system.
Office is normally a seperate purchase and usually a retail license, it could be transferred.

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by taylorjes In reply to Sorry

I had a similar situation about 3 yrs ago,
and I was able to contact both Dell and
Microsoft. Microsoft said that they could not
authorize the re-use, but when I called Dell
they gave me a new Auth Key for a significant discount because I was a continuing customer.
You could try that. I think I paid about 1/3
of Dell's asking price, probably close to the
OEM price. The best part is you can use the
old disk.

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Licensing FAQ

by shasca In reply to Re-Using a Windows/Office ...

Here is MS licensing documentation. The rest is up to you and your situation as it applies here.

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seems unfair

by ohm.paul In reply to Licensing FAQ

That just seems unfair. According to that FAQ, if any software is pre-installed, it lives and dies with the PC. Although, this doesn't really tell whether the key would work or not on my new PC, it mightjust be saying that MS won't give full support, I still wonder if it would pass the genuine windows test. As for Office, that just seems like complete robbery. If you pay Dell $150 to put Office on your computer instead of buying MS Office for $150, then you lose it when your computer dies...seems unfair to me. Again, though, I wonder if the key would actually not work, or is it just MS denying full support of the product...

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Welcome to the club

by jdclyde In reply to seems unfair

of "I hate unethical MS business practices"

It is a big club, and getting bigger all the time.

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with ya

by shasca In reply to seems unfair

I'm with you on that. To me it is like saying if I total my car I can't take the engine out and put it in some thing else of my choice

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by ohm.paul In reply to with ya

Like, just because Toyota put my car together, using a volume engine that they use for all of their cars, I am not allowed to use the engine in a different car because it is assigned to that one...lame. I am probably going to try it and see if it doesn't get past the genuine windows test...I'll try the same with office.

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by shasca In reply to exactly

It will probably install, and validate fine.
It is just that we as IT Professionals cannot tell you it's "OK" to do it.

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That's where you are wrong.

by cmiller5400 In reply to validation

For the Windows install: If the key is a Dell key, it will not work unless you have a Dell CD. And Dell CD's are usually tied to the hardware and don't include the drivers for other machines.

Good luck making this work; and if you do, don't be surprised if the BSA doesn't show up on your door step demanding an audit. I wouldn't cheap out on a $140 piece of software that if caught, would could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees. JMHO

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You can transfer, but...

by vhrocker In reply to That's where you are wron ...

Working in IT and listening to many brainwashing sessions from a MS rep, I've learned a lot about MS licensing.

In your case, you have an OEM license that is tied to one machine, and the first machine that it was installed on. It can not be transferred to another system, even if the old is not being used, because it is an OEM copy.

However, there is ONE exception, and that is if the motherboard is fried.... I think you are safe. I suppose you can say you replaced the motherboard, and while you were at it, upgraded some other components...

If Office is also, OEM, I'd safely assume this also applies. If it is a retail copy, you should have no worries.

As far as the cd's go, the license key will work with a same generation OEM copy. Just try and see if it works. There are so many 'generations' as the key algorithms are hard coded for a certain number of keys. When they need more available keys, they make a new cd batch.

I hope that helps.

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