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  • #2287384

    M.S. not intrested in support.


    by kevg ·

    I recently had reason to phone Microsoft for support. Turned out that they are not intested in support. (SUPRISED? I THINK NOT!!!!)
    I’m running XP PRO.
    Conversation went something like this.

    MS: Can I have the CD KEY please.
    KG: ABCDE-12345….
    MS: That CD KEY is for an OEM Product, Microsft does not support OEM products. You must contact the vendor that sold you the computer for support.
    KG: But I built the computer myself from 2nd hand and new parts and bought the CD from a shop that gone out of business. How can I go back to them?
    MS: Goodby

    KG: You are the weekest link, Goodby…

    It seems that they want me to go back to myself for support.
    I solved the problem myself. Took a little while, but didn’t need Micosoft in the end.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3383123

      I got my fingers burnt ….

      by jardinier ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      My first Win 95 computer was a Compaq Presario which of course — like all brand-name computers — came with an OEM Recovery Disc.

      Before I learnt of the importance of using anti-virus software (this was some 7 years ago) I sat and watched while a well known virus (CH2 I believe) dissolved all my software.

      So I ran the recovery disc, and found that I could not install additional fonts. So I rang Microsoft and was advised that I would have to pay to have my question answered ($AU 36 at the time), but that I would not have to ever pay again for further problems with this particular item.

      Subsequently I had another problem, which the Microsoft operator could not resolve, but I was charged nevertheless, as they had my credit card details. So you pay for the support, whether or not your problem is resolved. Recently, when I rang Microsoft to get a key code for a copy of Windows 95 which I had just acquired for $4, I was given the option of listening to the terms and conditions relating to support. And sure enough there it was — you pay whether or not the operator can resolve your problem.

      Well I have changed my credit card since then, and you can be assured that they won’t rip ME off again.

      • #3383095

        Product Code

        by thechas ·

        In reply to I got my fingers burnt ….


        Good luck with your quest for a product code.

        First, Microsoft has stopped ALL support for W95.

        Second, they do NOT consider the CD the product. They consider the software license the product.

        Further, unless the CD is from a retail distribution, Microsoft considers that the entire system is part and parcel to the license.
        There is some confusion as to whether or not you are allowed to sell a system intact and transfer the OEM license.
        The wording of the EULA can be interpreted such that the license to use the software is limited to the original purchaser.


        • #2700486

          Chas over here in AU

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Product Code

          The MS team seem to push the idea that the system is the “Product” and is transferable between owners but of course like everything MS things are very limited.

          A few months ago I had to ring them for a product key for Win 98 to load from Floppies as these where available upon payment from MS after you bought a copy of 98 {the original one} and I had a Notebook without a CD ROM.

          MS’s answer was to offer me a CD which was of no use to me at all but I ended up loading DOS and then installing an external CD ROM and then loading 98 from a CD that I had here {I know totally Illegal but it worked.}

          At a MS Partners meeting last year the Marketing Manager said that they where selling about 50 copies of DOS per month and he couldn’t understand why the people just didn’t copy the OS from existing floppies but as always MS seem only too willing to sell unsupported product as it makes better profits for them.

          I’ve personally bought copies of DOS from MS for boxes that control industrial equipment who’s only programs run on the DOS platform things like computer controlled lathes and milling machines. Then there is a program that is horrendously expensive and only has limited applications in the earth moving business that only works on the NT platform which is easy as all I do is supply an OEM copy of XP Pro and install NT4 which is no longer available from MS.

          But a while ago MS put out a notice to all its partners effectively saying any repairs that involved changing parts could be read as requiring new software so if you needed to replace a IDE lead you where supposed to sell all new MS software which would have worked out as very expensive but they latter relented and claimed that it was never their intention to do this. They where only trying to get away from upgrades where there was a substantial increase in performance leaving the old OS & Software on the system so the current ruling is that provided that you do not change the M’Board and make a substantial increase in performance you can use the old software but if you do an upgrade from a P11 to a P4 then all new software is required.

