Quoting Wizard1956, reply 24I've reinstalled XP SP2 and XP SP3 from disc to quite a few PC's and used the OEM key to activate it with no trouble at all. This month I even replaced the HDD in my aunts HP and used my copy of Vista 32 bit and used the key on her rig to activate it. (unfortunately,not everyone makes recovery disks)
Otherwise, anyone that replaced or reformatted a HDD would have to repurchase the OS for a key. While I'm sure MS would love the extra bucks, fact is, you paid for the key when you bought the computer and can use it again.
If you have the original Windows disc then yes it should work. But when you buy an OEM computer from HP/Dell etc, they don't give you that disc, you're stuck with the OEM install and that's it. That's why they make you create your own recovery discs because you can't just reinstall Windows without it.
Yes you can, I have done it. You just don't get all the bloatware and other non MS stuff that was originally on your computer.
Bebi, all due respect, I have done it over and over on different PCs for different people.
Wiz has as well.
All you need is the key on the sticker on the case of the PC, and a disc that is the same version that the key is for. The key tells MS if it's OEM or not, not the disc.
The disc don't care...lol. And, as I stated above, if there is a problem, a call to MS will clear it right up. I have done that too.