Can I use this Windows XP key


S

Shenan Stanley

Tim said:
I have an old Packard Bell laptop which is completely dead, and
would like to know if I can legally use the key number that is
stuck on the bottom of the machine, to do a install on a new system
I have built? would there be any problems as I would only be using
this key on one computer, or is this key only valid on the original
computer? surely a copy of Windows XP isn't limited by the life of
the system it is installed on. Any help would be appreciated.

Did the system in question (the 'old Packard Bell') come with the Operating
System installed (sounds like it - from the "... key number that is stuck on
the bottom of the machine ..." comment.) If so - no - even if that machine
melted to slag and all that was left was the original installation CD and
the sticker with the key number on it (somehow) - the End-User License
Agreement states that license of Windows XP is non-transferrable. So by
means of the agreement - your answer is *no*.

A license of Windows XP isn't limited by the life of the machine it is
installed on *unless* it is an OEM license. This is the less expensive
version of the Windows XP license. There are reasons it is less expensive
(like it cannot be transferred - in accordance with the agreement - from
machine to machine, your support for the operating system comes from the
builder of the machine/installer of the OS, it can only be used to install a
fresh copy of Windows XP - not upgrade... etc..) - And you have hit on one
of the bigger ones.
 
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G

Gordon

Tim said:
surely a copy of Windows XP isn't limited by the life of the system it is installed on.

If it is pre-installed, yes. Welcome to the rip-off world of MS.....
 
T

Tim Denny

I have an old Packard Bell laptop which is completely dead, and would like
to know if I can legally use the key number that is stuck on the bottom of
the machine, to do a install on a new system I have built? would there be
any problems as I would only be using this key on one computer, or is this
key only valid on the original computer? surely a copy of Windows XP isn't
limited by the life of the system it is installed on. Any help would be
appreciated.
Many Thanks
Tim Denny
 
T

Tim Denny

Many thanks for the speedy replies.
If it is pre-installed, yes. Welcome to the rip-off world of MS.....

Perhaps I will try Linux instead, as I don't fancy giving Microsoft any more
money at the moment.
 
S

Shenan Stanley

Tim said:
I have an old Packard Bell laptop which is completely dead, and
would like to know if I can legally use the key number that is
stuck on the bottom of the machine, to do a install on a new system
I have built? would there be any problems as I would only be using
this key on one computer, or is this key only valid on the original
computer? surely a copy of Windows XP isn't limited by the life of
the system it is installed on. Any help would be appreciated.
If it is pre-installed, yes. Welcome to the rip-off world of MS.....

Actually - although Microsoft created the OEM program for its computer
assembling customers - said customers *chose* to sell under this agreement
in order to make their systems less expensive.

Although I agree it is a rip-off all around - in this case - it is Packard
Bell who chose to rip-off Tim Denny *if* they did not give Tim an option of
purchasing a more expensive retail version of the OS (for transferrability,
etc) at the time of purchase. It could be they have that option (I have not
persoanlly seen any third-tier vendors doing this) and Tim missed it when
ordering. However - I believe it just is not available. It should be.
What would it hurt (business-wise) for a company building computers to
formerly offer such a choice - with full information on why.

In any case - yes - it is a rip-off all the way down the line... But not
because of the cost in my mind - but because of the lack of disclosure
requirements in the differences and troubles that may be encountered when
getting an OEM version of the OS.
 
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G

Gordon

Dave said:
Good luck with that, your in for a not so nice surprise.

Oh dear - here we go - more ignorant FUD.....
the three most popular Distros, Ubuntu, Kubuntu and PCLinuxOS are no
more of a learning curve from XP than XP was from Windows 98.....
They all come with fully-functioning Office applications which are MS
Office compatible, Image manipulation applications, PDF readers AND
creators.....usually at least two different browsers and email
clients....and above all, NO silly restrictions on what you can install
them on.
 
S

Shenan Stanley

Gordon said:
If it is pre-installed, yes. Welcome to the rip-off world of
MS.....


Tim said:
Many thanks for the speedy replies.
Perhaps I will try Linux instead, as I don't fancy giving
Microsoft any more
money at the moment.
Good luck with that, your in for a not so nice surprise.

Actually - some people enjoying learning and trying new things.
If more people did, then I believe things might just be a little better all
around.
 
A

AJR

First I have not read all the responses to this post. Being active in the
"service and repair" field (at one time) there were many times "OEM" XP had
to be installed other than the original computer - and activated without
difficulty. Please note the following information provided by Microsoft
pertaining to activation: (emphasis added)

" Product Activation and new pre-loaded PCs
The majority of customers acquire Windows with the purchase of a new
computer, and most new computers pre-loaded with Windows XP will not require
activation at all. Microsoft provides OEMs with the ability to
"pre-activate" Windows XP in the factory and estimates that upwards of 80%
of all new PCs will be delivered to the customer pre-activated.

