none
Corporate machines with OEMs for retiring employees RRS feed

  • Question

  • Our organization provides employees who retire with used corporate PCs.  The machines given to the retirees are stripped of their operating system and given to them empty.  They then have to buy an operating system which is sometimes worth more than the PC. This seems strange as the machines have OEM licenses and my company purchased volume license keys for the equipment.

     

    Our organization is nervous about violating MS's license rules but I'd like to see the retirees get an operating system.  Is there some way that I can install Windows XP on these machines using the keys on the OEM stickers?

     

    I know that I have to match the type of key (OEM, retail or VLK) to installation media.  I tried using an OEM installation CD for Windows XP, but product activation did not accept the key on the machine's sticker.

     

    What are the rules regarding transferring VL keys to employees who retire?  Is this allowed?

     

    Any suggestions?

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 1:55 PM

Answers

  • Contact the manufacturer of the PCs and order the appropriate Windows recovery or restore CDs.  Volume License versions of Windows cannot be transferred to individuals....the licenses belong solely to the company that purchased them.
    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Slogged,

     

    The ideal solution in your situation would be to use the manufacturer's recovery CD that came with the computer to return the computer to "out-of-the-box" condition prior to giving the computer to the departing employee.  The resulting installation of Windows would be 100% genuine and the employee would be spared the expense of having to purchase a license for a computer that, as you note, already has a license.

     

    Of course, this may not be practical for any number of reasons.  If you have a big organization or your organization is not very organized, it can become a nightmare keeping track of a boxful or roomful of recovery CDs/kits.  You can ask the manufacturer to send a replacement kit, but that costs money and takes time and they don't keep copies of every kit they ever made, either.  Newer computers from major manufacturers don't come with physical CDs anymore, they come with an included utility that makes a CD/DVD recovery set.  That adds two more steps to the process--make the recovery set, then keep track of it for each computer.

     

    If your organization is using white-box or clone computers rather than computers from major manufacturers, that simplifies matters greatly in that all computers would have come from the systembuilder with a generic installation of XP, and a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA).  It would be a simple matter to use a generic genuine Microsoft hologrammed systembuilder/OEM CDROM to do a clean installation of XP and then activate the installation for the departing employee, or you could use the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) to set it up so that the employee sees the Out of the Box Experience where they would agree to the EULA.

     

    A practical workaround would be to wipe the computers to the DoD standard to protect company info, then use a genuine Microsoft systembuilder/OEM CDROM to install the version/edition of XP that is shown on that particular computer's CoA.  When Setup asks for the Product Key (PK), use the PK on the CoA, which will allow you to complete Setup.  After Setup completes, if the computer being installed is from a major manufacturer, do not do an automatic online activation--instead, do a Telephonic Activation.  PKs on the CoAs on major manufacturer computers have been removed from the online activation database since February, 2005, which should explain why you were not able to activate when you tried this yourself.  If the computer being installed has a CoA that reads "OEM Product" or "OEM Software", that CoA is for a systembuilder/OEM license and that PK should activate normally online.

     

    As a general rule, Volume Licensing Keys should not be used on any computer that is no longer company property.  However, the specifics of what you can and cannot do with your VLK are governed by your organization's specific VL Agreement.  If at all possible, I would not want to send a computer with the company's VLK "out into the world" because there are so many ways it could be compromised and become blocked.

     

    Hope that helps a little!

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:28 PM
  • Slogged:

     

    Unfortunately we cannot answer legally binding questions related to Microsoft Licensing and its applicable EULA.

     

    It is possible to install the OEM licenses on the machines, provided they meet the OEM EULA associated with each machine purchase. I would suggest contacting your PC manufacturer for this information.

     

    -phil

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:39 PM

All replies

  • Contact the manufacturer of the PCs and order the appropriate Windows recovery or restore CDs.  Volume License versions of Windows cannot be transferred to individuals....the licenses belong solely to the company that purchased them.
    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Slogged,

     

    The ideal solution in your situation would be to use the manufacturer's recovery CD that came with the computer to return the computer to "out-of-the-box" condition prior to giving the computer to the departing employee.  The resulting installation of Windows would be 100% genuine and the employee would be spared the expense of having to purchase a license for a computer that, as you note, already has a license.

     

    Of course, this may not be practical for any number of reasons.  If you have a big organization or your organization is not very organized, it can become a nightmare keeping track of a boxful or roomful of recovery CDs/kits.  You can ask the manufacturer to send a replacement kit, but that costs money and takes time and they don't keep copies of every kit they ever made, either.  Newer computers from major manufacturers don't come with physical CDs anymore, they come with an included utility that makes a CD/DVD recovery set.  That adds two more steps to the process--make the recovery set, then keep track of it for each computer.

     

    If your organization is using white-box or clone computers rather than computers from major manufacturers, that simplifies matters greatly in that all computers would have come from the systembuilder with a generic installation of XP, and a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA).  It would be a simple matter to use a generic genuine Microsoft hologrammed systembuilder/OEM CDROM to do a clean installation of XP and then activate the installation for the departing employee, or you could use the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) to set it up so that the employee sees the Out of the Box Experience where they would agree to the EULA.

     

    A practical workaround would be to wipe the computers to the DoD standard to protect company info, then use a genuine Microsoft systembuilder/OEM CDROM to install the version/edition of XP that is shown on that particular computer's CoA.  When Setup asks for the Product Key (PK), use the PK on the CoA, which will allow you to complete Setup.  After Setup completes, if the computer being installed is from a major manufacturer, do not do an automatic online activation--instead, do a Telephonic Activation.  PKs on the CoAs on major manufacturer computers have been removed from the online activation database since February, 2005, which should explain why you were not able to activate when you tried this yourself.  If the computer being installed has a CoA that reads "OEM Product" or "OEM Software", that CoA is for a systembuilder/OEM license and that PK should activate normally online.

     

    As a general rule, Volume Licensing Keys should not be used on any computer that is no longer company property.  However, the specifics of what you can and cannot do with your VLK are governed by your organization's specific VL Agreement.  If at all possible, I would not want to send a computer with the company's VLK "out into the world" because there are so many ways it could be compromised and become blocked.

     

    Hope that helps a little!

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:28 PM
  • Slogged:

     

    Unfortunately we cannot answer legally binding questions related to Microsoft Licensing and its applicable EULA.

     

    It is possible to install the OEM licenses on the machines, provided they meet the OEM EULA associated with each machine purchase. I would suggest contacting your PC manufacturer for this information.

     

    -phil

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:39 PM