We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Tech Helproom


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

Dell COA


Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

I just got myself a rather nice Dell Dimension 9200 secondhand. The seller installed Vista (having previously wiped it) and the box has a Dell Vista COA key. However, I'm no big Vista fan. Strangely - but nicely - the seller also supplied a Dell XP SP3 CD with the system. I'd like to install this - but I'm concerned that I don't have a Dell XP SP3 COA. I've read somewhere that, if you install a Dell-manufactured operating system on a Dell PC, you don't actually need the COA. Can anyone confirm/deny?

Like this post
BurrWalnut

Likes # 0

If you have a pre-installed version of Windows from a large manufacturer, your Product Key is the same as that on every other computer of the same model and does not need activating. It is not the same as the key on the COA case sticker.

SLP (System Locked Pre-installation) keys are issued to the large manufacturers, e.g. Dell and don’t need activation.

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

Thanks BurrWalnut. So, just to check that I understand what you're saying - I should be able to go ahead and do what I want, which is to replace the Vista installation with an XP install, and not worry about not having the COA/product key for XP?

Like this post
BurrWalnut

Likes # 0

Yes, providing the XP CD is labelled as per your Dell 9200.

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

Thanks again BurrWalnut. That may be an issue - I'll need to check it out. I think the seller may have just included a random Dell XP CD...

Like this post
robinofloxley

Likes # 0

Can you recover back to Vista if the XP doesn't work?

Make a System Image with boot CD first if not and verify/validate it. Or set up a dual boot.

Disk Imaging

Like this post
lotvic

Likes # 0

Dell-manufactured operating system on a Dell PC, you don't actually need the COA

I confirm that that is how mine works, doesn't ask for a key if you use the Dell CD as it is pre-programmed in the Dell install. I believe it has to go on a Dell motherboard or won't work.

If you have a spare Harddrive it would be wise to try it out on that instead of wiping Vista. If no spare Harddrive then make a System Image as per robinofloxley said, so that you can put Vista back on.

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

Many thanks guys. Your help is much appreciated. Dual boot may well be a good idea, as I don't think there's any other way of recovering the Vista installation if the XP installation doesn't work.

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

Just to finish this story... For no very good reason (because I don't ever see myself using Vista) except that it was a challenge, and something I hadn't tried before, I decided I'd make it dual-boot. The Dell XP CD didn't appear to be tied to the Dimension 9200 in any way. However. I repartitioned the hard drive using the tools available in Vista, then booted no problem from the XP CD and installed XP. It didn't ask me for a product key or anything. Then, the cool bit was a piece of free software I downloaded called VistaBootPro which, after about two minutes, restored the Vista boot (the XP boot file had overwritten it) - and now when I boot, I have a choice... :-)

That said: two small niggles - not sure if anyone can help. One is that I'd like the default OS to be XP: as it stands, if I don't make a choice, the PC boots into Vista. Second is, the alternative to Vista in the new boot menu is described as 'earlier Windows operating system'. It would be nice if I could change that to 'Windows XP.

Like this post
robinofloxley

Likes # 0

I only learnt recently that Dell OEM discs automatically sort out the licence, so that's must be why that was OK.

EasyBCD allows you to edit the boot menu, be careful.

http://download.cnet.com/EasyBCD/3000-2094_4-10556865.html?tag=mncol;1

Like this post
robinofloxley

Likes # 0

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2 comparison: New iPad mini 3 isn't worth £80 more

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...