Are XP Home Upgrade and OEM product Keys Interchangable?

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Alex Ethridge

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Are the product keys for Windows XP Home Edition and the Product Keys for XP OEM Full Edition interchangable?

Are the product keys for Windows XP Home Edition and the Product Keys for XP that comes with branded (Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.) interchangable?

Reason for Asking:
I've never tried it and I don't want to spend hours just finding out. I have a shop in my home. Occasionally, someone will bring me an XP computer to work on and they may not have their XP disk with them. Sometimes the computer manufacturer doesn't even supply one. I do have their XP Product Key, however (either extracted from the system or stickered on their case). If I overinstalled an XP Home Upgrade, might their Product Key work?
 
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I think i'm reading this right, but not too sure..

If your wanting to use a master copy of XP for any computer and use the key they already have (sticker on case etc) then yes, this is not a problem.

You can use any XP copy (of the same edition; Home, Pro etc) providing they have an original key.

Generall, all manufacturers give out recovery disks or put the recovery on a seperate partition which the users should back up. Look for the system recovery option on post - usually with Packard bell and Compaq.

Hope that helps.
 

Alex Ethridge

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I do remember with Windows 9x and ME, the product keys between upgrade versions, OEM versions and off the shelf retail versions were all different.

An OEM product key would not work for a retail, off-the-shelf version. A product key from an upgrade would not work for anything but an upgrade--nothing else. It would not work for a full retail version. A product key for a proprietary brand (HP, Compaq, etc.) would not work for an OEM version. Neither would an OEM product key work for a Gateway. An HP key would not work for a Gateway. A Gateway key would not work for a Compaq, etc.

What I'm trying to find out is whether Microsoft has dropped all this lack of product key interchangability with XP. I just thought that now that they have product activation, maybe they figured these restricted product keys were no longer needed.

It sure would make my work easier if they have dropped it and I'm trying to find out if they have.
 
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Although I wouldnt like to firmly say as such that your work relied on it, I can honestly say this..

We had to remaster a system and they didnt have the disks (lost), but since it was our techy guys fault we tried this and it worked.

A Median machines recovery disk was used to install XP on a home built system and their own key was used.

So i'm assuming from this that they are interchangable - saying that however I would of said the same about Win98 with other key varients since any retail version of win98 would work with any win98 key.

Best getting a second opinion though.

:confused:

Do you have a spare machine or hard drive you could try it on ?
 

Alex Ethridge

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I've got a spare, actually several. But, to run an extensive test would require many installations. That's why I was hoping someone could tell me who already knows.
 
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