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Old 07-30-2009, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

Hello, I have a question regarding Windows XP and upgrading. My plans are to essentially upgrade all the components in my computer. However, I don't have the money to upgrade to all the parts I want now, nor will I have that money anytime soon. So, I plan to upgrade a part here, a couple parts there, etc. I have an OEM version of Windows XP. I know that when I upgrade my motherboard, according to a FAQ from Microsoft's website, that I will then have a new computer. At that point I will need to purchase another copy of Windows.

Short term, my goal is to buy a new hard drive, uninstall Windows from my old hard drive and install the Windows I have now on the new hard drive. Afterward I will copy everything over from the old hard drive, reformat the drive, and retire the old hard drive. After awhile I will have all new parts in my computer including a new motherboard and case. At that point I will be able to rebuild my old computer (the computer I have now). Also, by then I will have purchased a new copy of Windows XP (or the new OS coming out). So, in the end I will have two computers.

Now, I am wondering if it completely legal to reinstall my existing copy of Windows XP on that first reformatted old hard drive which will be in the original computer with all the original parts in it. As far as I can tell this ought to be completely legal as in the end the copy of Windows I am trying to reinstall will be reinstalled on the original computer. So, I should be able to get an activated key from Microsoft and have this be completely legal correct? Thanks
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

Okay 2 things here.

1. Once you get the new motherboard and CPU you wont be able to just take the hard drive out of the old machine, insert it with the new mobo and CPU and have it work. Wont happen. The hardware profiles will not match and XP wont boot.

With that said you legally can not install XP with the new mobo and CPU as OEM licenses are not transferrable. So at that point you would have to have already purchased a new copy of Windows to install.

2. You can reinstall XP on the old machine at any point. Since that is the OEM Machine that came with the license.

So the last sentence is completely legal. But if i am understanding correctly you want to install XP onto the new hard drive in the new system? If so then that is not legal and cant be done.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

Yes you can reinstall xp on the same old computer, that's completely legal. However, it might be easier for you to do this:
1. split your OLD hdd into two partitions, keeping all your data (e.g. don't format it). Then go ahead and buy the new HDD, but install it as a secondary drive in your old system.

2. Then when you get around to buying your new case/motherboard/Operating System take the new drive out of the old computer and install it with the new parts. There's really no reason to install xp on your new build unless it's a new copy. As Mak said it won't work anyway. And I wouldn't even buy Xp anymore, just wait until windows 7 gets released
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

@Mak

I probably didn't explain it well. When I upgrade to a new motherboard I plan to make this my biggest single upgrade. Once I decide to upgrade to the new motherboard, I will upgrade the CPU, RAM, and then buy a new copy of Windows as well. I know that once I get a new motherboard, I have new computer and thus need a new copy of Windows. So with that said, would what I described be completely legal?
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

Yes, what you described would be completely legal. However it's a strange way of doing things imo.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

Well, it might be strange...But I am ready to be free of this old hard drive. It's only 200GB. I plan on upgrading to 1TB. So, I will have plenty of space to just copy the files over to the new one and reinstall all necessary programs. If I had all the money now I would do it, but then I'd be spending $1000+ for all the necessary parts. As a poor college student I just don't have the money now, but still wish to upgrade various parts.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

Yes, so why don't you just install the 1Tb as a 'storage' hdd for now, until you grab yourself the new cpu/mobo/os etc? Why take the old drive out just to eventually put it back in?
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

If you are just buying a new HDD now and going to use that in the same machine that has the OEM license that is completely legal.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows XP OEM Upgrade Question

True. I suppose I didn't give the whole picture as I didn't think it was relevant to the question. At present I do have two hard drives. Hard drive A has Windows on it. Hard drive B does not. Instead it has various games and programs. Both drives are getting fairly full. Hard drive A needs an adapter for my motherboard. It's IDE and my motherboard is SATA. I suppose the reason for taking it out is to have all hard drives connected via SATA without an adapter. But, considering I have 3 or 4 more SATA connections on my motherboard a third hard drive wouldn't be a problem....but limiting it to two would help in regards to heat. My first upgrade would be the hard drive (say hard drive C).

Eventually hard drive C will find its way into my new computer at the end. Hard drive A will remain behind with the old computer (If I reformat hard drive A my current version of Windows will eventually need to be reinstalled). My current version of Windows, with the original question would be installed onto hard drive C, and then uninstalled once I upgrade to a new MOBO, CPU, RAM, and Windows. So in the end my version of Windows now would be installed onto hard drive C, after uninstalling it from A, then reinstalled onto A, after uninstalling it from C. Also my computer is running a bit slow (already scanned for viruses, malware, etc) so I figured it might be worth the hassle of all the installing, uninstalling and reinstalling to move Windows to a brand new hard drive.
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