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  • Question

  • I recently acquired a number of branded (Toshiba) laptops for refurbishment and resale. These each have a Windows XP Home Product Key on the base. The previous owner (a large organisation) had imaged each of the disks with Windows XP Professional for which I assume they had a multiple licence. However I feel I should cleanse the disks as part of the refurbishment for reasons of data confidentiality rather than Windows XP licencing validity. My questions are:

    1.  If I merely removed all data from each of the laptops can I legitimately continue to use the copy of XP Professional on each of the machines bearing in mind I have no COA for the Product Keys.

    2. If I cleanse the disks and perform a clean install from a Toshiba Recovery Disk using the XP Home Product Key on the base of each laptop, can I revalidate the new installation.

    The latter is my preferred solution as I don't know of any way that the original installation can be purged of all the previous data without a re-install.

    Thanks for any help.

    Wednesday, November 8, 2006 2:43 PM

Answers

  • Haagden,

    The IT staff of the previously owning company made a severe error by releasing these laptops from the company without first wiping the laptops' HDDs.  This error could have resulted in the release of sensitive proprietary information as well as the unauthorized release of the company's presumably valid Volume Licensing Key for Windows XP Pro.

    Since you are not associated with the company, you have no right to use the Windows XP Pro licenses now on the computers.  You do have full and legitimate right to use the XP Home licenses that came with the computers but only on these computers.

    You should use the recovery solution (CD, HDD hidden recovery partition, etc) supplied by Toshiba to put the original XP Home installations back onto these computers.  Once that is accomplished, you have full and legitimate right to sell the computers with their originally supplied XP Home OS as you see fit.  As a courtesy to the buyer, you should supply them with the media needed for them to do a recovery installation of the originally installed XP Home.

    Wednesday, November 8, 2006 2:59 PM
  • Haagden,

    With name brand computers, before wiping HDDs please be aware that some manufacturers use a hidden partition to store the files needed for a recovery of the original OS, and of course you would not want to accidentally delete or wipe any such partition.

    Also, as a general rule, manufacturer supplied recovery methods don't usually require that the XP installation be re-activated telephonically; if any activation is required the automatic internet activation almost always is all that is needed.  If you were to use a generic systembuilder/OEM XP CDROM combined with the Product Key on the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to the laptop to install XP, then you would be correct in stating that a telephonic activation would be necessary.

    WGA validation is as of this writing an optional step and is something that is conducted in order to gain access to nice-to-have downloads from MS (such as IE7, DX9, Media Player 11, etc) as well as to gain permission to manually access Windows Updates.

    Wednesday, November 8, 2006 4:53 PM

All replies

  • Haagden,

    The IT staff of the previously owning company made a severe error by releasing these laptops from the company without first wiping the laptops' HDDs.  This error could have resulted in the release of sensitive proprietary information as well as the unauthorized release of the company's presumably valid Volume Licensing Key for Windows XP Pro.

    Since you are not associated with the company, you have no right to use the Windows XP Pro licenses now on the computers.  You do have full and legitimate right to use the XP Home licenses that came with the computers but only on these computers.

    You should use the recovery solution (CD, HDD hidden recovery partition, etc) supplied by Toshiba to put the original XP Home installations back onto these computers.  Once that is accomplished, you have full and legitimate right to sell the computers with their originally supplied XP Home OS as you see fit.  As a courtesy to the buyer, you should supply them with the media needed for them to do a recovery installation of the originally installed XP Home.

    Wednesday, November 8, 2006 2:59 PM
  • Thank-you for prompt and useful response and the advice. I will ensure all the disks are cleansed before installing XP Home.  I will also ensure that this action is taken before accepting any computers from this or any other source. No record of the XP Pro licence key has been made.

    I assume that revalidation will require a telephone call to Microsoft and cannot be accomplished automatically.

    Wednesday, November 8, 2006 4:42 PM
  • Haagden,

    With name brand computers, before wiping HDDs please be aware that some manufacturers use a hidden partition to store the files needed for a recovery of the original OS, and of course you would not want to accidentally delete or wipe any such partition.

    Also, as a general rule, manufacturer supplied recovery methods don't usually require that the XP installation be re-activated telephonically; if any activation is required the automatic internet activation almost always is all that is needed.  If you were to use a generic systembuilder/OEM XP CDROM combined with the Product Key on the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to the laptop to install XP, then you would be correct in stating that a telephonic activation would be necessary.

    WGA validation is as of this writing an optional step and is something that is conducted in order to gain access to nice-to-have downloads from MS (such as IE7, DX9, Media Player 11, etc) as well as to gain permission to manually access Windows Updates.

    Wednesday, November 8, 2006 4:53 PM