Clean Install XP on Dell without Dell CDs

February 2, 2010 at 05:29:27
Specs: Windows XP Pro, p4 / 1g ram
I plan to do a clean xp pro install on a dell desktop but I don't have the original installation discs. My plan was to use a copy of xp pro (I have the dell product key) and try installing it that way. My question is will that work? The copy of xp I have is not a dell oem version. Also, I will download the dell drivers from their site onto a disc. Or, I have a another dell pc running xp home and I do have that install disc. Can I install from it? Thank you for your input.

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February 2, 2010 at 06:33:03
You can install Windows XP from that CDs.
There is no special Dell version of Windows XP, but maybe the drivers, you spoke of, are already in there.
But the license key of Dell may not work on that Windows XP version.

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February 2, 2010 at 06:34:59
It probably wont work. The key you have is for an OEM installation and wont work on a retail disk. However, you should be able to get another installation disk from Dell for a small fee and proof of ownership.

You could use the Dell install disk from the other computer. That probably will work. It has a better chance than a retail disk.

You cant use the driver from the other Dell unless it is identical to the one you are trying to install. You need to download the drivers from Dell that are particular to the model they are to be installed on.


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February 2, 2010 at 06:38:09
I just did a Dell laptop last week. The HDD was fried & I had no Dell discs, but I did have the Dell key for XP Home. I replaced the drive, booted off my own XP Home CD, entered the Dell key when prompted & had no problem completing the installation, no problem activating.

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February 2, 2010 at 06:39:37
Thanks for your help.

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February 2, 2010 at 06:53:32
Are you sure that there is no restore partition on the hard drive? It may not show when viewing the partitions in Windows.

If there is a restore partition you can restore from that without the need of using your CD. Restoring to factory condition would also restore any bundled software originally on the computer.

Response #3 poses a solution for you if it works. I do believe you must use home edition if that is what the Dell came with and of course vice versa.

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February 2, 2010 at 06:59:16
Thanks OTheHill. That would be great if there is a restore partition. Not sure how to access it though if it doesn't show up in Windows. Any suggestions?

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February 2, 2010 at 07:11:43
Try the links below.

BTW, if restore disks were never created, which is common, you may be able to make that restore set for that computer in addition to restoring via the hidden partition.

Restore disks are necessary should the hard drive ever go out, as in the case above jam cited.

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September 13, 2010 at 16:26:53
check the numbers on the back of the computer that are large 5 or 6 digits thats your machine.Go to Dell punch in your numbers ...get the drivers 10 for my maachine install by cd-rom each driver.wha-la your done ..oh by the way do this immediatly after re-installing windows xp or your hooped again....Propermisfit

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