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Acer laptop with Dell bulk Win XP trial licence can't accept personal Win XP licence key : to reinstall & retain drivers

I received a used Acer laptop that has  a blank HDD so I borrowed a
30 day Dell-packaged Win XP CD to install it which allows it to run Win
XP for 30 days : i've painstakingly got the help of someone in EE to
build in all the NIC, CDROM, WiFi, 3G modem, USB & miscellaneous
other drivers.  After searching for a couple of months, I found my
original Win XP licence key for a very old laptop (that's now not
working anymore & retired).  

I wanted to use this personal licence which I've found to register into
the Acer laptop but it won't accept, saying it's invalid key.  I suspect
the 30-days Dell Win XP CD is for bulk licencing & can only accept
bulk licence but not my personal Win XP's licence that comes with
my old broken laptop.

Is there anyway I can reinstall using my personal Win XP CD but I
wish to retain all the drivers & applications that I've painstakingly
installed : I did not document down how I installed/configured all
those drivers/apps so it's not an option for me to reload drivers/apps.

I do have an Acronis  boot CD which could backup the Acer laptop
first if you need me to backup the Acer laptop first before reinstalling
Win XP though
7 Solutions
First verify on the License Sticker the correct version of the Windows XP, such as Home, Professional and also the CD you use to install XP should be same version... One more thing the disk should be OEM not the retail version.
You can use Genius Driver utility to save all the drivers and then install them later..
I recommend www.drivereasy.com it works great I use it alot.

It is FREE to find the drives and install them , but to do the driver backup and restore it cost a little.

I use this product and recomend it.  
Have you tried forcing a replacement license activation? Try following the procedure here:

If you installed originally with the oem from Dell, it will not take a retail license. Even if your original license was oem, it is not transferable.....

Only thing I can suggest is to call ms when the activation pops up....

Either that or backup/reinstall with the original license....

You might be able to modify the setup.ini file to take a retail key, but more info would be needed.....
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If you can slipstream the CD that matches your old key to the SP version that is currently on the 30-day trial then you should be able to run a system repair with that CD at the end of which it will ask for the CD Key that matches the media used to repair XP.

See http:A_3218.html

Always image the drive first though so you can at least get it back to how it is now if anything goes wrong.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

I've image backup'ed already

Is Genius Driver utility free or does it comes with a 30 days trial : anyone I
can't install it because whenever I boot up that Acer laptop, it won't allow
me to go anywhere else other than prompting me to activate the licence key
Do an XP repair, it's keep all of your settings and programs intact

sunhuxAuthor Commented:
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