General discussion


Top 10 questions and answers about XP ac

By fred ·
I am a bit fuzzy about Win XP Pro OS activation. I purchased Win XP Pro full version and installed on my old Dell Workstation 420 as G:\, the boot drive, not sure how that happened and do not know how to correct it without reformat and install. I am going to build a new computer with new Ultra 320 SCSI drive 36 GB 15K, Intel Pent IV, 2.8gb CPU,533 FSB,Intel MB D845PEBT2, 845PE chip set, 1 gb of SDram,a new video card and audio card. Question is: Can I use my copy of WinXP Pro on this new computer? Will I need to re-activate it and how much does that cost if anything? Please reply also to:

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

XP activation

by timwalsh In reply to Top 10 questions and answ ...

The Activation algorithm creates a Activation number based on both the Product Key and major hardware pieces installed on your computer. Usually, the trigger events for having to call Microsoft for Re-activation are: re-installation on the same machine a given number of times within a short-time period (numbers and times not specified by Microsoft) (prevents installing the same software on several computers with similar configuration), significant changes of hardware (definition of "significant" not specified by Microsoft) (prevents cloning a dirve and installing cloned drives in other hardware), Re-installation on completely different hardware.

The bottom line answer to your question is Yes you PROBABLY will need to re-activate by calling Microsoft. Unless you have done this several times (called Microsoft) for the same software, there shouldn't be any problems once you explain the situation (and especially state that XP has been removed from the old computer). There will be nocost involved. If you want to keep XP on the old computer, you need to buy another license.

As far as your first question, the only way to change the boot drive is to reinstall.

Collapse -


by TheChas In reply to Top 10 questions and answ ...

Tech Republic has published a couple of articles explaining the XP activation process.

A very good guide is posted at

As to whether or not you have to get a second license for your new system, you won't find out until you call Microsoft for the activation code.

I had no problems when I re-installed XP on a new system. But, other than the motherboard and CPU, ALL of my remaining activation related hardware was the same. (Drives, RAM, NIC)

Moving a NIC and hard drive to the new system will increase your chances of Microsoft providing you with a new activation code with no questions asked.

If you have any concerns, or plan to keep the old system running, I suggest that you pick up an OEM version of XP when you buythe hardware for the new system.

For an individual, I believe that the cost of a license from Microsoft is only a few dollars less than the retail cost of the full version of XP.
Whereas, you can buy the OEM version with your hardware for under $150 (US).


Collapse -

Can be done

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Top 10 questions and answ ...

I do not know what criteria Microsoft use in regards their activation policy, but I can speak from my own experiences.

I had a PC with an Athlon 1.4 GB CPU, Gigabyte motherboard, ASUS graphic card, and 2 x 40GB IBM hard drives. I had loaded Win XP Pro on this and activated it. About 4 months later I replaced the system with a Pentium 4 1.8 GB CPU, ASUS motherboard, same graphics card and a 80 GB IBM hard drive for the oeprating system.

I wiped the installation on the old HDD and used the Win XP CD to load onto the new HDD. ACtivated over the Internet no hassles, I did use the same e-mail address and same ADSL Internet connection for both activations. I have had no correspondence from Microsoft other than the activation acknowledgements.

You should have no troubles.

Related Discussions

Related Forums