Which Windows XP package do I need?
January 4, 2010 9:38 AM   Subscribe

I have a desktop PC that came with Ubuntu Linux, and have never been able to get it to work with my ISP. So I can get some use out of this box, I want to put Windows XP on it. This will be the first install of Windows on this machine, which Windows XP package do I need to buy to get all the pieces I need (ie all the codes and crap so I can register with MS so it will work longer than a month). Keeping cost as low as possible is good too. Thanks.

BTW, exactly what ARE all the things I will need in the package to get a working copy of Windows XP on this machine?
posted by ackptui to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You need to buy a non-upgrade version, usually delimited as "FULL VERSION." That is all you need in terms of purchased software, although be prepared to wrangle with drivers to get your computer all the way functional. If your network card's driver isn't included on the Windows XP CD— and this is likely true— you will need to download the network card driver to a CD or something and install it on the Windows machine. Also, remember to update Windows once you install it.
posted by Electrius at 9:44 AM on January 4, 2010

Have you tried troubleshooting with help from the Ubuntu Forums? If your mind is already made up to switch, by all means, go ahead, but we or they may be able to help you get Ubuntu working and save you some cash.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:52 AM on January 4, 2010

I'm not sure you can still get a shrink-wrap copy of XP. I think it's only available to OEMs now, who are not supposed to sell it to you if you are not buying a system to run it on at the same time. You might have to bite the bullet and go for Windows 7, if your hardware can handle it.

Also, not to derail this question but what was the problem with your ISP? It sounds strange that it would be unresolvable to the point that you have to ditch your entire system.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:57 AM on January 4, 2010

As the good doctor mentions, it's hard to find XP out there. This is the version you want from a reputable source.

Also, not to derail this question but what was the problem with your ISP?

$5 says it's a mac-address registration program that runs only on windows, and the customer service drones couldn't manually step OP through the process.
posted by anti social order at 10:03 AM on January 4, 2010

You can get XP on ebay for half the price listed on ebay, but caveat emptor w/r/t legitimacy of the software.

FYI (and maybe you already know this) but very brief googling suggests linux first/XP second dual booting can be done, but requires some more advanced skills than the other way around, which is pretty easy.
posted by minimii at 10:22 AM on January 4, 2010

It seems like overkill to install Windows on your box just to get it work with your ISP (and an expensive overkill at that). Have you asked on Ubuntu Forums about this? If you haven't, you should. If you're trying to get this to work with Comcast, there are lot's of complaints about them, but there are work-arounds, and you can get this to work.* There's a specific sub-forum for users with System76 machines. if that's what you've got.

If you want to install Windows without wiping the original operating system, you can create an additional partition and install Windows in that, or install a virtual machine and install windows in the virtual machine. (I realize the latter option will pain if you don't have an internet connection.) If you've only talked to your ISP's customer service and haven't tried the Ubuntu Forums yet, don't give up, we can make this work.

* I know of one if that's the case.
posted by nangar at 10:23 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

yikes, this seems like an expensive option. Not knowing your internet setup, but usually a router cures many ills - and will be less hassle than a new OS. You may have to borrow a friend's windows laptop, set up the internet on that, then set up your router to clone that machine's mac address. Then hook the router up to the internet, your ubuntu desktop up to the router, and you should have internet on your desktop. (As well as any other machines you may want to connect)
posted by defcom1 at 1:59 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, I might also try before you buy with the BartPE live Windows cd and see if the Win OS actually solves your problem.

posted by minimii at 7:02 PM on January 4, 2010

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