Using an OEM XP disk from one computer on another


M

M K

Hi!
I have been given a DELL Inspiron E1505 laptop computer to try to repair for
someone. The manual for the computer says that no Windows reinstalation
disks are necessary or provided as I must use Windows System Restore or a
utility that restores the hard drive to the original factory state. In
attempting to use System Restore the system hung in operation and did not
restore. When I boot, in any mode, the mouse and keyboard will seize up
just at Windows logon. I can no longer access System Restore. I neither
can boot in safe mode and booting with "last known good" seizes up also.

Using the mafacturer's recomendation for restoring the OS would delete all
data files on the computer as it is restored to the original factory state.
I would like not to loose the data on the computer if possible.

I had an idea that I could try to use an OEM Windows Xp home reinstalation
disk from an old Gateway desktop computer to try to repair the instalation
as I have used it once to repair the Gateway. I would like to know if this
can be done.

More specifically I would like to know:
1) If there would be issues with the CD key. Can I use the key for the OEM
version or must I use one intended for the laptop. Where would I find this
key if I do not have reinstalation disks and the computer is not bootable.

2)Are there any issues for product activation that could cause problems? I
am repairing not reinstalling Windows on the computer so I would think
Microsoft would not mind.

3)Would there be problems if I use the OEM disks which were intended for a
desktop and not a laptop? I am thinking thata drivers for the laptop would
not install. However I am thinking if I could repair Windows on the laptop
I could concievably down load any drivers for the system from the internet
or hopefully be able to try another System Restore restoring the computer to
a previous state.

Failing the above I am thinking I possibly could try to fix the mouse and
keyboard problem by booting to the recovery CD and manually copying over
replacement files. I know how to access the CD but not what needs to copy
or where to. Regaining some control of the computer would allow me to at
least be able to try another System Restore again.

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Max
 
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R

ruic

If the laptop has a MS key printed on it you should be able to use that key
with any XP installation Disk as long it is a XP Pro key and a XP Pro CD or
XP Home key and XP Home disk.

If you are doing a repair then you should not have to put the key in again
if you are doing a reinstall you will need the key.

Laptop and desktop keys are interchangeable. There aren't different keys for
laptops and desktops.

Rui
 
M

M K

OK! It would be possible now to try to repair Windows XP on the laptop
using the OEM disk for my desktop. Thanks for the reply.

However I have to wonder now if there would be a problem repairing from the
desktop OEM CD as drivers loaded from that CD would be designed for the
older desktop computer rather than the laptop. For example, drivers from
that CD would drive a regular mouse and keyboard not a laptop touch pad and
laptop keypad. If the repair operation leaves the existing drivers on the
hard drive and simply adds drivers for a regular mouse and keyboard I may be
ok. However if the repair operation replaces or removes the existing
drivers I may still have a problem. Any thoughts on this?

I would also be interested to know if a Windows repair operation would
delete System Restore points stored on the computer. I do know that a
repair operation does remove updates to the OS why I ask this.
 
R

ruic

If the laptop was built before windows xp came out then the drivers should
be on the XP cd. If the laptop is newer then you may have to go to the
manufactures web site to download a driver for the touchpad. The keyboard is
just another keyboard it should work.

Restore points will be deleted.

Rui
 
M

M K

So I should now be able to at least recover Windows even though I may loose
drivers and restore points. But at least the data on the computer would be
saved. From here I should be able to redownload updates and work towards
restoring the computer. Thanks again.

It seems odd that the only two main options to repair Windows are a factory
reset or System Restore without the functionality to repair that used to be
possible when reinstalation CDs were provided. I awoke this morning with an
idea. I checked and there is an i386 folder on the laptop. Years ago I may
have recovered a Windows instalation using a setup program in it. If I
could repair the Windows instalation this way then the problem of obsolete
drivers should become mute. My problem now is I can not access the laptop
even in Safe Mode and the Recovery CD does not seem to allow me to launch
excutable programs. There is nothing about this in the manual and I failed
to find any thing about it on the DELL website. Perhaps there is a boot
sequence that you may know that may activate this program at boot or a way
to make the Recovery Console execute a program from disk.

Thanks again for your assistance you have been a great help to me.
Max
 
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Z

Zaphod Beeblebrox

ruic said:
If the laptop has a MS key printed on it you should be able to use
that key with any XP installation Disk as long it is a XP Pro key
and a XP Pro CD or XP Home key and XP Home disk.

If you are doing a repair then you should not have to put the key in
again if you are doing a reinstall you will need the key.

Laptop and desktop keys are interchangeable. There aren't different
keys for laptops and desktops.
Not quite - OEM keys won't work with a standard Retail CD or vice
versa.

Since you are planning a repair, it shouldn't matter though. Whether
or not the CD has the same service pack or higher might be an issue -
I've never attempted a repair using a CD with a previous service pack,
but it doesn't seem likely to work well...

--
Zaphod

Arthur Dent, speaking to Trillian about Zaphod:
"So, two heads is what does it for a girl?"
"...Anything else he's got two of?"
 
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