1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Man tries to reduce e-waste but is facing prison time over dispute with Microsoft

By Greg S · 57 replies
Feb 20, 2018
Post New Reply
  1. cuerdc

    cuerdc TS Booster Posts: 165   +39

    Not much use for outdated tech except metal reclaimation a lot of precious metals to be found in bulk
  2. drchilds

    drchilds TS Rookie

    No, you don't have to do that. Anyone who told you that's the case is an *****.
  3. drchilds

    drchilds TS Rookie

    The license is provided to you, not the box.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,797   +4,604

    No it is provided to you for as long as you own the box. If you sell or give the box to someone else the license transfers to them. So in essence the license is for the box.
  5. Sum Guy

    Sum Guy TS Booster Posts: 62   +16

    There is a license key on the bottom of your PC for a reason.....

    The install DVD is useless without this key. I see no harm here. Screw the evil corps, always attacking the small fries.
    Danny101 likes this.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,930   +3,304

    1. .Simply put, with certain pre-built machines you absolutely cannot restore from a Windows disc. Those "restore discs" are actually HDD images with all the "value added" software" included.
    However, if you have the restore disc from an identical machine, you could ostensibly restore from that.

    The boards are keyed to those restore disc images, and a standard Windows disc simply won't work..

    These are observations drawn from a 13 year eMachiine. The restore discs are written to the HDD, you have to burn them yourself, and the machine only allows for one copy to be made.

    If you want backup discs, they can be ripped to an ISO and burned from there.

    (Although I have to question the wisdom of typing all this sh!t, since I'm most likely ,the only person here still using a 13 YO eMachines ( It's a spare, but still))

    FWIW. If anybody still has the very early free edition of ""SIW" (System Information for Windows)., it will pull the Windows key out of the system for you. The tool is listed under something like "Secrets, or some similar nonsense.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,930   +3,304

    FWIW, Phila Community College use to sell their old computers, without an OS or license key. Ostensibly these were originally loaded from the school's volume license which wasn't transferable. So, every used computer sale, can have different stipulations and conditions
  8. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 181   +40

    Well. Perhaps you've never been in the position.. but for those not in the Know, it can be pretty dire when you need to do a reinstall because the hard drive has failed and you don't have access to anything else to restore it. Instead you had to call up the manufacturer of the system and order recovery discs. I don't know what it is now, but I remember some absurd pricing though Hp and Dell XP OS discs.

    I fail to see how much he was charging. Could have he avoided all of this if he included the disc and sold the computer? Sure the sales pitch sounds like you're getting a free OS disc, but in reality you're still paying for both.
  9. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,101   +1,135

    And had he done that, perhaps he’d be fine... even if he’s charging a nickel, selling a recovery disk with the MS logo on it is illegal... it’s all well and good to say you’re trying to save the environment... but it really looks like it’s just the owner of a scrap heap attempting to profit from other people’s garbage.... nothing wrong with that, but don’t go selling proprietary stuff without a legal agreement with the rights holders...
  10. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 181   +40

    I've never had a problem installing with Microsoft (from microsoft) windows discs on an OEM machine on every operating system since 98se. Either you used the key on the side of the box or it was already coded into the mobo. Sure early versions of XP and earlier OS's, didn't have drivers worth a damn and had to get the drivers (at least the NIC, elsewhere). I've worked on emachines,gateway,acer,hp,dell,ibm[before lenovo],lenovo,asus,gigabyte,msi,toshiba,microsoft,sony, and I'm sure there's other prebuilts like Zd...

    13+ years ago they used to tell people you had to use their proprietary OS discs to install.. The idea was that it would include drivers and software that came with the system so that you're not left with a disabled computer (due to lack of drivers) upon OS installation. Windows Installs drivers, now, during the installation, even without internet connection. They aren't always the most perfect drivers, but they work. It would net less server calls if the average customer would use one of their discs. The $30-$100 fee of ordering the discs should you have lost/destroyed yours and the hard drive failed, was an added touch.
  11. jonny702

    jonny702 TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +11

    The headline here should really read "Man commits crimes, infringes license terms and copyright and is facing prison time".
    Yes, he started a business with a noble mission, but that doesn't mean your business can operate like the wild, wild west. There are user agreements, licensing and copyright laws and if you run a business, you should be able navigate these or at least hire someone who can. Or like some of the other commenters have said, use an OS with a license agreement that allows for it.
  12. Robertrogue

