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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    I purchased (5) Windows XP Pro keys, which I got via email, and selected UPS ground for the media to be shipped.

    I have several OEM disks laying around that came with various desktops and laptops, (Dell, Fujitsu, some no name brand etc.) so I then asked the question '"Can I use my OEM Win XP Pro disks to install the OS and then enter the key I purchased, rather than wait for the CD to arrive by UPS next week.

    The answer I got from the retailer was "No, the media are different".

    Upon researching this further on the Msft Knowledgebase, I discovered that there are several types of OEM, some that are tied into a specific bios, some more generic, some pre-activated (using a volume license key) etc. etc.

    Question: If I have a generic OEM disk (non HP Dell etc.) why can't I use this CD to install the OS, and enter the brand new key I just purchased when I have to enter the serial #?

    My goal is to create a master image, clone the image and install it to (5) new machines using the (5) keys I just purchased.
    Thanks,
    Jay

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Hello Jay. How are you ?
    You wrote: I have a generic OEM disk (non HP Dell etc.) why can't I use this CD to install the OS, and enter the brand new key I just purchased when I have to enter the serial #?

    I have done this repeatedly on redo, on 6 different machines, no pro. Go for it. JP.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    You can always try it to see if it works. In most cases a CD identified as containing an OEM version of Windows will not accept a non-OEM key during install (this happens to me quite often as I have quite a number of OEM and non-OEM keys and both kinds of discs and often I end up with the wrong combination and thus the installer says that the key is invalid). The patterns(?) used to make the keys are different. However, you can install with the key that came with the CD, opt not to activate after install, and then after the install first change the key to your purchased key and then activate. After all, the media is the same, its just the key check that is different.

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    Peter,
    You lost me in the last part of your answer.

    ...you can install with the key that came with the CD, opt not to activate after install, (OK, got it)

    ....and then after the install first change the key to your purchased key and then activate.

    This is the confusing part, if the purchased (new) key does not fit the OEM pattern that this CD is expecting, then how will it take the same key later?

    Thanks,
    Jay

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    This is the confusing part, if the purchased (new) key does not fit the OEM pattern that this CD is expecting, then how will it take the same key later?
    In first usage the key unlocks the installer on the disk. In the second it is used to validate the install.

    Peter's suggestion will work

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA-Jay View Post
    This is the confusing part, if the purchased (new) key does not fit the OEM pattern that this CD is expecting, then how will it take the same key later?
    The problem is with the installer - the installer on the retail disk will accept only a retail key. Once installed, the OS doesn't know if it came from am OEM or retail CD. Thus you can change the key to the OEM key at that time.

  7. #7
    Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Johnson2191 View Post
    Thus you can change the key to the OEM key at that time.
    Ok but if the key has already been entered (but not activated like you suggest) then how can I enter or change the key before I activate it?

    Appreciate your patience with this question.
    Thanks,
    Jay

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger
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  9. #9
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    Thanks Mercyh, that certainly explains everything.

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