Windows XP activation question

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2006
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I have a copy of Windows XP that came with my Dell computer (whoa! dont jump to conclusions that this is the same old question :p ). I used it to install windows in boot camp to see if I like it during the 30 day window before activation.

I am now searching for the most cost effective solution for getting an activation code. I was set on newegg.com for an OEM XP SP2 copy for about $89 when I came across an Office Depot deal for $30 after rebate or maybe $10 if I can use a coupon as well.

This question that I have is this:

The Office Depot version is the Upgrade version not the full version. Now, since I am really only in need of an activation code, will this cheaper option work for me?
 

bearbo

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
1,858
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slackersonly said:
I have a copy of Windows XP that came with my Dell computer (whoa! dont jump to conclusions that this is the same old question :p ). I used it to install windows in boot camp to see if I like it during the 30 day window before activation.

I am now searching for the most cost effective solution for getting an activation code. I was set on newegg.com for an OEM XP SP2 copy for about $89 when I came across an Office Depot deal for $30 after rebate or maybe $10 if I can use a coupon as well.

This question that I have is this:

The Office Depot version is the Upgrade version not the full version. Now, since I am really only in need of an activation code, will this cheaper option work for me?
probably not... but you can try the phone activation, it's usually the best way if you dont want to buy... and it's legal, and moral
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
973
New England
bearbo said:
probably not... but you can try the phone activation, it's usually the best way if you dont want to buy... and it's legal, and moral
This: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/howtobuy/addlic.mspx is the only way to buy an additional license "code", it costs more than a new OEM license...


Anyhow, note that the activation codes are different for retail and OEM copies of Windows, so bearbo's approach makes the most sense, call the # explain the situation and see what comes of it. Even if your EULA doesn't grant you transfer rights, you might still be able to get an activation code from MS.

EDIT: If you're keeping the license on your Dell, you should probably get a new product key and reinstall

B
 

timswim78

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
695
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Baltimore, MD
Here is my experience.

I installed Linux on a Dell and then used the Dell's Windows XP License on another machine. I called MS to explain, and they gave me an activation code, no problem.

Two things about the Office Depot deal:
1. You can get another $20 off if you use the coupons that float around FatWallet, Slick Deals, and etc.
2. IF you buy the upgrade, you'll have to insert a Windows 98 or Windows ME CD sometime during the installation.
 

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2006
525
0
timswim78 said:
Here is my experience.

I installed Linux on a Dell and then used the Dell's Windows XP License on another machine. I called MS to explain, and they gave me an activation code, no problem.

Two things about the Office Depot deal:
1. You can get another $20 off if you use the coupons that float around FatWallet, Slick Deals, and etc.
2. IF you buy the upgrade, you'll have to insert a Windows 98 or Windows ME CD sometime during the installation.
So an upgrade version DOES come with an activation code?
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
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New England
slackersonly said:
So an upgrade version DOES come with an activation code?
Yes, but that code won't work with an OEM installation. The Product ID is all wrong.

Activation is a two part process. The Product ID and your hardware configuration are hashed together to verify the activation code Microsoft issues to you. That way when the hardware or product ID changes, they can tell.

B
 

timswim78

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
695
0
Baltimore, MD
slackersonly said:
So an upgrade version DOES come with an activation code?
The upgrade version comes with a License Key. This is the 25 digit code that you enter to install Windows. Once Windows is installed, it will need to be activated. You have two options for activating Windows.
1 - Over the Internet. Your computer sends some information about the hardware to MS, and MS activates Windows almost instantaneously.
2. - Over the telephone. You call MS and read them a bazillion digits from a screen on your computer. They then read a different bazillion digits back to you that you enter into a screen on your computer. You then hit the OK key, and Windows has been activated.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
973
New England
timswim78 said:
The upgrade version comes with a License Key. This is the 25 digit code that you enter to install Windows. Once Windows is installed, it will need to be activated. You have two options for activating Windows.
1 - Over the Internet. Your computer sends some information about the hardware to MS, and MS activates Windows almost instantaneously.
2. - Over the telephone. You call MS and read them a bazillion digits from a screen on your computer. They then read a different bazillion digits back to you that you enter into a screen on your computer. You then hit the OK key, and Windows has been activated.
Not to mention that 1. will often lead to 2. you can try to activate it online and it'll tell you to please call the number because something didn't check out right.

Ultimately there is no simple way for you to keep and activate your current install if you intend to also keep it on your Dell. You will ultimately have to reinstall or run the risk of Microsoft declaring one of your two installs invalid. Or as has been suggested, if ou intend to remove it from the Dell, just call for a new activation code.

B