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Legitimate Copy of Windows & a new computer repair business...

This is a discussion on Legitimate Copy of Windows & a new computer repair business... within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My husband repairs PC's on the side and makes pretty good money doing it. He has a pretty good clientele


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Old 09-24-2010, 12:28 PM   #1
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My husband repairs PC's on the side and makes pretty good money doing it. He has a pretty good clientele going right now. My only question is that we do not have a completely legitimate copy of windows. If I'm understanding correctly, he has to be microsoft certified in order to obtain a legitimate copy? He gets a lot of PC's that are beyond "repair" so he has to wipe them clean so you can see where a legal copy of windows would come in handy... any advice in this area would be great? At this point he's willing to do what he has to in order to further his knowledge and his computer business. Thanks for your time.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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Hi Zoe, Grats on the new business venture and good luck with it. While you may have to have that cerification to obtain certain licensing for using the Windows disks multiple times. You can purchase as many legit copies of Windows as you would like. If I were starting my own computer business I would certainly purchase a copy of each Windows program to use for repairs until I were able to get my certification and obtain these licenses. That should at least get you going. I hope this has helped to answer your question and if not let me know as I know someone who has a computer business and may be able to provide you with more information.

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Old 09-24-2010, 12:46 PM   #3
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So, let me ask you. if he purchases a copy of each windows program can he use it more than once or does he need a new copy for each client? I know... kind of a dumb question but I want the business to be as legal as possible...
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:49 PM   #4
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When a copy of a Microsoft OS is purchased part of the EULA states that the disk should not be installed on more than one PC.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:01 PM   #5
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The Windows license key can not be reused more then once, the disk however can be, if there is a valid key on the PC he is repairing it's still valid for that PC, he'll need the same version of windows, as in XP home, XP pro, Vista home premium, Vista Business Etc, and the correct Service Pack(SP1, SP2, SP3) for the key on the PC he's working on, sometimes the client will have the disk(You'd be surprised how many who tell you they don't have the disk can suddenly find it when you explain that a new copy will cost an additional $125), I've also come across a lot of machines that were repaired previously and now have non-legitimate copies of windows.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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Unfortunately Mike is correct. Legally you are supposed to either obtain a licence from Microsoft for multiple installs or use a new copy each time. That's the law however, and I am in noway implying that you should do anything illegal here, I know of no microsoft police that have ever checked how many times I have installed a copy of an OS. :)

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Old 09-24-2010, 01:07 PM   #7
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If he is working on clients computers and they have an installation key on their computer, then he can use the disk he has to install. If they don't have this key, then he needs to advise them that they need to get a legit copy of windows. He should never use his own license key to install windows on any computer except his own and if he's using hacked keys to install stuff on other people's computers, then he risks getting in legal trouble and financial trouble. As sure as I'm old, others will say that you can do what you want, but if it were my business (I do have my own computer business), I'd do EVERYTHING legally to avoid your family suffering the repercussions of doing things wrong.

There's no real license from MS or anywhere else that allows you to legally install windows on as many machines as you want for your clients. As long as the clients machine has a valid installation key sticker on it or on a cd case that may have been purchased later as part of an upgrade, you can use "most" cd's to get it to install again, providing as I've said you're using THEIR key...not yours.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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That was seriously a LOT of help! I really appreciate all the advice and information. That clarified things for so I think I can make sure he's heading in the right direction and not down a road that's going to make me nervous. Thanks again!!!!
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patmark View Post
Unfortunately Mike is correct. Legally you are supposed to either obtain a licence from Microsoft for multiple installs or use a new copy each time. That's the law however, and I am in noway implying that you should do anything illegal here, I know of no microsoft police that have ever checked how many times I have installed a copy of an OS. :)

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You may wish to see the BSA (Business Software Alliance) web site. I have been called in to two different businesses to straighten out the mess they found themselves in after an audit. In both cases they were using downloaded bootlegged versions of windows. It's a chance I'm not willing to take nor should you.

If you have clients that are not happy about purchasing MS Products, there are freely available Linux distributions and office suites that would do much the same at a fraction of the price. As I tell my clients when they complain, you have choices so don't complain.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:15 PM   #10
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I totally concur with you DJ, I hope I haven't done anything wrong by expressing that opinion. I sure wouldn't want to cause any trouble for her. Thank you for pointing it out. If you see this Zoe, I just want to let you know that I'm surely no expert on this subject while DJ is so please stick with his advice on this.

Good luck with your new business.

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Old 09-24-2010, 03:51 PM   #11
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So, here's another one for you since you've been so kind to answer all my other questions. Do you know why an XP Dell OEM key won't work with any other XP OS? If we use a regular XP disk and it's a Dell OEM it won't except the key. Does that mean we would need to buy all 4 versions of XP? XP Home, XP Pro, XP Home (Dell OEM) and XP Pro (Dell OEM). I hope that makes sense...
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:10 PM   #12
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Dell uses a version that looks at the Bios, if it's a Dell board it usually won't even ask for a key, when using another copy you have to manually change the key to the correct one.

The Dell replacement disks are available from Dell(About $23 the last time I got one) if you have the Service Tag number, that's the disk only no license key> https://support.dell.com/support/topi...dhs&redirect=1

Most newer Dells have a recovery partition on the hard drive with a image of how the System was shipped including all the bloatware.
https://support.dell.com/support/topi...g=&toggle=&dl=
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