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  • #2194307

    Licensing Issue


    by qballrail ·

    This question is regarding my personal equipment which is NOT in any way used for business gain. I have an older model HP Pavilion tower that originally shipped with XP Home. I very much would like to use this as a file & print server. We own several HP notebook computers and I had taken one of the discs containing XP Pro installation and I was required to activate. The Microshaft rep informed me that this is actually a violation of SOX!

    My questions are as follows:

    1) Why is Microsoft requiring activation when I actually had Pro installed and running previously? Note that the previous installation was fresh, not an upgrade.

    2) Is it actually considered software piracy to use a license from one computer on anoter if they are personal machines not used for business purposes?

    3) How does SOX apply in this case? I’m certainly not making any money with this!

    I cannot believe there is no longer anything considered “fair use” anymore when being used for personal endeavors. This is strictly used for my family because we each have a wireless notebook and it will save us from having to either purchase a print server or a new license, even having to go to the printer and plug in.

    This is a real problem because I have intended use as outlined above. We own 3 notebook computers, all of the same make as the desktop and each running XP Pro.

    Thanks in advance for your help

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3142790

      Microsoft Licensing policy is

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      Percomputer not perinstallation. Not sure about the SOX remark tho.

      • #3142788

        M$ and the Consumer

        by qballrail ·

        In reply to Microsoft Licensing policy is

        I understand it is per computer.

        Microsoft does not provide leniency for consumers? I would need to purchase a license for Pro in order for this to work?

        • #3142773

          Microsoft has no

          by zlitocook ·

          In reply to M$ and the Consumer

          Leniency for any one except maby a nonfor profit. Yes you have to buy one copy per computer, There are multi seat licences that you can buy but they cost more.
          You would be better off running some version of Linux for the rest of your computers. With the new GWA they check each computer and flag you if your computer is not legal.

        • #3164108

          To MS

          by mjwx ·

          In reply to M$ and the Consumer

          the consumer is a tap you get money out of.

          I dont know about the legality of it in the US (NV I’m assuming thats Nevada), but here in AU (Australia) I can use a volume license copy as long as I can show evidence that I own a licence of each installed copy of windows, that means the MS COA (Certificate of Authenticity)

          This is called fair use down under.

          When I have to ring the Microshaft support Indian, I just tell them my motherboard has died. No questions asked.

          Also the MSDN is quiet leniant as long as you follow the rules. I can deploy as many servers as I want for [b]development[/b] purposes only, I can show these demo’s to clients as long as the machine I am demonstrating on has a MS [b]CAL[/b] in my organisation and a [b]office license[/b] if I use office in the demo. I dont think I can demonstrate an MSDN licensed server on Linux though (no CAL). But I can deploy [b]one hundred billion kazillion 2003 servers[/b] as long as I use them for development and not production.

          (I know there are spelling mistakes, I dont have office installed.)

        • #3112524

          one hundred billion kazillion

          by zlitocook ·

          In reply to To MS

          Man I can only do half of that 🙂

        • #3112189
          Avatar photo

          Yes you are right sort of anyway

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to To MS

          When I buy Volume License copies I just get a CD and a Product Key with a letter telling me how many computers I can install it on. I don’t even get a COA for the number of Licenses that I buy as effectively they would all be the same Key.

          Now if you had of used a Volume License copy here you wouldn’t have needed to go through the [b]Activation Process[/b] and this wouldn’t be an issue.

          As far as the SOX goes MS AU has outsourced all these telephone calls to Singapore so you most likely got hit with a Language barrier problem as SOX doesn’t really apply in this case here.

          Actually this will already be listed so you can not do anything about it but if you use Keg Finder and change the Product Key to a different one that you have there all you need say is that you’ve had a Hardware Crash and the OS needs reactivating after the repair because the M’Board and several other components have had to be changed.

          You can use Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder to do this in a few seconds and then hit MS Activation Centre about 2.00 AM Local Time and they will just give you a replacement Activation Key so you can go on your merry way without a problem though strictly speaking this is Illegal you can get away with it by saying that you have to deliver this computer back at the beginning of the working day Tomorrow. :0

          If you really sound desperate and very frayed around the edges you shouldn’t have any problems.

