Mar 11, 2006
hey all. i was just wondering if i can re-install this upgrade version of windows xp home edition, after reformatting all of my drives. originally i had upgraded from windows 98 first edition and i still have that CD and key code. if i have all of these things, can i re-install windows xp, even though i have already activated it?

if not, that would suck. just recently my computer has exploded with spyware crap and alot of programs are having problems, and all of a sudden my scanner doesnt work. this tells me that there is probably a virus in there somewhere, and it would be wise for me to back-up pronto and clean out the system. i hope it'll work.


Jan 19, 2004
Sure, I have done it often.

BUT - since you said that is an UPGRADE, when you try to install it, it will go out and search for a previous installation of Windows to validate from. Since you just formatted, it won't find it so it will prompt you for the CD. Change CDs, it will scan and validate, then yell at you to swap the CDs again. Do that and you should be on your way.

It will likely have to reactivate it but that is no problem. In the last 4 years, I have only had to actually call MS a couple times to reactivate - just tell them you reformatted and had to reinstall and read off the key code.

I recommend before starting, download and burn to CD the latest version of AVG Anti-virus and ZoneAlarm Firewall and have a copy of XP SP2 handy too, if not on your Upgrade CD.

Then make sure you are DISCONNECTED from the internet, install Windows, SP2, ZoneAlarm, then AVG. THEN and ONLY THEN, connect to the Internet and immediately run Windows Update over and over until you need no more updates.