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  • Question re-installing XP

    I recently installed the XP upgrade on my wife's computer. It turns out that her hard drive is too small for anything but the basics, and there are other programs we'd like to load on the system. If I install another hard drive to take it's place, will I have problems installing the upgrade again? I have the Windows 98 discs, but I've heard that people ran into problems when they had to re-install XP, due to the way it was written so it could only be used on one computer. But this drive has to go because I use the second drive for backups. Thoughts??

    Ed

  • #2
    XP has to be activated, which includes a hash number derived from a hardware inventory of the computer, especially the motherboard. This makes it about impossible to (legally) install it on more than one computer at a time. However, you can uninstall it from one computer and install it on another (just don't do it too often or you'll get the dreaded "please call this 800 number" message).

    If, however, it's the same computer, just with a new drive, install away. Changing the drive alone shouldn't be enough to trigger a change in the activation, and even if it does you're well within the license.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Doug. I'm sure I wouldn't be doing it illegally because it is going back in the same computer, with the same motherboard. I just don't want to have to deal with customer service any more than necessary.

      Ed

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      • #4
        Even if you had to call Microsoft about the activation...all you have to do is tell them you're reinstalling after a rebuild, they really don't question that. As a matter of fact, I've done that MANY times while working on many peoples computers, after crashes, upgrades, etc.

        Most times it will even allow the online activation more than once...I think there is a number (3-4 maybe) of times it will be allowed. If they had to answer every call for every time people had to activate after having problems, they wouldn't have time for anything else!!

        I'm not saying do anything illegal/pirate software, but I've seen it the same copy installed multiple times in a lab environment, even WITH calling MS to activate it.

        Good luck.

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        • #5
          Thanks Jeffrey. I'll keep that in mind.

          Ed

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          • #6
            I believe that XP determines whether you are installing on a second PC or not based on looking at the combination of your CPU, graphics card and hard drive, and somehow hashing a unique ID from that. If you are merely installing a second hard drive, you should not have a problem. Please let us know as I am currently looking at upgrading my CPU, and adding another hard drive - so your problem is my problem.

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            • #7
              hello Ed

              I had to re-install XP after upgrading Motherboard and CPU. You can actually upgrade 6 components before re-activation becomes necessary. But re-installing to a new hard disk is different and will require re-activation.

              The biggest problem I had was that I had already installed the service pack. This causes a total failure of all internet connections - you can't even get to them to set them up again - a problem which Microsoft are aware of.

              The internet connections can only be re-established by installing the service pack again. So make sure if you have installed the service pack you have access to a copy of it to re-install.

              Regards

              Christine

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              • #8
                I installed the new hard drive, set it up as my primary drive, and kept the original slave drive as the slave. The installation went pretty well, but I did have to use my Windows 98 disc to be allowed to install XP upgrade. When I installed XP, I had both drives hooked up, with the new drive set as the master. After installing XP, I got a little surprise. My slave drive carried the "C:" designation, while my master was listed as "F:". It works OK, but I don't like the designation letters for the drives. Trying to re-install XP (advanced), I was offered the opportunity to delete the partition which was automatically created. I think this is necessary to change the letter designation, as well as disconnecting the slave while re-installing XP. When I tried to delete the partition, I was told this could not be done. I'm up and running, but I'm not done with it yet. I just don't like my master drive listed as F: . Any ideas as to how I can delete the partition??

                Ed

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                • #9
                  Did you verify the drives are actually set up for Master/Slave, or are they set for Cable? That would mean the cabling determined which was master and which was slave. This seems to be the preferred way for manufactured computers nowadays.
                  Learn by teaching
                  Take responsibility for learning

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                  • #10
                    Yes, I checked that several times. My son-in-law works on computers, and he said he'd seen that happen before. He's coming over Saturday to straighten things out for me.

                    Ed

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