          But I didn’t tell you that right? ?:|


        • #3112098

          Actually, MSDN Subscribers

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to To MS

          Can use 10 copies unless otherwise stated. I have never used all of mine for any app/OS.

          Furthermore, I thought the restrictions were for testing only? Am I wrong here?

        • #3110878

          Sort of

          by mjwx ·

          In reply to Actually, MSDN Subscribers

          This after a long talk with MS licensing, a very long talk. There is a limit on production licenses. Development and testing licenses have no limit as long as they are not used in production. If they are shown to clients it must be done on a machine within your organisation dictated by the production licensing arrangement between your company and Microsoft (small business/enterprise/reseller).

        • #3210569

          i think so..

          by heml0ck ·

          In reply to Actually, MSDN Subscribers

          Our msdn subscription allows for ten installations in a non-production environment, for both testing and development.
          When reading further into the usage agreement, I seem to recall it stating something along the lines of “… not generally accessible…” as part of the definition of “for development use.”

          edit for typo

        • #3210460
          Avatar photo

          I know that the first suggestion by MS Techs

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Actually, MSDN Subscribers

          Is to try another install with a different product. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been told to use My Volume License Stuff to install on a [b]Problem[/b] computer. Yes it’s always Windows but I’ve had my fair share of real problems as well and the Top tier Techs at MS always suggest that I load a Known Good OS before attempting to find out where any problems lay. There was one case a while ago when ever I loaded SP1 to XP Pro it deleted the MBR’s on both HDD Fitted.

          MS answer was to try a different version of XP to see if that helped unfortunately it didn’t but it did at least prove that the problem was hardware related and not Windows Related. Before the techs at MS know that I have Volume License Stuff here their first question is always Do I have a OEM CD available with a Product Key? It doesn’t matter if it’s new or not just do I have one here to install from. Provided it isn’t activated there is no problem as if it’s only installed for testing purposes they are more than happy to have this happen as it solves problems in the code for them.

          In the case of the SP1 install it was all traced back to a Samsung DVD Rom I had mistakenly taken it for granted that the Known Problems with the CD Burner would cause problems so I had disconnected it prior to installing the Service Pack. What I really should have done was leave the CD Burner installed and disconnected the DVD Drive. But it did list another piece of hardware with Known Issues.

          I only wish it wasn’t me who was the one who found this problem.


        • #3112603


          by tig2 ·

          In reply to M$ and the Consumer

          The license actually marries the MAC address (depending on which version of XP) and is committed to the computer it is originally installed on. In order to run your F&P server, you need to install a new license of XP or an older operating system that you also already own.

          M$ will hardly allow you to remove their software from one machine to another.

          Yes, I can hear your thoughts… Language!

          Not sure what the SOX compliance issue is. SOX regards audit of publically traded companies as well as security and data retention. They may be referring to THEIR compliance requirements.

        • #3112170
          Avatar photo

          Tig the Backward License

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Absolutely.

          Only applies to XP Pro not Home. That’s the problem here as this person wants to put XP Pro on to a computer that was originally sold with Home Installed.


    • #3164168

      Why SOX?

      by cubeslave ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      The rep had probably felt they had already used refrences to the EULA and the DMCA too many times that day and wanted something fresh. They had been seeing references to SOX in some internal emails and since they didn’t know what it was about they guesed you didn’t either.

    • #3112506

      Depends on what you bought

      by cg it ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      If you bought OEM software, it’s only good for the machine it’s installed on and MS doesn’t provide 2 free tech support instances.

      If you bought full packaged product FPP, you CAN buy additional licenses. they should have informed you of that when you called or at the least told you what’s available to you as far as licensing.

    • #3112162
      Avatar photo

      Well you have a couple of alternatives here

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      Strictly Speaking the MS staff are perfectly correct in their reply though the SOX bit I would tend to think is the latest [b]Buzz Word[/b] doing the rounds at the Office.

      You can change the existing Product key to one of the others and then ring MS and ask politely for a Activation key [b]BUT DO NOT TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE MOVING AN OS AROUND[/b] tell them that this computer has had a major hardware failure and you have to replace at the very least a HDD and reload the system you can add more parts here if you like but just don’t mention the M’Board & CPU. If you ring really late at night around 2.00 AM Local Time and sound really frayed around the edges and insist that you have to have this unit back in place by the beginning of work latter today they’ll give you a new Activation Key without too much messing around. But technically this is Illegal!

