Windows XP Registration/Activation Question



A roomate and I shared a compter while we were in school. He bought all the
hardware and I bought all the software, with the understanding that when we
went our separate ways, we would each keep what we had paid for.

I can't get a hold of him now, but I'm sure he has the computer setup &
running the copy of windows xp I bought. I am thinking about buying my own
computer, but I'd like to reinstall XP over Vista. I have the original discs
and everything.

Obviously Microsoft will not let 2 copies of the same program be activated &
registered. My question is, what will happen if I install and try to activate
XP. HOw will it authenticate that I am the disc holder? Will he (roomate) get
a message saying his copy is no longer valid? Do I need to dig up a number
for him, so I can contact him and tell him to 'erase' his copy somehow? What
is the process?

Thankyou so much for your help!


Before you replace Vista with winxp, ensure winxp drivers are available for
your hardware. Its not allways the case that they are, particularly with
large OEM PC's


The thing is, it's very inconvenient for me to try and contact him and I only
want to do that as a last resort (he is currently overseas).

Assuming he is running the copy of windows on his computer and I do an
install on my new machine, what will happen during the
activation/registration process?

Will MS tell me that a copy of this specific XP is already running on
another machine and cause my install to fail?

Will I be able to install, register & activate my copy of XP and the
roomate's computer will error out the next time he trys to do a windows
update? In which case I'm sure he'll realize what happened and purchase a new

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