Can I create my own Windows XP Installation CD?
Is there a way to create a Windows XP installation CD after you have your system up and running so you don't have to use the restore disks with all the other preloaded junk? The key is on a label on the machine.
The quick answer is no you can't, as many files are only on the original cd. This problem sounds like you only have the restore disks and want a copy of the install disk. If that's the case, the best workaround is to 'ghost' the installation then you can replace the OS anytime on the same machine, AFTER backing up your files!
No keys would even be required for the exact same machine.
However, if the purpose is to install the OS on a different computer, say a replacement unit, then an original setup disk would be needed. The easiest way to get a copy of an original disk (other than buying one) is to borrow and copy a disk from a friend. This would be perfectly legal provided you have your own install keys, as you suggest.
One additional thought: It might be possible to create a new installation CD if you have access to the CAB files that could have been loaded onto the computer with the original install. Simply copy the CAB files to a CD and you shouldl be good to go. This is only a remote possibility if the original install was done by loading and installing the OS, however.
Haven't heard of CAB files? I hadn't either, but it turns out that CAB files are files with the extension .cab, which stands for cabinet. Finding CAB files is either dead easy - they are located on the root directory (C:) - or they are impossible to find.
Realistically, the idea of copying the CAB files is pretty remote, because only a limited number of independent manufacturers (ma and pa computer stores) use this easy to find method. Major vendors use a different method of managing the installation process and the CAB files tend to be spread out and buried. Even the extension names have been changed to confuse the innocent.
It's really just much simpler to copy a buddies CD if you have a legal copy of the OS already, with working keys.
Thanks to James Foster for his expertise with this question.
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Reader Comments To Date: 120
I am really ticked off about this thing where manufacturerers no longer supply the OS CD, only a restore CD.
You know how many times I screwed up the registry trying to get unwanted software completely uninstalled? Many, Many.
Especially those AV softwares like Norton that are near impossible to uninstall, so I delete every Norton & Symantec key and OOPS, something goes wrong. Or maybe I want to uninstall all the keys of a trial software, so I can reintall the newest version each month.
Now I NEED the OS CD to do a REPAIR INSTALL, so I don't loose Everything.
I wish Microsoft would go after the big thieves in Asia and allow me my OS CD from the manufacturers. Another option would be to allow me to buy my computers WITHOUT the OS, so I could buy the OS CD separately.
To me this is a no-brainer, buy the EVIL Mr. Softee & big PC Manufacterers have decided all us little people must end up with extra software licenses, just to use the softwatre to it's fullest capabilities.
Doing daily image backups when you are also doing daily AV and Spyware scans, barely leaves you time to actually USE the PC at full functionality.
If the system is already in the state that is desired, the best bet would be to make a backup image of it. There are many imaging tools, my favorite is Norton Ghost. Install windows, apply all windows updates, install antivirus, install any spyware prevention, defrag machine. Then could can create an image that is saved to a CD or a network location. That way you can restore the machine back to exactly like it was when you were through installing. Of course the image will only work on that one machine, it will be built around the hardware that is only that machine.
You've just instructed your readers to violate the law when you said..."However, if the purpose is to install the OS on a different computer, say a replacement unit, then an original setup disk would be needed. The easiest way to get a copy of an original disk (other than buying
one) is to borrow and copy a disk from a friend. This would be perfectly legal provided you have your own install keys, as you suggest."...Just because you have a "license key" (actually this is most likely referring to a COA - Certificate of Authenticity) this does not give you the legal right to copy the OS install CD and reinstall it on another system.
The OS license agreement (or EULA - End User License Agreement) allows it to be installed on the original machine and only the original machine unless it is a FPP (Full Product Package or "Retail") which can be transferred from one machine to another owned by the owner of the software, as long as it isn't concurrently in use on more than one desktop and laptop combination.
>From the MS System Builder site..."The key difference between OEM and
software is the license. Most importantly, OEM software is licensed only for use on the computer system on which it was originally installed, while retail software may be transferred to a different computer system. Another difference is the identity of the licensor. The OEM software EULA is a license agreement between the PC Manufacturer and the end user; the retail software (Full-Package Product) license agreement is between Microsoft and the end user."
If someone substantially alters the original machine by upgrading the motherboard, then you must, under the EULA agreement buy another copy of the OS. It is never legal to install the OS using a CD Key from one system onto another system with the exception of some instances where you are allowed to install the OS on a laptop you own in addition to a desktop.
The clue here is that the writer has "restore disks" and the "key is on a label". This indicates that the writer has an OEM license from a major System Seller (Dell, HP/Compaq, etc), who are the only OEM companies allowed to furnish a "restore" CD with the system. The OS that is installed on the system is for that system only, and may not be used on any other system.
Replace the motherboard on that system (unless it is replaced under warranty due to failure) and you must buy another copy of the OS.
Another quote from the Microsoft System Builder website..."The end user license agreement (EULA) is granted to the end user by the System Builder and relates to the license on the PC with which it was originally distributed. Because the System Builder is required to support the license on that original PC, a System Builder can not support a license that has been moved from a PC they manufactured to one that they did not. This is one of the key reasons why an OEM System Builder license can't be transferred.
To put it simply, OEM software is tied to the original computer system on which it was installed."
You were right in the first sentence only Dave !..."No you can't"...At least not legally.
Ah, thanks for the clarification, Larry. The nuances of OS license agreements have often come across as baffling. Further, most software companies seem to operate under the assumption that we all have one computer and that's it. So if I want to install Microsoft Office on my computer and my wife's computer, I need to get two copies of the application, at a cool $500+ each. Apple's iLife suite? Same thing; two copies. And so on.
I certainly don't advocate any sort of theft of intellectual property, but I will observe that if I buy a computer that has Windows included, even in OEM form, then make some tweaks to the box a year later to make it faster or more reliable, it seems ridiculous that I would then be legally obligated to buy a new copy of the OS.
Further, I somehow imagine that less than 0.01% of customers would actually do that in this situation.
Again, I don't mean to advocate anything illegal, and as with the rest of the advice on Ask Dave Taylor, my goal is to give people information on how to solve their problems, not necessarily how to stick with the exacting terms of their EULA.