      You’ll first need to change the Product Key by using Magic Jellybeans Key Finder available here

      Don’t attempt to use the same Product Key as they will have listed it and blocked an reactivation on it.

      As MS treats the customers like a never ending [b]Cash Cow[/b] that has to be wrung dry you can totally forget all about Windows and go with a Linux Server like Ubuntu Server 5.10 available for download here

      If you use this, plug in the printer and have it turned on when you install the OS and make sure that you use the Domain Option with Samba Enabled and you’ll really see no difference between the Nix File & Print Server and a Windows File & Print Server from the networked computers.

      The last remaining option is to buy a Retail Copy of XP Pro as you are not buying any Hardware you are not eligible for an OEM Copy so you’ll have to buy the more expensive Copy which really all you are buying is the right to Lease the Software onto one computer. You never actually own the software and if you read the MS EULA you’ll see that MS can walk in at any time and demand the removal of their software from every computer in your house. Without issuing you a refund.

      This is effectively what M$ is doing by constantly bringing out new versions of their software and while they are not insisting that you return & remove every copy of Windows from your computers [mainly because it would cost them money!] They are effectively forcing you to upgrade to their new software and at the same time you’ll need to buy more in the way of Hardware to run their new products slower than the older ones with slower and less powerful hardware.


    • #3110982


      by qballrail ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      The original disc was lost in a move, as I tried to explain to the “tech.” And I know enough about SOX to know that it does not apply to the consumer in any way shape or form. In the work place, I think licensing is appropriate but NOT in one’s own home. It is absurd to hold the consumer to the same restrictions as businesses. Per unit licensing is ONLY appropriate for the enterprise or small business, not for a child’s computer.

      This machine would simply be utilzed for file storage & share printers. Not for any real computing practice.

    • #3210455


      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      1) Because M$ are evil. And probably to cover there assess by creating the need for activation as an anti piracy measure.

      2) If you are running both PC’s at the same time with the same copy of windows and you are not allowed too in your licence agreement, yes it is piracy.

      3) Consult a legal advisor

      4) basically for every machine that you run windows you should have an original copy that belongs to that machine, and if M$ know you have an original copy for each machine than they know you are not the one trying to rip them off.


      • #3210400
        Avatar photo

        [i] Consult a legal adviser[/i]

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Answers

        Funny that you should say that. At my brothers Funeral a very Senior Barrister in Corporate Law insisted that the MS XP Pro EULA allowed you to use the same copy of the one license on 2 computers as it specifically says 2 CPU’s.

        Now my and MS reading of the EULA is that it will support a Dual Processor M’Board but the Legal aspect is very clear I’m told if MS say you can use it with 2 CPU’s that can mean a Dual Processor M’Board or 2 Single Processor M’Boards.

        Now granted that’s AU Law and I’m not going to be the one to find out if that is correct or not as I don’t have the time to waste nor the inclination to even want to try it out.

        But that is the Legal Opinion of someone who I wouldn’t expect to be wrong as that is her area of expertise. And MS EULA is quite clear in stating the number 2 in it. BTW I wasn’t the one who asked I just told a person what the MS version was and then I was told the Legal interpretation of the EULA.

        Personally I don’t much care who is right or wrong I just don’t want to become involved in any Court Action.


    • #3277916

      Microshaft – I Don’t Think So

      by bvanloon ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      If I follow you, what you attempted to do was illegally apply an XP Pro license to a PC the has an XP Home OEM. Not cool and I am not surprised the Microsoft rep was alerted (although in your defense, I don’t understand the SOX connection).

      According to the EULA the license is per machine (single or dual processor) and you can’t “upgrade” an OEM license with a “fresh install” of a license off another PC.

      Despite your whining, you will need to go and purchase an XP Pro license for that Pavilion. Get out your credit card or some cash and do it right.

      • #3277874

        M$ Sympathiser or Brown-Noser, whatever you choose…

        by qballrail ·

        In reply to Microshaft – I Don’t Think So

        The EULA is UNETHICAL and YOU are a M$ supporter. In business, I would agree. But not for private use. Gates has been raping the consumer for years

        Whether you consider it whining or not, this is a very legitimate argument. I don’t really care much for your tone in the first place.

