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Reinstalling OS (Vista) on new hard drive

Last response: in Windows Vista
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May 25, 2012 5:06:12 PM

I have a laptop with a disc read error, when I install the new hard drive will I be able to use the product key on the sticker that came on the laptop? I can't afford to buy a new copy of windows ontop of a new hard drive I need to buy. Thanks in advance
a b D Laptop
May 25, 2012 6:29:12 PM

you dont need to purchase a new license for windows if you are simply replacing the hard disk. you can use your existing product key, but you will need the windows installation disk.
May 25, 2012 9:13:55 PM

Alright, the reason I ask is because I once had to repair a Win XP Home edition OS and it made me re-enter a key after repairing the OS, and the existing key I had wasn't being accepted, this was a few years back (On XP Home edition), any thoughts?
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a b D Laptop
May 26, 2012 5:28:48 AM

correct, you must use the installation media type for your key. if you have a dell laptop for example the windows key will only work with a dell oem windows disc. If you have a retail version of windows you must use a retail product key as the one printed on the laptop will not work.
May 30, 2012 6:09:19 PM

nhasian said:
correct, you must use the installation media type for your key. if you have a dell laptop for example the windows key will only work with a dell oem windows disc. If you have a retail version of windows you must use a retail product key as the one printed on the laptop will not work.


Great, I was just about to ask if I can use my OEM vista business on a dell laptop that needs a new hdd to install Vista Starter. I didn't know if all versions of vista are on the dvd.
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