Installing an OS without original CD's? (legality)
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Thread: Installing an OS without original CD's? (legality)

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Installing an OS without original CD's? (legality)

    I need some opinions or facts on this.

    Scenario:
    Lets say I build a complete PC for a client. Put the key code sticker on the box, register it for him, optimize the WinXP OS, and give him all the CDs. Let us also say I'm a registered OEM system builder and Microsoft Partner.

    Now, this client brings his computer back after 6 months saying "My teenage sons have trashed the OS, can you fix it?" After looking at it, sure enough it needs a complete reformat and reinstall.

    In order to do that, my client needs to give me some CD's for reinstall.
    He searches for a couple days and says "I know you sold them to me, I'm sure I have them but I cannot put my fingers on them" (cause I'm so disorganized)."

    Is it legal for me to reinstall the EXACT OS version (I sold him) using my CD's, enter his key code again and get the system back to normal?

    Before you answer:

    So I return the rebuilt PC and ask him if I can look around for the CDs, he says "Sure", so I look in a bookcase and low and behold, there's the XP CD sandwiched between loads of neglected papers.

    Now, what is your answer?
    ZT3000
    Beta tester of "0"s and "1"s"

  2. #2
    AOs Resident Troll
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    AFAIK...yes its legal...cause media gets lost\destroyed\scratched all the time...and as long as he has that key on the box....its legal..cause the install is tied to the key.


    I have contacted MS on this when disks go "missing" and ordered replacement (retail) cause I have the keys documented and registered. Charge is like 14.00

    Now what I do is burn a copy ...for backup purposes only.of course ...and use the burned copy for install on the WS....that way if it gets damaged\lost..I just make a new one...and save my 14.00

    MLF
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  3. #3
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    You wouldn't have to install the EXACT OS..........
    XP + SP2 and you would now use a slipstreamed CD with SP2 included.

    Company I work for are, as you, with M$ and I have bundles of Win OS's around, inc the OEM Preinstallation Kit...............

    As MLF stated, you are only putting back what they own, using the dreaded key as proof of purchase.

    [edit]
    I SHOULD have put down that I / we just image across a network to load it up ASAP.
    I merely put the XP + SP2 as an example.
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  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Just make sure you have the correct version.

    In my experience... The OEM key won't work on a retail or upgrade cd or volume license cd.

    The key is what matters... not from where you install.

    You can also "downgrade".

    If i buy a license for xp 2k3 server, I can install 2k server without violating the licensing agreement.

    Same thing for xp... if you buy xp, you can install 2k. (you'll just have to have a different key/media)

    At least... thats what my m$ licensing rep told me.

    I wanted a 2k license and they wouldn't sell it to me. I had to buy a 2k3 license but they said I could install 2k with the 2k3 license.

    Now, I'm talking about volume licensing here... not retail or OEM.

    Your OEM license is not transferable though... say you buy a PC with XP OEM pre installed but decide to load linux. You can't move that OS from that pc to another. Same goes with office OEM.

    You can transfer retail and upgrade though.
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  5. #5
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
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    Phish and MLF have the "facts" here. Any license you buy for any M$ product is "backward compatible". We checked this when we got a nice fat grant. We wanted to purchase WinXP Pro and Office XP Pro licenses with it but we didn't have the hardware to run them company-wide, (but we wanted the bang for the free bucks). We were told by M$, in writing, that we can use any OS/Office that was less than the licensed purchase anywhere up to the number purchased.... It works for me...

    As to the OEm etc. I'm not too sure about that... But the simple fact is that you have a legal copy, legally installed that needs replacing.... The worst you should need to do is make the phonecall... After all, you already paid up and it would really mess with the majority of the 'small guys" if M$ were really pissy about this.....
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  6. #6
    AOs Resident Troll
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    I think the OEM\Retail thing is about the keys...oem keys dont go with retail disk and retail keys do work with oem disks.

    and if trying to repair an install I think you have to have the right oem\retail\upgrade version to repair the install.

    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  7. #7
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    If you're using OEM, then you have to have the correct disk.
    If you try to load a Gateway PC with a Dell OEM disk, it'll tell you that you can't load it.
    But... a little bit of tweaking with the setup files and you can...

    One thing that I had weird though...
    I was doing some reapirs as a favor for a friend who brought me the tower, and the CDs.

    The sticker on the side was a gateway OEM XP home key.
    The OS loaded was 2k pro (factory loaded, he doesn't own another computer and this was the first time someone worked on his PC).

    The disk they gave him was an OEM XP Pro disk.

    Now... I have no keys or cds that match.

    I was able to load XP Pro with no key at all and never had to activate it.

    Weird..
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