"Pre-activation" of Windows XP by the OEMs will be done in one of two
different ways depending on the OEM's own configuration options and choices.
Some OEMs may protect Windows XP using a mechanism which locks the
installation to OEM-specified BIOS information in the PC. This technology
works very similar to existing technologies that many OEMs have used over
the years with the CDs they ship to reinstall Windows on these computers. We
expanded and integrated the existing OEM CD BIOS locking mechanism with
product activation, and call this method of protection "System Locked
Pre-installation," or SLP.

Successfully implemented, SLP uses information stored in an OEM PC's BIOS to
protect the installation from casual piracy. No communication by the end
customer to Microsoft is required and no hardware hash is created or
necessary. At boot, Windows XP compares the PC's BIOS to the SLP
information. If it matches, no activation is required.

Every single piece of hardware could be changed on a PC with SLP and no
reactivation would be required - even the motherboard could be replaced as
long as the replacement motherboard was original equipment manufactured by
the OEM and retained the proper BIOS. In the unlikely scenario that the BIOS
information does not match, the PC would need to be activated within 30 days
by contacting the Microsoft activation center via the Internet or telephone
call - JUST AS IN A RETAIL SCENERIO..

OEMs may also activate Windows XP by contacting Microsoft in the same way
the consumer would activate. Activation done in this way is the same as
activating a retail boxed version of Windows XP. This is discussed in more
detail further below.

For OEMs who do not employ either of the above two methods of
pre-activation, a new PC acquired with Windows XP preinstalled must be
activated by the customer. This activation is completed in the exact same
way as would someone who acquired Windows XP by purchasing a boxed version
at a retailer.
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

Tim said:
I have an old Packard Bell laptop which is completely dead, and would
like to know if I can legally use the key number that is stuck on the
bottom of the machine, to do a install on a new system I have built?


Sorry, but no.

would there be any problems as I would only be using this key on one
computer, or is this key only valid on the original computer? surely
a copy of Windows XP isn't limited by the life of the system it is
installed on. Any help would be appreciated.


There are two types of Windows copies available: retail and OEM. Most OEM
copies are sold preinstalled on new computers (although they can also be
bought separately). Your Packard Bell almost certainly has an OEM copy
installed.

Although OEM copies are considerably cheaper than retail ones, unfortunately
in return for that cost savings they come with several disadvantages, the
most severe of which is that what you suggest *is* true--it is limited by
the life of the system it is installed on. If the computer dies, the license
to use the operating system it came with dies with it.
 
Z

Zoraster Anders

Good luck with that, your in for a not so nice surprise.

why do you say that?

I have helped people from 15 to 80 years old make the jump to linux.
The older they are, the easier for them to learn it. Why? I don't know.
Usually two to three hours of tutoring is all that is needed to get them up
and running in a productive manner.
 
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F

FeMaster

Tim Denny said:
I have an old Packard Bell laptop which is completely dead, and would like
to know if I can legally use the key number that is stuck on the bottom of
the machine, to do a install on a new system I have built? would there be
any problems as I would only be using this key on one computer, or is this
key only valid on the original computer? surely a copy of Windows XP isn't
limited by the life of the system it is installed on. Any help would be
appreciated.
Many Thanks
Tim Denny

Don't be scared off by all the ho-hum about not being able to use the OEM
license on another computer. YES, it technically is NOT legal, and NO, you
should not do it... BUT, it is POSSIBLE to do it, provided the OEM version
of XP you received with your Packard Bell is an OEM copy of Windows XP on
CD, and not some form of "Recovery CD".

If that is the case, you should be able to install XP (fresh install only,
i.e. blank, formatted hard drive because it's OEM) onto your new system and
use the OEM license code that is on the other systems case. Make sure you
keep a copy of the code before you toss the other system, as you may need
the code in the future for a reinstall or a repair of XP.
 
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F

FeMaster

Yup, it is... Which I clearly stated... It's not against the law to
provide the information on how to do it though... Everyone has "the right
to know." It's up to the individual person to make a judgment call from
there.

Honestly, who is going to know the difference? The original manufacturer
won't care either way. Microsoft can't tell that that OEM belongs to
another computer/brand. The only thing they know is that it is an OEM
license and they won't provide tech support for it. Other than that, they
have no clue whether the computer it is running on is the original or not.

Personally, I don't find it any more or less legal or illegal than what
happens on a daily basis where companies (or people) sell OEM versions of
Microsoft software, be it through their website, or on a place like eBay...
If OEM software is strictly tied to the original machine it was installed
on, then I guess when OEM software is sold in a retail fashion, it can't
EVER be installed? After all, the only thing it's tied to is the original
packaging it came in...

Just one example of many:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...cription=microsoft+oem&Submit=ENE&N=0&Ntk=all
 

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