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I bought some Dell optiplex gx270 from a local bank. They were delivered without any hard disk, so I used completely empty ones. The Windows XP Pro license is transferred to me (by contract) and the key is on a sticker on each of the PCs.

Now I want to install Windows XP.

I got a Windows XP Pro setup CD from a previous PC but this CD does not boot (yes I changed the BIOS boot priority).

What I tried so far: installing puppy Linux and Ubuntu and try to play the XP CD from there. Result: does not work. ->archive not recognised

What I want to try but first ask here:

  1. Use bart' pe to more info here get a slim Windows OS to run the install CD.

  2. If the above does not work I would try to recreate a bootable CD out of the existing CD using another PC. No clue yet how or if this can be achieved.

What would you advise me to do?

I am completely inexperienced in this field.

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migrated from Jul 24 '11 at 16:45

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you need a windows/dos boot media – prusswan Jul 24 '11 at 16:45
can this bootable cd be created or downloaded (only legal advise please)? – Email Jul 24 '11 at 17:14
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You can't actually download the XP install cd legally. But maybe someone you know may have a version from MSDN subscription, or a physical cd which you can borrow just for the purpose of installing using the key you legally own.

Otherwise Joe Internet's advice that you should contact Dell for a replacement cd is entirely correct.

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Not true. Any Microsoft partner with appropriate agreement has access to a legal downloadable image of Windows. – user3463 Jul 24 '11 at 21:15
i will try to lend a xp setup cd and use my legal key first, than contact support if it does not work. my brother told me dell barely respond to support inquieries in europe and charges more than 40 EURO for a new image (i could get a xp cd for 20 EURO through Ebay). – Email Jul 24 '11 at 22:05
@Randolph West right, but someone with MSDN subscription will not be asking such a question – prusswan Jul 24 '11 at 23:27

First, does Puppy Linux and/or Ubuntu boot from the cd?

If it doesn't, replace your cd drive and try again.

If it does, contact Dell and ask them for a replacement Windows cd. They should send you their oem cd.

As for your current XP cd, it may be damaged, or it's an oem cd from one manufacturer that recognizes that you're trying to install it on a different manufactuter's equipment.

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hi yes. the linux-distro's boot from cd. the cd/dvd drive seems ok. Can xp not be downloaded somewhere? thx for your tip - i will write to dell support desk (and hope they will respond). Unfortunately i live in Europe and hope they will send a cd by mail or allow me to download. – Email Jul 24 '11 at 17:02
If you go to Dell's support site, you can select your country and start a chat. From there, you should be able to get what you need. – Joe Internet Jul 24 '11 at 17:38

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