I have an older Gericom Supersonic P3 laptop with a Windows XP Pro COA on the bottom. I tried installing XP Pro oem using the key on the COA, and it didn't work. So I used the generic key provided by Microsoft so I could finish installation, then ran slic toolkit to see if there was SLP string in bios - there is not. (and I don't see any oembios files for gericom PCs anyway.) So is this a retail key on the bottom, or am I totally screwing this up? I've read through the stickies but it's information overload - so many options and variations on which CD to use or create - I think the Gericom thing is throwing me off a little since there is no info for this brand. I thought I had the whole volume/oem/retail thing figured out, but seem to be more confused than ever. If there is no SLP string in bios, I would NEED to use that key on the bottom to activate, right?