          Incidental MS wording in that letter read something this “The Software is licensed to “ORIGINAL HARDWARE ONLY” and their staff could not explain exactly what they meant by “Original Hardware!”


        • #3305678

          Licensing your Soul

          by richards_unsubcribe ·

          In reply to Chas over here in AU

          Hey Hal…

          If Microsoft had their way they would try to buy the license your soul… and unless you followed the EULA (their Bible) they would be the final arbitrator as to whether you fried in hell or ascended unto the heavens.

          So I guess I’m gonna fry in Microsoft hell cause just downloaded my copy of Ubuntu the latest distro of Linux from South Africa… awesome piece of work.

          Keep on a truckin….


        • #3307300


          by mostexcellent ·

          In reply to Licensing your Soul


          I have done the same and it works great on my PII 333 box. I just wish I had a faster machine to install it on, but I am working on it.


        • #3307296

          Original Hardware

          by ·

          In reply to Chas over here in AU

          Incidental MS wording in that letter read something this “The Software is licensed to “ORIGINAL HARDWARE ONLY” and their staff could not explain exactly what they meant by “Original Hardware!”

          I don’t understand why people get confused from wording like the one above. the ORIGINAL HARDWARE refered to the original box (PC) in which the OEM WIndows version was installed in. That means that you can not installed a Windows license which came with a PC into another PC since that second PC in not the ORIGINAL HARDWARE.

        • #3307633

          Re-Original Hardware

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Original Hardware

          What was intended on this (from what I read) was about replacing a part and having to buy a new OS license. “Original Hardware Only” to some would mean that if you added a piece of hardware, or had to replace a piece of Hardware, that you may need to buy a new licence, as the “whole system” is not 100% original.
          As far as that goes, almost everyone would be in violation of the license if M$ tried to persue it. I mean add a stick of RAM and buy a new OS, HDD dies, buy a new OS, etc. I think Linux would quickly become the OS of choice if M$ tried to push that point.

        • #3307484

          But “Original Hardware” can also

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Original Hardware

          Only mean the original internals of the box. If for instance a HDD was to fail or something as simple as an IDE lead the box no longer has “Original Hardware!”

          This was something that I asked and the answer that came back not from the AntiPricay hotline but from a M$ Partners Meeting was provided that you do not dramatical increase the performance of the box like changing a M’Board CPU from something like a P11 to a P4 then any repair work is OK.

          Also if you build a box and the M’Board or CPU need replacing provided that the CPU is of the same family example a P4 or the M’Board is an equivalent replacement part then it is all right to reuse the OEM software provided with the box. But if you do any dramatic upgrade that drastically improves processing power you have to supply new OEM Software. The M$ people where a bit more vague when it came to HDD’s and the space that they originally had but basically provided that you stick to the smallest economical HDD replacement it is OK.

          Personally I did run across a potential problem with XP when I replaced 6 SCSI HDD’s in my personal workstation as when I rang to get a reactivation number I was accused of trying to pirate M$ Software. I had to be transfered to someone higher up the food chain and even than explain that the unit in question was a Dual Processor M’Board with built in Dual Channel SCSI so they just insisted that the unit was not actually a workstation but a Server and everything was OK!

          Well I can live with that one but since then whenever I’ve had to do a reload I’ve been using a Volume License version of Windows and Office. At least that way I don’t have to constantly ring M$ when ever I test new hardware on my workstation before actually using it in the computers that I build.

          I did run through a bad patch with M$ because I do test a lot of new hardware prior to deploying on production units so I was ringing M$ about once a month to reactivate all the M$ software that was on the computer. There are only 17 programs so not only was it time consuming but a major hassle as well.


        • #3310290

          Original Hardware

          by sdumont1 ·

          In reply to Original Hardware

          But if I buy a retail version than I can put it on any machine I want to.

        • #3310254

          Then it should state that . . .

          by a.techno.geek ·

          In reply to Original Hardware

          Then it should state that. Cause in my way of understanding, I would take that to mean any hardware, whether it is the MB, CPU, drives or whatever was in the case originally.

