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Removing Illegal Windows XP Pro -


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#1
Berocca

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Background
I have a Acer laptop that I purchased second hand with Windows XP Professional installed, which I now intend to sell. I have always managed to install all Windows updates, but was surprised recently to discover when attempting to download the latest updates from the Microsoft website, that Microsoft now considers that the laptop has an illegal version of Windows XP Pro installed.

I do not want to give the new owner problems with future upgrades, and so would be happy to pay Microsoft a reasonable sum to have the software validated, but the online offer by Microsoft to validate the installed software if I disclose who the seller was, and pay upwards of $250 (from memory) does not appeal.

So another alternative I am considering is removing XP Pro and installing a legal version of Windows 98SE, which I have, and then purchasing and installing a legally certified Windows Home edition upgrade for 98SE. I noticed the XP upgrade for Windows 98SE in store tonight for $50 which seems very reasonable.

I could of course sell it as and just tell potential buyers that no discs are held, and that I do not guarantee the authenticity of the software. I don't intend to do so, and prefer to fix the problem now, so that neither I nor the future buyer is involved in any future claims or charges as to the infringement of copyright, or at best placed on Microsoft's records as being involved in the use of illegal software, as it seems might be possible with the reporting system Micrsoft now has in place.

Cleaning the Hard Disk and Installing Windows 98 + XP Home Upgrade
So if it turns out to be cost effective to do as proposed can someone tell me how to proceed. I am not concerned about loosing any existing data, and am happy to do a clean install or a reformat or whatever you call it. I want to give the new owner a fresh start.

My System
This is what I have:
  • Acer TravelMate 354TE laptop
  • Intel Pentium III
  • 850mhz
  • 40gb
Any help or advice would be most appreciated.

Edited by Berocca, 20 March 2006 - 08:56 AM.

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#2
dsenette

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what you would want to do is aquire a full versoin of 98se (50 bucks on ebay?) and the upgrade version of xp...you would put the xp disk in the cdrom and boot to it...choose the option to install windows...delete the current partition and format it as ntfs (do the full format not quick) then install windows on the new partition..at some point during the process it will ask for the original OS cd...take the xp cd out...put the 98se cd in..and it will go from there...
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#3
Berocca

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Dsenette,

Thank you for the prompt response. I have the CDs for the full version of Windows98SE and will buy the upgrade of Windows XP Home for $50 tomorrow.

I have done installations of Windows before, but never cleaned, wiped or reformatted a HD. I have no clue as to what to do. And I am not savvy to the computer lingo, so your instructions as to partition and ntfs read like a foreign language to me.

Can you give me a layman's version on the steps to carry out this exercise specifically:

1. How do I clean, wipe or reformat the HD (or whatever you call it) to get a clean HD?
2. When I have a clean HD do I just then install Windows 98SE by installing the CDs and and follow the instructions and then do the same for the Windows XP discs?
3. Do I need to download updates for Windows 98SE before loading Windows XP Home?

Do you have a link on Geeks to Go explaining the process?
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#4
dsenette

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1. How do I clean, wipe or reformat the HD (or whatever you call it) to get a clean HD?
2. When I have a clean HD do I just then install Windows 98SE by installing the CDs and and follow the instructions and then do the same for the Windows XP discs?
3. Do I need to download updates for Windows 98SE before loading Windows XP Home?


#1 when you insert the xp cd you will get the option to install windows, or repair it...choose the option to install..you will get a listing of the current partions (there should only be one) you will now have a couple options...one would be to delete the partition one would be to set up windows on the current partition...you want to delete the partition (press D, then enter then f8...i love microsoft)...it will now popup a window that shows you the unpartitioned space...and ask you if you want to set up windows on that...say yes..which will ask you to partition and format...leave the partition size as whatever it comes u (should be the full drive size) and format it using NTFS (there are usually two options quick or full...do the full) this will format the drive then probably restart...the install will take it from there...