    Robertrogue TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +21

    That has happened to me twice. This is the other reason I do not like buying "pre-built" factory systems from HP, Dell, and such. If out of warranty something fails they want hundreds of dollars to repair or replace! If you put in a component that isn't OEM the recovery disk doesn't work. I now build my own PC's and purchase the OS disks form Microcenter!
  13. Robertrogue

    Robertrogue TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +21

    That is good to know, however, after repairing a "no Boot" computer and trying to activate the OS key always runs into an issue. I have had to call and spend hours on the phone with Microsoft to get the OS activated. Usually it starts off with the support guy saying that it I must go through the OEM, but they do usually help. I was told by Microsoft that there "IS" a finite number of activation's for a computer being repaired.
  14. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 527   +201

    Any computer, pre-built or otherwise can have an OEM or retail copy of Windows installed. It won't necessarily have all the drivers, but Windows will have some generic drivers or pull from the internet. Like what was mentioned before, Linux will work. This guy could have avoided the hassle. Contacting Microsoft and/or OEM's would have cleared up the legalities. Also, many may have supported the move as they want good supporters of the environment publicity.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,930   +3,304

    Interestingly enough, the eMachines I have, (XP SP-2) won't even allow you to install SP-3, and allow the Windows "repair" function to remain intact.

    While I still have the OEM HDD installed, I've accidentally plugged another HDD into the SATA 0 port, (2 drives aboard), and had the restore discs, install the OS to the drive which actually WAS plugged into SATA O.

    There's a lot going on there, and I've been a member for years and years. We've had computer repair specialists, imaginary, actual, and all species in between here across the same time frame. Some claim you can use a standard Windows disc,others claim you can't Oddly, when I shoved a M$ Windows disc into the machine, IIRC, it spit it out.

    But don't worry about me, I'm not stupid enough to throw my restore discs away, or let the dog I don't own eat them. Which means, there's little likelihood of either eMachines (*), or you, getting a call from me.

    I really should have retired the machine this Valentine's Day past. I bought it for myself Valentine's Day, 2005. Since cars, boats, and most likely computers, are all considered ladies, so to speak, I don't want a bunch of trouble with it, now that it's reached puberty. :D.

    (*) As if they still exist.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  16. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 181   +40

    I've never experienced that. Never had a system block an install from boot device install. I could understand it if installing from current windows gui though. I do remember some hp's having a jumper for something about reinstalling OS's.. but that was for xp systems around it's release, so could have still been on hardware that was built for 98se/me.
  17. Eric Lundgren

    Eric Lundgren TS Rookie

    Hello All:

    I am Eric Lundgren. I am the man facing Jail Time for attempting to provide "Dell Restore CD's" to consumers whom didn't know how to download them for free on the internet. There are some very simple facts that I wish the writer of this article would have added. I will list them below so everyone has a clear picture of this case.

    1.) Microsoft Sells License & COA. I distributed the Dell Restore CD (NO LICENSE & NO COA).
    2.) Microsoft Does NOT sell Restore CD's. Nor does Microsoft make Dell Restore CD's.
    3.) The Dell Restore CD is FREE to download and can be purchased for the cost of S&H.
    4.) The Dell Restore CD ONLY works to Re-Install an existing operating system on a legally licensed computer using it's existing License & COA to Operate.
    5.) We did NOT sell any of these CD's. (100% were confiscated).
    6.) We made these CD's for consumers to have an easy way to fix their legally licensed operating systems.
    7.) Microsoft Operating Systems with COA & License are $299 /Dell Restore CD's (No License) = FREE!
    8.) America is the Largest eWaste Producer in the World (Per Capita).
    9.) Our Goal = Decrease Wasteful Practices By Empowering Consumers To Repair Their Legally Owned Property.
    10.) If I can help you extend the life-cycle of your existing computer - You Win, Our Environment Wins and Everyone Wins.. Except for Microsoft whom loses a potential FUTURE SALE.. The faster they can get you to throw away your computer, the faster you buy a new one with a new OS. This is how they profit.

    I got in the way of this profit, This is why they tried to throw me in Prison..

    Now I wait for a reply from "The 11th Circuit" during my appeal and pray that "The 11th Circuit" understands what this is TRULY about.. I am here to fight Planned Obsolescence by empowering you (The Consumer) with the tools needed to Repair Your Legally Owned Property!

