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Buying a used XP Pro disc from someone else RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am now living in the Philippines. I reciently had a local computer store over here build me a brand new CPU.

    Since this new CPU is basically a "home-built", they installed Windows XP Pro to get it up and running ... but, like most of the software over here, it's a pirated copy.

    Well, now I get that screen that tells me that "I may be a victim of software counterfeiting" (who would have guessed) and my copy of Windows obviously did not pass genuine validation ... and I get this annoying  pop-up that comes up all the time. Of course, I can't update the XP either.

    Since the new MS Vista came out, there may be many XP Pro discs that are now becoming available cheap in such sources as Ebay being sold by folks that feel the need to have the latest operating system.

    My Question: As long as the XP Pro disc that is for sale is not married to a Dell, Compaq or something like that ...  and, as long as the guy selling the disk has un-installed the XP Pro and is now useing his new Vista, I guess he could sell his old XP Pro disk to someone like myself, and then I could use the product key assigned to that disk (since it's not in use on anyone elses computer anymore)?

    Is there anything wrong with the scenerio I gave?

    Thank's,
    Ron (Philippines)
    Friday, March 20, 2009 11:13 AM

Answers

  • Good Morning Ron,

    Thank you for posting in the WGA Forums. You have an intersting question and unfortunately this falls outside our expertise and support scope within the WGA Forums. There are a couple versions of XP. First you mention XP Professional married to a major manufacturer. This is an OEM-SLP installation. Let me provide you with a brief explaination:

    OEM-SLP:
    Computers built by large commercial manufacturers that come with Vista Pre-installed come with two (2) Product Keys; SLP and COA Key.  SLP stands for System Locked Pre-install. OEM manufacturer’s add an OEM identifier string to the system BIOS during manufacturing. Windows verifies this identifier during the boot process. In this way the end user will not be required to activate Windows. The OEM SLP Key is geared to work with the special instructions found on that Manufacturer’s computer hardware.  The Product Key is available on the COA sticker and not installed in the computer. For example all DELL OEM SLP Windows Vista systems use a single product key but the COA sticker on the machine contains the unique COA. The key located on the COA sticker should only be used in limited situations and requires telephone activation. Example should you require to reformate the computer the key from the COA sticker would be used. 


    Next there is an OEM System Builder. 

    OEM (System builder/COA):
    OEM license for XP comes with certain restrictions that make it less flexible, and therefore less expensive, than the retail license for Vista.  A major limitation is that the license is "married" to the computer onto which it is first installed, and the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) states it is not permitted to be moved to any another computer.  One does not "lose their license" for XP if the motherboard becomes defective and has to be replaced.  If the computer owner chooses to use, or because of availability is forced to use, a board that is not a direct or identical replacement, there has to be a mechanism to accommodate these circumstances, and that is why a telephonic activation is authorized. To read your EULA, click Start>Run, type winver and click OK, then click on the link for the license terms or EULA.

    Ron I would be very cautious purchasing Windows from someone whom you do not know. There are business and individuals out there who are selling non-genuine versions of the software. In turn this would put you back in the same boat as you are currently. Should you need more information regarding licensing please 
    call 1-800-426-9400 (select option 4), Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. (PST) to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist.



    Thank you,


    Stephen

    Attention All Forum Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own which will help minimize confusion. If any post fixes your issue, please click the "Post was Helpful" button for that post. This will help us showcase the threads that best help our customers. Thank you, Stephen Holm
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Friday, March 20, 2009 4:53 PM
    Friday, March 20, 2009 4:53 PM
  • Hello Ron,

    Right now you mentioned your computer was installed with a non-genuine version of Windows. For clairfication purposes am I correct based on what I read from your first posting? U
    nder NO circumstances should someone try to download/distribute ISO images for software from a P2P file sharing site or use a second-hand burned copies of software. Research has shown that about half of the software copies available on P2P download sites are infected with root kits, spyware, Trojans, and other potentially harmful malware. One file in particular was very alarming.  This file was an administrator account giving the attacker full control over both your system and data.  I would be very concerned about your system integrity because Windows is non-genuine. Ron with this information in mind I would definitely reinstall Windows with a known genuine copy. Hopefully that will answer one of your questions. 