        • #3310243

          Funnily enough

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Then it should state that . . .

          That was the exact same question that I asked M$ when the announcement was made.

          I asked if I replaced an IDE lead did this mean that I had to supply new software as the hardware was no longer original? I never got an answer from the people who I was given a phone number to contact but when out of desperation I rang the Tech guys they just said not to worry unless I was performing some massive upgrade like taking a computer from a P11 to a P4 they would not be the slightest bit concerned.

          But since someone has brought up the EULA with the OEM version of XP Pro it clearly says that you can install this copy on 2 CPU’s. Now I understand this means a dual processor M’Board but a lot of end users don’t.

          I even asked a Barrister who specialized in commercial law about this and the opinion was divided as to what it actually meant as he got several colleagues to give their opinions on it as well to me. Really the whole thing is very vague and open to interpretation which is not what it should be!


        • #3309907

          MS working

          by seniors ·

          In reply to Original Hardware

          worked for MS in complience div for short time. they were offering a one time transfer of all software to a new system for corporate owners, not sure if offer is good for non corporate owners

        • #3309778

          That would have been for the

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to MS working

          Volume License stuff not the general run of the mill M$ products that most home users and small business see.


        • #3313421


          by mushu ·

          In reply to Original Hardware

          In my area, there are many examples of a person renovating their home rather than building new to avoid zoning issues. As long as X percent of the original home is intact, you can go crazy with the rest of the “addition” – even if in essence you are rebuilding the home. I have seem 4 room shacks become huge homes in this way.

          Maybe the way to think of “original hardware” is the case you received with the old system. Gut it and replace all internal parts (mobo/cpu/power supply etc) but as long as you use the original PC case you are legal. (Would make a good stealth system for LAN parties too)

        • #3313416

          Actually here in AU the MS definition is

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Renovation

          If you keep to a similar processor speed and power it is considered as “Original Hardware” however if you make a substantial increase in CPU power or speed it is considered as a new system and all new OEM product should be supplied with the upgrade.

          However with a new computer you can replace the CPU M’Board with a similar item and still use the OEM Software that was supplied with the original Hardware. Also if there is a Police Report Filed about theft you can install the original OEM software on a replacement computer. Finally in the event of an Insurance Claim for damage done through water penetration or electrical damage provided you use the next available CPU and suitable M’Board you can retain the OEM Software.

          Now is that confusing enough for you to understand?


        • #3310259

          Does that mean if I . . .

          by a.techno.geek ·

          In reply to Chas over here in AU

          Does that mean if I replaced a hard drive,CD, DVD, DVD/CD burner, I would have to buy a new copy of Windows XP Pro?

        • #3310187

          Well if M$ was to interpret it literally

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Does that mean if I . . .

          It would not only be a new copy of Windows but all M$ software which in most cases is Windows XP and Office. That would be a really expensive CD player wouldn’t it?

          But some form of common sense seems to have prevailed what they now consider as “Original Hardware” is the M’Board/CPU so if you upgrade from a P11 to a P4 or an AMD Duron to an Athlon you should buy all new OEM M$ software. However if you have a new computer that fails provided you do not make substantial speed improvements and keep to the same class of CPU you can continue to use your existing software from M$. So if you have a M’Board fail within the first 12 months and it is replaced UG that is OK or if a CPU fails and it has to be replaced by something faster provided it is from the same family of CPU that is also supposed to be alright.

          At least that was the way it was explained at a Partners Meeting by the M$ Australian Manager.


        • #3309032


          by rcom ·

          In reply to Does that mean if I . . .

          When I first installed Win XP Pro I put it on a system that had a 350 MHZ CPU, 8 GB HD. The system now has a 1.8 GHZ P4, 2-40 GB HDs and different CDROMS and amount of ram. Each time I’ve upgraded the system I’ve had to call MS and get a code. They’ve accepted my response as to why I made the changes and provided the code.

