Because my friend Dave killed his PC, I set up an old Dell as a replacement. The Dell belonged to another friend and it suffered a hard drive failure. I had replaced the hard drive and installed Ubuntu on it as a test platform. Since Dave is not the sort of person who would want to face Ubuntu, I decided to install Windows XP on the Dell. Fortunately, the Dell still had its Windows XP Home sticker with the product key. Unfortunately, I did not have any of the disks for the Dell nor (obviously) the restore partition on the hard drive.
Initially I tried using a Windows XP upgrade disk and the Dell’s Windows XP. I didn’t think it would work, but since I didn’t have a full copy of XP on hand, I gave it a shot. So the first piece of useful information is this:
Windows XP Home upgrade disks will not work with the product key from a full version doing the normal install.
Luckily, I had just ordered an OEM Windows XP SP 3 disk from New Egg. I wanted to buy one because Microsoft has decided that XP will no longer be sold to customers (there are some exceptions, such as the EeePC). I tried the OEM disk with the Dell product key and it worked perfectly. So, the second piece of useful information is this:
OEM Windows XP Home (service pack 3) disks will work with older Windows XP Home product keys-including those of consumer PCs.
Since my PC, like most PCs, didn’t come with an XP disk (or any disks at all-I had to make my own restore DVD) it is good to know that I can use the OEM disk and the PC’s product key.
I also found out that the OEM Windows XP Home disk is not copy protected. I prefer to work with copies of CDs in case something goes wrong. So, the final piece of useful information is this:
You can copy an OEM WIndows XP disk and it will work just fine.
- Windows XP Home upgrade disks will not work with the product key from a full version doing the normal install.
- OEM Windows XP Home (service pack 3) disks will work with older Windows XP Home product keys-including those of consumer PCs.
- You can copy an OEM WIndows XP disk and it will work just fine.
To anticipate some questions:
- No, I will not make you a copy of my Windows XP disk.
- No, I will not give you a product key.
- Last I checked, XP disks are still available at various resellers. But, Microsoft says that this is it for XP (with some exception).
- If you lost your product key and Windows is still installed, you can recover it with the wonderfully named Magical Jelly Bean Keyfnder. It works great. It will also recover other product keys (such as Office).
Perhaps you could answer a question for me?
I tried to install Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade on an older machine that has Windows 2000 Professional, both from after booting the machine into Win2000 and from the Upgrade bootup itself.
1. When I try to install, it just goes so far, and then tells me that I don’t have the Directory Folder and aborts the install. I am assuming that it is trying to find/install in the Windows folder.
2. The Win2000 originally installed in WINNT folder, NOT a Windows folder.
2a. FAT32, not NTFS
3. After each try to install, the install DOES put a Windows directory folder on, but DOES NOT put any files into it.
Is there a way to upgrade into the WINNT folder, or must the computer HAVE the Windows folder containing the original files so that the Upgrade finds the files it is trying to update?
I really don’t want to format the HD and partition it, so that I can run 2 OS’s, and I don’t really think that the Upgrade disk would install a full version of the OS, although I could be mistaken, as it DOES seem to install exactly like a full install would.
My Win2000 runs fine, but I just started to play with the XP (after all these years, accidently because a friend gave me a computer that he REALLY screwed up), and SU
RPRISE… I actually like it!!! :o)
I just happened to stumble upon your site, and it seems informative. Perhaps you could take the time to email an answer if you have one. I don’t subscribe to any forums, force of habit I guess… or paranoia, but would certainly appreciate any feedback you could offer.
Thanks much in advance