    Unfortunately when you purchase used software from a total stranger there won't be any tell tell way to ensure it's validity. This will be a chance or should I say risk that you would have to decide if it is worth it or not. Have you visited 
    http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/diag/ ? If you fail Windows Validation you will be offered to purchase a WGA Kit from Microsoft. I think the cost is $149.95 US about 1/2 of the original cost. This is a full retail copy. Hopefully all the information Dan and I have provided has helped you.


    Thank you Ron and have a great weekend.


    Stephen
     

    Attention All Forum Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own which will help minimize confusion. If any post fixes your issue, please click the "Post was Helpful" button for that post. This will help us showcase the threads that best help our customers. Thank you, Stephen Holm
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:40 AM
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:40 AM

All replies

  • Good Morning Ron,

    Thank you for posting in the WGA Forums. You have an intersting question and unfortunately this falls outside our expertise and support scope within the WGA Forums. There are a couple versions of XP. First you mention XP Professional married to a major manufacturer. This is an OEM-SLP installation. Let me provide you with a brief explaination:

    OEM-SLP:
    Computers built by large commercial manufacturers that come with Vista Pre-installed come with two (2) Product Keys; SLP and COA Key.  SLP stands for System Locked Pre-install. OEM manufacturer’s add an OEM identifier string to the system BIOS during manufacturing. Windows verifies this identifier during the boot process. In this way the end user will not be required to activate Windows. The OEM SLP Key is geared to work with the special instructions found on that Manufacturer’s computer hardware.  The Product Key is available on the COA sticker and not installed in the computer. For example all DELL OEM SLP Windows Vista systems use a single product key but the COA sticker on the machine contains the unique COA. The key located on the COA sticker should only be used in limited situations and requires telephone activation. Example should you require to reformate the computer the key from the COA sticker would be used. 


    Next there is an OEM System Builder. 

    OEM (System builder/COA):
    OEM license for XP comes with certain restrictions that make it less flexible, and therefore less expensive, than the retail license for Vista.  A major limitation is that the license is "married" to the computer onto which it is first installed, and the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) states it is not permitted to be moved to any another computer.  One does not "lose their license" for XP if the motherboard becomes defective and has to be replaced.  If the computer owner chooses to use, or because of availability is forced to use, a board that is not a direct or identical replacement, there has to be a mechanism to accommodate these circumstances, and that is why a telephonic activation is authorized. To read your EULA, click Start>Run, type winver and click OK, then click on the link for the license terms or EULA.

    Ron I would be very cautious purchasing Windows from someone whom you do not know. There are business and individuals out there who are selling non-genuine versions of the software. In turn this would put you back in the same boat as you are currently. Should you need more information regarding licensing please 
    call 1-800-426-9400 (select option 4), Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. (PST) to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist.



    Thank you,


    Stephen

    Attention All Forum Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own which will help minimize confusion. If any post fixes your issue, please click the "Post was Helpful" button for that post. This will help us showcase the threads that best help our customers. Thank you, Stephen Holm
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Friday, March 20, 2009 4:53 PM
    Friday, March 20, 2009 4:53 PM
  • Flt Simulation,

    The sale of a used copy of XP is governed by the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA), and transfer of license is addressed in each EULA.

    Since a previously installed OEM license for XP is permanently married to the computer onto which it is first installed, therefore that license cannot be separated from the first computer and sold separately from the first computer.  Of course the license can be sold with the computer as a unit, and the OEM EULA specifies what materials must accompany the sale.

    A previously installed upgrade retail and full retail license can be uninstalled from the computer it resides on now, and sold separately to another person to be installed in accordance with the EULA on a computer owned by the buyer.  Again, the transfer part of the EULA will tell you what materials must accopany the sale.  The person selling is required to uninstall the upgrade or full retail installation on the first computer.

    So as a buyer you certainly do not want to buy a used OEM copy of XP.  If you want to buy used, make sure what you buy is a full retail license, because the other option, an upgrade license, won't help you because there is no qualifying upgradeable installation of Windows on the computer now, as it is a newly built computer.  Don't buy anything that does not have all the required components:  Genuine hologrammed MS full retail CD; genuine Certificate of Authenticity affixed to the Boxtop of the retail packaging, the inner CD holder folder with the Product key sticker, and the printed EULA.