          MS is not concerned about people upgrading systems but they are with people that illegally install copies of the OS. This is what messes it up for the folks out there that have legit problems.

          The person that started this thread was sold an illegal copy of the OS. Wheter he knows it or not it was supposed to be sold with a PC or to a system builder and then sold with a PC. So if someone is the system builder they should be able to support the product. Or in other words a qualified technician.

          Most of the posts here are actually complaints about attempts to install the OS for free. They pay for the hardware but don’t consider the software as part of the cost of owning a computer.

        • #3308976

          Well I understand I’m in a different country

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to No

          But I understand from M$ Partners Meetings that it is the same in the USA as here in AU if I sell a piece of hardware to a customer I can sell them a OEM copy of Windows or any other M$ piece of software.

          The original OEM CD WAS NOT sold illegally but with hardware and that can be something as small as a IDE lead but in all fairness to M$ they do recommend a generic mouse which in most cases is even cheaper than an IDE lead. While I personally do not do this in most instances I have on one occasion sold copies of M$ Office to a business who purchased computers from a supposedly professional supplier without any software at all on them and none was even mentioned. The only saving grace in that position was that they got XP Pro instead of the Home edition and they certainly where not offered a Volume License alternative! Which I also arranged along with the Software Assurance program.

          Now if I was selling the 20 License copies of Office illegally I’m sure M$ would not have let me supply them with the product and for that matter would not have supplied me with the copies either.


        • #3296674

          The legal jargon from MS

          by rcom ·

          In reply to Well I understand I’m in a different country

          There are three ways to acquire a full operating system license:
          ? Acquire the Full-Packaged Product version from a retail store. (Academic Edition not available)

          ? Acquire a new computer with a full Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) version of the OS pre-installed. All new machines should come with a bootable operating system pre-installed.

          ? Acquire a full OEM license with additional hardware from a system builder.

          Legal ways System Builders can sell the product:

          Either a fully assembled computer system or a nonperipheral computer hardware
          component (that will be an integral part of the computer system on which the desktop
          operating system software will be installed). The system builder who installs the desktop
          operating system software on the PC must also affix the Certificate of Authenticity label
          to the exterior of the computer case.

          The installer of the software must provide end-user support.

        • #3296652

          Absolutely correct sought of anyway

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Well I understand I’m in a different country

          But the reality of the situation is that retail stores are selling shrink wrapped copies of OEM product with something like a mouse and there is no way that they can affix the COA to the case the way that they are selling these products.

          Also if there is a copy of anything but an OS involved we as OEM system builders are not supposed to install this software but provide the install disks with the computer.

          The reason for this is that if we install the software the end user doesn’t accept the EULA. Funnily enough every time that I’ve sold OEM software without installing it has made far more work for me than what it is worth.

          And I would just love to walk into a business somewhere and say well here are your new computers and here is the software that needs installing.

          Sorry but it just doesn’t work that way as any business is not willing to buy equipment and then have to go through the install process after it is delivered. They expect it quite rightly to work right out of the box with only minimal fine tuning and setting up things like e-mail accounts and the like.

          Any way I’ve just got off the phone with a recent customer who has just reloaded his system and now M$ wants him to buy all new software as they will not provide an activation key for his existing product which is under 2 months old.

          Now I accept that I’m supposed to offer all the support for these products but exactly how can I come between M$ and the end user for an activation key? Would you think it acceptable if I applied a “Crack Code” to activate these products?

          I should have added that I’ve been offered these shrink wrapped products direct from M$ as a way to increase my profits and while I don’t personally believe in them there are a lot of the big retail shops & chain stores that do and they have no way to offer any after sales service what so ever.

          While M$ is quite happy to sell these products that they bundle this way they should at least be made accountable for their own products. But maybe it’s just my jaded way of thinking and I’m totally incorrect.

          I’m always open to comment on the wrongs of my way of thinking.


