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COA's on donated PC's RRS feed

  • Question

  • I do some work for a local non-profit.  They recently received a bunch of donated PC's with the hard drives wiped.  All of the PC's have Certificates of Authenticity for Windows XP Pro on them.  Are these still good?  If they are any good, what would we need to do to make use of them.  Thanks.
    Friday, March 7, 2008 2:47 AM

Answers

  • The COA's are only valid with the computer manufacturer's Windows recovery disc or installation media.  Contact the computer manufacturer for assistance in obtaining their OEM Windows installation media.

     

    Friday, March 7, 2008 2:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Direct quote from Microsoft:

     

    If the refurbisher does not have the original recovery media, they may be able to obtain the recovery media from the original manufacturer of that PC. A new Windows license is required for a refurbished PC if:
    The refurbisher cannot obtain the original recovery media,

    or


    The PC does not have a hard-disk based recovery image.
    In this case, the refurbisher must purchase a new license in order to deliver a genuine Windows operating system experience with the refurbished PC.

     

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:39 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The COA's are only valid with the computer manufacturer's Windows recovery disc or installation media.  Contact the computer manufacturer for assistance in obtaining their OEM Windows installation media.

     

    Friday, March 7, 2008 2:58 AM
    Moderator
  • I have to disagree.  The COA's are good WITHOUT the manufacturer's media.

    Although you may have to do a phone activation, it is perfectly legal and will work.

    Lets say that the COA is for XP Pro OEM, you must obtain a XP Pro OEM copy of XP.  You do NOT need to use the manufacturer's media. 
    Saturday, March 8, 2008 5:47 PM
  •  

    I also disagree with this.  The presence of a valid COA is what gives a computer the legal right to run the software named thereon.  If what you suggest were true that losing the PC manufacturer's disk (or restore partition) invalidates the license, then the moment one loses the disk or partition they should be required to reformat their hard disk or buy a new license, as they're now running pirate software.

     

    Even Microsoft disagrees that losing the PC manufacturer's "recovery solution" voids the license, as their representatives frequently give out the advice that a person with no disk but a valid COA may borrow a genuine OEM system builder disk for the same version of Windows and install using the system builder disk together with the product key from their COA.  In fact, MS reps have even stated that the computer owner could/should burn a copy of the system builder disk for future use.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 12:49 AM
  • Direct quote from Microsoft:

     

    If the refurbisher does not have the original recovery media, they may be able to obtain the recovery media from the original manufacturer of that PC. A new Windows license is required for a refurbished PC if:
    The refurbisher cannot obtain the original recovery media,

    or


    The PC does not have a hard-disk based recovery image.
    In this case, the refurbisher must purchase a new license in order to deliver a genuine Windows operating system experience with the refurbished PC.

     

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:39 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    This quote deals with people/companies who are in the business of selling used computers.  It has nothing to do with the situation of an end user who wishes to continue using their legally licensed software.  The nonprofit organization is merely an end user in the scenario discussed above.  Nowhere did I read that they are intending to resell the computers or transfer them to another party.
    Thursday, March 13, 2008 6:53 PM
  • Whether you're selling, donating or giving away a computer that has an existing Microsoft Windows operating system installed, the Windows End-User License Agreement (EULA) spells out the conditions in which you may legally transfer the computer having a Microsoft Windows operating system installed to another entity.

     

    For example, the EULA for Windows XP clearly states:

     

    Transfer to Third Party:

     

    "The initial user of the Product may make a one-time transfer of the Product to another end user. The transfer has to include all component parts, media, printed materials, this EULA, and if applicable, the Certificate of Authenticity. The
    transfer may not be an indirect transfer, such as a consignment. Prior to the transfer, the end user receiving the transferred Product must agree to all the EULA terms."

     

    If the current owner does not have the original Windows XP CD, recovery or reinstallation CD (from the PC manufacturer), or an intact Windows XP recovery partition on the hard drive, the owner cannot legally transfer the Windows license to another party.  He would have to either format the hard drive and leave it blank or purchase a new Windows XP license which would include a genuine holographic Windows XP CD, product key, COA, and printed licencing terms.

     

     

    Thursday, March 13, 2008 7:18 PM
    Moderator
  • That raises the question of how do you determine how many times the computer has changed hands. I purchased a laptop running  XP Pro sp2 on a blocked VLK. The COA under the computer had a valid key and Microsoft provided the software to swap the keys. The os is now completely legal at no cost to me. The COA identifies the computer as a licensed vehicle for the software and Microsoft is doing the right thing providing the means for owners to comply with copyright laws. After all, when you purchase software you aren't buying the software - just the right to use it legally. The COA is proof of this right.

    Saturday, March 15, 2008 6:37 AM