Protecting your product keys, licenses and activations when buying a new computer. RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • When you purchase a new computer from a major OEM it is critical that the very first thing you do is read the documentation that comes with your computer and then perform the following.

    1.   Locate the COA sticker on your new PC, it will be located on the back, bottom or side (possibly in the battery compartment of newer laptops). This key is for windows and it is critical that you protect it from theft and wear. Record it and save it in a lock box, cover or conceal it if the computer is located where the key can be stolen. If it is on a laptop insure you protect it from wear, if the key is worn off and unreadable it will be useless for its intended purpose.

    2.   The second most critical thing is to create backup DVD disks in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The OEM is required to provide you with restoration media or the means to create it. Make sure you create it and store it safely.

    3.   If you ordered your PC with a full version of MS office insure you locate the media, license and product key and store it with your documentation for your PC. Many people attempt to activate Office with the key from the bottom of the PC, this will not work. If you did not order your PC with, or it does not specifically say that it comes with the FULL version of an office product then there will be no product key for office and a licensed product will be required to use office beyond the trial period.

    I highly recommend that you create a system image using the native backup and restoration functions within Windows or use a third party utility to create a disk image. Many computers will ship with a restoration partition, it may be visible or it may be hidden, in either case it is very important that this partition remain as is, do not delete or tamper with this partition or the image it contains as this may be required to restore to factory specs.

    In the event of a hard drive or other hardware failure that renders the factory restoration partition unusable you can use the key located on the COA sticker to reinstall windows using a windows DVD of the appropriate versions, such activations must be done by phone.

    Purchasing a system from a smaller OEM you can expect to receive with the computer a system builder disk, coa and key if you purchased the computer with Windows included. Store your literature and disks in a safe place and again, a system image may be helpful for future reinstallations.


    Monday, December 6, 2010 7:11 PM