        • #3294736

          Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          by kevg ·

          In reply to No

          I have registered the product with Microsoft, upgraded the system several times, reformatted the drive a few times. Each time means that I had to reregister and after a few times phone in. All with no problems.
          So I do NOT belive that I have an illeage copy. Or at least Microsoft does not think so.

        • #3294674

          That’s part of the reason why I switched to

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          Volume License stuff.

          I just got sick and tired of having to reactivate all the M$ products every time that I changed a few things to test out something new. At one time it got so bad that I was ringing up once a week reactivating 17 M$ programs on one PC just because I was testing out new hardware.

          But the best one was after fitting 12 X 146 GIG SCSI HDD the guy at the other end insisted that I was in fact using a pirate copy of Windows XP Pro my response was I’ve just fitted well in excess of $37,000.00 AU in hardware did he think seriously I would be concerned with another couple of hundred $ AU in a bit of software? Eventually I was passed onto a more senior person who insisted that my workstation which is a dual processor P3 with built in dual SCSI controller was not actually a workstation but a server and he was happy to reactivate all 17 pieces of my M$ software. I just let that one slide by as I actually use something far more powerful for server platforms.


        • #3296664

          Sold illegally

          by rcom ·

          In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          The copy of the OS doesn’t matter but it MAY have been sold to you illegally. As I mentioned, these copies are ONLY to be sold with hardware. If your not a reseller persay and got the disk by itself it was sold to you illegally. Either way you now know there’s no direct support from MS so when are you going to retract you original statement?

        • #3328171

          Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          by kevg ·

          In reply to No

          KG: But I built the computer myself from 2nd hand and new parts

          RCOM:was supposed to be sold with a PC or to a system builder and then sold with a PC. So if someone is the system builder they should be able to support the product. Or in other words a qualified technician.

          Does building the system by myself qualify?
          I am a qualified technician.
          I can see the remarks now. He’s a no-good
          so and so…
          If that’s the case then whats the purpose of TECHREPUBLIC? The 1st technician that says ” I know everything” I will run away from.

        • #3305766

          Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          by tomkat ·

          In reply to Product Code

          there is a program, I’m not sure if it will work on an uninstalled version. It is called magic jellybean keyfinder. You might try it to see if it will work.

        • #3307216

          key finder

          by dnae4 ·

          In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          you can probably get a key finder at, put the software on a diskette and it gives you the key of most windows o/s when you invoke the program.

        • #3307483

          But only the Product Key

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to key finder

          Not the activation key which I’ve found is always different. If you Clone a HDD before it totally dies you can get around a lot of problems but once you replace more than what M$ software thinks of as 3 items you have to reactivate.

          I had a case of where I had to flash the BIOS of 2 Optical Drives so they where SP1 compatible and change a Video Card. Well Windows did insist that I had changed more than the minimum number of parts so it demanded to be reactivated. You have to ring a toll free line and then punch in the key that M$ provides and then you are told that you have already activated this product etc. Now when I run across this problem I just punch in junk and get the message that “I can see you are having problems you will be transfered to an operator” well at least that way it saves a lot of time and if you time it right round about 3.00 AM there are very few questions. But if you do it during working hours expect to spend at least 45 minutes explaining what you have done to the computer and why. The real advantage with speaking to a person though is that you can reactivate all the M$ software in one hit and not have to go through the whole procedure of ringing for each product.


      • #3307246


        by ozbird ·

        In reply to I got my fingers burnt ….

        I rang Microsoft Support a few years ago about an Excel problem I was unable to resolve. That cost me $AU42 up front. The MS techs were unable to resolve my problem, despite it being bumped up a level or 2. Eventually I tracked down the solution myself, via the Internet forums, and I rang MS Support and told them. The tech apologised for being unable to help and my $42 was refunded promptly. I know that MS employees ought to understand and support their own products better, but they are incredibly complex programs and I have found that the real genius is out there in the forums.

      • #3307537

        And it’ll get worst.

        by igiron ·

        In reply to I got my fingers burnt ….

        The terms and conditions for “support” are becoming more and more agressive each time. They don’t care about you: they care about your money.

