Whether OEM or retail, the install would have told you that this Product Key
was already in use. You have to use the phone activation in these cases.
However, a limitation of an OEM license (both for XP and for Vista), unlike
a retail one and one of the many reasons they are cheaper, is that it is
generally permanently tied to the system it was originally activated on.
This means you can't migrate it to new hardware, and a complete rebuild with
new components will be viewed as a new machine. Make the call, see if they
will activate, you have nothing to lose by doing so, but be prepared that
they may not allow it. If not, then you have the choice of installing Vista
back on its original hardware, or of purchasing a new license.
Best of Luck,
Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
Windows help - www.rickrogers.org
My thoughts http://rick-mvp.blogspot.com
"FyberOptyx" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
>I recently did a major upgrade to my PC, replacing almost everything. I
>bought a copy of Vista Home Premium 64 OEM to go with it.
> The upgrade went fine as did the install of Vista but I soon found out
> that a lot of my favourite apps don't work and more importantly my card
> reader isn't supported.
> Although cheesed off a bit, it wasn't the end of the world as I was going
> to build a PC for the kids out of the spares from my PC which would have
> XP on it.
> So... I bought a copy of XP Home OEM to go on the kids' PC but i still
> needed a few items before I could build it.
> So I thought I would install XP on my machine while I was waiting for the
> parts so I could at least use my card reader.
> Now I have built the kids' PC I attempt to install XP on it and put Vista
> back on mine but guess what..... yup, it will not let me as I have
> activated already on mine, and it will also not let me install Vista back
> on my PC.
> I now have around 25 days left before they both stop working.
> Is there anything I can do ?
> I have legally bought 2 copies of windows which will no longer work. I
> had no idea OEM versions behaved in this manner.