Using a product key from another computer


C

casey.o

I will soon be replacing my 1GB motherboard and CPU on my Win98 /
dualboot / Win2000 computer with a 3GB board and CPU. The new board is
the same brand (IBM), and a similar processor (INTEL), and other chips.
So, I think the change should (hopefully) go pretty smooth. I just need
to download some updated drivers for both Win98 and 2K. The board will
fit right in my case and use the same power supply and drives too.

I know I can just transplant the drives and get Win98 working. (I've
dont this many times). I've never tried this with Win2000, but I hope
it works. If not, there is not much installed in it, so I canm
reinstall it, maybe right on top of the present installation, and thus
save my settings, program installs, and such.....

However, I'm considering replacing Win2000 with XP. Probably not right
away, IF 2000 just works after adding some drivers. But if I need to
reinstall, I may just switch to XP.


This brings up 2 questions.

1. Can I just install XP right on top of Win2000, and thus save the
settings, program installs, wallpapers, and other stuff? I believe I've
heard of this being down. If so, is there a trick to it? Or, should I
ask, do I just install XP, or is there an "upgrade" button?

2. My biggest concern. The case this computer is in, has the original
MS product key for Win2000. It came with 2000, but I originally just
unplugged the HDD with W2000, and plugged in my Win98 HDD from my older
computer. Later on, I went with the dual boot, adn installed W2000 on
drive D: and used the product key on the case.

But I dont have a product key on that case for XP, like I did on the
other computers I recently built. With XP being "dead" and no longer
sold, I'm not sure just what to do. I want to stay legal, but I wont
pay the outrageous prices I see on ebay for XP either.

However, I have at least 10 dead computers laying around, which I just
use for parts, and at least 5 of them, have the MS product key stickers
on them. If they were IBM systems, I'd probably not have a problem
using any of those product keys. But I think every one of them is a
Dell. (Dell computers seem to have this habit of just frying, but I
wont get into that!).

Anyhow, can I use a Dell product key on an IBM system? (or any other
brand?). None of those computers will ever be repaired, so that key
wont be used again.

I'm just not sure how to go about this?????

I do know I have to use a Key for XP Home. (I dont have a CD for XP
Pro).

If this is not possible, I think my next option is to find an IBM case
made for this motherboard with the Prod key on it. I'd like to replace
the case anyhow, since I want a tower case, rather than this flat
desktop case, which is too small anyhow. I'm sure I can find a case on
ebay, for less money than to buy another XP cd.

Thanks
 
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B

Bob F

I will soon be replacing my 1GB motherboard and CPU on my Win98 /
dualboot / Win2000 computer with a 3GB board and CPU. The new board
is the same brand (IBM), and a similar processor (INTEL), and other
chips. So, I think the change should (hopefully) go pretty smooth. I
just need to download some updated drivers for both Win98 and 2K.
The board will fit right in my case and use the same power supply and
drives too.

I know I can just transplant the drives and get Win98 working. (I've
dont this many times). I've never tried this with Win2000, but I hope
it works. If not, there is not much installed in it, so I canm
reinstall it, maybe right on top of the present installation, and thus
save my settings, program installs, and such.....

However, I'm considering replacing Win2000 with XP. Probably not
right away, IF 2000 just works after adding some drivers. But if I
need to reinstall, I may just switch to XP.


This brings up 2 questions.

1. Can I just install XP right on top of Win2000, and thus save the
settings, program installs, wallpapers, and other stuff? I believe
I've heard of this being down. If so, is there a trick to it? Or,
should I ask, do I just install XP, or is there an "upgrade" button?

2. My biggest concern. The case this computer is in, has the original
MS product key for Win2000. It came with 2000, but I originally just
unplugged the HDD with W2000, and plugged in my Win98 HDD from my
older computer. Later on, I went with the dual boot, adn installed
W2000 on drive D: and used the product key on the case.

But I dont have a product key on that case for XP, like I did on the
other computers I recently built. With XP being "dead" and no longer
sold, I'm not sure just what to do. I want to stay legal, but I wont
pay the outrageous prices I see on ebay for XP either.

However, I have at least 10 dead computers laying around, which I just
use for parts, and at least 5 of them, have the MS product key
stickers on them. If they were IBM systems, I'd probably not have a
problem using any of those product keys. But I think every one of
them is a Dell. (Dell computers seem to have this habit of just
frying, but I wont get into that!).

Anyhow, can I use a Dell product key on an IBM system? (or any other
brand?). None of those computers will ever be repaired, so that key
wont be used again.

I'm just not sure how to go about this?????

I do know I have to use a Key for XP Home. (I dont have a CD for XP
Pro).

If this is not possible, I think my next option is to find an IBM case
made for this motherboard with the Prod key on it. I'd like to
replace the case anyhow, since I want a tower case, rather than this
flat desktop case, which is too small anyhow. I'm sure I can find a
case on ebay, for less money than to buy another XP cd.

If you have a non-OEM) product key for XP, you should be able to use it. OEM
keys, not so much.
 
C

casey.o

If you have a non-OEM) product key for XP, you should be able to use it. OEM
keys, not so much.

That's kind of what I thought. Which means the Dell ones probably wont
work. That brings up an issue though. Lets say I own a Dell computer,
which I bought new, and it came with a legal XP. The motherboard dies,
so while I have the original case, power supply and drives. I replace
the motherboard with a generic (non-Dell) over the counter replacement,
including new CPU and RAM. (such as an ASUS). While the computer looks
the same, the new motherboard makes it into another computer (as viewed
by the activation). From what I've been told, it's mostly the
motherboard and CPU that matter, and determine the "code" that MS needs.
I guess the drives and Ram may show uo on their end, but the case itself
dont matter at all.