        It’s best explained in the next link:

        • #3307482

          What I love about ringing M$ support

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to And it’ll get worst.

          Is the way you are treated as if you have just found a problem so you ring M$ for an answer {for fun} instead of only ringing them because you have exhausted every possibility that you can think of.

          As a system builder I get a special phone number to ring where the support is supposed to be better so I live in fear of what the general public actually get. I’ve only out of sheer desperation ever rung M$ support a few times and on every occasion it was a total waste of my time. There was one occasion where I got the technical director eventually and even when I had found an answer for myself I attempted to ring him to inform him of the fix and again got the run around. Eventually after about 1 hour I settled for sending an E-Mail to my sales Representative at M$ and asked them to pass it along to the technical department. At least that way I was given an e-mail address to send things to so I now have a hot line in case of emergency.


        • #3294469


          by soundy ·

          In reply to And it’ll get worst.

          Microsoft doesn’t need to provide support. It only costs money. What happens if they don’t support their software? People will go elsewhere? The hardy few may replace .001% of desktops with Linux and OpenOffice or something, but MS knows they have a virtual monopoly on the PC and as much as people may rant and rave about “poor support”, most of them aren’t going anywhere.

    • #3383099

      OEM software risk

      by thechas ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Sorry, what you ran into is one of the risks associated with using OEM version software.

      Part of the reduced cost of the OEM version is that the software manufacture does NOT provide support for the software.

      Technically, yes, you are to provide your own support since you built the system.

      On the subject, the last time I used Microsoft support, I KNEW that I knew more than the support person helping me. They had the advantage of a step by step script for the problem.

      There are numerous web sites with some very detailed Windows support information.
      You might start by searching the Knowledge Base at

      Since you are a member here at Tech Republic, you might want to post your problem as a question in the Technical Q&A section.
      Provide as much detail as possible, including your hardware configuration.
      Between the group of peers here, there is very little that we have not come across.


      • #3305874

        Level 2 Support

        by tommerritt ·

        In reply to OEM software risk

        As a side note, your first job when calling Tech Support for ANY company is to get by that guy who answers the phone. The Level 1 guy knows nothing, and is there to shield the higher paid Level 2 guy from dumb questions. Your best strategy is to immediately hit him with a tough question (I use “How do you get into your program”?) – and when he can’t answer, demand to be passed to Level 2. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s worth it. Attempting to have a conversation with a Level 1 guy can send you screaming for a bottle of whiskey before lunch.

        Tom Merritt
        EdgeTech, Inc.

        • #3307631

          Re L2 Support

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Level 2 Support

          Funny, that sounds exactly like the internal support here. I have spent an hour on the phone with them telling them that a print server was down, and they needed to contact the print server team. It made no difference that I am deskside tech, they kept wanting to netmeeting in and troubleshoot a local printer problem. Even when repeatedly told that all the printers in the building were down.
          After about an hour I was able to track down a print server person and I hung up on the helpdesk and the problem was fixed with a spooler restart.

      • #3305860

        The most logical solution

        by ctos ·

        In reply to OEM software risk

        Your reply and solution is the most logical one I have ever heard! Yes, I too have run into trouble with the OEM and older versions of windows products…no support. I believe that the only way to handle MOST things is to request info from your peers; they have been there and have done it! I for one wish to thank you TheChas for a logical AND helpfull solution! Most of the time you are either highly charged or ignored by the manufacturers of software…they can not help or wont. I never DID get any answers to a problem from MSN or Dell in the matter with this machine. I believe I ended up reformatting the hard drive again! lol

      • #3305719

        Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        by dshcpa ·

        In reply to OEM software risk

        I build and support all of the computers in my office, including the server, on which I am currently running 2000 Server and Exchange with 10 CALS. When installing and setting up the network, as a previous responder indicated, I spent many hours perusing the Microsoft Knowledge Base. Even though I am self-taught with no certifications, I also found that I was more knowledgeable than many tech support people that I tried.