I'm with you Dave, but unfortunately sometimes the law isn't with us......The EULA that goes with every piece of software has nothing to do with the rights of the consumer to use something he paid good money for, in any way he sees fit, but has everything to do with how the writer / owner is going to protect "their" property...Notice I said "their" property. If you read most EULA's, you'll find out that you don't "own" the software you bought in the traditional sense. You have own a license to use the software as long as you use it the way the "owner" wants you too. Some EULA's even contain clauses that when you agree to the terms by installing the software, gives the "owner" of that software the right to come into your home or place of business and inspect all your personal and corporate computers for compliance with the terms of the EULA. That's right....you gave then the right to come into your HOME!, and go through you personal possessions!...Do I agree with this ?...Not on your life !...but I'm like everyone else...Click the button, install the goods, and bypass reading what is contained in that silly legalese you can't make heads or tails of anyway.
For the most part, I seriously doubt that anyone will come barging in your house to inspect your gear, however with the rabid tactics of the RIAA and their lawyers, and the SPA gestapo tactics of scare letters, and asking employees to turn in their bosses and companies for running copies of unlicensed software (as in this case), you never know what madness will befall you these days.
I just read the discussion about copying a Windows XP installation CD, how about a OS X install CD? Are we allowed to do that? The system is mostly open source code, including Darwin.
Or, if I bought one install CD, I can use it to install OS X (Jaguar, Panther, or Tiger) on any number of machines, can't I? I don't believe I would have to buy a copy of the CD for each machine.
Tony, I think you're getting confused between the pieces of Mac OS X that are based on Open Source software like Darwin, and the entity that is Mac OS X itself. You most certainly cannot just use one copy to install the OS on multiple machines - that's why Apple has "family packs" and similar, just as Microsoft has multiple-computer systems. Sorry to say, you are technically supposed to at least buy an install key for each copy of Tiger, Panther, HouseCat, etc...
As a computer system builder, we are currently at the stage where we are selling enough pc's to go from buying individual xp cd to give to the customer, to making a oem restore cd like dell, hp, gateway, emachines and all the others with xp, all the drivers and software installed on one or 2 cd's but are unable to find out how to make these oem cd's or where to find companies that make these ?
do you or your followers have the answer ?
Ivan, I'd call Microsoft directly, if i were you. They'll be able to give you a list of certified OEM disk manufacturers, then you can get some quotes and select one to work with your company.
Start at the Microsoft Partner site:
and you should be able to track someone down to help you.
Who really cares? just copy from a friend and install the OS onto your nice new system and make a copy! legal or not legal, every copy of windows is an update anyway and I will not pay for updates!!! 95,98,ME,2000.XP,WindowsVista let the whole world copy software!! Yep everyone will have a copy!! So much the better!! its all good! copying and giving it away!. What windows is not an update of the previous?
It is the nice thing to do!! Even for Christmas present!
What do you think
If you are offend by this just buy you copy and don’t waste anyones time!!
Pirate or not pirate copy or hack legal or illegal still it works and if it dont get one that does. Simple!
Hmmm... and the long-term implications of this strategy you suggest, 'software copyer', are... what?
I really have a problem with this OEM 'media reduction' policy. Anyone I know would want original software CDs rather than these recovery disks, which are dangerous, let alone useless, IMO. As far as the ELUA, from what I read (for my OEM Windows XP versions), I can use them on any computer, as long as it's on one computer at a time. I recently (8/23/05) bought a new Gateway desktop pre-installed with Win XP Home, no OEM cd provided. I have a Gateway laptop with XP Pro OEM version. I want to swap them as I need PRO for my business, and the laptop is going to my daughter for school. I'm reading here that I'll be a major pirate if I try this without buying the retail version of XP Pro for my desktop. Sorry Bill (Gates), but I'm a single parent and not rich like some, and I already bought them once. I've been trying for 2 days to get the XP Home CD from Gateway customer support and tech support. I've read on the 'net that it's possible, but no joy yet. In the future, I'll either build my own or buy without an OS and purchase that separately. I'm definitely THROUGH dealing with the big comp manufacturers.
Good site, Dave, keep up the good fight, Someone's got to be on our side.
Haven't you heard nLite? Build your own Bootable Custom Windows Installation CD including your custom programs installed and ready to go. Just go to www.nliteos.com
I see I'm not the only one suffering with the new copyright protection schemes.
Here's one of my many plights I have a windows xp pro (oem) system that I built myself, I even probably for the first time in my life actually purchased the OS (windows xp pro oem) to put on it. now two years later I replaced the motherboard and videocard. so my xp would not boot. so I decided to run a repair, but, I can't find my oem cd.
so I have a valid liscense, but no cd. and now no computer.
I can't believe what Larry Royal said, if you install a new mother board you have to buy a new copy of windows? It's the same machine. If they say that then I'm changing my mind, I'm now pro warez. Pass windows around, bill gates is to greedy. If I buy windows then my computer dies, then I buy another one, then I have the right to move the OS to that machine. If I buy a car and total the car in a crash, I can put the motor in a different car, I bought the motor. I bought the OS, as long as I'm not running it on more than one machine that's all bill gates should be worried about!!!!
Its really great site. You are really telling as the right path.
I HAVE A DELL PC AND HAVE A DELL INSTALL WINDOWS XP CD CAN I TAKE THAT CD AND PUT IT ON A COMPAQ PC WOULD IT WORK?
I am new to your web site but what I have read so far I think maybe you or your subscribers could help.
I have a situation where A neighbor has a Gateway pentium desktop which is about 4-5 years old. When the pc was on during a lightning storm it did a number on the harddrive and the suggestion from Gateway was to reformat the harddrive and reload m/s windows xp operating system. unfortunately the windows xp cd was not to be found anywhere and was decided that it was lost.
the problem was now how to find a copy of the windows Xp without purchasing the complete package from Gateway. $200.00. I keep hearing about OEM versions of windows systems and was wondering if it would be safe to use one for the Gateway PC? They seem to be reasonably cheaper and quite popular but what do I need to know if I decide to go this way to restore the OS? Plus, Can it be done in this situation?