    We must live in a society that does not reward wasteful toxic practices but rather promotes healthy formats of efficiency so that we may evolve to become a world of abundance for all. I am putting everything I have on the line to protect your "Right To Repair" and this environment that we all share.. My LIBERTY is on the line.. My Freedom. I want you to understand this. This is not about me, it's about us.. Please vote this up to the top so that all may see. THIS IS ABOUT OUR FUTURE AND YES - IT IS IMPORTANT! - Thank You again for your support.. - Eric Lundgren
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,930   +3,304

    Mr. Lundgren, I've never quite experienced such a distortion of the truth, a convenient adaptation of the truth, or a complete misunderstanding of the truth in all my days here at Techspot, with regard to Windows licensing, or what a "restore disc", actually.is.

    If you plan on taking that nonsense to a Federal Appeals Court, better hope the prosecuting attorney is a total rookie, and the judges are complete technical illiterates.

    First off, computer manufacturers license every copy of Windows they "sell", with volume licensing, and a "COA"" on every machine which goes out the door. The COA, which is a sticker on the desktop, (or laptop), is registered with M$, and the serial number thereon, will be sufficient proof the copy of Windows on said restore disc is "genuine", and will allow you to "reactivate" the machine's OS, should that need arise.

    At the heart of every "restore disc", is an image of an installed copy of Windows. Now, at one time, individual consumers could not buy an "OEM" copy of Windows, without purchasing certain hardware items accompanying it, most importantly, a motherboard.

    At one time, I tried plowing through the EULA on one of my OEM copies of Windows, and (IIRC), that EULA specified that after Windows was installed, the COA went on the machine's case, and only an image of Windows was supposed to be shipped with the machine. That "image", was a "restore disc".

    Now, I have an ancient eMachines which came with a "D:/" (restore) partition on the HDD. It necessitated the proud new owner burn his or her own "restore discs". It allowed that burn to happen only once.

    That tells me at the core of the prosecution's case,those restore discs are indeed, licensed copies of Windows, and, (in theory anyway), duplicating them is illegal.

    Now, oftentimes a Windows disc is ripped to an ISO, to facilitate "slipstreaming" a service pack or updates. That's pretty much accepted. But, you can't rip a Windows discs to an ISO file, then make a bunch of copies and either sell or give them away. M$ considers that a, "no-no".

    The only viable argument you have, is to force the government to concede that the copy of Windows on any machine, outlives the original owner.

    In other words, if I sell you a computer, does the installed copy of Windows survive the transfer of ownership?

    Also of note, is the fact that if you have a valid COA, you should be able to install Windows from any Windows disc, provided it is the same edition.

    AFAIK, OEM copies of Windows 10 Pro, are going for about $140.00, without a collateral hardware purchase requirement, not $300.00, as you suggest.

    One more fly in the ointment is this, AFAIK, an OEM Windows license does not survive a change of motherboard. This is something which was constantly discussed here, about 10 years ago. eMachines had an ugly habit of destroying boards, either by virtue of the cheapo PSUs, (250 watt Deltas (IIRC), failing, or the cheap a** fluid capacitors, mostly in the CPU VRM, failing. Either situation was enough to kill the board, and kill the installed copy of Windows along with it.

    I certainly wish you the best of luck, but you really need to get your act together, or get ready to join the membership of club fed.


    Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor am I employed by the M$ corporation or any of its subsidiaries. Every thing I've posted is solely based on personal experience, and that alone.

    BTW: There was no need whatever to quote yourself. I read and understood your post on the first run through. While it's true that one of the most effective forms of propaganda is repetition, it must most likely be spaced out over a longer period of time, with more repetitions..
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  19. Eric Lundgren

    Eric Lundgren TS Rookie

    CaptainCranky - Your either a TROLL or work for MICROSOFT. Everything you said above has nothing to do with this case. The $299 Valuation of a Restore CD was set by the government in the case with ZERO evidence as to this valuation. You can go download this Restore CD in question for FREE online at Dell.com. (OR) You can download Windows 8 (or) Windows 10 online for free at M$ft dot com.
  20. Eric Lundgren

    Eric Lundgren TS Rookie

    M$F T Sells LICENSED Operating Systems. NOT Dell Restore CD's. Dell Restore CD's DO NOT HAVE A LICENSE. Go Read The Transcripts In This Case! - Dell Restore CD's Have No Value / Free To Download Online.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,930   +3,304

    I'm probably a troll, but I certainly don't work for M$.

