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Win XP reinstalls - cd?

By chaseshaw ·
A small business I am consulting for has approx. 40 computers from companies like dell and HP all with legit XP home cd OEM stickers with valid keys. problem is the guy they hired before me installed a cracked XP pro instead. I am willing to go buy a fresh install cd for XP home, but my question is, will that one CD be able to install onto all 40 computers (with their respective OEM-issued keys), or is the key associated with that cd and we need 40 whole new versions?

I suspect the one cd should work, but have never tried it before.

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Depends

by Charvell In reply to Win XP reinstalls - cd?

I've seen it both ways. The nearest I can figure from my experience is the version you are installing has to match the key. So, a key for Windows XP SP1 won't work with a Windows XP SP2 cd.

By chance did the company save any of the CDs that came with the machines? Typically Dell and HP will include a CD with the operating system in the box with the machine.

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no

by chaseshaw In reply to Depends

the system was initially built about 4 years ago. the company did not keep the documentation (the handiwork of the guy before me yet again).

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Nice guy, your predecessor!

by PhantomPatrol In reply to no

How about a direct approach to Microsoft with an equally well written description of the problem. I would think that if you can get deep enough into the organization, someone can give you an MS code that would put you right in. Of course, to expose that secret, they would then have to kill you.

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Depends on which License version is used on the Individual Computers

by OH Smeg In reply to Win XP reinstalls - cd?

In Theory you can use the one XP Home M$ Install Disc to install all copies of Home with the correct Product Key.

However there is a catch here HP doesn't provide XP Home they provide a Cracked Version which doesn't require Activation so it behaves like a Volume License Version of XP Home and has different Product Keys.

In reality provided that you do not step outside of the version of XP your install disc is you can install all valid Product Keys for that version. So there are the following Versions of XP that are officially released by M$ XP Home, Media Center, XP Pro, XP Pro Volume License. All of these have their individual Product Keys which Can Not be used with the other versions.

However HP at least don't seem to play by these rules and have what works like a Volume License version of XP Home which also has it's unique Product Keys.

Col

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Beg to Differ

by willcomp In reply to Depends on which License ...

You can use an OEM XP CD (not one from another manufacturer, just a plain old MS OEM CD) to install XP on an HP PC. Have done it more than once.

It's much easier if you use a manufacturer's copy that bypasses product activation. Dell CDs are easy to find but HP is not as common (they started recovery partitions and make your own recovery CDs early on).

The HP CD works for Compaq PCs produced after the merger.

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Will have to try this

by chaseshaw In reply to Beg to Differ

Will have to try this one, right now it's not a huge issue, but as more viruses come up that we can't download security updates for, the need will increase. Likewise those above me in the company won't be pleased at the necessary downtime to reinstall all the software from scratch.

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You can but when it comes time to Activate

by OH Smeg In reply to Beg to Differ

You have to ring MS and speak to a person there.

Probably not a good idea in a case like this where Pirate Copies of M$ Product have been used by a Business to make money.

Not sure how M$ would handle this but it would be badly and they say that they require $250,000.00 for a First Offense. With this many Computers involved they probably would want a substantial sum to settle out of Court and they would be naming the Business Owners Personally in an easily identifiable manner.

It's probably just better to fix it up to what it should be and not involve M$ at all here.

Col

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Basics

by Jacky Howe In reply to Win XP reinstalls - cd?

XP Home has a maximum of 5 concurrent connections. XP Pro has a maximum of 10 concurrent connections.
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If you are not on a Domain and you go back to XP Home you will end up with 8 pods of 5 PC's. There would be 4 pods of 10 PC's for XP Pro.
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I personally would be looking at Volume Licencing for XP Pro. If you ever get a server you can connect the lot with the right amount of CAL's.
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Networking

by chaseshaw In reply to Basics

Presently the company is running everything over a VPN(they wanted something secure that their execs' laptops could access remotely), and each little workgroup has at most four machines, a printer and a multifunction scanner/fax/print. Though I'll definitely recommend that they volume license next time they upgrade PCs!

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Maybe you should consider purchasing the required licensing.

by 1bn0 In reply to Networking

If you purchase a sufficient quantity of license you should be able to re-authenticate the currrent installations.

This could be a cheaper option.

You also mentioned the security requirement. XPHome may not provide the functionality you need.

Is there a server or are the computers members of a domain? XPHome, by design, cannot be joined to a domain.

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