Legally transfering OEM Windows XP Pro

October 22, 2010 at 13:29:54
Specs: Windows XP

I've always built my own system. I installed an OEM version of Windows XP Pro on my latest built which was my PC. I'm upgrading and already bought a new motherboard, new video card, new DDRs, basically, I'm only using the old case and will be selling the old parts individually. I deleted the OS and all data from the Hard disk and I'm installing Windows 7 Pro 64 BIT on my new system. The PC where I installed Windows XP Pro no longer exist, can I legally give my brother my OEM CD of Win XP PRO so he can install it on his PC and register it? Thanks for any help

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October 22, 2010 at 13:36:00

If by OEM you mean you purchased the xp disk at some store either with some hardware purchase or not and you installed it on your home made comptuer then yes.

If you mean it was a Dell or HP type of cd then you are unlikely to get it to work let alone worry about transfer.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?

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October 22, 2010 at 14:02:40

Thank you jefro, I purchased the OEM XP Pro disk with other components for my own PC. That particular PC no longer exists since I' m selling its parts individually and building a new Windows 7 Pro 64 BIT system. I'm giving this disk to my brother who has a PC that I built for him but has Windows Vista and he asked me to give him the XP Pro, I'm not selling it.

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October 22, 2010 at 14:28:08

Any OEM license is tied to the hardware. It is not legal to install the OEM license on anything else. It dies with the machine. So no it is not legal for you to give it to your brother.

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October 22, 2010 at 15:51:49

Thank you wanderer, what would be the case if I install any OEM Windows OS and the hard disk or the motherboard it's installed on dies? Would I have to buy another OEM disk for the new hard disk or motherboard?

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October 22, 2010 at 16:31:14

Does your EULA contain this clause?

You may move the Software to a different Workstation
Computer. After the transfer, you must completely remove
the Software from the former Workstation Computer. Transfer
to Third Party. The initial user of the Software may make
a one-time permanent transfer of this EULA and Software to
another end user, provided the initial user retains no
copies of the Software. This transfer must include the
Software and the Proof of License label. The transfer may
not be an indirect transfer, such as a consignment. Prior
to the transfer, the end user receiving the Software must
agree to all the EULA terms."

If so you can happily give the licence to your brother.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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October 22, 2010 at 17:30:00

Thank you Richard,

I'll check that specific clause because I've never read it in detail but, I think the EULA does have that clause. Thanks again.

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October 22, 2010 at 20:00:41

I bought a lot of those xp OEM disks. Installed plenty of them in new systems. Called India for MS support when they failed to activate. They questioned me and gave me a new keys.

It may be that your brother will have to explain if you have used up your activations. He should be able to get help at the phone number they provide.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?

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October 22, 2010 at 21:23:15

There are different types of OEM licenses. Look at the link below for an explanation that may help answer your question.

To add to response #5 Microsoft has been lenient with the one time. WinXP OEM non SLP licenses could be used multiple times without issues. Microsoft tried initially to tighten up the enforcement when Vista was released. There was a lot of backlash from the enthusiast community because there are folks out there that must have the newest and trade components twice a year.

If you have a non SLP license you should not have any problems reusing it.

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October 22, 2010 at 22:11:36

Thanks for the link OtheHill.

It makes interesting reading. In simple terms an SLK key self activates on any system that matches the inbuilt hardware type configuration without any issues. It will not install or activate on systems that do not match the specific hardware.The second type uses a pre-installed Volume license key pre-activated but with a COA containing a different key in case the user ever re-installs. That type would require online or telephone activation when using the printed COA key.
The third type is the kind I suspect the OP has since he purchased the OEM disk & COA with a qualifying piece of hardware. Such "qualifying hardware" often wasn't even incorporated in the final build and may have been something as simple as a graphics card or NIC or an old harddrive. We're getting into the technical limitations put in place by Msoft in an effort to enforce their EULA terms, rather than answering the OP's question which was "is it legal to do it" The EULA will tell you.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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October 23, 2010 at 05:49:03

Thank you all for your responses, they've been very helpful and I've learned a lot of new things about OEM software. As I said, I build my own systems but I could not be considered a "system builder" since I'm not in the business.

OtheHill, very good link, as Richard59 states, very interesting reading.

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October 23, 2010 at 12:57:33


If you bought an OEM non SLP copy of Windows from a reseller then as far as Microsoft is concerned, you are a System Builder. One thing that wasn't mentioned in that link (at least I didn't see it) Was who supplies technical support. The type of license you bought is cheaper than retail versions because you assume the tech support for than license.

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October 23, 2010 at 13:25:15

OtheHill, I bought the OEM Windows XP Pro disk from a retail dealer, with a good discount, when I bought several components. Since I built the system for myself and I didn't need any tech support, I saved some money by buying the OEM deal. Now, I'm building a better system with a much better motherboard, a quad core processor, etc. and gave my old motherboard and other components to my brother who needed them. Since I have no use for that OEM XP pro disc because I bought an OEM Windows 7 Pro 64 BIT from the same vendor, I want to give it to my brother but, I don't want to go to the all the trouble of formatting his system and installing the XP only to have a problem at registering or updating time. The disk came with a COA and a Product Key. Actually, the XP Pro will be installed using the same motherboard (my old one), just another hard drive and other components.

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October 23, 2010 at 18:30:44

I have never buy retail versions of Windows. I do just as you stated you did.

I don't think you will have any problem using that copy/key. Worst case, you may need to call Microsoft to activate. You may not even need to activate.

Is your brother going to use a SATA II hard drive? If so, you should slipstream the SATA controller drivers into the files on your CD and burn a new CDR. You can use nliteOS to slipstream those drivers plus service packs and other items. Get nlite at the link below.

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