      • #3277845
        Avatar photo

        There is one big problem with your ideas

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Microshaft – I Don’t Think So

        With XP Pro the EULA very specifically says that the PRO version can be used with 2 CPU’s.

        Now as from a [b]Legal Point of View[/b] this means that you are entitled to install the product onto 2 CPU’s which can mean a Dual Processor M’Board or 2 different computers this depends on who you speak to in the Legal Profession. Those who work for M$ will tell you that means 1 Computer with up to 2 CPU’s and those in the [b]IP Legal World[/b] will tell that the 2 CPU limit means that you are quite within your rights to install that product on 2 different Computers. As to who is correct that up to the [b]Courts to Decide[/b] they may even consider that the EULA isn’t Legal. But the one thing that you don’t want to get involved in is any [b]Legal Action[/b] as it’s costly and time consuming and in the end only the [b]Legal Hores Win![/b] If this was a business I would say pay the cost of a New OEM piece of Software but it isn’t and as a Home User you should be perfectly within your rights to install whatever software that you like on the computer that you want it installed on.

        In an instance like this M$ will not hesitate to take you to court as they are going to win as the home owner will lack the resources to mount a valid defence and when M$ does this they will have created a [b]Precedent[/b] which then becomes accepted as [b]LAW[/b] in a major Business Environment M$ will not be as interested as they will be looking at a [b]Line Ball Situation[/b] which they stand a greater chance of loosing and creating a [b]Precedent[/b] that they don’t want so they’ll leave those people alone if ever something like this was to arise which is unlikely because most would be using Volume License Product so Activation isn’t an Issue.

        Incidentally I use MS to specify Multiple Serous and M$ to specify Microsoft as I used to work medical we needed a way of telling the difference between the 2. Within the tech community e-mails would be understood either way but when one of the Administrators or Doctors got their hands on one of these E-Mail’s we had a half day job explaining that [b]No The Computers Didn’t have Multiple Serous we where actually using shorthand to say Microsoft.[/b] :^0

        Col ]:)

    • #3277864

      forgive any repeats….

      by g.luis ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      #1, you must activate if not done prior. According to what is stated here, you have XP home on the main system and you want to load XP Professional. Well, if this was a DELL, you could do it without question or problems. But it may not work with an HP.

      #2 YES-it would fall under the category of software piracy but not in the literal sense. You didn?t go out and buy an illegal copy of XP Professional, you just tried to use the CD on another machine. Technically if you did load it, and it didn?t ask you for activation, then it?s activated. If you said to activate, then it may not allow you. But in the long run you would have problems.

      #3 MS is really cracking down and they don?t give a @$# about you as a person and they don?t care what your excuse is. As far as they are concerned, they have their hand out and saying ?buy another CD?. You can forget about the ?please? part.

      According to what you are tying to do. You can use the HP home as a file server and I would network the printer to be IP based. You can go to Fry?s and pick up a print server for both USB and the old Centronics Parallel cables. This way the printer is available even if the system is down. Another thing you can do is get an older version of Windows Advance server 2000 which will more than accommodate you.

    • #3277858


      by mypl8s4u2 ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      Flush the system, load XP Pro, enter key and proceed. Do not activate. Do not load SP1 or SP2. Disable Automatic updates. If your version contains SP1 by default, just don?t update to SP2. Install your virus program, disable any firewalls by MS. Don?t load any products from MS on that machine.

      Make sure your connections are as follows: from the wall (or cable) to the modem. From the modem to router (Linksys, Netgear). From router to all your systems. Configure router, add printer.

      Your done??

    • #3277715

      sorry if this is already said. One licence one PC – any PC

      by deadly ernest ·

      In reply to Licensing Issue

      the basic rule is that if you have the software installed it can only be installed on one machine AT A TIME – thus if you take it off the lapt top and put, say Linux or the XP Home on that, then you can legally install the XP Pro on the other machine.

      It is also best to check with your local legal people. There are many things in the MS EULA that are NOT legally enforceable in some jurisdictions as the local national or state laws do not permit manufacturers to limit usage or warranty beyond a certain point set out in the laws.

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