[QUOTE=SeÃ¡n;2561782]I’ve carried out many Windows reinstallations in the past on Dell, Acer, HP, Toshiba, Packard Bell, etc. computers using ordinary Windows installation CDs. The installation CD MUST MATCH the OS edition that was installed. E.g. If the PC has Windows XP professional, you will need a Windows XP professional installation CD. From my experience, the service pack and OEM/Retail type doesn’t really matter apart from Windows XP. For Windows XP, if you use a retail CD, the installation CD must contain service pack 3.
If you have the recovery media, use this to reinstall Windows, as generally it will install a pre-activated OS for that model of PC and include any necessary HDD controller drivers already slipstreamed. I’ve seen this with Dell and HP computers.
If you use a generic Windows XP installation CD, such as a store bought Windows XP OEM CD, you might need to slipstream the disk controller drivers into the installation and burn this as a bootable CD to be able to install Windows XP, especially if intend installing on an SATA HDD. If the installation CD claims that no hard disks are present, then you will need to carry out this process: What you’ll need is the text mode drivers for your controller the HDD is attached to and use nLite to slipstream these drivers into the OS and burn this to CD.
If you use a retail Windows XP CD with service pack 3, you will need to skip the step where it asks for the product key (i.e. just click ‘Next’ at this screen), as it will not accept an OEM key, i.e. the key on the PC’s sticker. Once the OS has finished installing, open a web browser on that PC and go to this page, where you can download the Windows key update tool. Use this to enter the Windows XP key on the PC’s sticker and it will active the OS once it reboots the PC.
For Windows Vista and 7, from my experience, an OEM key works fine with a retail installation CD, as long as the CD edition matches the OS edition being installed, e.g. Windows 7 Home Premium CD for a Windows 7 Home Premium key. One thing I notice especially with Windows Vista is that when it comes to activation, it will often fail saying that the key is not valid for activation, at least with all the Acer and Toshiba computers I’ve reinstalled Vista on. In this case, use the telephone activation method. Basically you’ll hear a recorded voice saying to enter the series of digits and then it will speak out a series of digits to key in the activation window.
From my experience, reinstalling the OS is the simplest process. It’s getting all the drivers that can be a tedious process, especially if the manufacturer no longer lists the PC model, a problem I find with older Acer computers. [/QUOTE]
Generally On Dells the drivers are NOT on the OS re-install disc, they tend to use a “Generic” reinstall disc, with a seperate “driver & resource” disc that is far more specific to the computer model…
And while for [I]proper[/I] legal useage you should use the same edition of the software to reinstall as was originally installed, it shpuld be noted that generally speaking with DELL XP (32bit) RE-installers the disc, the computer or Microsoft don’t seem to care about the subtle differences between “Home” and “Pro”.
I’ve got both “Home” and “Pro” XP reinstall discs and have inadvertantly (not intentionally) used the wrong disc more times than I can count and the neither the computer (or Microsoft) squaks about it, but this is ONLY on Dells (and likely because Dells “activate” automatically)
Again not intentionally but it does work. Dell’s and Microsoft have a unique licensing arraingment
that benefited their customers.
But Dell was MS’s biggest single customer (likely still is) so they were able to forge a better deal for themselves and their own customers.
IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS remember the following:
Virtually all computers were sold with a license for the OS software. Accorting to Microsoft chapter and verse (Official policy) the OS licence goes with the Motherboard, Not the CPU or Hard Drive, the MOTHERBOARD. And so if you are REinstalling the OS after a “repair” (typically HDD replacement) they MUST (by their own publicly stated policy) reactivate your OS install.
Even microsoft is less than convinced that they can get you to pay for the OS more than once… but that will not stop them from trying. their call centers WILL eventually let you through to a tech support guy who will “activate” your install, (And they don’t charge you $49.95 for the phone call either) their minimum wage call center people (who are reading from a script) are mainly there to discourage the less patient (to make them hang up) or fleece the gullible (by getting them to pony up their CC number and an authorization for $79-$99…
But I can tell you that if you stubbornly wait long enough they WILL actiuvate your XP OS
if only to make you go away. I’ve done it dozens of times and though they try to tell you atleast a dozen times you have to pay in the end you don’t
(at the risk of pointless repetetion: the licence for the OS goes with the MOTHERBOARD.)
On occasion when I get bored with pulling the wings off of flies I will call them just to make them give up and activation (though I don’t NEED to because I have a LEGALLY obtained self-activating corporate licenced XP-sp3 installer I can use)
It amuses me that they try so hard to get people to pay for something that they WILLgive
you if you simply dig in your heels and stay on the phone long enough to get past the first layer of call center people
I can tell you absolutely a Vista disc WILL NOT WORK as a “Backdoor upgrade” on an XP machine, you cannot “cheat” so don’t even wast time trying.
Dell Win7 discs ALWAYS ask for a CoA regardless of the machine it’s being installed on
I strongly recommend using the latest SP disc available of whatever “flavor” edition (Home/pro) because it’ll typically save you about 90min to 2hrs (minimum) just on the upgrade from SP2 to SP3.
The basic OS install is 40min unless you have the OS installed format your HDD and the time that takes varies on the size of the drive OR partition you are having it create.
Personally I think anything larger than about 40gb for an XP install is a waste (and making it this large avoids issue while defragging)
50-ish is generally adequate for a Vista or Win7 install inless you are also installing a sh!tpot of bulky game programs
what I always do with Dells is use the “Service code” number at Dell.com and download the updated drivers for the Video and NIC to a thumb drive
install those on the computer then use the computer itself to download & Install the proper drivers for that specific computer.
I actually keep the NIC and Video drivers for all the different models in my Area of responsibility on a thumb drive that is attached to my key ring.
Also on a reinstall DO NOT let windows update run until you have manually installed IE8 and WMP11
Even if you have no intention at all of using WMP or IE8
MS considers both of them to be “Critical updates” This however is not the problem the problem is the HOUR that will be WASTED downloading and installing updates and security patches to IE7 and WMP10 Before it get to installing IE8 and WMP11
BTW even if YOU won’t use IE8 Windows updates DOES, so you’ve gotta have it.
So I typically downoad IE8 and WMP11 manually from CNET.com.
And THEN manually trigger Windows updates and let it do it’s thing…
BTW Installing WMP11 serves another purpose, a “Validation” of your OS install is an automatic part of the process and if your OS validates
during WMP11 it means that MS has essentially declared your OS install as “Kosher/Halal” so to speak…
OTHER make computers vary from this slightly in particulars but once you get used to doing RE-installs you quickly figuire out the wrinkles and how to stomp them flat…
I’m sure there are others her who have done it hundreds if not thousands of times. On a couple occasions I’ve had running installs going simultaneously on as many as 8 computers at once…
And still spent time playing Quake on MY computer while waiting to give the next one in line “a poke with a sharp stick” to kick it to the next step.
the first few times it can be annoying… after that wears off it just becomes deadly dull… until you get one that WILL NOT BEHAVE…
(For that I have a fire axe and a collection of hammers:)