Activate it, you say. Well, if only it were that easy. Since I reinstalled Windows a few days ago it's been asking me to reactivate it, so I bothered to call up MS yesterday and they took me through the activation process. The problem occurred when they asked me to type in the product key. When my motherboard got changed last year from a Dell mobo to the Gigabyte one I'm using now, MS gave me a new key [even though they probably shouldn't have done] but that key strangely enough didn't work when included in yesterday's activation process. In order to get a correct one I was told that I had to call up Dell, ask for the correct one, then go back to MS. Well, seeing as the only original Dell components left in this PC are the CPU and a couple of ram sticks, I doubt that Dell will help me. So I need to get my OS activated in 20 days. As far as I can see, these are the options: - Buy a full copy of XP [costs 200 quid from ********* - would rather not] - Buy on OEM copy from Overclockers [costs 60 quid - would this work the same?? I don't know about buying OEM operating systems - what difference does it make to retail?] - Install the Vista Beta and use it as my main system, though last time I tried that the installation didn't work, so I might have to buy the DVD from Microsoft which would be cheaper still - Persist with activating this copy of XP [don't know how though] - Learn Linux in two weeks!! So there you have it? What's the best way forward do you think?