    And as Stephen noted, there are a lot of counterfeits out there, so please take the time to learn more at www.howtotell.com

    Another option that was available would have been a systembuilder/OEM (aka small manufacturer) license for XP, but these were discontinued by Microsoft in January 2009, and the supply is just about gone.
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Friday, March 20, 2009 7:47 PM
  •  Dan at IT Associates wrote ..... "If you want to buy used, make sure what you buy is a full retail license, because the other option, an upgrade license, won't help you because there is no qualifying upgradeable installation of Windows on the computer now, as it is a newly built computer". 
    _________________________________


    Thank's so much for the info. If I can find a legitamate used full retail license XP Pro disk for sale, can I just use the Product Key from it and change that key in my computer, or do I have to physically reload the new/used XP Pro disk into my computer (basically starting from scratch)?

    One last question: As I stated above, I guess that before the person would sell me his used "Full Retail" XP Pro disk, I would somehow need to know that he had completely removed the program from his computer before I install it in mine (or it would not pass the validation process for me)?

    Again, thanks for the info you folks have provided.

    Ron,
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:03 AM
  • Hello Ron,

    Right now you mentioned your computer was installed with a non-genuine version of Windows. For clairfication purposes am I correct based on what I read from your first posting? U
    nder NO circumstances should someone try to download/distribute ISO images for software from a P2P file sharing site or use a second-hand burned copies of software. Research has shown that about half of the software copies available on P2P download sites are infected with root kits, spyware, Trojans, and other potentially harmful malware. One file in particular was very alarming.  This file was an administrator account giving the attacker full control over both your system and data.  I would be very concerned about your system integrity because Windows is non-genuine. Ron with this information in mind I would definitely reinstall Windows with a known genuine copy. Hopefully that will answer one of your questions. 

    Unfortunately when you purchase used software from a total stranger there won't be any tell tell way to ensure it's validity. This will be a chance or should I say risk that you would have to decide if it is worth it or not. Have you visited 
    http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/diag/ ? If you fail Windows Validation you will be offered to purchase a WGA Kit from Microsoft. I think the cost is $149.95 US about 1/2 of the original cost. This is a full retail copy. Hopefully all the information Dan and I have provided has helped you.


    Thank you Ron and have a great weekend.


    Stephen
     

    Attention All Forum Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own which will help minimize confusion. If any post fixes your issue, please click the "Post was Helpful" button for that post. This will help us showcase the threads that best help our customers. Thank you, Stephen Holm
    • Marked as answer by Stephen Holm Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:40 AM
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:40 AM
  • Flt Simulation,

    The PK Updater Utility http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=45668 should be able to change the PK on your currently nongenuine installation to the PK that comes with a new or used full retail XP Pro license if the current installation does not have too many "hacked and cracked" files.

    However, building on what Stephen posted, IMO it is inadvisable to do so.  Pirated software installed by dishonest shops (and downloaded from file sharing sites) has the potential to be infested with so much nefarious code that IMO it would be foolhardy to leave it on the computer when your alternative is to do a clean installation with a Genuine hologrammed XP CD.  Using the Genuine CD assures you of a malware-free installation as well as giving you the best possible installation and operational experience.

    Stephen also made a good point about cost.  The WGA "genuine offer", extended to Microsoft customers like you with a nongenuine installation of XP, provides a Genuine Windows license at a significant discount.  Here in the USA, the regular retail for a full license for XP Pro is $299, but the Genuine Offer is half-price at $149.  Before you decide to buy used, be sure to compare the typical used price to whatever the Genuine Offer is priced at over there in the Philippines.

    The hurdle you would have to clear with a used license for XP is not Validation but Activation.  The Windows Product Activation system for retail licenses is structured to assume that the immediate installation is the current installation, and it will consider all previous installations to be superceded.  So with a used XP, the act of you installing and activating will supercede the previous activation and eventually the previous installation will become nongenuine.  You may be flagged by the PA system when it sees this is an already activated PK to do a Telephonic Activation, and in rare cases the system may have you speak with a PA representative to document possession of the license by providing data from the retail CoA.  It's sort of a "possession is 9/10s of the law" situation.

    Thank you for wanting to "Get Genuine" and I hope it all works out for you.  Visit http://www.howtotell.com to view information on how to spot counterfeit software.


    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 2:41 AM