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If I want to buy another copy of XP?

I have an OEM copy of 32-bit XP Professional Service Pack 1 when I built my old rig. I used to reformat and reinstall every couple of months, not realizing I was burning up activations. Now, I have to call someone and explain that this is, in fact, my original PC, just to get an authorization.

If I was to buy another copy, I'm assuming there's a lot of junk floating around I wouldn't want. People selling copies they've used on other machines? Seems to be a lot of copies meant for Dell computers. I've even seen some being sold without keys.

I suppose ebay is my best bet. What should I look out for?
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  1. Best answer
    First, I never heard of limited copies... and as far as I know you can install an unlimited amount of times on the same computer.

    Second, OEM copies for Dell Computers will only install and work on Dell Computers. As far as retail OEM versions, I would NOT buy used from anyone.. you might NOT be able to activate it.

    Third, for the price you'd pay for Windows XP why not buy Windows 7? It seems more logical... But if you must have XP.. I just checked on Amazon and saw NEW versions being sold for around $80-90. I would be very careful with marketplace sellers.

    Finally, I honestly don't see any reason for you to buy XP again since you already have it. What you should do is INSTALL it again.. get it ACTIVATED.. then put all your drivers on it and then MAKE AN IMAGE BACKUP at this point.. so it would be clean and new backup.. and when/if you want a fresh copy you would only have to restore the image.. and it would be like a fresh reinstall with all the updates installed..
  2. I'm surprised by all the negativity toward XP on a forum for XP. Clearly, I have my reasons for installing XP. It's my computer, after all.

    The number of times you can activate an OEM copy online is limited. After a certain number of activations, you are forced to activate by phone. I have Windows 7 on other machines, and I assume it has similar limitations. I think that's why you're able to deactivate the installation before reformatting.

    Anyway, I'll still be needing another copy, just in case.
  3. KublaiKhan said:
    I'm surprised by all the negativity toward XP on a forum for XP. Clearly, I have my reasons for installing XP. It's my computer, after all.

    The number of times you can activate an OEM copy online is limited. After a certain number of activations, you are forced to activate by phone. I have Windows 7 on other machines, and I assume it has similar limitations. I think that's why you're able to deactivate the installation before reformatting.

    Anyway, I'll still be needing another copy, just in case.


    I think you're overstating a bit. Only a single XP comment was made and NOTHING NEGATIVE WAS SAID... However, what I suggested about the image backup is still a good idea given you do reinstall often. It would save you time. Also, you could try to find a used copy of XP or use a private seller.. but as I indicated before.. it's a little risky... but I would only do it if the asking price isn't too high... like under $10-15. I did see a few sellers asking for that amount on Amazon.
  4. Your Windows XP key can be used to reactivate, over the internet, every 120 days. If you are in the silly, and totally unnecessary habit of reinstalling more often than that, you will have to call Microsoft for activation. Note that this only applies to Windows XP.
  5. I really like the idea of creating the image backup. Should have done that years ago. Now I'm fighting with updates....
  6. Well, I activated it, but, as I said, I had to do it by phone. You are prompted to enter an enormous installation ID from the screen. I think it's 43 numbers long (should have taken a screen shot). Then, an automated voice reads a confirmation ID back to you, which is 43 numbers long, and you enter it as it's being read. At one time, this used to be done by a real person. I imagine that was not the most rewarding job in the world. With that confirmation ID entered, you can finally activate the installation. Much nicer when it's all done online in a fraction of a second.

    On top of this, every Windows installation has to be "verified" as "genuine." It's like a second activation, as updates are blocked without it. Installations cannot be "verified" until they are first activated.

    Clearly not the kind of thing you want to do very often.

    As for why I had burned through my online activation limit: First of all, I didn't know I had one, so I wouldn't think twice about reformatting and reinstalling; second, when XP was younger, it was COMMON to have your browser and then your entire system hijacked thanks to the ActiveX scripting permitted by Internet Explorer. The use of other browsers wasn't common. Malware and virus protection wasn't as responsive as it is today. Throw in driver problems, occasional hard drive failures, software conflicts, and the need to reinstall back in those early days becomes a little more understandable.

    I have one program that only works under XP, and it's a good one. I have a wonderful laser printer and a scanner that both never saw new drivers. Aside from that, the XP box allows me to run media applications apart from my regular work and play. I don't use it for much else, though it came in handy when the video card went out in my newer machine. When everything's working, it's very convenient.

    I am at the point where updates are harder to manage. I wish I had done this a year ago, before they ceased.

    I really wish I had that image SBMfromLA mentioned, above. That would have made this a breeze. I really want to thank him for bringing it to my attention.

    Doubt I'll ever do this all again. I can see my Windows 7 machine taking the place of the XP machine when I build my next system.
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