        • #3305682

          You MAY know more than the tech support guy

          by tecnopaul ·

          In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          I’ve done phone support for awhile now. First for Packard Bell, then for HP, now for a networking company. I also run my own small business building and repairing PCs.

          Lots of these techs have tons of knowledge. Programmers, system builders, network engineers and more. (Thank you boom and IT collapse) But these guys are paid $10-$15 per hour (the MS guys were starting at $9). If you make more than that, think about what you want these guys to be. Do you want to pay for the support it would cost to have a center full of MCSEs there to answer your questions? So some of them CAN’T answer your questions.

          In the cases they can answer all your questions, they still have to deal with: WHAT does the company support?

          If we’re networking, we don’t rebuild your computer or fix your VPN to different company. If we’re OEM, we don’t configure your network, repair your antivirus program, fix your internet connection or anything else. OEM means we work with your ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT and that?s what we MANUFACTURED. This is important, because most of the screwed up issues come in where people have made a dozen or two dozen changes like the ones I mentioned.

          My current company does networking. We provide 2 firewalls. But is that enough? No. People have to add Norton Internet Security and McAfee Security Center. Why? Because they’ve bought the hype. What does it do to their connection? FUBAR. Could we fix it? Sure. Pay me, I’ll come out. But does my company support it? No. Are we gonna fix it. No. When you ask me, I have to say “I just don’t know how to fix it. Maybe if you removed all the stuff that broke it, then re-added it piece by piece until breaks again, you’ll know what to fix.”

          Do people get angry? Yes. But in a society where installing XP on an Intel system, then swapping in an AMD mb/processor causes the system to blow up, you have to learn that if YOU CONFIGURE it, then you are probably the best person to fix it.

          Even at HP. We supported EVERYTHING that came with the system and heck they wanted us to try and support the other stuff, but there is just too much stuff to learn about. Too much stuff to know.

          Apologies for the rant. Most people here aren’t the ones calling in for support. But setting realistic expectations of what support you’re going to get will greatly enhance what support you DO get. Also, random tip. If you shout, argue, or complain a lot, we know less than if you establish a rapport. We have to be there, and we usually have more people waiting to talk to us. If you treat us like humans, we may give you a bit of extra support ONCE IN A WHILE.

      • #3305597

        Don’t ever use Microsoft Support

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to OEM software risk

        Microsoft support is useless. I have never had a problem solved by them and I have used every version of Windows. He’s right, go to the knowledgebase or here or just type it in google and you’ll receive better solutions than the monkey that sits at a microsoft help desk.

        • #3307229

          microsoft alternatives for microsoft support…

          by e.h. ·

          In reply to Don’t ever use Microsoft Support

          yeap, i had the chance to talk with microsoft support stuff for several times, and if you have strong nerves, it can be fun. otherwise, it’s a major waste of time. i don’t know how htey hire guys that don’t even have a fair amount a basic skills. it’s embarassing.
          anyway, keyguy13 is right; the KB is pretty useful, but i noticed that the right thing is to use google’s insite: feature. i found many answers to problems this way, answers that microsoft’s search engine doesn’t find.

        • #3307515

          MS support was good once

          by sgcuda ·

          In reply to Don’t ever use Microsoft Support

          One time when I was at work, my wife messed up my main computer and was scared to death to call & tell me. She called me real happy to tell me she was on the phone with MS support for 45 minutes and they helped get it booted back up. At that time, my wife’s computer savey was just a little more than knowing how the surge protector turns on.

      • #3307288

        OEM software altered

        by sensei humor ·

        In reply to OEM software risk

        Having recently worked out at Microsoft I thought you might like a view from the inside.

        When MS licenses an OEM to resell Windows that OEM has license to alter the source code to work better with their proprietary BIOS and hardware. Yes, you can get better prices on “grey market” software and hardware, but the price you pay is having to support it yourself because you can’t go back to the OEM since you’re not using the OEM’s software with the OEM’s hardware.

