I have two Windows XP installation DVDs (that came from the OEM with my two laptops). I need to reinstall Windows on one of them but I'm not sure which one is which. Is there any way to tell which DVD was used for each laptop?

PS. They both came from the same OEM and there're no distinguishing markings on the DVDs themselves.

PS2. The reason for my concern is to avoid installation twice, which may invalidate license for already installed Windows XP on one laptop if I duplicate it to another.


1 Answer 1


Since the disc doesn't contain the key, the fresh install shouldn't invalidate the other one, even if you use the same disc by mistake. Also, since they're both from the same OEM, I believe the disc shouldn't really matter. Just go ahead and reinstall and use the key printed on the COA (Certificate of Authenticity) sticker on the machine you are reinstalling on.

  • You know that's another issue. I can't seem to find the sticker. Is there any way to get that key from an installed Windows before I reinstall it?
    – Den
    Nov 3, 2012 at 22:30
  • Absolutely, use Produkey. Simple, small and portable to boot!
    – Karan
    Nov 3, 2012 at 22:36
  • The only possible issue is, if the previous install was from the factory, it was most likely activated using the OEM SLP key, whereas the COA key is different. Are you sure the laptop doesn't have a factory reset/restore feature? If it does I would recommend you use that instead. Otherwise if you have any problems activating with the retrieved key (most likely you won't), you might need to activate over the phone by calling MS (just explain the situation and they shouldn't cause any problems at all).
    – Karan
    Nov 3, 2012 at 22:40
  • If it is a XP disc from Dell it does contain the key, and will not ask for one during install.
    – Moab
    Nov 4, 2012 at 1:19

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