Originally Posted by lastdon
so we can use a xp pro cd? with the key provided? though the pro cd has to be OEM right?
If you have an XP Pro disk, make a "copy" but replace i386 directory with the one from your Acer laptop. In reality, only setupp.ini file is what you need to use the serial on the back of your laptop. That setupp.ini contains encoded serial and also identifies type of install (retail/oem/corporate).
There are many resources on Internet on how to create bootable WinXP CD, for instance: http://www.nu2.nu/bootcd/#wxp
I usually pick i386 directory from laptop, SUPPORT, VALUEADD directories and files in the root of CD (WIN51, WIN51IP, WIN51IP.SP2, NAME.BIN, etc.) from some retail WinXP CD, boot.bin from one of those sites, and then use Nero with customized settings to burn it. Works like a charm.
Picking i386 from this laptop has another advantage, it has SP2 slipstreamed, so no extra steps required unlike if you started with i386 from retail CD and copied only setupp.ini from laptop.
I use this CD for clean reinstall once. After that, I typically install all drivers, some basic applications, do OS tuning/optimizing, and then backup drive C: with Ghost to bootable DVD (PCDOS + Ghost boot floppy image as a boot part of DVD). This DVD is my ultimate restore DVD. I can restore to a useable system that way. It cost me many attempts and literally days of experimenting (Ghost is a tricky app) to get it right. Might be easier with Acronis or something else but I don't want to try since what I have now works