Sorry to say that there is no great solution, Don. If you buy an "OEM edition" from eBay or similar, you're actually getting an illegal copy (OEM's can't sell standalone distributions of Windows) that might or might not register with Microsoft and work. Sorry for the bad news. Does your neighbor still have his auth code or CD key? He might be able to call Microsoft and work something out in that case. Good luck!
I got a real copy of Win98SE. Awhile back i made a copy of the CD just to have for backup. Well its a good thing i did because i found my 98 SE CD broke. Was it legal for me to copy the CD? I kelp the 98 SE just to prove i own it. Also once i let a friend from my church borrow the 98 CD to use on churches computer. I guess that was illegal? Im with all of you. I say if i pay for the OS i ought to be able to do whatever i want with it.
I have WIN XP Home that was pre-installed on my HP, bought 11 months ago. I have 8 HP System Recovery CDs, but no WIN XP OS CD.
I truly believe my HP version of WIN XP is CORRUPT, but no way to prove it. I have done 11 System Recovery's since I bought the PC last Dec,2004. That doesn't count how many system restore I have done...that is when I could get the restore to work.
I've had nothing but problems, and still under warranty...calling HP Cust Tec and am always instructed to do System Recovery to fix the problems.
It takes me days to rid the PC of all the HP Crap on the CDs...only to have it put right back with System Recovery.
I am sure that HP has modified and altered WIN XP, so that I am forced to re-install their programs in order to get my system back up and running.
Is it not my right as a comsumer (a paying customer) to be able to run WIN XP on my PC?? If the copy of WIN XP that HP furnishes is indeed CORRUPT, and they aren't willing to replace it...then how can it be illegal to copy the same files (minus HP corrupt files)off someone elses CD?
After all, I do have my own legal WPA number. When it asks that I type in my WPA number...how in heck will Microsoft know that I used a borrowed CD instead of re-installing with Recovery CDs? Does my PC have some way of relaying a message back to Microsoft that there's an "unknown source" CD inserted into CD Rom??? Please clarify this for me if possible.
I mean it doesn't seem fair that I should have to buy the OS CD to re-install WINDOWS on the same PC. That means I shall be paying twice for the same OS!
HP is a total Nightmare!
A fellow tech told me he ordered HP Recovery CDs and they had 4 or 6 worms on them. Always check CDs on a known good system before rebuilding.
Thank goodness for Linux Live CDs.
I bought a Dell computer with Windows XP Home OEM w/ SP2. I recently got a virus, and no virus scanners can pick it up and no one I know knows how to get rid of it. I am currently backing up my music and I made a list of my programs. My question is: if I take the windows xp oem home cd my friend gave me, install it on my computer, and use the key that my computer came with, will it work? Also, if I change hard drives (same motherboard, same processor, same bios), will it still work? I'd love to know I'm safe in reinstalling. If not, is there anyway to restart my computer totally, short of restore points? The virus added itself to the restore points, and my ghost image.
Ok, well the virus screwed my entire computer up, it won't boot so I got the disk and re-installed. Seems to be working thus far.
I'm looking for some help. Recently one of my old dvd drives ate my XP disk (OEM). Literaly, It's in a plastic bag on my desk with 30 or so pieces to it. Anyway it was a legal disc and I still have the product key, is there any possible way to make a xp disc using the files on my computer? I really don't want to buy another disc from costco or any other retailer.
Reason why I need my disk is somehow even though I'm the adminstrator my task manager has been disabled. It gives the "contact admin" message. I set no password for it, so it should work but it doesn't. Now, some of my programs can't run maybe (I think) because there is something running in windows that I can't see. And I also like to "refresh" my computer from time to time.
If anyone can help me it would be great.
If you have the pieces and the authorization key, I'd call Microsoft and see if they'll send you a replacement disk if you send that one back to them. Good luck!
ok, what about fixing the task manager thing. Any thoughts on that?
About the OEM version CD getting eaten: Open up My Computer and open C: Look for an i386 folder. In it, there is a winnt.exe that will reinstall XP. If you have a DVD burner and a DOS recovery floppy, you can burn the i386 to a DVD and reboot to the floppy, navigate to D:\i386, and type Winnt to reinstall. Almost as good as a fresh XP CD, but not quite. You might be able to put the files on a 1 GB USB drive instead of a DVD, but I don't know if DOS recognizes USB drives. If you don't have an i386 folder, then sorry. Hope this helps!
sorry-to run from inside windows use winnt32.exe
from DOS try using winnt first, then try winnt32
How do I make installation floppies from a win
98 cd. How do I go about doing this.
I don't believe you can do that, Olivernon. Might just be time to upgrade... :-)
I am new to this site, and I read some very interesting comments. I too think that it is absolutely crazy the way that Microsoft restricts us in the way we can install our O/S. One of the comments was that I would have to buy a brand new OS if a motherboard was changed. How ridiculous is that?
Having read the comments, I am so inclined just to ditch Microsoft in favour of Linux. I know that there is always a bind with drivers and the like, but I can go and buy Linux and install it on pretty much any PC I want. In fact I could set up an entire network with Linux.
Perhaps if more people moved to Linux it would send a message to Bill Gates. Or perhaps we should all insist on buying PCs without any software!
Time for the Linux Revolution I'm thinking.
The technology in Linux is far in advance of windows XP and even windows Vista and it's free (usually). And no hangups about copyrights.
It just proves that in western society, form is more important than function...and marketing is more important than the actual value of a product in determining where the masses will put their hard earned cash.
I am on a fixed income and can't afford XP. my father offered to make a copy of his XP CD and send it to me but I've heard that if MS detects more than one copy on different computers it locks out the updates. Any truth to this? Personally I don't care about software piracy, as long as it's for personal use and ur not selling it in some market stall in hong kong.
In reference to a question from Banjoman: I tried to update one of my computers with the XP Home CD that came with my new computer. When it came time to type in all the license info I was directed to call Microsoft. Upon doing so I was told I could not use this version and needed to buy a second version. I was told Windows would quit working in 14 days without authentication. Since you cannot go from NTFS back to FAT, I had to reformat my computer and reinstall Windows 98SE.
