Is this legal?

January 27, 2009 at 21:17:28
Specs: MS Windows XP Media , Pentium D CPU 2.80GH
I think this is under the right forum...

Hello everyone, here's my dilemma:
My sister had an old[er] Dell laptop (model not important) running XP which was absolutely INFESTED with viruses/spyware. I figured these things were rooted just too far in to be fixable, so I installed Linux. I tried a couple of different distributions, but I could not get the wireless card to work. Being very unfamiliar with Linux anyway, and since I don't have the time to devote to learn about it, I figured I would just reinstall Windows XP. Problem is, my sister has absolutely no documentation, backup disks, OS disks, or anything. I was wondering if it was legal to use the OS reinstall disk for this computer (my desktop, running XP also) to reinstall XP on the laptop. Would I have to obtain the serial number for the original installation on the laptop, or could I use the same one on the desktop? I know it sounds dumb, but I don't want to go Google "windows xp serials" and get bombarded with spyware etc.
Any help/solutions appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

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January 27, 2009 at 21:37:33
It's one OS and one PC.

If you haven't wiped the drive clean, you might be able to restore the system from the Dell recovery partition on the drive. Try holding down the ctrl key while taping the F11 key during the boot.

FWIW to XP users: When you click on the 'Command Prompt' you are just causing the 'Command prompt' to be displayed. This prompt gives you access to NTVDM.EXE, the 'NT Virtual DOS Manager'.

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January 27, 2009 at 21:55:37
>>>" I know it sounds dumb, but I don't want to go Google "windows xp serials" and get bombarded with spyware etc.<<<

You wouldn't get bombarded with spyware unless you connected to a site which had it and you didn't have anything to detect it (which should never be the case nowadays for any internet-connected machine).

Nevertheless, if she has a label on the machine for XP, she should have received either a restore disk or something with the machine when she bought it. If she didn't get the disks, then try this (which does appear to be legal):

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January 28, 2009 at 04:31:39
Or, you can contact Dell and request the Recovery CD. You just need to supply them with the Service Tag number, which is on a white sticker on the back of the tower. As aegis said, try to restore using the Recovery Partition first.

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown

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January 28, 2009 at 14:55:34
Sorry for bothering you all! It turns out all the documentation, reinstallation CDs, and etc. were hiding in the basement. I had briefly looked in there before but failed to look deeper in the cabinets. I had quite a *DOH!* moment. Thanks for your willingness to help though, that's another thing I love about this site.

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