Digital Sunrise Ltd
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FAQ page

Windows XP product keys, activation and OEM explained...

Q: Is it worth waiting for Windows 7, or shall I buy Windows XP now?

Q: Can I install a Dell disk on a non-Dell machine?

Q: I want to install Windows XP onto my Mac using Boot Camp or Parallels. Which Windows XP products are suitable?

Q: Is my machine too old to run Vista?

Q: I bought a PC/laptop with Vista pre-installed, and my applications won't work with Vista. Can I go back to Windows XP?

Q: I'm using a dodgy copy of Windows XP, and tried to download updates from the Microsoft website, but am unable to do so. Will buying your Windows XP disk fix my problem?

Q: What is the difference between XP Home and XP Pro?

Q: What is Service Pack 3, and how long will Microsoft continue to support Windows XP?

Q: When will my disk be delivered?

Q: What are the minimum hardware requirements to run Windows XP?

Q: How can I know this software is genuine?

Q: How can I pay if I don't have a credit card?

Q: What is product activation?

Q: What does "OEM" mean?

Q: Can I use my Windows XP product key to install onto more than one computer?

Q: What are the differences between Office 2000, Office XP (2002), and Office 2003?

Q: What is your returns policy?

Q: What does "OPK kit" mean?

Q: My question is not answered on this page. - Contact Us.

 


 

Q: Is it worth waiting for Windows 7, or shall I buy Windows XP now?

A: Windows 7 is basically an incremental version of Windows Vista. Most people will stick with Windows XP at least until the first service pack for Windows 7 is released - probably late 2010 or early 2011. Windows XP is cheaper, reliable and ubiquitous - XP will remain the world's #1 operating system at least until 2014.

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Q: Can I use a Dell disk to install onto a non-Dell machine?

A: Yes. Dell disks are the absolute cheapest legal way to get Windows. Dell disks are also easier to install than normal disks.

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Q: I want to install Windows XP onto my Mac using Boot Camp or Parallels. Which Windows XP products are suitable?

A: You can use either Retail or OEM. The official corporate line is designed to push Retail. Don't be bullied by corporate propaganda. Millions of Mac users have saved money - OEM Windows is less than half the price of Retail.

Parallels Desktop for Mac is the first solution for Intel-Macs that gives you the flexibility of running Windows on a Mac OS X simultaneously without rebooting.
Visit the Parallels website Visit the Parallels website

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Q: Is my machine too old to run Vista?

A: Avoid recycling if you can: Recycling should be your final option, reserved for PCs that can no longer perform a useful function or are damaged beyond repair. United Nations research has proven that reuse offers a more cost effective option than recycling with far greater environmental and social benefit. Upgrade your machine rather than recycle it.

Crucial.com have the upgrades to keep you green and save you money. Windows Vista is a memory hog (hungry for RAM). Your machine needs at least 1 gigabyte of RAM - 2 gigabytes of RAM or more is better. Plugging extra RAM is easy if you know which type of RAM you need (that's the hard part). Fortunately, the good people at Crucial.com have made the job of upgrading RAM on your machine simple with their Memory Advisor Tool - and if you don't know the manufacturer of your machine, they make it even easier for you with their Crucial System Scanner - it scans your machine and tells you exactly which type of RAM you need, and recommends how many more megabytes/gigabytes of RAM to buy. They also have a scan to tell you if your computer is "Vista Ready" - Crucial.com/uk

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Q: I bought a PC/laptop with Vista pre-installed, and my applications won't work with Vista. Can I go back to Windows XP?

A: Yes, you can wipe off Vista and start from scratch with a full install Windows XP. The cheapest/best option is an OEM full install Windows XP Home Edition, or if you need to connect to a corporate network, Windows XP Professional - see our Windows OEM page.

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Q: I'm using a dodgy copy of Windows XP, and tried to download updates from the Microsoft website, but am unable to do so. Will buying your Windows XP disk fix my problem?

