Software Licensing Questions RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a similar problem. This computer has Windows XP OEM from Dell but my company has customized the installation extensively. It would be a real pain to have to start over again when what I want is a copy of this system. I am fine with paying for a separate license on the VM but it would be nice if this license could cover the copy of the old and not require a new installation.
    Is this possible?

    In addition, I would like to know if I need a license for each image of XP that I have running on the same machine or if one license covers multiple VMs as long as it is on the same machine.

    Finally, as a fallback, if I do need to just start over again with a fresh XP license, what would be the cheapest license I could buy to get an XP desktop on a VM? What would be the cheapest option for both one VM and multiple VMs on the same machine?

    • Split by RickImAPC Friday, August 29, 2008 10:54 PM Several Questions
    Friday, August 29, 2008 10:35 PM


  • Dougie_forum,

    First let me pass along the following link regarding software licensing that may or may not be of help to you.

    Software Licensing


    Second, I must say this is out of the scope for the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program forum.  Your OEM license for XP comes with certain restrictions that make it less flexible, and therefore less expensive, than the retail license for XP.  One of the limitations is that the license is "married" to the computer onto which it is first installed, and the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) states it is not permitted to be moved to any another computer.  To read your EULA, click Start>Run, type winver and click OK, then click on the link for the license terms or EULA.

    The interpretation and enforcement of the OEM EULA regards a change in motherboard for the reason of upgrading to get new features, enhanced performance, etc. Motherboard changing in this fashion constitutes a "new computer."  The best resolution would be purchasing a retail version of XP Professional. The retail version has much more flexibility. For instance this would alleviate you from purchasing another XP Professional OEM version should you want to perform an upgrade in the future. The cost for retail is much more but it appears you would benefit because you upgrade the systems which you own. You would have to remove any and all previous versions from a previous machine then you may install to the upgraded machine.

     I can understand that you want to save money as well as laborious hours performing a fresh installation of the operating system. Keep in mind you probably will run into various conflicts regarding the various hardware drivers. It is always a good recommendation for completing wiping out the hard drive when major upgrades are performed. Please keep this in mind :-).  Should you need any assistance with reformatting the hard drive please reference the following link:


    The method of enforcement of this policy is the Telephonic Activation.  If your Telephonic Activation attempt is rejected by the automated system, you are asked if you want to speak with a live Activation Representative.  The rep asks you some questions to see if you are still using your copy of XP in accordance with the EULA. 

    Here is a great reference link for Product Activation Details:


    Also, I am told of a Windows XP OEM System builders license that I am told is a little cheaper. See above for the license terms. I hope was aloud to pass that information on to you! :)

    Once again, thank you for contacting us in the WGA program forum.

    Rick, MS

    • Marked as answer by RickImAPC Friday, August 29, 2008 11:01 PM
    Friday, August 29, 2008 10:58 PM