Reinstalling from OEM CD: use built-in key or COA key? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I often have to rebuild my client Dell machines due to malware, etc. When I pop in the OEM XP it rarely asks for a CD key when I go through the XP installation. It will, in fact, use an OEM key which will even activate and validate. But, this key is NOT the key labeled on the machine's COA sticker. Since the OEM CD has a winnt.sif file that has a key it never asks. The only thing to do is do "Change Product Key" when I activate it (or build a new install CD with a different .sif file).

    Is the proper thing to do when rebuilding an OEM machine to leave the OEM key in or to change it to the machine's COA sticker key?

    Hopefully this makes sense.

    Monday, February 12, 2007 3:17 PM


  • Wpbc,

    When doing a fresh installation on computers from major manufacturers where the customer does not have their own in-house custom image, the best option is to use the manufacturer-supplied recovery or reinstallation CD, because using them will retain the OEM SLP characteristic of being pre-activated.

    Monday, February 12, 2007 3:22 PM