A: Yes. Install over the top of your existing operating system, deleting it. Or, instead of installing from the new CD, which will wipeout all your data, go to the Windows Update website where you can change to the new product key after failing the Windows validation test (Microsoft are offering keys for £95. Our deal works out a lot cheaper than Microsoft, and you also get the CD. We beat Microsoft!). Change to the new product key, and you're 100% legal. This solution works for most dodgy versions out there - though sometimes the only fix is to install from the new CD. Whichever way you fix the problem, this is the product you need: Windows XP Pro.

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Q: What is the difference between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Pro?

A: If you want to encrypt your files, or want to use your computer to remotely access another desktop, choose Windows XP Pro. For full information on differences between Home and Pro, check the Microsoft website: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-xp/ (Update: Microsoft are desperately pushing Vista over XP, editing their XP pages faster than we can keep up with).

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Q: What is Service Pack 3, and how long will Microsoft continue to support Windows XP?

A: Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) arrived in May 2008. The arrival of SP2 in 2004 is what turned Windows XP from an average operating system, to a world winning, best ever operating system. SP3 builds on this solid platform. SP3 is a cumulative update patch, which includes SP2. Microsoft said they would not be manufacturing Windows XP with SP3 included on the CD - SP3 is available as a downloadable update via Automatic Updates - then towards the end of July 2008 Microsoft went ahead and started manufacturing Windows XP CDs with SP3 included without telling anyone!

Microsoft originally planned to support Windows XP until April 2014, slating January 2008 as the last date that you could buy it. Because Windows Vista was such a disaster, the chop off date for availability of Windows XP was extended until 30th June 2008. Microsoft are again sliding on their decision to end the life of Windows XP. We're now informed that the last date to buy Windows XP is January 2009. We shall keep selling Windows XP for as long as it is available. Microsoft will continue to support Windows XP with security update patches at least until April 2014. Update: We're now informed XP will be available until July 2009. Expect the availability cut-off date for XP to keep shifting while Microsoft panic about competition from Linux.

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Q: When will my disk be delivered?

A: If you buy before 4pm Monday-Friday, your item will be processed and posted, the same day.

Between 4pm Thursdays and 4pm Fridays a cart shipping option is enabled for Royal Mail Special Delivery SG (Saturday Guaranteed delivery).

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Q: What are the minimum hardware requirements to run Windows XP?

A: • PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system); Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

• 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

• 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space

• Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor

• CD-ROM or DVD drive

• Keyboard and Mouse or compatible pointing device

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Q: How can I know this software is genuine?

A: Check our VAT Registration number is valid at a trusted government website - copy our United Kingdom VAT number - GB-912983213 - and paste it into a VAT number validator. Here is a link to a trusted VAT number validator on the European Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vieshome.do?selectedLanguage=EN (opens in new window).

Alternatively, to check whether our VAT registration number is valid you can phone the HM Revenue and Customs National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000 (!check this is a genuine government phone number here!), open Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm. This service will also confirm our company registered address -Digital Sunrise Limited - Company No. 6165850 - 27 Manor Road, London Colney, St Albans AL2 1PN. HM Revenue and Customs will only confirm address details - they will not give out addresses.

You can also confirm our identity and that Digital Sunrise Limited is a valid business by checking with Verisign:

          

Beware of buying Windows XP on eBay - there is a lot of counterfeit software in circulation so clever, it fools eBay sellers and small time dealers into thinking it's genuine. It even appears to fool Microsoft - it installs and activates ok with Microsoft. But there is no fooling Microsoft when you try to download updates from the Microsoft website. That's when you find out you've paid good money for rubbish. Many of your applications won't run properly if you can't download updates from the Microsoft website. Daily we receive at least half a dozen enquires from people blocked from downloading updates from the Microsoft website because they've been scammed with illegal Windows XP (if you're affected by this problem and need to get legal, click here).

We were wondering how one of our competitors consistenly over time beat our prices, while at the same time managing to avoid being shut down by Microsoft - we found out they were not supplying counterfeit software, therefore Microsoft had not shut them down - in fact they were not supplying any software at all. Customers paid their money and got nothing. The company can't be contacted by phone, and ignores customer emails. They're still advertising on Google and beating our prices...