I have a friend who had a compaq mobo go bad (Out of Warranty) and I replaced it. I knew I would have trouble using the recovery tools and would have to find a CD to use but figured that it wouldn't be a problem since they have a legit key. But after all the discussion I started poking around on Bill Gates site, and sure enough if Larry Royal isn't correct, the license key they have isn't transferrable to a new machine. I hardly call a new mobo a new machine, but that is how compaq's recovery software sees it. As a kid I "borrowed" alot of software, but have become a little more sensative to property rights. This is one time I have no problems massaging it to work. I manage a couple small offices all 10-15 computers all off the self from emachines or compaq. I hope they enjoyed my business because they have it no more! This is crazy. I will build my own systems from here out.
BTW Dave, I love your "human check" on the post. I am getting really annoyed by all these "type in the number you see" and I have to try 3 times because it looks like my doctor wrote it.
Microsoft is so worried about piracy-but what they seem to forget is that every person who ever bought a brand name PC in a store paid for their software in one way or another. They let large companies like Dell & HP burn their own CD's-this gives the smaller PC manufacturers no chance of competing.I buy Windows XP OEM for PC's I build in my store-but I also show my customers different versions of linux-so they can make up their own minds. Save yourselves the instability, insecurity & unfair license agreements of Microsoft Windows- Install Linux. Fedora Core 5 just came out-and its 10 times more secure than Windows could ever be.
Did anyone answer as to whether you can install a Windows XP Dell CD in a different type of PC?
I think the above poster who discusses the law does not understand it. They state that an OEM license is non-transferable. This is incorrect in the UK and USA.
The US First Sale Doctrine allows a person who has purchased a product to use that product. If that product is licensed for one machine, it can be installed on one machine - regardless of whether it is on the original machine it came with or any other. The clauses stating that you cannot use it on another machine have been nullified various times in courts in the UK and USA. Microsoft themselves state that the licenses can be transferred after 180 days.
A license agreement is a very bad contract - be aware that not all clauses in all EULA's are legal and any court would quash them.
I have xp pro preloaded on my notebook? I need to reinstall xp however? I have no cd or boot disk? I do have rego key on the bottom of the notebook
how can i do that?
I own a windows xp pro upgrade disk
i also own a home oem disk that has been used on an older computer.(it is not a specialised disk like dell or HP) i want to move my xp pro to a new computer but as i started 95 pre installed with no disks upgraded to 98se then upgraded to ME then upgraded to XP pro i have no original Windows full version disk so i cannot format and reinstall. could i use my OEM disk to install and then upgrade to my retail XP Pro? Or could i just use my pro upgrade code with the home OEM to install the full version?
A friend of mine sold me his old laptop which he lost the recovery Discs for. It has a CoA on the bottom and i need to reinstall windows xp pro on it. The XP CD i have does not accept the CD Key on the bottom of the laptop. Is there any way i can get XP Back on there without having to buy a new copy?
Simon, the CD key that the install is asking for is *part of the Windows XP package* not the serial number on the laptop. If you don't have the CD key as part of the set of disks (look on the disk envelope) then you might have an OEM or illegal copy, in which case, yes, you'll need to buy Windows XP again, sorry to say...
you can make a bootable win98 CD using nero or other dc burning software. Tell said software to make a bootable disk
Just an observation ... how did we let things get to such a state? Greedy businesses manipulating greedy government Representatives to manipulate the "laws" to their favor? Star Wars said it best:
"But, my lord, is that legal?"
"I will make it legal."
Ballots or Bullets ... or Tyranny.
Evil prospers when good men do nothing.
Re replacing the motherboard requiring a new XP disk......Does replacing the HDD need a new XP disk?
If so, what an unbelievable con. No wonder people turn to pirate software.
recently i deleted my microsoft office xp word processor version 2002 off my labtop by mistake so i bought the same disk( as i just described) from someone else. I have no problems installing it but when i put the product key in its says that the setup failed to locate a valid qualifying product on your my machine and to please select the drive where a qualifying product can be found. I'm not sure what to do.
You purchased the upgrade version of Office XP. If you do not have an older version of Office installed you cannot use the upgrade version.
I hope this clears up any future questions pertaining to OEM (Dell, HP, Gateway) XP or XPSP2 operating systems.
Microsoft in their infinite wisdom has chosen as of April 2006 to NO LONGER HONOR ANY OEM KEY for verification. What does this mean?
If you have an original OEM or copy of an original OEM XP install/recover disk
(any flavour HOME, PRO, MEDIA CENTER) and thus attempt to reinstall it, the key will get kicked back as invalid. Without getting too technical, Microsoft can tell by the KEY if it is an OEM, RETAIL, or OTHER. Yes, OTHER does exist.
Here is how it works:
If the system is original, meaning the system has not changed from day one, it is likely the OEM install/recovery disk will work a second time. How? Most vendors (Except Dell) employ a basic system check which will allow the "original" config file (on the OEM CD)to load the "original" key and validation. I am not going to explain system validation, but it is a simple single file that will work every time if you are not trying to "beat the system."
What about the Dell exception?
Dell operating system CD's are unique. The Dell loader actually reads the system BIOS while the other system vendors do not go to that length. If the system BIOS is not genuine Dell, the OS will not install. The other big companies use a lesser query to validate the computer make prior to OS installation.
All OEM CD's are desinged to query first. Some are not very fussy, but Dell is the most fussy yet the very best. The Dell OS (desktop) will install on ANY Dell (desktop), any model, any year after 1993 and configure a validation file based on the current system hardware as reported by the system BIOS.
So what is the bottom line?
If you try to use an HP XP install disk on a Sony Vaio, it may load the software, but you are only half way there. You will need to validate the system and software or it will cease to function after 30 days. Yes, there is a countdown timer that is shut off upon "legal" activation of the product through Microsoft Update.
So how do I get around this?
Call Microsoft. Yes, call Microsoft using the toll free number they provide. You will be asked (more than once) for a valid system key (if you did not invent one with a key generator, the one on the side of your computer case is likely good) Next they will ask you how many computers to install on? If you answer more than one, you should go to your local software store to buy as many copies of Windows XP that you many need. If you answer only one, they will issue you an activation number. It is really painless and takes maybe ten minutes of your time. This works for ALL Microsoft Products that require validations, not just Windows XP.
