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naechai40416
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Reinstallation CD Differences

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Hello Everyone,

I just recently started a new job as a PC Technician, there are a massive amount of Reinstallation CDs for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 that I am trying to sort through. As I went through it looked as though I had duplicates of Dell Reinstallation CDs, (7 copies of Windows XP SP2) but at a second glance I realized that these CDs have several different P/N.

Not sure what to make of it, since I'm not as familiar with Dell.

My question to the support community is this:

How can I find out which P/N apply to which Models of Dell Computers, or is this a transparent thing, meaning I can chunk extra copies of the same CDs?

Thank you

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theflash1932
5 Iridium

Re: Reinstallation CD Differences

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The part number doesn't matter ... it may represent discs made in different locations, it may represent discs made at different times ... one part number or CD does not "belong" to a specific PC(s).  The important thing is the Service Pack ... you want to keep/use the disc with the MOST RECENT Service Packs - it will save you a lot of headaches, be it with drivers (in the case of XP SP3) or with downloading/installing updates after the install.

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theflash1932
5 Iridium

Re: Reinstallation CD Differences

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The part number doesn't matter ... it may represent discs made in different locations, it may represent discs made at different times ... one part number or CD does not "belong" to a specific PC(s).  The important thing is the Service Pack ... you want to keep/use the disc with the MOST RECENT Service Packs - it will save you a lot of headaches, be it with drivers (in the case of XP SP3) or with downloading/installing updates after the install.

naechai40416
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Re: Reinstallation CD Differences

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Thanks!!! That's all I needed.

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RoHe
6 Indium

Re: Reinstallation CD Differences

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Keep in mind that if a particular PC came -say, as an example- with XP Home, it's not legal to install XP Pro on that PC using the Dell Windows Reinstallation disk that came with a different PC.

So make sure the disks not only have the most recent Service Pack for each OS, but that they're all the same version of the OS (Home, Pro, Ultimate, etc), before you start tossing things that may appear to be 'duplicates'.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

Re: Reinstallation CD Differences

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I recommending taking a .iso image of each variant of Reinstallation DVD and saving it to an external hard drive or Network Drive so you always have them to hand. Slipstream the Service Packs and or save the Service Packs beside them if necessary. If Slipstreaming save the original non-slipstreamed image just in case.

There are 3 different Windows XP 32 bit Reinstallation CD/DVDs:

 XP Home, XP Professional and XP Media Centre Edition (rarer). There may also be a Windows XP 64 bit Professional CD which are much rarer and tend to of mainly came with Precision systems. XP Home and XP Professional should be updated to Service Pack 3 for best results. I would recommend saving an image of each CD/DVD. See my wiki Windows Reinstallation Guide page 319 for instructions in slipstreaming the Service Pack to the DVD.

For Windows Vista there are 8 different variants; 5 32 bit and 3 64 bit if memory serves correct.

 

Starter 32 bit, Home Basic 32 bit,  Home Premium 32/64 bit, Business 32/64 bit and Ultimate 32/64 bit. The highest Service Pack level is Service Pack 2. Service Pack 2 is minor and Vista with Service Pack 2 Reinstalaltion DVDs are rare. Service Pack 1 is major however and I recommend slipstreaming of Service Pack 1 to any Windows Vista DVD which doesn't have it (Page 288 of the Windows Reinstallation Guide). Around other forums there is mention of Slipstreaming Service Pack 2 via the Reverse Slipstream Method but this seems involved.

Then there is also WIndows 7 there are 7 different variants (if memory serves correct):

Starter 32 bit,  Home Premium 32/64 bit, Professional 32/64 bit and Ultimate 32/64 bit. Service Pack 1 is the highest Service Pack level for Windows 7. RT-7-Lite can be used for slipstream but I have never had reliable results with a Dell OEM DVD. 

For Windows 8 I assume there will be a similar number of variants but I have never seen a Windows 8 Reinstallation DVD. However Windows 8 64 bit and Windows 8 Professional 64 bit will be the main ones Dell is providing, I don't even know if Dell is selling any systems with 32 bit versions of Windows 8.

Note you will probably not have all variants of Reinstallation DVD unless you are a very, very, very huge organisation. If you are working in a Business likely you will have an ephasis on the Business/Professional versions: Windows XP Professional 32 bit, Windows Vista Business Edition 32 bit, Windows Vista Business 64 bit (less likely), Windows 7 Professional 32 bit and Windows 7 Professional 64 bit.

Note that the 32 and 64 media may both used on a computer with a matching COA (provided the computer is 64 bit capable).

The COA present must match the version of Reinstallation DVDs to auto-activate and be legal.

There are a few exceptions due to downgrade rights.

  • A Windows 8 Professional COA is valid for Windows 7 Professional DVD and Windows Vista Business DVD.
  • A Windows 7 Ultimate COA is valid for Windows Vista Ultimate DVD and Windows XP Professional.
  • A Windows 7 Professional COA is valid for Windows Vista Business DVD and Windows XP Professional.
  • A Windows Vista Ultimate COA is valid for Windows XP Professional DVD.
  • A Windows Vista Business COA is valid for Windows XP Professional DVD.

In addition to Dell Windows Reinstallation DVDs you may have a large number of Dell Resource DVDs. In general these include the system drivers and diagnostics. In my opinion these are useless and I recommend getting the latest (more up to date) driver set from the Dell Drivers and Downloads or Dell FTP Website.

A Dell Diagnostic CD/DVD/USB may be created by use of A1394A0 as explained in page 401-403 of Windows Reinstalaltion Guide. This DVD should cover all older Dell systems. The newer systems don't require a diagnostics CD as all the diagnostics required are on the mainboard.

You may also have CD/DVDs for the likes of McAfee (these are all useless as they will be out of date) and Roxio (in my opinion you are better to forget Roxio and instead use the free imgburn).

The Media Direct DVD may also be present this is needed to set up partitions before installing Windows and to install the MD application within Windows after the Drivers.

This was typically included in a subset of Home systems running Windows XP or Windows Vista.

However a Media Direct DVD can be used on non-Media Direct Dell Systems to setup partitions before the instalaltion of Windows. The advantage of that is the Diagnostics Partition is setup on the hard drive. When installing Windows on a non-Media Direct system the 2 GB Media Direct Partition can be deleted and the main partition expanded and the 47 MB partition left for diagnostics.

Although as mentioning the diagnostics partition isn't mandatory and you can easily create the bootable diagnostics CD/DVD/USB if necessary.

My Windows Reinstallation Guide will give you more information on Clean Installing Microsoft Windows and to update and/or convert the Reinstalaltion CD/DVDs into Bootable USBs if necessary.

 

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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RE: Reinstallation CD Differences

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Windows XPC.D

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

RE: Reinstallation CD Differences

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Windows XPC.D

No longer stocked by Dell as its 10 months after end of life. Your only chance to get one is the likes of eBay.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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