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What does COA mean?

This is a discussion on What does COA mean? within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I'm looking to buy an older laptop, it's a Pent 4 with win xp. The dealer claims for another $25.00


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Old 08-06-2006, 10:59 PM   #1
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I'm looking to buy an older laptop, it's a Pent 4 with win xp.

The dealer claims for another $25.00 a restore disc with COA.

Do I need this disc if I replace the Hard drive? or only the COA number and use another copy of XP if its the same version?

the thing is the win xp copy I have was for a desk top and this is a lap top I'm buying.

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Old 08-07-2006, 04:02 AM   #2
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Everything you need to know about the Certificate of Authenticity (COA):
What is a Certificate of Authenticity (COA)
Certificate of Authenticity
Certificate of Authenticity - What to look for

Do you have another Windows XP installation disc? Is that disc an OEM or a Retail version? Have you used that disc in a computer where this OS is still currently installed? Please provide the answers to the above, in order to be given specific advice for your case.

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Old 08-07-2006, 11:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zazula
Everything you need to know about the Certificate of Authenticity (COA):
What is a Certificate of Authenticity (COA)
Certificate of Authenticity
Certificate of Authenticity - What to look for

Do you have another Windows XP installation disc? Is that disc an OEM or a Retail version? Have you used that disc in a computer where this OS is still currently installed? Please provide the answers to the above, in order to be given specific advice for your case.
I have one copy of Win XP Home update disc and its currently being used on my desk top right now, I'm about 95% sure it is a retail version, I'm not home right now to look at it.

Let me just say this if it makes any sence, lets say I just bought a used desk top that came with out any system disc's and the same for a used laptop I just bought.

Also to mention I all ready have another desk top that I custom built new for my self a few months ago, and all the units have the same OS which will be Win XP Pro lets say, or even slightly different versions perhaps.

Now if either one of the units I bought used the software became corupt and files were missing, or a virus, or what ever the case may be that I have serious problems, my knowledge being limited allows me to only perform something like to do an f-disk and reload back to day one.

Can I do this even if I have a COA number for each unit but only the one disc from my first newly built unit?

I don't want to do anything illegal, I just want to know what my options are so I don't buy anything more than I have to buy.

thanks, Joe
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:03 PM   #4
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Joe, you need to have one Windows CD for each one of your computers. Since you abide by this EULA term, it is within the rights granted to you by the copyright law to use a single disc for repairs performed on whichever of your computers. However, there's a catch: all your installation discs have to be either the exact same version (e.g. XP Home SP1) or a slipstreamed version that it will be identical for all your computers.
The difference between OEM and Retail versions are discussed here.
The COA stickers found on your computers are useless if they do not correspond to actual OEM Windows, the installation disc for which you need to have, as well.
The Recovery CDs are some other story; they carry a COA for the OS, yet they are a bundle of OS+specific drivers+slackware, that when gets installed returns your computer to its original state when it left the factory.
My personal advice is (1) against Recover discs -unless you know how to build a purged OS disc out of them- and (2) against OEM Windows for laptops -because laptops are hardly salvageable so that you can pass the OS on to their reincarnation.
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Old 08-07-2006, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zazula
Joe, you need to have one Windows CD for each one of your computers. Since you abide by this EULA term, it is within the rights granted to you by the copyright law to use a single disc for repairs performed on whichever of your computers. However, there's a catch: all your installation discs have to be either the exact same version (e.g. XP Home SP1) or a slipstreamed version that it will be identical for all your computers.
The difference between OEM and Retail versions are discussed here.
The COA stickers found on your computers are useless if they do not correspond to actual OEM Windows, the installation disc for which you need to have, as well.
The Recovery CDs are some other story; they carry a COA for the OS, yet they are a bundle of OS+specific drivers+slackware, that when gets installed returns your computer to its original state when it left the factory.
My personal advice is (1) against Recover discs -unless you know how to build a purged OS disc out of them- and (2) against OEM Windows for laptops -because laptops are hardly salvageable so that you can pass the OS on to their reincarnation.

Oh Okay, thank you very much... good stuff to know... :)

I have a story that bugs me so much, it puts me in a different frame of mind more and more every day, let me tell you what happened with my lady friend who bought a Windows XP Home edition Upgrade disc so to install on her desk top PC, it did not work for her, or for me, or for anybody else we know who went out and bought a copy, you would get all them errors that your existing software was not going to work with it, things like that, it was very disappointing for all.

So after that I could not help but wanting to build my own desk top PC. So if I can build my self two or three computers for my self by using one copy of windows in order to recover monies paid out for products bought from Microsoft that did not perform as told, "so be it"

So if microsoft wants to talk to me about not upholding to the bylaws I'd be glad to talk about it, why not talk about why didnt't their software and some hardware I bought back a while ago not do what it said it can do when I bought it new.

Well I can't help but feel that every one I know was taken advantage of by Microsoft and on purpose by distributing that copy of Windows xp upgrade for people who wanted to upgrade their existing computers, they had to know it was not going to work, geeeze!!! did I miss something???

In good faith I buy computer hardware thinking its going to work by what little I can read on it, and what I hear from sales people say it can do, so I'm sorry that I don't read all of the bylaws that are in such small fine microscopic print when buying hardware and software, it would take over three months to be able to read it all, then more than a life time of re-reading it over and over again to understand what it says. So this undermines my rights when I buy a computer product when it does not do what it claims it can do.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:31 PM   #6
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Look, joeeye, I can understand your frustration stemming from buying MS software and hardware in the past and then being let down because they didn't deliver; however (and this is a very bold, all-caps HOWEVER), that does not entitle you (or anyone else for that matter) to breach any law or agreement...

You are given specific rights every time you buy anything, and you can very well exercise these rights and even overcome any hurdles posed by not-so-understanding, monopolistic/oligopolistic corporations. We here at TSF can help you understand these rights to their full extent and use them. We can also help you decipher EULAs and other "fine print" texts.

But breaking the law just because one feels wronged, is still wrong. And two wrongs don't make a right... they make a much bigger wrong...
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:27 PM   #7
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Hi Zazula, I hear you, this is the way the world is, disappointments with just about everything, cars, etc...

This is why I'm glad to be able to ask question here before I buy anything, I appreciate all that's done for me thru this forum, I've been very fortunate to be able to ask the questions and get results. I'm having a great time building and taking apart my computers, I've turned it into a hobby, my house is wall to wall old junk computers.

If you would like to expand on what I heard, I'm trying to think.... where did I heard this, that if I was to buy a OEM copy of Windows XP it dies with the, "lets say motherboard/HDD" never to pass onto another PC, But if I bought a copy of Win XP "retail" I can move it from computer to computer with a never ending life, so to say.

But I was thinking that was not right because I thought I read some where that what ever OS I loaded onto a self built computer, or even a store bought PC that I upgraded it was to stay with it to the end, not sure where I heard that.

any way, thanks for the help, Joe
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:33 AM   #8
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The techs at microsoft are fairly forgiving. They will generally give you a new single-use key and activation code if your Windows installation 'broke' soon after activation. Give them a call.

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