Quick question - re-installing WinXP, licence issues?

How many times can I re-install windows XP on a home desktop?

Even if I do a total from scratch reformat and re-install.

Do I need to contact microsoft to let them know I am about to do this?

If it’s a clean wipe and reinstall on the same hardware each time, I don’t think there is a limit, although you might have to jump through a bunch of hoops to activate it each time (but this shouldn’t necessitate phoning MS and pleading with them at all).

If you plan on changing some of the hardware each time, that’s a whole new kettle of worms.

You will have to reactivate it each time you install after formatting but I don’t know of any limit in the amount of times you can install XP on the exact same computer with the same components. About 2/3 of the way down on this page it says;

“If the hard disk is reformatted and the software is reinstalled, reactivation will be required. The same grace periods for activation apply in this situation. Reactivation on the same PC can be completed as many times as required. The activation can be completed via telephone or Internet.”

Thanks Mangetout and Toddly.

It will be re-installed on exactly the same hardware. I am selling the comp to my brother and would like to make it ‘fresh’ for him. It’s been pretty sluggish lately despite being high-spec. I have a slight fear some hidden malicious process is running on it that is eating up resources. Even so, it’s nice to recieve a freshly installed xp machine.

Don’t forget to download all the updates and service packs again too (that alone will take an entire evening, I suspect)

If it came with the PC that you bought, then it’ll likely only install on that particular motherboard. (There’s a discount involved because of this). If it’s a retail copy of XP, then you can legally re-install it as many times as you like, uninstall it on one PC, install it on some totally other PC, etc. You may end up having to call in for the product activation bit if the hardware changes a bunch, but just let the guys at MS Product Activation ((888) 571-2048 )know you’re using the software legally, and everything is fine.
(They often don’t even need to hear your story. Unless your PID is showing up 5 times in 1 day, you’re likely a legitimate user).

As others have said, if you are re-installing on the exact same hardware you will have no problem. If you are connected to the internet, you should be able to activate automatically within seconds with no hassle. If the hardware has changed there may be a phone call required. Here is a very informative link: Windows Product Activation (WPA)