How to install OEM Windows XP SP1 in BootCamp
September 18, 2006 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Can I use the Windows XP SP1 CD that came with my Dell PC two years ago to install Windows on my MacBook using BootCamp?
posted by frenchbenj to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No, Apple says that SP2 is required.
posted by xil at 5:18 PM on September 18, 2006

You'd be violating the license agreement.

And I'd be willing to bet that it's not a generic installation CD. I bet that it's a copy of Windows as it existed when it was shipped to you -- which means that it will have, and only have, the drivers for the hardware which was in your Dell PC, which won't be the same as the hardware in your MacBook.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2006

But you should be able to create a cd with SP2 slipstreamed in.
posted by onalark at 5:21 PM on September 18, 2006

I'm pretty sure frenchbenj would only be violating the license agreement if the two computers had simultaneous installations, using Windows XP exclusively on the new MacBook would be legal as far as I know. As for the MacBook drivers, BootCamp provides those.
posted by onalark at 5:23 PM on September 18, 2006

Just FYI Dell SP1 discs have the full installation of Windows XP on them, plus some extra Dell junk. They can install on other PCs, but they only work with the Dell serial numbers.

The disc should work with nLite.
posted by tumult at 5:24 PM on September 18, 2006

The disk should mostly work. It probably violates the OEM license, though. I have no idea if it'll activate or not.
posted by devilsbrigade at 5:36 PM on September 18, 2006

Slipstream SP2, edit setupp.ini so it'll accept volume licensing keys, generate a key with xpkey or xpkey2, then burn. No activation required.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:37 PM on September 18, 2006 [2 favorites]

yeah, but that's, you know, illegal.
posted by tumult at 7:15 PM on September 18, 2006

And it will fail Windows Genuine Advantage validation, which has already started to matter a little bit and will likely matter more in future.
posted by flabdablet at 9:21 PM on September 18, 2006

No, it will not work.

Dell CD's only work on Dell workstations. It will immedaitely tell you that it is not for the hardware you are installing it on.
posted by SirStan at 9:27 PM on September 18, 2006

You'd be violating the license agreement.

Of course, even if you're in the US, whether the license agreement is worth the paper it's written seems to depend on where you are. (See Wikipedia.)
posted by blenderfish at 10:29 PM on September 18, 2006

Dell OEM CDs may vary but in all my experiences, I've found that they work on non-Dell hardware just fine. Dell doesn't replace the Windows XP with their own set - at most they just add some Dell hardware-specific ones (and some Dell junk).

However, it won't activate. That prevents you from getting updates through Windows Update (because it fails Genuine Advantage validation as flabdablet mentioned) but it does not prevent you from getting critical updates via Automatic Updates.

You'll also get that annoying activation reminder with 30-day countdown.

However, you will have to slipstream in SP2 as the others have mentioned.
posted by junesix at 10:53 PM on September 18, 2006

If you do in fact intend to run that copy of Windows ONLY on the MacBook, and the installation does work but fails to activate via the Internet, you can call Microsoft and have them activate it by phone. I've used this service successfully several times.

If you're still using the Dell PC as well, though, you'll need to buy another Windows licence.

AFAIK the cheapest Windows licence is XP Home OEM, which you can qualify for if you buy it along with a substantial system component (e.g. a new mobo or hard drive).
posted by flabdablet at 11:38 PM on September 18, 2006

No, it won't work. We've tried it here, and didn't have any luck at all.
posted by drstein at 3:19 PM on September 19, 2006

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