Re: advice on reinstallation
I think you'll find that that last post is incorrect. The reason you don't get asked for a product key when installing in that particular desktop, is because you're installing with a manufacturer's disc. They bypass that, and just skip straight to the activation later on in the installation process.
In my experience, when performing a fresh install on any Dell computer/laptop computer, I've always checked that there's a Service Tag number. I check on the Dell drivers website for my particular part of the world, and I download all of the drivers before I start. If you don't have a Service Tag (Merely a sticker affixed to the case of the machine), then just use the full product number, as printed on the base of the laptop. Then, any non-manufacturer disc will do the job. Once you've done the installation, you'll want to go through and install each of the drivers before you try to do anything. And, if you're using a legitimate copy of Windows, then activate it once your drivers are installed. Then you're free to do what you like, preferably downloading all the updates going.
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