Recently there has been an increase in the number of websites offering Windows XP for download. You can be 100% certain that those are pirated - Microsoft have never released a downloadable version of Windows XP! Besides being counterfeit and illegal, those downloads are cracked versions which will not pass the Windows Genuine Advantage test and will not be eligible for updates. Worse still, people who buy those downloads are giving their credit card number straight to the Russian black market - they usually start seeing all kinds of mystery purchases showing up on their credit card statements. It's hard for the banks to go after these crooks, because they operate out of Eastern Europe.

Always check the VAT Registration number of companies trading on the Internet - any business with annual turnover exceeding £60,000 must be VAT Registered - you make up your own mind about non-VAT Registered websites claiming to stock hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of software... 

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Q: How can I pay if I don't have a credit card?

A: At the checkout choose the option to pay by cheque - if you want to make a BACS or CHAPS payment, call 01727 769287.

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Q: What is product activation?
Q: Can I use my Windows XP product key to install onto more than one computer?

Answer to both questions: Product activation works by validating that the software's product key, required as part of product installation, has not been used on more PCs than the software's end user license agreement (EULA) allows. In general:

• Windows XP can be installed on one PC or laptop.

• Office 2003 or Office XP can be installed on one PC and a mobile device (laptop) to be used by that PC user.

Product key information, in the form of the product ID, is sent along with a 'hardware hash' (a number generated from the PCs hardware configuration) to Microsoft's activation system. Activation is completed online or by a telephone call to a customer service representative.

Activations on the same PC using the same product key are unlimited. Product activation discourages piracy by limiting the number of times a product key can be activated on different PCs.

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Q: What does "OEM" mean?

A: OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM software is used by computer system builders, large and small. Large manufacturers have their own branded Microsoft OEMs. The OEMs sold from this website are unbranded Microsoft, and can be used on any PC or laptop. UPDATE: We now sell Dell branded OEM Windows XP Professional alongside unbranded OEM Windows XP Professional. The Dell branded product is supplied with a free Dell mouse to conform with licensing regulations, and is cheaper than it's unbranded equivalent - excellent value for money - our Dell branded disks provide the cheapest legal way to get Windows XP you'll find anywhere on the Internet. Please call us on 01727 769287 if you find the same genuine product cheaper elsewhere!

OEM: WHAT REALLY MATTERS
The primary difference between OEM and retail (aside from the price) is the licensing: An OEM license lives and dies with the computer it is installed onto. You cannot transfer an OEM license to another computer at the end of the life of your machine. On the other hand, a retail license can be transferred to another machine once you have satisfied Microsoft that you have uninstalled it from the original machine. Sometimes it can be smarter to buy a retail license if you're installing onto an old machine on it's last legs - though with the recent rise in retail prices, there has never been a better time than now to buy OEM.

OEM software may only be sold to "system builders." We are not allowed to sell OEM software to end users. Fortunately, anyone can be a system builder. If you ever open the case of your machine to blow out the dust, or to plug extra RAM, that makes you a system builder. Microsoft want end users to buy retail licenses at double or more the price of OEM. Smart people want to save money, not have their eye caught by a fancy retail box - smart people become "system builders."

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Q: What are the differences between Office 2000, Office XP (2002), and Office 2003?

A: Follow this link to the relevant page on the Microsoft website: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/office/editions-compare.mspx (Update: Microsoft are pushing Office 2007, apparently deleting all of their pages relating to earlier versions of Office).

We sell considerably more of the older versions of Office than we do Office 2007 - probably because of price, and ease of use. Older versions are reliable, and get the job done, without costing a small fortune.

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Q: What is your returns policy?

A: In the event that you receive your product damaged or faulty, we will replace it without quibble. Please see our Terms and Conditions

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Q: What does "OPK kit" mean?

A: OPK = OEM Pre-installation Kit. When Microsoft first released Office 2007, OEM versions of Office 2007 could only be installed by system builders with an OPK kit. Microsoft soon caved-in to pressure for OEM versions which didn't require an OPK kit so that people who build their own machines at home can install OEM Office 2007.


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