I have only ever bought one copy of XP and a SP2 that was sent free from those nice people at Microsoft..3 motherboards..5 graphics cards..2x32bit cpu and 1x64bit..ram changes quicker than my underpants and 5 total system rebuilds with clean install from my poor worn out copy of XP...and a quick call to the toll free number sets me up every time...At the end of the day Microsoft want you to use their system and don't give single use home edition users a hard time over EULA as the hope you will be brainwashed into buying Vista/Longhorn or what ever other OS they come up with in the next 50 years..PS...Does anyone know if Vista will have the same problems when you upgrade parts of your PC
i've got the HP opperating system disc but i do not have the restore cd, when i boot via cd using the hp OS disc it requires me to put in restore cd.. is there any wait i could go about it? or edit the HP OS disc so i do not need to insert the restore cd when im booting it via cd?
I have Windows XP.
I am trying to find out how to copy a large file (in MS WORD) to a CD ROM.
Can't find any info about such a simple operation!
Hi, just found your web site via google.
An XP question.
I have a Dell Inspiron with a legitimate version of XP on it. I have the serial number, or key number, BUT, I do not have a re-install CD.
The laptop is quite ill, various problems that comes with how student surf, and download stuff. Now I find I’ve to fix the thing prior to the next term starting.
So, my question:
I have an XP CD that is legitimate, but does not match the laptop (but I do NOT know the serial
I have a legitimate copy of XP on the laptop, but it's ill.
Is there any legal way I can re-install XP onto the laptop using the CD I do have, but with the legitimate number.
Can I some how use the legitimate number and 'create' a new install CD using files on the laptop?
Use the serial with files from the spare CD, to create a new install CD to use with the laptop??
I do not wish to do anything illegal, but I’ve also no wish to buy yet another copy of windows.
Any advice would be appreciated.
To use the files on your laptop, first check for an i386 folder. Then use a program like nLite at
nliteos.com and you should be okay, assuming that a virus/worm/Trojan horse/malware doesn't get into the
install files. If you don't have an i386 folder, then use the CD, but first, check the EULA for a multiuser agreement of some sort.
I have my original system recovery cD for Windows XP home that came with my emachine.
I would like to install the windows backup utility but I don't seem to have the appropriate files (ntbackup.msi) anywhere on that disk. any clew as to how I would go about getting that utility? I have another computer running Windows XP Pro - could I use that disk? (Maybe not legally, but could I do it anyway?).
i have a dynex networking card for my laptop i re formatted my laptop and lost mt insallation cd for the dynex i went to many sites to get the drivers noneworked i called the company thet cant or wont send a replacement cd what can i do to get the drivers i need help please
ok, i read through about the first 1/4 of the thread here and i just need some clarification on one question.
i bought a laptop a few years ago that had a copy of windows XP with it. it has the OS and recovery cds. that makes it OEM, then, right?
now that my laptops getting on in years, im planning on building my own desktop pc, and i want to know if i can use my copy of windows XP on that desktop if i wipe it from my laptop(which ill no longer be using if the desktop works correctly)or if im obligated to buying another copy of windows XP for $200. im already spending just about every penny i can spare on the computer itself, so i dont wanna pay for something that costs more than the hard drive im going to be storing it on.
I would suggest loading a free copy of Open Suse or Fedora Core 6. My preference is Suse. But to each their own.
I have used and supported Microsoft from the beginning. That is the beginning of Microsoft. But no more I'm afraid. I support no one that doesn't support me. And by digging into my pocket at every turn and opportunity, I don't see any support in that. Sorry, how filthy rich should one become. And from who, those that have not. Ok, that's the way it is. But not in my house! Good bye Microbrains, it was fun.
You will find Linux quite different than it was in the recent past. It is just before being at the point of ruining the Microsoft strangle hold on society. For the most part it will install from the default settings in the package installer. You will find yourself in a new learning curve, but not so much more overwhelming than that of a Windows overhaul. You will need to install a few proprietary packages because of "yep, licensing" but you will be very satisfied I'm sure. Fair warning, gaming is not one of its best suits. But any problems you may have, you can bet someone has already had it and you will find loads of help on the net. I have yet to not be able to get anything done I have set my mind to doing.
Sorry if you are into games, buy an Xbox and save yourself some money! After all, what has Windows become, just a GIANT GAMING OS. That is its very best attribute. Beyond that, its a drain on your pocket from start to finish. And nothing is done easily.
Oh, and where do you get the applications you need for Linux. You'll find them included with the install. If you can't find what you want in the literal THOUSANDS of packages, you'll find them somewhere on the net. And yes, you can spend money on them if that's what you like to do. And yes, I do support the folks that give thousands of hours of there time to produce such a fine set of products, free to anyone that will take them!
It is worth a second look!!
Good luck, with whatever you do!
I've been playing with Debian Linux, Nice OS, but there is a significant learning curve. What I love about linux is that I can build any type of system with it I want, and not have to have a different OS. Plus the cost is in my budget $$ 0.
(And a few hours of downloading.)
In my company we have some IBM laptops that have a hidden partition which contains the restore files. You don't even get a restore CD.
So if your drive crashes, you are basically screwed. All these efforts of tring to protect from pirating has made it very difficult for those of us that like to fresh install periodically.
If you want to get past the authentication problems, Win 2000 is the most recent Windows OS that won't give you head aches.
As far as Vista, I would recommend staying away from this for at least a year, let them get some of the bugs out first. I guarantee you, before the year is up there will be at least one service pack out for it, if not two.
on my dimension 5150 i had the option to make a dell recovery cd (scour the dell folder under the start menu) - this cd is a FULL xp cd - will install on any PC. You can only do this once as tghe program destroys itself after use
I agree with the ballots or bullets, but before that, bucks. We in the USA live in a dollar democracy. Its still a democracy, but the more dollars you have, the louder your voice. Simply put, go with linux. If you cannot stomach any of the free OS out there, or you are so practiced at being a trained windows end user that you are unwilling or unable to make the switch, then stay as legal as possible. This means using your valid key with someone elses disc, not giving real name or personal information to M$ (they have no business with it anyway IMO) and making use of some of the outlawed downloads to get and burn the installation media for the software you were charged for. When it comes to your money and your computer, its your rules... until you give them to someone else like the retailer that doesnt give discs or M$ that tries to decide what you may run or not.
