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Hello All,

My older spare laptop has just kicked the bucket and I wanted to know if I can transfer/use the XP OS on a desktop pc I was going to build for my neices to use when they come over. It is a fully owned copy (not an OEM version) which I used when the original hard drive died on the laptop. Can I just format the desktop hard drive and install the OS? How does the EU agreement work? It was suggested to me from a friend that when I register the software I might have to call Microsoft to get permission to install it on the new machine ... is this true?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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It was suggested to me from a friend that when I register the software I might have to call Microsoft to get permission to install it on the new machine ... is this true?
It used to be but I don't know if that is the case any more.
 

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As I understand it, owning a license means that you can have XP installed on one computer at a time. As long as you are no longer using the laptop, you can install it on the desktop.

When you "Activate" it, you may get some message about calling Microsoft. This happened to me when I changed the processor on my old desktop (it was an OEM version). Apparently, the change was significant enough that something got triggered somewhere in Microsoftland. I just called the number that came up, explained that I had changed the processor, assured the nice lady that I wasn't a criminal, and she gave me a new license number. It took less than 2 minutes.

I don't know if they still do that sort of thing.
 

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You can not legally install a OEM license on any machine other than the one it was originally sold with. That being said, if you install the same version of XP on another system using the same license key you will have no problem activating it in most cases.

The only license that is transferable from system to system is a complete retail box version. If your copy of XP is a retail box, you can install it on another system with no problem.
 

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About 6 weeks ago I had to reinstall XP SP2 as a complete new install. After the installation had completed it "phoned home" automatically thru the internet connection and I am up and running with no problems in that regard. Don't remember clicking on any boxes other than something about "do you have an internet connection" or somesuch. Never spoke to a warm body. sailmaker
 

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I reinstalled many times on that computer, it was just the first time I reinstalled after upgrading the processor that it had a problem.

I suppose that brings up an interesting question. If you upgrade a computer, is it still considered the same computer for OEM purposes? This was a Dell purchased just after XP came out (2001-ish). It was probably 2003 or so that I changed the processor.
 

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To be really honest about it, I don't think Microsoft really cares about XP these days. I re-activated XP Pro three times on a client's system the other day due to various problems, don't ask- lol, and it activated each time. A year ago I would have had to phone them after the first activation to explain what was going on.

I think you can upgrade anything you want in a system, as long as you don't replace the motherboard with a newer model, and the OEM license is considered valid.
 

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If you activate too many times in a certain period it will make you call an automated system. Answer "correctly" and your copy will be activated. It used to a be real person but they automated it a while ago.

If you haven't activated too often it will just work over the Internet.
 

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I believe you can transfer an OEM license if the computer dies. I have a OEM XP Media Centre that I installed on a PC, that PC died, I installed it on another PC and called MS who said that was fine to transfer as long as the original PC is no longer functioning.
 

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I have a suspicion that MS no longer cares about XP. I have had a similar experience to Barcham but on different hardware setups in a single machine with a slipstreamed XP SP3 disk and it just works, activates automatically in each case.
 

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My understanding, since it is not a machine specific OEM edition, you can move it. A full version should be easy to move, a generic OEM version slightly harder.

At least with the generic OEM version I have, you can activate it online, but will require a call if you have a siginificant hardware difference (three or more code device hashes) within 120 days of the last time you activated. I think full is more forgiving.
 

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I suppose that brings up an interesting question. If you upgrade a computer, is it still considered the same computer for OEM purposes? This was a Dell purchased just after XP came out (2001-ish). It was probably 2003 or so that I changed the processor.
I think they consider it the same system as long as the mobo doesn't change.
It's based on x number of hardware changes, and the mobo usually includes like 80% of registered components in the OS, so triggers activation calls if changed.

Though, as others have said, MS probably doesn't care about XP any more.
 

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I've recycled non-OEM licenses from old machines that weren't used for over a year more than once. Not even so much as a warning. I haven't had the chance to try an OEM license though, but it might be an interesting experiment to try out. I'll soon have access to a few of them from many old, disused machines about to be discarded by one of my clients.
 

