I need to downgrade to Windows 2000 Pro from Windows XP Professional - Still legal?

Thanks!!
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CCSWilkAsked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
How?  Windows 2000 is not supported any longer and Windows XP must be SP3 for support.
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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
So if I read this correctly, Windows 2000 Pro is no longer supported by Microsoft, and I cannot downgrade back to it with a legit unused Windows XP Professional license? Is that correct?
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fleamourianCommented:
No more security updates for Win2k I'm afraid.  Dead as a Dodo.
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fleamourianCommented:
The only possibility would be on a workstation not connected to the internet, but it could still get infected by USB/CDR/W media.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If you have a licence for 2000 then yes,  there were no downgrade options from XP so just having an XP license won't work.
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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/supportinformation/papers/16jb-0302a-wwen_rev1_us.pdf
Do you mean downgrade options from the XP media?  
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fleamourianCommented:
Best source may be eBay or I can mail you media + COA if you want?
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
What is he current licensing on the XP box you want to downgrade?
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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
We haven't built it yet - Thanks - We should be good with the media and COA and they'll just have to take their chances with the lack of updates
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athomsfereCommented:
It is legal to downgrade, if you have a valid 2000 license. However, as previously ntoed it is End of Life, there is no support or updates, and therefor it is not secure.

Is there a reason you want to go back to 2000?
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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
As long as each system has an XP license, I'll just need one valid 2000 license/COA to downgrade multiple systems, correct - This works better with their software in an industrial setting
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
You cannot legally downgrade a non-existent PC.  Downgrade rights apply only to a machine provided with XP installed where the purchaser elects to use an earlier operating system and may (or may not) later restore the system supplied.  It is not a license to install an earlier system onto a PC because you hold an XP license.

Having an unused XP license doesn't automatically provide downgrade rights.
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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
So I'd install XP and then overwrite it when I downgrade??  Why go to the trouble of installling XP in the first place?
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WayneATaylorCommented:
You cannot perform a downgrade from XP to Windows 2000 Pro anyway.  You would have to wipe out the machine and start fresh.

Re licensing, if the XP Pro licence you have is OEM, i.e. came with a machine and can only be used on one machine and never moved then you cannot downgrade.

If you have the XP on the Open Licence scheme or MOLP schemes etc, then you do get downgrade rights for previous versions of the operating system.

Wayne

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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
What about the retail version of XP that are not tied to a system - Then the downgrade should be fine, correct? (and by downgrade, I mean in terms of the license)
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WayneATaylorCommented:
To be honest not too sure, I think maybe the retail ones don't give a downgrade option.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I'm wondering what Windows 2000 is going to give you that isn't better on windows XP?  If you have software that will only run on Windows 2000 and you have a legitimate license and CD, then there is no point to 'downgrade' anything.  If you are putting this on New machines, you may have a serious driver problem anyway.  XP has trouble with hardware on some brand new machines because there aren't drivers available.
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WayneATaylorCommented:
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
No, the legal version of the downgrade is the manufacturer installs XP.
The end user elects for an earlier version to be installed and that system becomes licensed because of the pre-existing XP license.

Wayne, this is all about OEM as it requires a pre-installed system  (as it does with downgrades from Windows 7). The restriction on transferring an OEM installation to any other machine still applies but you can downgrade it.

If you compare the details in the Compaq link above with the W7 agreement you'll see very little has changed.  The system still needs to be pre-installed by the manufacturer and there are restrictions on which systems are eligible for downgrading.

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WayneATaylorCommented:
Yes think that's correct, but if the XP licence is an Open Licence you have full downgrade rights to W2000 I think.

Wayne
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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
So if the customer buys a retail version of Windows XP Professional, they cannot use that license to downgrade their system to Windows 2000 Professional?
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
That's correct, you cannot legally downgrade a retail copy.
That doesn't prevent you installing W2K but you can't substitute the XP license. You would need a valid W2K retail code (appreciating that is impractical but this isn't really a mainstream scenario).
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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I didn't know that about the retail version - In this case, we are the system builder and have had the customer sign off on the downgrades that we do -  We can still purchase OEM copies of XP online and downgrade them back to 2000, using the XP OEM license, correct?  I had forgotten that there is not an activation etc for Windows 2000 when I started this and was wondering if Microsoft had put anything in place once Windows 2000 support was concluded to disallow activation.  We also have a customer that is requesting 98SE and I am assuming the same applies.  
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
I'm starting to feel like the bad guy here but:

A)  You'd need to sign up with Microsoft to be an OEM
http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/index.

B) Microsoft no longer allow OEM's to install XP




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CCSWilkAuthor Commented:
No - these are the questions we need answered - thanks for your help - We are a Microsoft OEM - We couldn't find anything on B though - do you have a link? Thanks
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WayneATaylorCommented:
This is the link for the end of OEM XP support confirmatiom.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
^^^. what he said :)
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
The current version of Windows is Windows 7 and 2008 R2.  OEMs cannot downgrade the OS anymore except possibly to Vista or 2008. Downgrade rights for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 include the current version - 2 versions - meaning the END USER can downgrade to 2003 R2 (if using Server 2008 R2) or to Windows XP (if using Windows 7) and they are obtained from the OEM.

I skimmed (and searched) the XP retail license agreement and it makes no mention of downgrades or prior versions.  Therefore, you can reasonably assume there are no downgrade rights with XP.  For reference, you can obtain and read the agreement here: http://www.microsoft.com/About/Legal/EN/US/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx 
Even the Win Vista and 7 retail EULAs fail to mention any right to use a prior version.

Volume Licenses CAN be downgraded (though I'm not certain if they can go past the 2 version limit).
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_Commented:
fwiw:

If you still want to try install W2Ksp4, you can get the W2KSP4 - Rollup 1, here:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=B54730CF-8850-4531-B52B-BF28B324C662

That's basically all updates and patches, and the last of the support.

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