the CD Key is not in use - to start things off. My problem is that using the restore cd installs XP Home on a custom computer, but the key doesnt work. I called Dell, they said call Microsoft.. I called Microsoft, they said to call Dell. I am thinking of just flat out lying and saying i am trying to reinstall on a dell machine but the serial is showing up wrong. any suggestions? -- this should work, right? you would assume its the wrong CD version and Serial combination - this happens a lot to me.