Apr 21, 2006
Hi there, I know that may seem like a relatively obvious question however I was hoping to flush out some details from people with more experience than I possess.

I was told that if you have a retail copy of XP pro, if you stop using old machine and buy a new 1 then you can transfer your license across. I however purchased an OEM copy of XP pro about 4 years for my old laptop. I have not used it in a few years and was hoping that if I make a new computer I can use my old key. I am pretty sure when I try to activate it that it will say the key is no good and to call their help number but what details are stored on their system?

If I say that I have simply formatted my old machine and are doing a new install will I then be able to use the code they give me for my new machine or is the code somehow 'locked' to the CPU number or something?

If any1 has any experience migrating a license across then please advise me. I do not wish to use a pirated copy and will buy a new license if needed but hope that it is not neccesary since I paid for this license and I am happy to format my old machine and not use it again.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give


May 4, 2006
The EULA clearly states that OEM Windows lives and dies with the FIRST computer on which it is installed. It is the same for Office OEM too.

This has been the subject of much discussion with the usual question being if there is a hardware failure (HDD), how do I reinstall? In that instance, you would be unable to activate WIndows on line but calling MS and explaining the need will usually get you the activation code.

You'll need a new copy of Windows.