I have what probably amounts to a stupid question, but I honestly can't recall. I've come across an old system that needs to have windows XP reinstalled, and I'm not sure what disk I'm going to require.
The System is an old Dell Dimension 4550, and had an install of Win XP pro SP1 installed on it, and has the sticker stuck to the side of it (with the serial).
My question is, before I wipe this thing, I want to make sure I have, or can get a Version of XP that will accept that particular serial when I do the reinstall. I'd hate to bring it down and then find that I can't get it to reinstall with its original XP Key.
I have access to pressed/original versions of oem/retail Windows XP SP2 for sure. I may have a version of SP1 somewhere, but I'm not even sure what type it was, I think it worked with Volume License keys (I'm assuming the actual CDs are different for VL OEM and Retail).
My question is, are newer versions such as XP Pro SP2, going to be aware of older serial keys?
Would XP SP3 work (I hear it doesn't ask for the key at the beginning but at the end), and if so is there a place where the ISO for XP SP3 is legitimately available?
I have a valid XP SP1 key, I just want to make sure I can get it back up after I wipe it. Thanks in advance.
The option to get back to the original factory installation using the hidden recovery partition is still there, but only via the Dell PC Restore by Symantec utility (press Ctrl+F11 at startup to access the partition).
The Ctrl-F11 option isn't available on this PC. The Dell Dimension 4550 predates the June 2004 start date of that feature. The restore option for dells before that apparently was "have the restore disk"
I came across a Dell OEM Win XP Pro SP3 CD, which I think I'm going to give a try. From my somewhat confusing conversation with a Dell tech in online chat, it seems it should still take older keys as long as its for the same version of Home/Pro/MCE. We'll find out if he was lying to me soon.