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Legality of using different media for installation RRS feed

  • Question

  • As a technician, what is legal as far as repairing a customer's PC with installation media other than the original?

    Many times, especially with OEM versions, the customer either has only a recovery partition that exists on a hard drive that needs to be replaced, so they have no media, or they never burned a set of recovery disks or lost them, or maybe they are simply unreadable. 

    I understand that they may contact the OEM for a copy, but that can take some time, and what about when the warranty is expired?

    What is Microsoft's official stance on using another type of media with the end user's valid COA or license key?

    I understand it to be that the original media MUST be used, but that seems to be placing an undue hardship on the end user for no apparent reason, considering they have a legal license. I also understand that a big part of the problem is the support options that are required to be listed in an OEM install, removing Microsoft as an avenue of support for an OEM version.
    Monday, October 19, 2009 12:20 PM

Answers

  • Hello bfarmer1,

      As I understand it, it's Microsoft's stance that using the original media is the way it was designed to work and to deviate from that, is unsupported.  It may work, but it's not designed to work. 

     From a real world point of view, as long as the Windows was installed using the customer's Valid and Genuine Product Key, I don't much care how, or from what media, it was installed from. (if it works, it works)

      One caveat: I highly recommend NOT using any Windows software downloaded off the internet (other then from Microsoft or a Trusted retailer) It not hype when we say most of the unauthorized software floating around out there has backdoors, keyloggers and other malware included in it.

    Hope that helps,
    Darin MS
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Monday, October 19, 2009 10:12 PM
    Monday, October 19, 2009 10:10 PM

All replies

  • Hello bfarmer1,

      As I understand it, it's Microsoft's stance that using the original media is the way it was designed to work and to deviate from that, is unsupported.  It may work, but it's not designed to work. 

     From a real world point of view, as long as the Windows was installed using the customer's Valid and Genuine Product Key, I don't much care how, or from what media, it was installed from. (if it works, it works)

      One caveat: I highly recommend NOT using any Windows software downloaded off the internet (other then from Microsoft or a Trusted retailer) It not hype when we say most of the unauthorized software floating around out there has backdoors, keyloggers and other malware included in it.

    Hope that helps,
    Darin MS
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Monday, October 19, 2009 10:12 PM
    Monday, October 19, 2009 10:10 PM
  • Agreed, I was talking about official media, from Microsoft. I just want to be sure I am not going to see a lawsuit from breaking licensing rules by simply trying to help an end user get their pc running as quickly as possible.

    Installing any software from the net is a great way to install a trojan, backdoor or other malware. 
    Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:01 AM
  • Hello bfarmer1,

      As I understand it, it's Microsoft's stance that using the original media is the way it was designed to work and to deviate from that, is unsupported.  It may work, but it's not designed to work. 

     From a real world point of view, as long as the Windows was installed using the customer's Valid and Genuine Product Key, I don't much care how, or from what media, it was installed from. (if it works, it works)

      One caveat: I highly recommend NOT using any Windows software downloaded off the internet (other then from Microsoft or a Trusted retailer) It not hype when we say most of the unauthorized software floating around out there has backdoors, keyloggers and other malware included in it.

    Hope that helps,
    Darin MS
    Dan,

    While you, personally, may not care, can we assume that Microsoft itself does not care?

    I'm not speaking of supported/unsupported.  I'm wanting an official answer that states Microsoft will not sue or prosecute me for following Brian's suggestion.

    "Vince" from Corporate Licensing seemed to agree with you on the phone; but no one besides you has ever put it in writing.

    Thanks for your assistance!!
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:37 PM
  • Hello ComputerPlano,

    To my knowledge, Microsoft has never sued a customer for using it's products (Genuine or not)

    I have told you what Microsoft's stand is on the subjest (as I understand it).  This is a support forum for Windows Genuine Advantage.

    If you want information of a legal nature, I suggest contacting Microsoft Legal at:

    One Microsoft Way,
    Redmond, Washington 98052-6399
    U.S.A
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:02 PM