i was wondering what computer shops do when they reinstall someone's winxp. i know for xp home, that you usually have to call up microsoft to activate it. i could see them asking the owner for the serial number, but i've found that only certain distributions of winxp like certain serial numbers. you could be stuck on the serial screen if you don't have the correct serial for the cd distribution. i've only dealt with a volume license key, from college. it made installations very easy, because we never had to activate windows. is it possible that they use a vlk serial + it's corresponding install cd. then once they install windows, they use a serial changer like magical jelly bean to switch it to the owners serial? don't lock this thread please, it's a serious question. i do not want to get around using a serial or using a stolen serial. my version of windows is legit anyways.