It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. - Malcom X. 10 years ago it would have been called criminal to charge a consumer for software without providing installation media. Our rights as consumers to get what we pay for have been attacked, not brutally but subtly, by the time we knew what had happened, those rights were dead and any attempt to gain them back has been made illegal. Well, Legal does not always mean Right. The laws made by the proud are their security and their undoing. Such laws make disobedience a virtue, and obedience a sin.
The easiset way to backup your computer is to invest in a inexpensive dvd burner and some dvds,run the windows backup utility and then burn it on dvd! It can not be infected or destroyed [put it in a protected case and put it in your computer case for safe keeping] viola! instant os security! www.safecomputecomputersystems.com
Hi there, I have just recieved a HP Compaq Presario notebook, with no XP disks! It just has an information booklet with system recovery details. Is this legal? What happens if I ever need to format and start again? Please help. Thanks heaps!
Anyone to help with my last question? Or am I the only person here? :)
dose anyone know where i can find a site to d9ownload the windows inatallation disk for windows xp home edition i have the cd but its messed up and iwll not load all the files for my computer to load
i removed an internal hard drive and made it into an external hard drive to see if it had any viruses and it didn't. I installed a new windwos xp home edition and it just went right into restarting my system. i went through microsoft to find out the problem and they said my cd installation disc. is corrupt is this possible.
I'm only going to express my opinion based in my own experience and hopefully it would benefit some people:
I own Compag, HP and Dell computers, at my house famliy computers we have 4 desktop machines (2 Dell's, 1 Compaq and 1 HP) and 2 laptops (Dell). I have done several reinstall over the years.
My opinion is that Dell does the better job, these days they'll include a Windows XP re-install CD that has the Dell brand printed in it, if you don't have it or your Dell computer did not come with it (there was a time when Dell was not shipping installation CD's, but not anymore) you can call Dell and get tech support to mail the copy of the discs for free if you have warranty, you may have to pay if the system is out of warranty. All you need is your computer's service tag, The disc will not include the drivers, if you need drivers ask a friend to download them for you they are free at their web site, this last part is the same for HP or Compaq, they also provide drivers for your older system and they are not too difficult to find.
The difference with these last two brands (same manufacturer) is that if you need to re-install windows you have to use their restore tool which will wipe the hdd and put the system back to a state similar to when you first purchased the computer, for some people that's ok but for some people with personal data in their system and that have BSOD's or similar registry errors these recovery discs won't work like a Windows (retail) would, that's why I favor the Dell approach with a separate Windows cd, I know it's possible to recover from data corruption using the Windows Recovery Console and chkdsk c: /r that's why you need to have the windows cd, btw this disc will work or may work in other computers, the difference? because if you try to use it on a non-Dell system it will not recognize the bios (service tag) and will not validate the windows installation therefore you will get stuck with a 30 day activation period, (these 30 day/actitvation will not come up if you are using the original Dell system) I have done that, used my Dell Windows Xp CD (OEM) on a 'generic' (non-brand) asus mobo machine, I was able to install Windows Media Center but only to test and not to keep the install and had the 30 day activation come up Windows has fully functional I still had to add the required drivers but I was able to use the disc that Dell provide me, having say that yes it's possible but legal? no way, for me it was not problem once I did my backup I put back the old Windows and problem solved.
These days all machines come with some flavor of Windows the only winner here is Bill Gates and Microsoft stating recenlty that now Vista has sold 20+ million copies in their first 2 months, but they don't tell you that some of those people that upgraded their XP to Vista are going back to XP, so not all of them are happy campers, another problem is that if you upgrade your XP to vista it nulifies your XP key automatically, so in other words if you were planning on upgrading to Vista and give your old-it's-mine-I-can-do-whatever-I-want-with-it copy of windows XP to uncle Bob you are out of luck.
But hey look at the bright side: Dell will make or start selling some of their machines with Linux soon, so people will have the option and if that's not enough you can also buy a computer from Dell with no OS in it right now.
The true is that Microsoft, Apple or someone has to come up with a new way to offer licenses based on the individual and not on the machine, real honest people here like us in this forum would have that approach we wouldn't have to deal with activation every major disaster, is not cost effective to spent countless hours with tech support, or do a full system restore, XP is not unbreakable but it's one of the better options out there, people is used to it and there's tons of software, too bad that included malware, trojans etc, second choice and only if your applications can work with it would be Linux, or why not go with a Mac / Jaguar combo, btw I heard of some people able to run Vista on a Mac, but with the limited application support that Vista has at the moment, seems like I'll be stuck with XP for a while. I really think the solution to this OEM CD problem is 1.Always get a copy of your OS cd when you get your new system. 2.A copy of your original drivers. 3. Copies of your original software, and hope for the best in case of OSRI.
I forgot to mention, I just received my second copy of the Compaq recovery discs part # 5069-6646 these discs won't work in my system since I replaced the motheboard to a similar model but with the HP bios instead of the of Compaq, I explained that to the tech guy in Compaq but he said it wouldn't matter (it does matter) so I call them to let them know and they send me a second set 'free of charge', they send me the exact same part number so now I have to brand new sets of the same Compaq System Recovery, lucky for me HP has a detect tool that if you install on your system it will detect the model, I did ran the utility and it found that my Compaq Presario S6500NX is now an HP Pavillion a510n so I placed a new order for the recovery discs for my "new model", why bother? well because it's cheaper to buy the system recover discs for $16.00 at the HP's web site than going to the store to purchase a retail version of windows, so now I hate Compaq (btw they said that they will reimburse for the first set of discs) for their practices, Microsoft for their prices and myself for not getting rid of this system in the first place instead of purchasing a 'replacement' motherboard, the bios went bad on the old one, did I mentioned that you can only flash the bios while in windows if you are using a Compaq machine? so no windows no bios fix, screw that, if someone knows were to flash the bios in this Compaq mobo or if they need the Compaq System Recovery discs useless to me just let me know. Thanks
I bought a copy of Windows XP Home SP2 for my computer, and it's all installed and running fine, i've actually reinstalled a few times. i want to know, can i make a personal backup copy of my XP CD? so that if that CD gets damaged or won't work in a few years, i wouldn't have to buy another copy of windows? thanks...
