I use the non SP XP cd's when working on PC's for friends and family. Haven't had a problem entering a product code with that disk yet. Mind you, thats probably less than a dozen PC's total. As mentioned above, I've had to start over once or twice after trying a SP3 CD first. On my own PC(s) I use my XP + SP3 CD because I know my product code will be accepted. Its been my experience that it usually doesn't matter if it is SP or non SP install media, but XP seems to be picky at times. It may have something to do with one of the service packs adding more than just updates. I've gone though 95, 98, 2K, etc, and XP is the only one I can remember ever giving me problems when entering a product code.