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Windows License and Install disks.

Discussion in 'Software' started by mattgrey, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. mattgrey

    mattgrey Nibble Poster

    This may be a really daft question, but here goes......

    Does the Windows user license agreement dictate the actually disk that may be used to install the software? And does every CD/DVD exactly the same software?

    It is my understanding that with Win 95, 98, and ME, all the disks are identical and contain exactly that same data and installer. So long as you possessed a valid install key, you could install from any disk with no problems.

    Does this also apply to later versions of Windows? i.e. does an OEM Win XP contain exactly the same data as a retail version? If someone had a licensed version of Windows installed from a retail DVD, but lost it, can they legally re-install from an OEM version?

    The reason I ask is that like most people on here, I have had loads of PC's over the years and have a nice collection of install CD's from 3.1 (floppies!) upwards to Vista Prem. If someone asked me to re-install there version of Windows using there product key (obtained legally) are there any circumstances where my CD may not work with there key, or any license issues I should be aware of?
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  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Well... they mostly contain the same data... but an OEM key will only work with an OEM installation disk, and a Retail key will only work with a Retail installation disk. To further complicate matters, I've seen Dell OEM CDs (among other vendors) that will only work with keys that are assigned specifically to Dell.

    There are no legal issues that would prevent you from installing Windows on a computer using someone else's media. What makes it legal is the key found on the COA. Whoever possesses the key owns the license.
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  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    There are quite a few CDs around from the likes of Dell etc that will *only* install on the intended machine. They are not completely identical to other CDs - a few files are modified - usually to make "System Locked PreInstall" work.

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