HEY, i have a vaio with an xp media center for original os but i did install the vista os and all the drivers for it, and i want to creat a recovery disc for vista so that i can recover it when i totaly format my HDD.
any programes you know coz i searched alot and until now nothing works (acronis is not working 2 it makes the hiden files and folder normal ones and the shortcuts folders normal folders)
OK first of all!
If you have purchased an authentic copy of the Windows Installation CD, you may create backup copies for PERSONAL USE ONLY!!!
That doesnt mean you make backup copies and send them to all your friends.
I have just repaired a laptop and it currently had Windows XP Home Edition installed onto it, unfortunately the Bootup files were corrupt so I reinstalled Windows XP Professional onto it and used the Windows XP Home Edition "authentic" cd key and it worked!
Also, you can backup Windows Vista (it also backs up the hidden files and folders than the good people at microsoft do not want you too see).
Hope all has been helpfull for you guys.
well i copy a window Xp CD but the real one start up when i turn on the computer but with the copy one i have to load the window to start install a new window xp so can some help me out on how to to start a copy version of the cd because i got a computer with no OS in and the real one my friend lost it was his
How many of you have installed 1 copy of windows on multiple of your home computers?
How many times did you hae to call Microsoft to get a working ID number becasue your didnt work.... Technincally there should not that many people that need a new key # it should only happen in rare cases...why does Microsoft continue to give people multiple keys and not file any lawsuits?
--How many people would continue to buy windows if they really couldnt install it on another computer illegally?--
not many which means Linux would become a larger competitor and push microsoft out of the way...Linux is free
Microsoft has alot of highly paid workers that would not be happy if they lost their job because Bill Gates is greedy... and oh yeah Bill did not make that license a group of his lawyers did and possible some of his coworkers. Im 21 and I dont have a lot of exerience on just about anything but it is pretty plain for me to see that Mr Gates is also not completely that greedy..he has donated several billion dollars to charity.
Correct me if im wrong I was just putting my spontaneous thoughts out there and if i did mispell a few words so be it i dont have to be an excellent typist to be somewhat aware of the world i live in!
Microsoft will gladly hand out multiple keys...
Because this way they ensure their OS gets used! Hence piracy is not the way to rid ourselves of Microsoft, however it will ensure their high prices.
All paying customers actually make up for it...
Don't get me wrong I am a fanatical supporter of Linux and open source; I have never paid for any version windows (or MSDOS for that matter). But wouldn't it be nice when we all decide to dump Microsoft by using better alternatives (i.e. Linux 'distros'), and not by piracy; so Microsoft will be installed less frequently.
Already companies are embracing Linux (Dell, HP, Lenovo and the like), even for home users....
There are some issues with driver support on Linux (it's actually a problem of hardware manufacturers), but in my opinion Linux is currently usable by computer users of any level.
Why not take Linux for a spin?
If you are interested in freedom and usability at no charge, download a Linux live-CD/DVD. This way you can try Linux WITHOUT modifying your harddisk in any way.
The easiest Linux (or 'distro') to use would be Ubuntu. Hell, it even comes with a 'Windows Migration Assistant'; this allows you to migrate personal windows files (Internet Explorer bookmarks, Firefox favorites, desktop wallpaper, AOL IM contacts, and Yahoo IM contacts)
Hi im just browsing the net looking for a solution and come across the site by chance ya no...was reading abit on here and ive a question about my xp disc.
I do a format every now n then and happened to do one the other day.
When i tried to reinstall windows im gettin the redundency error which i think means my disc is basically knackered.
Now ive rang fujitsu seimens (the pc maker) and there saying id have to buy a new disk or copy a friends disc if they have the same one.
ive just read that lil discussion about it being illegal n stuff but ive not got the money to go forking out for another xp disc to be honest.
I dont no anyone who owns the same make computer as me so ive no chance of gettin hold of a fujitsu seimens xp home edition disc are pretty slim.....what i want to know is can i somehow recover the files i need from the disc and maybe make a new disc to use ?
The disc im actually trying to use is a disc i made a yr or so ago with servic pack 2 on i dont remember how but i followed some tutorial on making my own disc cus each time i formatted i had to wait hrs for the service pack 2 to download an install ..so i made this disc from my service pack one home edition of xp and the service pack 2 id downloaded ...anyhow the disc is now somehow scratched or something and wont work but ..neither will the orignal disc thats got the same error sayin sumot about another file that wont work an pretty much a simular problem soooooooooooo ..what ive had to do is install a friends copy of xp and i want my orignal back lol
The above tutorial worked like a charm for me. I have a HP/Compaq that came with 5 recovery discs and tons of bloat (the OS alone cost about 4.25GB, plus about 1.25GB third-party junk = a hefty 5.5GB of used space after a fresh install... unacceptable).
After following the steps provided in the tutorial, the end result was a single 450MB bootable cd-rom, with SP2 slipstreamed and no crapware. Now my OS footprint (including SP2) is only a little over 1GB. I've tested it on numerous boxes/brands without a hitch. You must use the product key from the PC that you "borrowed" the i386 folder from when you build this cd-rom, but there are ways to get around that, as well (but that is getting a bit out of scope for most users).
Hope this helps some of you.
I WAS WONDERING IF I HAVE A MACHINE WITH A DIFFERENT INSTALL NUMBER CAN I PUT A NEW HARD DRIVE IN IT AND USE MY OEM DISC WITH THAT NUMBER? TO REPAIR IT. HARD DRIVE CRASHED. WILL THAT WORK? XP SP2.
i want to bet a windows xp cd to reinstall xp but i dont have one whet do i do
Hi Dave, my inbuilt wireless seems to have disappeared on my computer. I took it to a computer repair shop who told me I should insert the Windows XP CD and click on the repair option. However, I've lost my CD - are the CDs specific to the computer (I have a Compaq which is about a year old) or are these CDs generic?
im fitting a larger formatted drive into my computer. im installing windows xp pro 2002 using a genuine cd not a copy. i have reached the product key stage but i cant find my product key what can i do?
hi, i have an original HP laptop windows xp OS cd. I no longer use that hp machine and i want to put the windows xp OS on my new Acer aspire laptop because i refuse to run vista.