-OR- Maybe I just want install a faster board and CPU on a working
computer, and again, dont use a Dell board (or whatever brand it is).

In both of these examples, MS is not going to see it as the same
computer. Does this mean that I'd have to purchase an entirely new
version of XP (or Win7, or 8)? That dont seem to fair, since I paid for
the OS when I bought the computer. And I'd guess this is done quite
often, when systems fail, or just need an upgrade.

One other thing I'm puzzled about, is what happens if MS rejects
someone's computer and wont acivate it? I have activated two computers.
One by internet, the other by phone. These were both systems with the
original MB and CPU, I just changed drives and/or added some Ram. So, I
had no problems. But the phone activation is handled by a bot
(non-human) voice. So, if this bot rejects my computer, does a REAL
person come on the phone, or what happens? And as far as online, if
it's rejected, what happens?

I was told that some people have had to explain to the person at MS the
reason their computer dont match, such as "I replaced a faulty
motherboard and CPU". I'm guessing they once used REAL people. But
with this bot, doing the verification, there's nno one to explain the
situation to....
 
B

Bob F

That's kind of what I thought. Which means the Dell ones probably wont
work. That brings up an issue though. Lets say I own a Dell
computer, which I bought new, and it came with a legal XP. The
motherboard dies, so while I have the original case, power supply and
drives. I replace the motherboard with a generic (non-Dell) over the
counter replacement, including new CPU and RAM. (such as an ASUS).
While the computer looks the same, the new motherboard makes it into
another computer (as viewed by the activation). From what I've been
told, it's mostly the motherboard and CPU that matter, and determine
the "code" that MS needs. I guess the drives and Ram may show uo on
their end, but the case itself dont matter at all.

-OR- Maybe I just want install a faster board and CPU on a working
computer, and again, dont use a Dell board (or whatever brand it is).

In both of these examples, MS is not going to see it as the same
computer. Does this mean that I'd have to purchase an entirely new
version of XP (or Win7, or 8)? That dont seem to fair, since I paid
for the OS when I bought the computer. And I'd guess this is done
quite often, when systems fail, or just need an upgrade.

One other thing I'm puzzled about, is what happens if MS rejects
someone's computer and wont acivate it? I have activated two
computers. One by internet, the other by phone. These were both
systems with the original MB and CPU, I just changed drives and/or
added some Ram. So, I had no problems. But the phone activation is
handled by a bot (non-human) voice. So, if this bot rejects my
computer, does a REAL person come on the phone, or what happens? And
as far as online, if it's rejected, what happens?

I was told that some people have had to explain to the person at MS
the reason their computer dont match, such as "I replaced a faulty
motherboard and CPU". I'm guessing they once used REAL people. But
with this bot, doing the verification, there's nno one to explain the
situation to....

Major brand motherboards have coding that indicates the manufacturer to the
software, and therefore to Microsofts verification process. If the board doesn't
match the previous manufacturer, you are not supposed to be able to activate it
with the same code.

OEM OS software (Dell, IBM,etc.) is NOT transferrable to other hardware except
in certain cases, like replacing a motherboard with another of the same
type/model. It may be possible, but not by Microsoft's intention. Retail
purchased software is transferrable.

With enough searching, you might be able to find .ISO files of various windows
OS versions online, which can be downloaded to make an OS disk. Of course, such
files could be infected, so you need to use care.
 
G

Good Guy

That's kind of what I thought. Which means the Dell ones probably wont
work.

I have used DELL serial numbers on non DELL machines that I built myself
and they all activated just fine. Also, some HP serial numbers should
also work. These are first batch of serial numbers released by
Microsoft when we didn't have any service packs. I bought my first DELL
machine in 2001 when XP was still very much a new operating system and
serial number activations were very simple.

I then managed to get Volume License serial numbers and managed to
convert DELL branded OS into Volume Licensed by changing/downloading
couple of DLL files and that also worked fine and didn't require any
activations.

These days it is impossible to do these things because Microsoft has
learned a lot through experience how to protect its Intellectual
Property Rights.
 
C

casey.o

I have used DELL serial numbers on non DELL machines that I built myself
and they all activated just fine. Also, some HP serial numbers should
also work. These are first batch of serial numbers released by
Microsoft when we didn't have any service packs. I bought my first DELL
machine in 2001 when XP was still very much a new operating system and
serial number activations were very simple.

I then managed to get Volume License serial numbers and managed to
convert DELL branded OS into Volume Licensed by changing/downloading
couple of DLL files and that also worked fine and didn't require any
activations.

These days it is impossible to do these things because Microsoft has
learned a lot through experience how to protect its Intellectual
Property Rights.

I guess all I can do is try....... Otherwise I'll just stick with
Win2000 for now and run XP on my other computers. With any luck, I can
find a case to match the new motherboard with a COA on it. I'm looking
for a better case anyhow.
 
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C

casey.o

These days it is impossible to do these things because Microsoft has
learned a lot through experience how to protect its Intellectual
Property Rights.
I forgot to mention. I wonder if MS will be as strict with XP from now
on, since it's "dead". I still dont know what would happen if they
rejected the computer, considering they do all the activation by a bot
now. ????
 
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B

Bob F

I guess all I can do is try....... Otherwise I'll just stick with
Win2000 for now and run XP on my other computers. With any luck, I
can find a case to match the new motherboard with a COA on it. I'm
looking for a better case anyhow.

You don't necessarily have to have the COA on the same case you use to get it to
work.
 

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