My company recently upgraded their desktops and in the process gave their staff the Dell Optiplex GX260's that we were using. Following good corporate governance the machines were given to the staff with brand new virgin disks installed. Now the problem i have is that I was not given the Dell System Restore Disk. I have asked my company but due to a recent office move (this last month) they destroyed all unnecessary software. What this means is that I have a perfectly legal XP Pro licence (as per the licence sticker on the box) but cannot use it as it is not accepted by any other XP software disk. How can I get hold of the original backup disks or get around my problem without having to buy expensive software.
Dell computers don't have Restore disks, only an OEM operating system disk for reinstallation of Windows. You can borrow a XP Pro disk and use the license on the computer, but you still might have to contact MS to activate since you are the new owner of the license. The only other option is to buy a new copy of XP. Drivers will be available at Dell Downloads.
As I run another computer with XP Pro I tried to install using the key for the Dell. The issue I have is that it will not accept the key. I have been advised that the reason being that Dell have hardcoded the bios to their OEM software.
There are usually plenty of Dell-branded XP installation CDs without license on e-bay, if you can't borrow one and make a copy for yourself.
Installation and automatic activation from a Dell-branded CD requires a Dell-branded PC, which it identifies by checking the BIOS.
The BIOS itself contains no such limitation, and has no bearing on the issue of using an OEM license key with a retail XP CD.