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How do I replace my genuine Windows when the PC maker doesn't exist anymore? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a computer made by a company called Balance Digital Technology.  This computer was purchased at Wal-Mart a few years back, though obviously I don't have the receipt after this much time has passed.

    The hard disk was getting loud and the computer was crashing a lot, so I tried using the built-in "easy recovery" and it did not succeed.

    I then brought the machine to Best Buy, and purchased a new hard disk and had it installed.  I wanted to have them re-install Windows onto the new hard disk, however they were not willing to do that without me providing the disk, even though the PC has a genuine XP Home license sticker on it.  The technician there said that I need to call the PC manufacturer to order the CD, however they do not appear to be in business anymore.

    I tried using the disc from my laptop, and it will not install, even though the laptop also uses XP Home.  It boots from the CD, then says that this is the "wrong machine" and then restarts back to the BIOS screen.

    So now I am stuck here with a useless computer and I don't really want to pay $200 to again purchase software that I already paid for once with the PC.

    And Microsoft doesn't want to provide any support since it's an OEM product, but with the PC maker not there anymore what am I supposed to do, other than buy a new PC?

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 7:32 AM

Answers

  • Hi bcsuserz

    Sorry I didn't understand that the desktop computer didn't have windows installed, my mistake.

       I have a feeling that the reason you can't install using the laptop cd, has to do with the CD checking for specific files or hardware before allowing you to install.  This is good news because there is still the possibility that it will work if you install from a different WinXP Home disk.

       If possible, I would suggest that you find a copy of Win XP Home (either borrow from a friends, ask a repair shop to burn a copy...so on) Just make sure it is XP Home and is Genuine. 
    (Note: It is NOT bad/illegal to use someone else’s Genuine Win XP Home software as long as you use the Product Key that belongs to you. The Product Key is directly linked to your license and your license is your permission to use the software). You can also order replacement media from Microsoft: see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302822/en-us for more information. There is a charge, but I believe it's just shipping.

       Once you get the software, try to install using the product key on your CoA. There is still a chance that this will not work because of what I mention above regarding OEM System Builder license vs. OEM SLP license.

    Good luck and please tell me how this all worked out for you.

    Thanks,
    Darin Smith

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:19 PM

All replies

  •  

    I work on computers all the time and once in a while I run across this.  When the restore partition is gone or defective I simply use a windows xp cd from another computer, providing it is for the same windows xp (home, pro, w/sp2 without sp2). I boot off of the cd, format the partition ntfs, and go from there.

    I almost never have a problem using the product code sticker attached to the case. on the rare occasion that the code was refused I simply called microsoft and gave them the code and the manufacture of the computer if it is known, and they gave me in return a really long code, all numeric, to type in. This has only happened three times so far. 

    It is the license (on the side of the case) that makes you legal, and NOT the CD, although I agree that the cd SHOULD be included with a computer.

    A friend of mine bought a new HP, back in 2005. The computer had software preinstalled for creating your own Restore CDs or DVDs.  Pretty nice, but get this:  The computer came with a DVD/CD PLAYER only. It is not even a CD burner!
    Those folks at HP sure are smart!  I plugged my external burner into it and made his restore DVDs for him.

    The only problem with a company who is now out of business is that you might have to go somewhere like DriverGuide.com for drivers. No big deal though.

     

     

     

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:27 PM
  • Hi bcsuserz,

    There are 2 kinds of OEM type licenses.
    1) OEM System Builder: This is a generic version of either XP Hone or XP Pro and if you reinstall the OS, you Can use disks that didn't come with your computer and the Product Key from your CoA will usually work.
    2) OEM SLP: This is a version of Win XP Home or Pro that is geared specifically to the computer that it is installed on. If you try to reinstall the OS from a disk not specific to the manufacturer of the computer, the Product Key will not work and you will usually get a "Wrong Computer" type error.
    You can see which you may have by downloading and running the utility at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 ,the information you want is on line 8 (Windows License Type: )
    I would suggest that you paste the report into a response message in this thread so we may better assist you.

    Step 2 is tell us about the COA. Tell us:
    1. What edition of Windows XP is it for, Home, Pro, or Media Center?
    2. Does it read "OEM Software" or "OEM Product" in black lettering?
    3. Or, does it have the computer manufacturer's name in black lettering?

    Thanks,
    Darin Smith

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 7:10 PM
  • Hi, the COA says on it:

    Windows XP Home Edition and the name of the PC maker (BALANCE).

    It has a product key as well as several other numbers printed on it.

    I already tried the disk from my laptop, which is the computer I'm using right now.  The laptop also has Windows XP Home Edition on it, but the CD would not install on the desktop.