#2 no...with the upgrade you don't actually have to have 98 installed...you just have to have the cd...druing the xp install it will ask you for the original installation media...when it asks..take out the xp cd...put in the 98 cd...it should detect it and take off from there...it may ask you to put the xp cd back in...if it does...do so

#3 no need to do anything with 98...as you won't really be installing it
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#5
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Possibly, the XP Home CD will not format the XP Pro install so you may have more joy using boot and nuke, or the hard drive manufacturer's utility to write zeros to the drive, then you can install with the XP Home disc and insert the 98SE disc when prompted for the qualifying media
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#6
Berocca

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OK. This is what I will do. Please correct me if I have misunderstood your instructions:

1. Buy the $50 XP Home Edition Upgrade for Windows 98SE
2. Take no action to remove Windows XP Professional
3. Insert the XP Home Edition CD and go for the install choice and just follow the instructions from there.

This is going to be very interesting.

I will get the XP Home Edition CD as soon as the shops open and let you know how it goes.

Thanks again for the lightning fast responses.
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#7
dsenette

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as keith said...there may be a possibility that the upgrade cd will not let you format the drive...if you have issues don't hesitate to ask...this SHOULD be a relatively easy process.
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#8
Berocca

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Many thanks Keith and Dsennette.

Your suggestion Keith:

"using boot and nuke, or the hard drive manufacturer's utility to write zeros to the drive"


Could you please humour a novice here by helping me out with a translation in layman's terms.
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#9
dsenette

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http://dban.sourceforge.net/

that's darik's boot and nuke (DBAN)
they have instructions for making a bootable floppy or cd that will completely wipe the hard drive by preforming a zero-fill (sometimes known as a lowlevel format). basically it overwrites the entire disk with 0's thereby rendering anything on it useless...which means that nothing on the disk will be able to stop you from preforming a HIGH-level format (the kind of format that windows install does)...the reason that this was suggested is that there is a possibility that the current installation of windows could cause your xp upgrade to not be able to format the disk...this happens sometimes because xp home is a lower version than xp pro...and in their infinite wisdom microsoft made it to where you CANNOT use and upgrade disk to downgrade...even if that's what you want to do...i've only seen this happen when you actually attempt the upgrade from within windows...but it's possible that it could happen when booting from the cd
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#10
Berocca

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Excellent. Can't wait to get started. Many thanks again.
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#11
Berocca

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Desenette and Keith.

Further to our previous discussion.

Unfortunately when I went back to buy the Windows Home Edition upgrade I was informed by the store that the item was mispriced and the actual sale price was $169.

I have therefore decided to pay Microsoft ($237) to get the alleged pirated copy of Windows Pro validated.

Thanks you for your help.
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#12
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This is for XP Home OEM

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16837102059

XP Pro

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16837102062

I would be tempted to seek legal advice, if Microsoft are aware that the copy is counterfeit, how come they can license it??

The wider concern has to be the possibility the counterfeit copy is not complete, contains errors, or contains spyware
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#13
dsenette

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indeed.. $237 is a bit steep...considering that you can get a FULL version cd for less than that....i'd forgoe the validation and just buy a real copy...as keith said...it's EXTREMELY likely that there are other things wrong with your copy of xp other than it's non-validity...
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#14
Berocca

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Thanks again Keith and dsenette.

I saw those OEM versions for sale but most websites I checked seemed to indicate that the low price was only available if purchased with a PC, laptop or some other hardware.

If I do purchase the OEM version, do I need any special licence or key code to install it?

If the only shortcoming with buying an OEM version is that no CD is supplied then I could live with that.

Keith your comments:

I would be tempted to seek legal advice, if Microsoft are aware that the copy is counterfeit, how come they can license it??

The wider concern has to be the possibility the counterfeit copy is not complete, contains errors, or contains spyware


Microsoft advise:

1. The key code used to install XP Pro on the machine has been found to be illegal or counterfeit or words to that effect
2. It is prepared to validate the version if details of the retail seller or private selleer are given. If a retail seller they will supply the Operating System CD free of charge. (It then tracks down the retail seller and threatens legal action if a settlement figure cannot be reached). See the recent news reports.
3. A validation key will be provided by email immediately and a CD a few weeks later by post
4. It is necessary to first download a Product Key Update Tool
5. It is possible that the validation process may fail by just installing the key provided by email, as the existing copy installed may not be complete or may be corrupted (as you and dsenette suggested)
6. If the Validation key supplied by email fails then it will be necessary to await the arrival of the CD to load that version

Interesting, isn't it.
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#15
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OEM is the CD in a plastic wallet with the product key attached, most retailers consider a mousemat a peripheral (qualifying) item
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