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View Full Version : 2 questions about installing windows that i should already know


TheDarkMage
10-03-2010, 02:40 PM
okay this is something that i know i should already know but yet the answer has constantly eluded me.

lets say i had to reinstall windows on a clients machine which had just had a HDD replaced. I recovered the windows cd key using a key finder before replacing the drive. There is no original disks and the backup partition has gone as its a new drive.

Can i simply use a copy of windows from technet and use the clients provided cd key to reinstall windows?


my second question is related to a change of motherboard. is it true that windows oem versions really do attach themselves to the motherboard and if so would you actually have to go and buy another copy?

TechguyUK
10-03-2010, 03:11 PM
Yes if...

...The key is genuine and has been taken from the CoA that should have been attached to the machines case. The 'key' that jellybean or whatever gives you may not work if it's simply one of the generic OEM keys used during manufacture.

...The Windows version you use to reinstall matches the CoA version (OEM, Retail, Volume, Ultimate, Home, Pro etc etc)

Regarding a motherboard change, don't confuse activation with licensing - Certain Windows OEM media is linked to OEM BIOS signatures. For example if you use a DELL Windows OS CD to carry out an install it usually checks for a matching DELL BIOS code (on the motherboard) and if it doesn't find it, it won't allow the Windows install to proceed. Replacing a motherboard also generally affects Windows activation status as Windows calculates its product ID from major system componants - replacing the motherboard makes the original product ID become invalid and windows needs to be reactivated. By the strict terms of the MS license you are only allowed to replace a failed motherboard with an identical one OR if an identical one is not available by the equivalent replacement specified by the OEM.

atlanticjim
10-03-2010, 03:23 PM
Regarding a motherboard change, don't confuse activation with licensing - Certain Windows OEM media is linked to OEM BIOS signatures. For example if you use a DELL Windows OS CD to carry out an install it usually checks for a matching DELL BIOS code (on the motherboard) and if it doesn't find it, it won't allow the Windows install to proceed. Replacing a motherboard also generally affects Windows activation status as Windows calculates its product ID from major system componants - replacing the motherboard makes the original product ID become invalid and windows needs to be reactivated. By the strict terms of the MS license you are only allowed to replace a failed motherboard with an identical one OR if an identical one is not available by the equivalent replacement specified by the OEM.

Just to clarify (or confuse) here is a very good article about how WPA uses computer hardware identifiers to confirm that the COA is being installed on the same computer, or one with limited hardware changes.

WPA and hardware changes (http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.php)

ajc196
10-04-2010, 12:58 AM
Also note that the majority of the time, especially with Dells, the key you grab with ProduKey will be some volume key used in mass-imaging, and therefore won't activate or even be taken by OEM discs. Always use the COA's key. Because of this, always note at check-in whether or not the desktop/laptop has a COA or not.

TheDarkMage
10-04-2010, 07:40 AM
thanks for the info guys. that was a great link to the artcle on WPA as well. I can finally rest at night knowing i finally have the answers to these 2 little questions which have been bugging me for so long.

glricht
10-05-2010, 02:03 AM
... For example if you use a DELL Windows OS CD to carry out an install it usually checks for a matching DELL BIOS code (on the motherboard) and if it doesn't find it, it won't allow the Windows install to proceed.

Actually, I have used Dell XP CDs on numerous occasions to install XP on a non-Dell PC, such as when the recovery partition was missing/corrupt and/or and the customer didn't have the CDs.

The install goes just fine, you just have to activate XP using the COA code. Most of the time the online activation works just fine, but every once in a while I've had to do a phone activation.

( I just have to remember to remove the "DELL" folder on the C: drive when I'm done! :rolleyes: )

red12049
10-05-2010, 02:18 AM
Actually, I have used Dell XP CDs on numerous occasions to install XP on a non-Dell PC, such as when the recovery partition was missing/corrupt and/or and the customer didn't have the CDs.

The install goes just fine, you just have to activate XP using the COA code. Most of the time the online activation works just fine, but every once in a while I've had to do a phone activation.

( I just have to remember to remove the "DELL" folder on the C: drive when I'm done! :rolleyes: )

That Dell folder works great to stash all the driver downloads. :) The only NON Dell OEM CD I have is a Gateway XP Media Center. I've used the Dell CD's on every name brand machine there is for years, and agree with your assessment completely.

Rick

Elemdee
10-05-2010, 03:39 AM
I've used the Dell CD's on every name brand machine there is for years, and agree with your assessment completely.

Rick

On Compaq desktops?? :eek: I must try this...and get this monster off my bench!

red12049
10-05-2010, 11:34 AM
On Compaq desktops?? :eek: I must try this...and get this monster off my bench!

Sure. Load Windows, get the NIC working, activate it online. Poof. Done. First attempt at activation will come back & ask for a new key. Put in key from COA, and MS is happy.

Rick

Elemdee
10-05-2010, 08:15 PM
Sure. Load Windows, get the NIC working, activate it online. Poof. Done. First attempt at activation will come back & ask for a new key. Put in key from COA, and MS is happy.

Rick

Rick, omg it worked. (Compaq COA XP home no sp's activated online from Dell XP home no sp's reinstall CD) :eek: Now I have another one to do, problem is, the COA is Compaq XP Prof with no SP's. The Dell CD I have is XP Prof SP2. Think it'll work? I'm doubting it.

14049752
10-05-2010, 08:35 PM
Rick, omg it worked. (Compaq COA XP home no sp's activated online from Dell XP home no sp's reinstall CD) :eek: Now I have another one to do, problem is, the COA is Compaq XP Prof with no SP's. The Dell CD I have is XP Prof SP2. Think it'll work? I'm doubting it.

It'll work. The keys for older editions work on newer discs, but not the reverse.

red12049
10-06-2010, 01:35 AM
It'll work. The keys for older editions work on newer discs, but not the reverse.

Agree with 123456 or whatever his nick is. :) It'll work.

Rick

Elemdee
10-06-2010, 02:26 AM
Agree with 123456 or whatever his nick is. :) It'll work.

Rick

Lol, just call him 1404 like I do! And, yes, it did work as well, and this time the online activation worked without a phone call. :D Whee!

red12049
10-06-2010, 02:48 AM
Lol, just call him 1404 like I do! And, yes, it did work as well, and this time the online activation worked without a phone call. :D Whee!

Well. You're on a roll tonight. :)

Rick