Do you need to have a brand new windows XP for a new computer? or can you just take a windows XP box that was installed on an earlier pc and use that same box to install it on my new one with it still being installed on the old one? my guess was that it would work, but maybe theres a registry process for each install that 'Locks" the OP to only that system and renders other installations onto other systems undoable? sorry for asking such a lame question, but i dont want to go outa my way and spend another 90$ if i dont have to.
You dont technically have to have a new copy. There is a copyright issue but for arguments sake here is the deal. The cd will install on any computer you want as many times as you want. The software isnt an issue. The cd key isnt really and issue either. The activation of your windows install and the cd key that goes with it will need to be activated if you intend to ever download anything from microsoft.com. Any time you go to MS.com's website they validate your copy of windows. The first time you install your windows and register it, a snapshot of your computer hardware is sent to microsoft and they keep it on file. If you attempt to register your copy of windows again using the same cd key, then microsoft will compare that hardware snapshot thats on file with the new one that you are attempting to register. If they match, no big deal and the activation is completed. IF they dont match, then its still possible that microsoft will let you go ahead and activate one more time but after that you will likely run into problems. The third time you attempt to activate that cd key with a different hardware snapshot the website will tell you that you have activated too many times. The site will then suggest that its in your best interest to buy a new copy of windows. However, there is a catch in that your license is good on one machine forever no matter how many times you activate it. If you hunt around in the activation process you will find an option that lets you activate your copy of windows by calling a 800 number and talking with a MS rep. They will ask for a activation key which is generated during the process of when you attempt to activate on the web. Once you give them that activation key they will ask you a series of questions. The first question is why are you calling. Your calling to activate your copy of windows. Next question is why do you need to activate? You will usually respond with something like, my computer crashed or I upgraded my old computer with some new parts and needed to reinstall or finally, I had a virus and needed to reinstall. The third and absolutly most crucial question, is How many copies of this windows do you currently have installed using this cd key? The typical resonse here is usally, 1 and its the one I am calling you for to activate. They might ask you again if you have any other installations of windows on other computers and again the typical response is no.
There is no master database right now that matches ip addressess to cd keys or anything like that. As a matter of fact, at this particuar time, there are a great number of people who share cd key's and still have activated copies or windows. I'm sure if they ever implimented some sort of tracking database which kept track of how many computers use the same cd key then things might get more complicated but the reality is that once a copy of windows is activated, Microsoft no longer gives a hoot. Point of interest is that Vista attempted to try something like that and was only going to allow you to install a copy of windows 2 times or something like that and only on the computer it was orginally installed on. Customers made such an outcry that they changed the licensing back in line with the current windows xp license which allows for unlimited installs on 1 machine at a time but any machine you want.