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I have had 2 OEM licenses (I bought them OEM, not from a hardware vendor) since XP was released and they must have been transferred over a solid 6-8 PC's/Laptops. Last year my copies finally told me to get bent and call MS. I told the nice man on the phone that the old PC XP was on is now a server running Win2K and that was all he needed. Activation done!
 

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The fact that something can be done, doesn't mean that it's legal to do it. According to the OEM license agreement, such licenses are not transferable. Can you install XP, or any other Windows version, on a different system using a OEM license key? Sure you can, and it will most likely activate with no problem if it has been more than 90 days since the last activation. But it is a violation of the OEM license agreement.

It's no different than finding ways to use an upgrade version to do a fresh install on a system with no qualifying version of Windows on it. Sure you can find a way to do it, but it is against the licensing terms.

It's no different than putting a splitter on your neighbor's cable line and getting free cable tv. It can be done, and lots of people do it, but it's not legal and technically it's theft.

This is directly from the OEM license agreement:

Software as a Component of the Computer - Transfer. THIS LICENSE MAY NOT BE SHARED,
TRANSFERRED TO OR USED CONCURRENTLY ON DIFFERENT COMPUTERS. The SOFTWARE is
licensed with the HARDWARE as a single integrated product and may only be used with the HARDWARE. If the
SOFTWARE is not accompanied by new HARDWARE, you may not use the SOFTWARE. You may permanently
transfer all of your rights under this EULA only as part of a permanent sale or transfer of the HARDWARE, provided
you retain no copies, if you transfer all of the SOFTWARE (including all component parts, the media and printed
materials, any upgrades, this EULA and the Certificate of Authenticity), and the recipient agrees to the terms of this
EULA. If the SOFTWARE is an upgrade, any transfer must also include all prior versions of the SOFTWARE.
http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms/default.aspx
 

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I used to sell a lot of Microsoft software and the answer is:

If you bought a FULL RETAIL version of the O/S (i.e. the expensive version) then the license is fully transferable between systems as long as you don't run the software concurrently on different computers.

In the case of OEM software, the license belongs to the machine it was originally installed on and is not legally transferable. It is "supposed" to be a one time deal. I'm betting that Microsoft cuts some slack when transferred to another computer as it's easy to say you have the same computer and had to upgrade the motherboard as the old one got fried. Technically that's a new system but it's a tricky line for them to deal with. Ultimately, I think they're pretty good as long as they hear you indicate that it's only on one system and they're confident your not trying to install it concurrently on multiple systems. Their system also resets after "X" amount of months of NO changes to your registration I.D. and I've seen OEM versions moved to new computers with no issue simply because the old one hadn't been used or updated in some time.

One other gotcha is if the OEM O/S is a Dell, IBM, HP, Acer, etc. (branded) install vs. just buying the generic OEM O/S disk from a reseller. The big guys have the software coded and licensed to their boxes so the serial number you have probably won't work unless you move it Dell to Dell, IBM to IBM, etc. Not always the case but happens pretty often.

Cheers!

James
 

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It's no different than putting a splitter on your neighbor's cable line and getting free cable tv. It can be done, and lots of people do it, but it's not legal and technically it's theft.
That's a terrible analogy and it's completely different. You call Rogers and ask for service and let them know your hooked onto your neighbors cable so technically your not a customer and see what happens after they have your address. I called MS and they activated my OEM copy without a hitch.
 

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That's a terrible analogy and it's completely different. You call Rogers and ask for service and let them know your hooked onto your neighbors cable so technically your not a customer and see what happens after they have your address. I called MS and they activated my OEM copy without a hitch.
If you call Microsoft and tell them that you are moving your OEM license to a totally different computer and they will not activate it. To get them to activate it, you are required to bend the truth a bit or straight out lie.

All you have to do is go to the link I provided and you will see that an OEM license is ONLY valid on the hardware with which it was sold. There are no exceptions.
 
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