Dell Restore CDs
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Thread: Dell Restore CDs

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Dell Restore CDs

    I had to reinstall a DVD program on this Gateway system. I couldn't find my the copy of PowerDVD that came with the system...

    I did have a copy of the Dell restoration CD that I got for a new Dell at work though.

    When I popped in the CD, it would come up and tell me that the CD could only be used on a Dell.

    I poked around a bit and found a "hidden file" called custom.ini on the CD.

    I copied the CD to my HD.

    Then make one small change in the custom.ini and it works right away.

    I don't have the CD on me at the moment... but I believe it was something like.

    Vender=Dell

    I changed it to

    Vender=Gateway

    Why would they make it so easy to circumvent?

    I'll check the exact line I changed tomorrow when I get in... I just wanted to post this before I forgot.

    EDIT: I just checked it. I was wrong... it wasn't "setup.ini", it was "custom.ini".
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  2. #2
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    I figure that that they make it that easy to circumvent, due to the fact that there are still a lot of people don't know that a cd-rom drive is for cd's and not cups. Besides, they don't really lose money when you install it on another system.

    Most things are simple like that it seems.

    I'll have to try that though on the dell disks I have.
    =

  3. #3
    The Iceman Cometh
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    I've actually had a similar experience with a Dell restore CD. The CD in question was the Windows XP CD that came with a Dell computer. One of my friends had a Compaq laptop which crashed and it did not come with a restore disk (it came with a restore partition, but since we had to replace the hard drive, the partition was lost). So, I figured, since there was an XP Home Edition CD-Key on the bottom of her laptop, I could just install any XP Home and just enter her serial number. To my surprise, the Dell one worked perfectly, without any need for intervention. Granted, it didn't prompt for the CD-Key, but once we went to activate it, we were given the option to change the number, which we did and it activated perfectly. So, in some cases, you don't even have to go through any sort of changes. I honestly hate the whole "Restore CD" idea in the first place, especially now that most computers aren't even shipping with the disks anymore.

    AJ

  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    adven: you bring up a good point.

    A coworker had a ton of viruses on his box and brought it to me to "fix".

    He brought his CDs with him that came with it.

    It was his first and only Gateway loaded only once with Windows XP Pro.

    However, the CDs gateway gave him were for Windows 2000.

    I took a Windows XP Pro CD that came with another gateway figuring that I'd just use the CD Key on the side of the case. (which was for XP Pro).

    It didn't even prompt me to activate it. I installed it and that was the end of it. No activation.

    That was almost 2 months ago now... and it still works fine.
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  5. #5
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    Speaking of that, I have had a experience similiar to that where I have used a restore disk, and it never asked to be activated.

    Even if you can't activate, you can always call M$ tell them you had to reformat, and its not letting you activate it. Kinda silly how they have all these acivation keys to keep you from pirating their software, and all you have to do is call them up and they pirate it for you.
    =

  6. #6
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    Most of the time they will just give you the activation key if you call and ask with the CD key that you have. The only time they wont is when you give them a CD key that has been flagged as pirated. So if its someone's CD key from their home computer that is legal, they wouldnt know and would just hand over the activation. Its mainly for them to prevent pirates fom distributing the software from one CD key and making $ from it that doesnt go to them. f its between friends then its harder for them to track if its your own CD key or a friends.

    Most sofware protection can easily be circumvented with a little brains or a little work.

  7. #7
    AO Part Timer
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    There was a problem with Compaq restore disks sometime ago. After a clean install, if you ran the McAfee AV, it found a file to be a virus. But if you copied the restore disk to a seperate partition and change a very similar line from =compaq to =persario it no longer did it. Now this may not have anything to do with your original thought. But is show how easy it has been for sometime to circumvent QR disks.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I think that the Dell message was just a warning that you had put the disk into the wrong computer, rather than a "security" measure. On the other hand, Nero that is shipped with a cd drive, wont load onto a machine with another make/model of drive in it.

    I think that a lot of brand name computer recovery disks don't need activation. They are "trusted vendors". I think they take the view that if you buy a shiny new branded computer, you won't load the software onto anything else. I must say that of the people I know who have such machines this assumption is 100% correct.


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  9. #9
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    This whole restore disk story adds an interesting chapter to "piracy"...
    Here's my "piracy" story...heh.

    We had an eMachines box with XP Home on it that came with eMachines restore disks. The box ran into some problems as described here. Bottom line: restore disks didn't work anymore, and we had no copy of XP laying around. I had to install Win98 on it (only CD we had laying around). Technically, this would be piracy (since that copy is installed on some other box somewhere), but I couldn't care less: we paid for the eMachines box, we paid for the Windows on it. If eMachines' restore disks don't work, and the only solution is using a full copy of Windows, then so be it...

    Next part: a Toshiba laptop running XP Home, running into the same problems as the eMachines. Restore disks don't work anymore, but we paid for the laptop, AND for Windows on it. Toshiba tech support even admits there's something wrong with their restore disks, but blames MicroSoft, as they don't allow them to distribute "full" Windows versions with their laptops. CircuitCity doesn't want to take back the laptop, and I really don't want to wait weeks for Toshiba to come pick up the laptop and fix it. I ordered a Windows XP Pro upgrade edition, and installed it on the laptop. I'm also going to install it on another laptop, and I don't feel guilty for it at all (I'll have to convince MS to activate it for me, but I'm sure I can pull that off).

    Conclusion: I paid for Windows on the eMachines, I paid for Windows on both laptops. And I'm going to have Windows running on all three machines. Sue me

  10. #10
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    nihil: I know what you mean about Nero. Roxio is the same way. The version that comes with the drive can only be used with the drive. If you have the full version, it'll let you switch out your drives and won't complain a bit.

    The Dell message doesn't seem to be much more than a warning...

    I'm just curious why they make it so easy to circumvent.

    Anyone with half a brain could have figured that one out...
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

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