Windows re-install

My question is simple. I fix computers for fun and have come across many systems that will need to format and reinstall windows. My questions is this: if they do not have the windows disk, can I just use mine and still use their legal key that came with their initial windows preinstalled software? Is this legal? Thanks for anyone that responds.

When I brought my computer in reformatting, the company just used my MS key to activate XP home.

But instead of a clean install, would a repair work instead? I have done this twice with my Win XP disc.

BTW: This may not be possible with Vista

i think its legal , however you might have problems doing it cuz the key is usally tied to the edition & type , for example an xp home oem key will not work with xp home retail

The answer to your question is Yes, all the install discs are the same, its the reg code that is important. I think its the same for Vista, all the versions are on every disc, its the key that tells the disc what version to install.:iagree:

thats true to vista only , in previous os’s its the files on the disc thats what counts… only 1 edition is provided and it matters if its oem or retail aswell , in xp there are diffrent keys for editions and the type oem/retail , for example if youll try to install xp home retail and youll input an xp home oem key it will not accept it

I didn’t have any problem using a retail CD and an OEM key to reinstall my notebook (XP Home). The only drawback: you’ll have to activate Windows by phone, as MS disabled online activation for OEM versions :Z


Thanks you all for your input. I will just have to keep my different copies of Windows and play with the legal keys, thanks again for your time.