    If you were operating under the premise of being a computer repair tech, then having restore discs available wouldn't be a problem.

    If Dell now makes restore discs available for free, then best to leave it to the computer's owner, or charge for doing the repairs.

    I faIL to grasp why this, "public service" on your part was necessary.

    Heck, if a customer doesn't want to, or doesn't have the facilities to download his or her favorite flavor of LInux, the publisher of that particular distro will SELL you CDs or DVDs to make the install.

    As I said, if we're resuscitating used machines for resale, it's anybody's guess how M$, or the fed, would come down as to the continued validity of the OS license/
    Since you already have your mind made up, with no doubt as to the righteousness and legality of your behavior, I guess anything I said in contradiction would get me branded a "M$ minion"or, "a troll".

    But face it, even when downloading "free software", there is generally a EULA involved, or a prior purchase of software required for downloading an update.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,930   +3,304

    If you decide to stop quoting yourself, stop calling me names, and stop telling me to "pick up my check from M$", I promise I'll bake you a cake with a file in it. (y)
  23. Eric Lundgren

    Eric Lundgren TS Rookie

    CaptainCranky: You do NOT understand this case (or) what a "Dell Restore CD" truly is.. You do NOT understand that they are free to download and why consumers needed to have them. You do NOT understand the functionality per licensing rights provided with Operating Systems.We were attempting to give these things away for free charging $0.50 for S&H. We were attempting to do a GOOD thing for the world. No money was made from this, we actually lost money in the process.

    I gladly welcome you to do the research that you are too lazy to conduct, This is America and you have the right to be a Troll. Bless your heart. You are welcome to your opinion however ignorant it may be.
  24. Eric Lundgren

    Eric Lundgren TS Rookie

    Purpose For Action = Providing Consumers With The Free Repair Tools Needed To Fix Their Legally Owned Property Using Their Legally Owned Pre-Existing License Which Legally Follows The Hardware In Perpetuity Until The Hardware's Demise.
    Why? To stop fixable equipment from becoming eWaste, costing consumers more money and polluting our environment.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,930   +3,304

    Well, as I said, the only pre-built computer I have ever owned is an eMachines T-5026. And as I said before, it has a "D:/" partition, (restore, if you prefer). The machine allows one (1) burn from the restore partition , to a DVD.`

    I also encountered the same issue with a Toshiba laptop, which did not come with restore media, but had to be burned from a partition.

    So, it would seem to be a much better idea to burn the restore media while the machine is new, as opposed to waiting until the HDD fails, and pissing and moaning about it.

    And BTW, the average laptop HDD spins at 54 hundred RPM, not as you suggest, "54,000" (54 ,thousand) RPM

    The only thing this paragraph proves, is that you weren't there for your family when they needed you. So instead of helping them when they did, you've decided to save the world instead.

    And while it is an extra expense, you could image the Windows installation on any machine with software such as "Acronis", and save that DVD, (or on an altogether different HDD), to a safe location. The worst outcome there is, you might have to reactivate Windows after the reinstall.

    Now, the simple fact of the matter is, computers are fairly complex to maintain, and ignorance or poor handling on the part of an owner, doesn't justify any actions a third party may undertake on their behalf.

    And always remember that because software is "free", doesn't necessarily mean you don't have to live up to the terms of an included End User License Agreement.

    Still, there are likely stipulations or a EULA on Dell's "free" restore CDs. With that said, you might need to have a machine registered with them for them to provide the restore media.

    Here's the part I don't get. If you were acting on behalf of "customers", how did you manage to bring the wrath of M$ down on your head? Because if it's all about simple Windows repairs or reinstalls on a few friends machines, I don't quite get how you managed to attract all this attention from them.

    As for "ewaste", I thought all that crap had to be recycled by law in most locations. I can't throw away electronics, without incurring a fine. Even with that said, I didn't think all that ewaste wound up on US soil, but rather made its way to China to give their children something to play with in their landfills.

    If you took your parents computer to BB, and asked them, to reinstall the OS, I don't think the fed would take the repair manager out in handcuffs.

    Jus' sayin', or if you prefer, jus' trollin'.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...