I just want a legal copy of windows on my machine instead of resorting to cracked software.
Is this possible?
I'm repairing a HP DV6000 Laptop for a friend. The HDD is completely toast. The self diagnostic HDD test within the BIOS tells me that HDD 1 needs to be replaced.
My question is how can i re-install the original copy of Windows Vista Home Premium if i can't boot into the OS to make a recovery CD?
PS: When i try to boot into the OS, even in safe mode, i get a fatal error message and the laptop shuts down.
Is there some place online to get a free download of windows xp home edition for my pc
My husband wants Outlook Express on his IBMT40. Son downloaded a "free" version of XP with Outlook and it is now requesting an activation code. If I purchase a used OEM version will it work on his laptop or should I bite the bullet and pay the $100 or so for the XP SP2?
I have an original version of windows xp home but i'm not able to reinstall it on the same computer, it says some P3.sys file cant be copied. If i press skip then it doesnt work so could u plz tell me what are the ways to reinstall original windows xp home version
i installed internet secutity suite by verizon yesteray and uninstalled some things now when i shut my comp down the desktop comes up with no icons on it i cant get nothin to come up cant restore ive tried so many time can i install xp cd again on there what do u think
To remove norton you will need the norton removal tool
The main problem I see with comments on this page is the difference between owning a computer, and licensing the software on that computer. When you purchase a new computer, or buy a copy of Windows to put on your computer, you aren't actually purchasing the software, you are purchasing an installation disk for the software, and a license to run it. So, you OWN the HARDWARE, NOT the SOFTWARE. You are simply licensing the software. If you wanted to actually purchase Windows to use however you wanted... you'd be coughing up a couple billion dollars!
Something which might be helpful
The Windows/Mac Industry Standard is one licensed OS per computer for personal users.
Business users (with multiple PC's) have (or should have) different licensing agreements.
It wouldn't surprise me if its a 50/50 proposition (some will, some won't).
I doubt Eula (which I still haven't read) even
fully addresses Corporate issues as it relates
to hundreds of networked PC's all using one OS product key. Network Software Apps certainly have (or should have) tighter licensing controls.
Example; a smart start-up company, needing 30 work-stations will probably purchase them with the OS already installed. 2 Years later, the company might need 30 more and decide to purchase bare-boned units and install the OS themselves.
So, here we have 60 boxes which may or may not
have the same OS product key installed.
So , it's 2 years later and the company is so successful , it has a employee yard sale for
these (now old) boxes. Or the company fails and these boxes all wind up at your local Computer
Salvage store or flea market.
For 4 years, 50 weeks a year, 60 to 180 people
have all been using the Microsoft OS & APPS. Now
these same boxes along with the OS are moving to
hands of additional users. Sqeezing out the OS
competition for generations to come.
So, here's the skinny. You can get just about anything you want for a few bucks (if not free).
The poor guy gets shafted most often because he can't keep his anger on the down-low and go with the smooth-flow approach.
Don't think for one second that there aren't
multiple PC's using the same product keys.
The older the OS, the more likely this will
occur and the more likely a new product key
will be assigned.
Day's if not weeks can be wasted on Manufacture
support Web sites. Yes, call them one time.
But don't wait. Act like you might be willing to
spend $. If that doesn't get you what you want in 24 hrs, assume the company is ignoring a potential profit center and find what you need on the Internet or at that Computer Recycler.
So, the bo
I forgot the most important part
For the guy wanting to install the same OS on the
Since one box per product key is the rule.
Install a older/cheaper OS on the 2nd unit.
Then purchase a XP Home-upgrade OS on the Internet.
i have a computer with ubuntu on it and i want windows xp home on it. I have 3 other computers with windows xp on them. 1 has pro the other two are netbooks with home on them. My question is can i use the i386 folder from the xp pro computer to install home or do i have to use the netbooks xp home i386 folder to install it. i have a valid key for xp home from dell and other computers are different brands, will that be ok?
Bill your question regarding home and pro, the two are totally different OS's. You can't install Home using the Pro i386 folder and neither can you install Pro using the Home i386 folder.
You can however if you have Windows XP Home on a laptop (with all extra "OEM" rubbish, like Norton, etc) and one on a desktop (without all OEM rubbish) use the XP Home disk for the desktop to install XP Home on the laptop and remove all the OEM rubbish that you don't want and never asked for (like Norton, Works, etc).
When I first got my laptop the first thing I did was re-install XP Home on it using my genuine Windows disk, and the licence code under the laptop as I didn't want the Norton that was given free with the laptop and didn't see why Norton should monopolise the antivirus industry in such a way, Microsoft got done for doing this with Internet Explorer, why should Norton force people to have Norton AV just because they buy a laptop? As I already had a 4 computer licence for ESET I installed that on it instead.
I have a small problem - my girlfriend bought the Office 2007 home and student version and has already installed it on 3 units - however she has a virus/trojan which just keeps appearing no matter how many times she runs her scans, finds it and removes it. She is thinking of restoring the laptop to factory settings but wants to be able to use her office cd again - do you know if its possible to do this as it is the same machine or does she have to buy the software again. Problem I'm having with it is that her version is from Germany and my German isn't that good and her technical knowledge is worse so together were useless with this. Also on a similar note can she cancel one of the uses and put it onto a different machine. Thanks.
hey how can i design my own windows xp please answer me in my website ok
I recently traded out some cleaning work for 5 DELL and 2 HP computers. First thing, I contacted DELL to change ownership. Although the new owner did not know where the restore discs were for the DELLS. He gave me a OS CD for the HP's. I paid DELL $69.00 to help me per computer to get past the password protection. Dell was only able to restore 1 DELL using F11 option. I have several other DELL's that would not work with that option. DELL insisted I pay 290.00 for software, I refused. I am not to sure what these computers contain, so I am hesitant to spend a large amount. I have tried several options found online ctrl+alt+del 2x then pressing enter, going into safe mode using admin (there is no admin option). I cant seem to find software on Microsoft either. Im not even sure where to look at this point. Some good advice desperately needed.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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