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Vista activation

By Samputer
Jan 10, 2009
  1. hi, i am planning on restoring a medion pc - lots of things have corrupted within windows and i just know that the best option iis to restore - im quite a computer freak and know what im doing - but if im honest i hate windows and especuially product activation. I have lost the restore disk and my question is, would i be able to use an ahem - slightly less legit copy of windows vista with the product key of the machine (legal) as opposed to the OEM restore disk and then just use all the drivers that are available on the medion website (otherwise i am going to have to pay 29.99 for a new set of restore disks. Would vista let me activate it?

    thanks in advance,

    Sam
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Sometimes. Some machines. Some discs. But not usually.
    You can activate with the restore discs, if they are created for that machine. The first things the restore disk do is check the EPROM on the motherboard to affirm that are being installed on the correct brand and model.
     
  3. Samputer

    Samputer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    the non-legit disk that i have is a copy of a retail one (ish - it has multiple versions of vista on it) not a restore disk
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    All you can do is try. Each Windows disk product ID is coded. There are 25 digits. One digit refers to the CD, another to the version. And some refer to other codes in the chain. Some of the code determines machine. Some determines model. of those refers to another one to determine machine, etc.
    Then restore disks are different still.
    A few people have cracked the code on some machines... but they used master computers to do it.... even the code changes by the pattern and digits of the product ID. When you do the math, the possibilities are mathmatically enormous.
    Some manufacturers are careless or corrupt, and did not post the codes they way required by Microsoft... perhaps to save money they have to pay Microsoft for each install code.

    This is further complicated by the EEPROM chip which was once 6 digits, then 7, and now 9 or 12... If the disk does not detect the correct EEPROM code, it cannot install.

    Bottom line, if you do not have the correct disk for the machine, you don't have a prayer...
    But you can talk to Microsoft. Their Canadian office helps resolves legitimate claims... and allows you to buy replacement disks for a small fee. I have not purchased any recently, but have in the past obtained them for under $50... for a specific machine or a specific product ID... You have to be convincing, and they have enough information to know you are blowing smoke if you try to create a justification.
     
  5. Samputer

    Samputer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    right - thanks raybay, great help. I think i'll probably just have a good look for my restore disks (though already turned the house upside down) and then probably contact the manufacturer for replacements - its not too bad a price - 29.99 GBP though my main problem is that its actually my parents computer and i was plannning on fixing it before i go back to uni on monday, If i did give it a go and it wouldnt activate - would it then activate if i do get the manufacturer restore disks - would it be back to normal with the product key then working or would i effectively totally mess it up by even attempting to install a non-legit retail copy that i have.

    Thanks for your help.

    Sam
     
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