Instructables

Can I install windows XP on as many computers as I would like if I have an installation cd.?


I was thinking about buying a genuine version of windows xp and I was wondering if I could install it on more than one computer.

mwrenfro3 years ago
Not legally (that's a link to the Home license, but all the others should be identical in this respect):

1.1 Installation and use. You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Software on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device ("Workstation Computer").

coolpizzadude (author)  mwrenfro3 years ago
Can I legally reinstall the OS on the same computer.
Generally, if you reformat it, you can reinstall the OS on the same PC without licensing problems. The only times I know reinstallation caused problems was when too much hardware changed between reinstalls, and Microsoft thought you might have installed the OS on a second computer. But I never ran into that problem myself.

I guess there's a slim chance that constant repeated reinstallations (even on the same hardware) could require calling Microsoft if activation failed. But again, under normal circumstances, this shouldn't be a problem.
coolpizzadude (author)  mwrenfro3 years ago
Can I keep reusing the same activation key and can I use the same key on other computers?
You'd only have the one key, so you'd have to reuse it.

If two systems have the same key simultaneously, you'd be violating the license, and activation will fail.

I have moved a Windows XP license from a desktop to a netbook, from one desktop to another desktop, etc. I've always reformatted the old system to remove Windows and ensure a particular license is running only on one particular system. And I've never had a problem with activation.

I'm really not sure what's unclear here. You have one license of XP. That means you can install it on one computer at any given time. You can move that one license from one computer to another, but you must remove Windows from the old computer for this to work.
orksecurity3 years ago
To be legal, you need a license per machine.

If your machines already had an XP license, or have a "downgradable" Vista license which permits replacing the OS with XP, you can do that all with one disk. Otherwise you need to purchase a license for every machine before doing the installs.
Can I get a copy of an OS from Dell or whatever, as long as you have the license number off the case? I would think that you bought the license when you bought PC. You don't get the restore disk any longer, and if your hard crashes, you don't have any OS any longer.
BobS3 years ago
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you collect some old computers from the dumpster, there is often an XP sticker on it. This is the licence, right?

Probably removable with paint thinner, if not, just cut out the piece of metal and stick it to your computer.

Unless you have a company, I really can't see a reason to buy a licence...

better donate the money to victims of floods, earthquakes etc.
orksecurity3 years ago
If you want to install the same operating system on multiple machines, and don't want to pay for a copy for each of them... may I suggest one of the flavors of Linux?
seandogue3 years ago
Technically Yes. However, without activation, they'll cease to work after a short trial period. IMO that's not worth the trouble.

License wise? No. It's a violation of the purchase agreement.
coolpizzadude (author)  seandogue3 years ago
Can't you use the activation key on multiple computers?
No. Not legally, unless you've purchased a multi-license pack, even if you have some workaround that will allow activation on more than one
I purchased a copy of XP and installed it on 8 different computers,all with different spec's. However after the ninth attempt I could no longer use it,my install key was no longer valid.I tried to get one more install out of them over the customer support line but MS knew exactly how many times I had used the disk and was kicked out of the phone registration queue. That was 7 months ago,I recently tried another install with this used up disc and guess what? it worked!
I don't know why it worked again,guess win 7 is doing so well they don't care about xp anymore,but you should get at least 8 free reinstall's.
good luck
HIP
coolpizzadude (author)  tragicallyhip3 years ago
After that what do I have to do buy windows xp all over again or do I get a discount.
Just a quick observation about XP, I have moved on to Win7 and my personal opinion is that using XP was like drinking milk that was 2 weeks past it's best before date.
P.S. MS say's you have to buy a new license.
After you have used up your allotted re installs you pretty much out of luck,like my experience it was a forget you! type of thing. However I can't explain how my key was reinstated and I was able to install XP again( the world wonders).I'm curious about where you cant still buy a new retail of XP?