How to Convert an OEM to a VLK in XP

Written by ryan k oylear
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How to Convert an OEM to a VLK in XP
A compact disc, much like what Windows comes on. (cd image by qadro from

If you own a pre-built personal computer, then you probably have what is called an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) copy of Windows installed. OEM copies of Windows can only be installed on the computer they came with. A VLK (Volume License Key) copy of windows can be installed on many computers. Converting to a VLK can be useful if you own multiple computers but do not want to pay full price on the operating system for each, and it is a simple process to boot.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Windows XP VLK CD

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  1. 1

    Insert the Windows XP VLK CD into your CD-ROM drive and reboot, or, if the computer is off, power it on and insert the XP CD immediately. When the message "Press any key to boot from CD..." appears, press any key.

  2. 2

    Press "Enter" on the "Welcome to Setup" screen. This will take you to another screen where you will be able to select your current Windows XP installation.

  3. 3

    Select your XP install, and then press the "R" key. This will initiate the "Repair Install" mode. What this essentially does is do an in place reinstallation of Windows XP without removing your applications, data, or settings. This allows you to upgrade or change your Windows version as well.

  4. 4

    Follow the Windows XP set-up prompts as usual, typing in the new VLK when prompted for your License Key. When the process is complete you will be converted to a VLK installation of Windows XP.

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