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 7:30 PM
  • Hi Again bcsuserz,

      What did it say on line 8 when you ran the utility at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 ?Would you post the whole report here?

    Thanks,
    Darin Smith

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:34 PM
  • I cannot run the utility on the affected computer because it has a new hard disk with nothing on it.  Apparently the "easy recovery" that was built into this computer was on the old hard disk which is defective.

    I attempted to use the Toshiba restore disk from my Satellite 1800, but it would not begin to install, because it says that this is only for a Toshiba computer.

    If you'd like, I can run the utility on my laptop, which has a genuine copy of XP Home installed, although I'm not sure how that would help.

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:34 PM
  • Hi bcsuserz

    Sorry I didn't understand that the desktop computer didn't have windows installed, my mistake.

       I have a feeling that the reason you can't install using the laptop cd, has to do with the CD checking for specific files or hardware before allowing you to install.  This is good news because there is still the possibility that it will work if you install from a different WinXP Home disk.

       If possible, I would suggest that you find a copy of Win XP Home (either borrow from a friends, ask a repair shop to burn a copy...so on) Just make sure it is XP Home and is Genuine. 
    (Note: It is NOT bad/illegal to use someone else’s Genuine Win XP Home software as long as you use the Product Key that belongs to you. The Product Key is directly linked to your license and your license is your permission to use the software). You can also order replacement media from Microsoft: see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302822/en-us for more information. There is a charge, but I believe it's just shipping.

       Once you get the software, try to install using the product key on your CoA. There is still a chance that this will not work because of what I mention above regarding OEM System Builder license vs. OEM SLP license.

    Good luck and please tell me how this all worked out for you.

    Thanks,
    Darin Smith

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:19 PM
  • I finally got around to calling Microsoft, and was directed to download and print, then fax a media replacement form, which I did.  Unfortunately, they denied my request, saying that I need to contact my OEM, which does not exist anymore.  Any more ideas?

    Here is the email I got:

    Hello William,

    This is in response to your phone call regarding your media replacement
    request for Windows XP Home Edition.

    Thank you for your system builder media replacement request. Our
    tracking system indicates that the Certificate of Authenticity (COA)
    information you provided does not represent System Builder software.

    If your software/COA came with your PC, and your PC was manufactured by
    a large PC manufacturer, please contact your PC manufacturer, GIN CHEN
    ELECTRONIS directly for replacement media. For more information about
    Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), please see

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?pr=oemphone, or visit your PC
    Manufacturer's website for details.

    If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know.  Thank
    you for contacting Microsoft.


    Judith
    Microsoft System Builder Component Replacement Team
    Phone: (866) 230-0560 (North America)    8 am - 5 pm (PST) 
           (866) 625-1435 (Latin America)    8 am - 3 pm (PST)
           (800) 891-3863 (Brazil)           8 am - 2 pm (PST)   

    Fax:   (661) 702-2944
    E-mail:sbcreplacea@msdirectservices.com 

    Message received date: 3/16/07
    Original sender: bcsuserz@sbcglobal.net
    Case ID:

    Friday, March 16, 2007 5:20 PM
  • Hello Bcsuserz,

       It sounds like they are saying Gin Chen Electronics is the PC Manufacturer (most likely the place that sold you the PC was a reseller).

      My suggestion would be to either try to contact Gin Chen Electronics for a replacment disk or ask for suggestions in the Windows XP forum at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/newsgroups/reader.mspx?dg=microsoft.public.windows.mediacenter But this is outside my area of knowledge and outside the support of this forum.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help,

    Darin Smith
    WGA Forum Program Manager

    --------------------------------------------------------

    All Users: Please go to http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1255325&SiteID=25 before posting a question.
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Friday, March 16, 2007 8:27 PM
  • Darin,

     

    The advice here seems to fit my situation. Let me please explain: I have an older Sony Vaio PCG-NVR23, which I have given to my girlfriend and her daughter t se, as it is still a good machine. Recently she installed One Care, and went through the process of removing some viruses that we believe her daughter got from myspace, and out of date anti-virus software. Then she installed ie7. Upon restarting the computer, she recieved the error messahe that the file windows\system32\config\system was corrupt of missing. It prompted us to install the Windows Set-up origional set-up CD-Rom. I do not have the recovery CD, and Sony support (after paying $29.99) told me it is no longer available. I have the product key, and tag still on the lap top.

     

    Can I get this CD from Microsoft? If I provide you with the product key could you pleae tell me if it still available?

     

    Any help you could provide would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. This is a wondeful resource for someone like me who is ech saavy, but my no means an expert.

     

    Doug Ernst

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 6:55 PM