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Old 22-03-2013, 19:09
DeelyBopper
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From what I understand most Windows licenses on laptops are oem. Some not even coming with disks but with a recovery partition?

Can you replace the hard drive and install an SSD yet still use the same license.

Someone is offering me a cheap lappy but it won't be worth it to me unless I have a working MS license on it.

The lappy has a few issues and I'm deciding if its worth the punt as I may be able to sort out the problems. Battery doesn't work (may try a new one), seems to overheat (will clean out vents and fan) and sluggish but I have a spare SSD I can use.
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Old 22-03-2013, 19:29
TheBigM
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Unless this is going to be primary computer, run it like a chromebook - slap on a copy of ubuntu on there and use nothing but chrome.
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Old 22-03-2013, 19:46
Maxatoria
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If it has a recovery partition then it'll have some tools to build recovery disks somewhere, most laptops are from major manufacturers so they have a bit of code that looks for a bit of code in the BIOS and if its correct it just authenticates without any need for keys/ringing MS etc so check theres a recovery partition and burn a few dvd's (check they burn as some recovery burning software can be a bit suspect) or find out whats needed to be able to burn it with some software you trust
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Old 22-03-2013, 23:52
Loobster
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From what I understand most Windows licenses on laptops are oem.
Nope. All Windows instances shipped pre-loaded on laptops are OEM licensed.

Some not even coming with disks but with a recovery partition?
Most come with the recovery partition, and usually have a program in the start menu for you to burn your own recovery media.

Can you replace the hard drive and install an SSD yet still use the same license.
Yes. Best way is to create the said recovery media, switch out the drive and do a fresh install using the media.

The lappy has a few issues and I'm deciding if its worth the punt as I may be able to sort out the problems. Battery doesn't work (may try a new one), seems to overheat (will clean out vents and fan) and sluggish but I have a spare SSD I can use.
Sounds like it could be more trouble than it's worth. But making sure you have 3GB RAM or more and an SSD will maximise the performance of any given machine.
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Old 23-03-2013, 00:23
max99
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Check the COA sticker on the bottom of the laptop, as the serial key has a habit of rubbing off. You won't need this if you use the factory recovery, but it will be needed if you want to manually install Windows from a disk.
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Old 23-03-2013, 09:01
DeelyBopper
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Thanks everyone. Got all the info. I needed from the posts so far!

If I go ahead, I'll make the disks, replace the HD and do a fresh install as mentioned.

I can't remember how much ram it has in it. I'm thinking if its only got 2Gb, that might swing it to not bothering but it depends how much he wants for it. It's a friend so I'm sure it will be a nominal fee.

The license is for Win XP I'm doubtful it already has 4Gb in it.

Thanks, didn't know ALL laptops were oem. I've never had one (though getting one this week as well as maybe sorting the one out mentioned in the thread). I'm used to buying the full licenses for desktop since windows 3.11.
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Old 23-03-2013, 11:34
Alan F
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Check the COA sticker on the bottom of the laptop, as the serial key has a habit of rubbing off. You won't need this if you use the factory recovery, but it will be needed if you want to manually install Windows from a disk.
and if the COA has been destroyed you can use SIW or Belarc to find the key BEFORE you trash the old hard drive.
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Old 23-03-2013, 14:37
max99
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and if the COA has been destroyed you can use SIW or Belarc to find the key BEFORE you trash the old hard drive.
I was going to mention that, but the 'recovered' key doesn't always match the COA. The manufacturer may have imaged the entire model range with the same OEM key, which usually won't be validated when you install from a disk and try and activate it.
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Old 23-03-2013, 15:48
Alan F
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I was going to mention that, but the 'recovered' key doesn't always match the COA. The manufacturer may have imaged the entire model range with the same OEM key, which usually won't be validated when you install from a disk and try and activate it.
But even if it won't automatically validate you have the information required when you ring MS to validate your install.
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Old 23-03-2013, 15:57
max99
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But even if it won't automatically validate you have the information required when you ring MS to validate your install.
But will they validate a bulk key when you install from a regular Windows XP OEM disk? I can't recall if I've ever tried it, so it would be useful if anyone can confirm it.
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Old 23-03-2013, 16:20
LION8TIGER
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I always assumed that SIW was giving me the COA but just having checked ......

I was going to mention that, but the 'recovered' key doesn't always match the COA.
Thats correct.
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:46
Loobster
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I was going to mention that, but the 'recovered' key doesn't always match the COA. The manufacturer may have imaged the entire model range with the same OEM key, which usually won't be validated when you install from a disk and try and activate it.
The recovered key doesn't ever match the COA.

If the OP doesn't have either the COA or the recovery partition, if one can borrow an OEM installation disk of the correct type, it will pre-activate during installation since the setup program checks the SLIC table in the BIOS, and if it finds the right info in, there, activates the OS automagically.
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:48
Loobster
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But even if it won't automatically validate you have the information required when you ring MS to validate your install.
No, you don't. As discussed above, the key pulled from an installation where an OEM install activates using info from the BIOS SLIC table, is not a 'proper' Microsoft Key, so they have no obligation to activate it or give you another key over the phone.
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:50
Loobster
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I can't remember how much ram it has in it. I'm thinking if its only got 2Gb, that might swing it to not bothering but it depends how much he wants for it. It's a friend so I'm sure it will be a nominal fee.
2GB is plenty for XP. If it had Vista I'd want minimum 3GB in there.
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