HI....ALL......I have had a computer given to me....with the above problem.....if i can get a windows operating disc off someone is it ok to use it ,as i have been told by someone i have to purchase a licence apparently about £40....can anyone advise me .....thankyou Mike.
I second Rosebery's advice, plus you should have the operating system CD/DVD in case you need to reinstall it. You can get OEM versions of XP and Vista for under £100 from Dabs, or maybe Curry's which is where I bought mine. The only thing you don't get with an OEM version is Microsoft official support, you do get all the updates and patches.
Another thought - sorry I didn't think of it before - is to install Linux. Big advantage - it's free. My Linux using friends say Ubuntu Linux is the easiest for the novice. I wouldn't know, I'm a happy Mac camper!
aceone, You will not need to install a copy of Linux if you buy the original windows disks, and the person who sold you them are not using a copy on another machine so long as they are not oem versions, the oem versions are not legal to use as these are often sold to companies that mass produce complete system and have some left over because they have not manufactured enough, It is illegal to sell these copies because you have not got the system that the licence was granted for, TRY ADVERTISING A COPY OF THESE ON EBAY AND YOU WILL GET A MESSAG FROM MICROSOFT TELLING YOU TO REMOVE IT FROM SALE, REMEMEBER YOU DON’T OWN THE SOFTWARE YOU HAVE ONLY PURCHASED A LICENCE TO USE THE SOFTWARE.
Rigga is likely right as far as Microsoft's licensing for Windows, goes, but Dabs, Computer Buyer, Curry's, and lots of other outlets sell OEM versions without comment from Microsoft, and people like me buy and use them without any difficulty. I guess Microsoft would rather have the sale than not. I run mine (XP Home) on Parallels on my Mac laptop, and Microsoft could easily block the updates if they chose. There's no restriction on its use either, I'm running Quark XPress, Office 2007, Corel WordPerfect and Graphics Suites on mine, as well as Open University language software.
Because the serial numbers (it came with three separate ones) tell Microsoft that the OS is an OEM version, I don't get official Microsoft support, but there's plenty of that on the Web anyway.
Anybody can legally purchase and use a OEM version of windows. That is why they are readily available everywhere. The whole point of an OEM (Other equipment manufacturers) is they must only be installed on a new machine and not used to upgrade or replace lost disks etc. Many suppliers refuse to supply OEM disks unless they are purchased along with other computer parts. They get round MS's regulations by forcing you to buy a cheap part such as a cable.
I haven't bought a new computer for over for something like 15 years as I always build my own and have always used OEM versions.
To Aceone does the computer have the authentication sticker on the back with the software key printed on it? If so you can download windows and use the key to activate it.
If you can get hold of an old version of windows off a defunct computer that has not been used for a year or two, it is possible that it can be re-used.
As I said in my earlier post, the sale of original equipment manufacturer disks for use on computers that have not been built by the manufacturer that the software has been licensed to is illegal, the fact that you can buy these, at a reduced cost “quite often”, is not . Buying them and selling them is two different thing. The seller must say that the disks are replacement disks for a certain make of computer, and the original equipment manufacturer is quite often on the cover of the packaged disks. The fact that many people including myself use these type of disks on a system that I have built does not exclude this fact, as to using an oem version on a new computer why would you buy an oem version and not an ordinary version of windows they both install and do the same thing, and on the non oem version you get full support. The reason is they are cheaper and the reason they are cheaper is the original manufacturers have purchased a certain amount of these at a reduced cost and are trying to get some of the costs back. As I said in my earlier post try selling a copy on ebay without saying that they are replacement disks for a specific manufacturer and see what happens.
The only issue with OEM is that if you change your motherboard, XP assumes you are installing it on another PC and you usually have to phone Microsoft to activate.
I think you can do this 3 times and then they cancel the licence for it.
If you buy a retail version (google it and find it for around £55-60) you are not limited to the amount of installs.
Bear in mind that Microsoft are intending to cease support (and security patches) fom January 2010 (I believe) so Vista might be your best bet for longevity (Get the 64bit version so you can have more than 3GB RAM).
Windows 7 is too far away to wait for so it looks like Vista (ugh) is the way to go.
The amount of times you can install the operating system is the same for both OEM versions and retail versions. The activation codes are produced by taking the unique hardware codes from each piece of hardware that is installed on the machine, e.g. graphics card sound mother board processor networks even hard disk’s ,and of course your IP address and a code is produced, this is the unique code for that particular computer if you change the mother board you will have to re activate it but your IP address will be the same if you change 1 or two pieces of hardware windows will still boot, if you change three items of hardware then windows will again need to be activated. Your registration code will still be the same, so no problems, however if your IP address changes and your registration code changes Microsoft will inform you that this product is registered elsewhere. Rosberry ,Windows vista is a totally new operating system from windows XP as was windows ME from Windows 95 nothing to do with digital rights management assuming this is what was meant by DRM the thread started by Aceone saying he had been given a computer which was not worth much and had no operating system I assumed that this was an old machine so therefore there would be restrictions on what operating system could be installed legally, and what would be most suitable regarding hard disk size, memory, processor speed and what he intends to do when its up and running. A 64 bit operating system would default to a 32 bit if installed on a mother board which has not been developed for a 64 bit, if it installed at all, and it’s the motherboard that determines the amount of memory that can be used Windows XP can already utilize more than 2 giga bite of memory, and yes I would agree with Rosebery that Windows Vista is not up to scratch but in Microsoft’s mind it does not matter one bit. When they stop support and updates where will you go, yes Apple if you can afford it or Linux if you want to fiddle. Both you and I will I think move eventually to something more stable but what a boring time it will be.
Depending on your situation I would recommend Linux install. It is free and if you get to grips with it a big advantage to have that knowledge and skill in the IT industry.
I have heard of many problems with Vista, not to mention if your box is old it is not likely to be able to cope with Vista even modern machines sold by the big high street shops can run slow on vista after a short while.
The problem with Linux is it will take time to get used to and time learn and install as many things are different from windows. But once you have learnt well worth it.
Also depending on your circumstances look for cheap versions of Windows. Students, teachers and many others receive free of cheap licences. Microsoft like to fill schools and uni's with free software so when you leave you dont know anything else. (like Linux)