Question about windows reinstallation cd for Dell notebook



When I received my Dell notebook I received the xp home reinstallation cd. I asked Dell to send me some driver cd’s and they sent me another copy of the xp reinstallation cd also. There is no product key on this new one, only something saying the Certificate of Authenticity label was removed and attached to the computer.

Are all xp home cd’s interchangable, meaning can any xp home cd be used to load windows on any computer, as long as there is a valid key to enter? I thought each home cd needed it’s own product key. I obviously don’t have two separate copies of xp, as I only have the one product key on the bottom of the laptop, but I do have two copies of the xp home reinstallation cd now.

Also, what would happen if I tried to install this cd on a non Dell system, even though the label says Dell systems only? I am the legal owner of this xp software right? Say my laptop was trashed and I built a new desktop. Could I use it on there.

If anyone could explain this a little bit I would appreciate it.

I realize this thread might get moved to the newbie forum, but I wasn’t sure so I posted here first



The disc you have is more than likely a Dell specific recovery install disc, which is nothing like a genuine XP Home standard install Disc.

  1. Your never the legal owner of any software.(Unless you wrote it)
  2. Unlikely - Discs such as this come with limited drivers and setup files. It also sounds like dell create discs with key certificates so it authenticates with that machine only.


my brother have a dell laptop also and he didnt get a key ,when i reinstalled from his dell windows cd i wasnt asked for a key anytime during installation and it worked just fine maybe the key is somehow intergrated


yea but you can poke your head into the winsif file to see it if you really need it for whatever reason, its just more of an automated install, thats all, nothing fancy


It’s a good idea to copy wpa.wbl file on a floppy, prior to re-installing os, to avoid product activation hassles.