        For those who don’t know, grey market is the term used when a OEM agrees to purchase a huge number of licenses (or CPUs, not sure about anything else) on a monthly basis to secure the largest volume discount they can get. When they don’t use all that they purchase for a given month they dump it on retailers at cost. This savings is passed on to us, the savy geek shoppers. However the disadvantage, as I mention above, is that (with software anyway) we are unable to get support on it.

        For the record, I have found that help desks are able to either resolve my issue right off (it’s a known issue) or they’re worthless. Only rarely have I had a help desk successfully troubleshoot an issue faster than I have done it myself. So I personally don’t feel I lose much by purchasing an OEM copy. As always, YMMV.

      • #3307215

        windows technical support sans ms

        by dnae4 ·

        In reply to OEM software risk is one of the best sites i have found for problem solving. its good also even if just cruising for information as it is not writen in that all too familiar insipid, condescending ms speak, which means that the chances are good that you might actually get the result you are looking for.

      • #3310286

        another good support group

        by paymeister ·

        In reply to OEM software risk

    • #3383084

      OEM MS Office 2000

      by d.h. cesare ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Same deal. Because it’s OEM, you can’t get suport. And I’m usually not smart enough to figure out how to fix things without a technician. Sometimes the technician ain’t smart enough either, then I don’t feel so bad :-))

    • #3383054

      Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

      by kevg ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I never relised that it was an OEM product until I phoned Micosoft. I saw the fellow that I bought it from the other day and he’s just as amused/puzzled/miffed.
      The reason that I phoned M.S. was that I couldn’t get onto the NET, so TECHREPUBLIC which would have being my 1st choice was…?
      Problem turned out to be the modem, even though an old DOS program – TELIX, was working fine.

      • #3383050

        OEM Version

        by thechas ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        On every Microsoft OEM version CD that I have had, the holographic label on the CD has included the fact that it was on OEM version.

        For W95 and W98, the product keys included the letters OEM in the key. In fact, part of the product key string was an identifier for specific OEMs such as Compaq and Dell.


        • #3382917

          On OEM versions

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to OEM Version

          Isn’t it “against the rules” to sell an OEM software product, especially a MS operating system, by itself without being preloaded on a system?

        • #3381776


          by pgm554 ·

          In reply to On OEM versions

          Just needs to be sold with a CPU,MOBO or a hard disk.

        • #3307471

          Actually in AU

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Nope

          It is any hardware so you can buy a generic mouse and a full set of Microsoft OEM Software.


        • #3381766

          Not sure

          by thechas ·

          In reply to On OEM versions


          One of my local PC shops will sell you any OEM software with a minimum hardware purchase. Which they define as a mouse pad.

          NewEgg, M-Wave, and many other web based PC sellers will sell you the OEM version with some minimal hardware purchase.

          The people selling OEM version software on E-Bay are including random pieces of non-functional hardware.

          Even a couple of web based software houses send you a dead motherboard when you purchase OEM software.

          Does this violate the spirit of the OEM license?
          Yes, I think so.

          Apparently though, Microsoft is accepting this arrangement.


        • #3305587

          They should have more types of licenses

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Not sure

          They should sell Windows XP Pro with support version for $50 maybe and a non-supported version for free.

          Cause for me, that’s all it’s worth.

        • #2700570


          by rkuun ·

          In reply to On OEM versions


          OEM/DSP software is allowed to be sold with a machine (Not neccessarily preinstalled)
          There is method to all this “madness”, believe it or not!
          Need more info?

        • #3305866

          can’t purchase – link broken (at this time)

          by tg2 ·

          In reply to YES!

          from your link.. one of the options is to “Purchase assisted support from Microsoft” … you click the link.. “The Requested Web Page is Not Available…The page you were looking for is currently not available. The address may not be correct, or there may be a temporary problem with this site.”

          Granted its probably a glitch, but could very well be that it doesn’t properly exist..

          it reminds me of when Nimda/Code Red came out.. you could go to .. and then click a link for “frontpage” and it would direct you to a different server, one that was infected with nimda & code red.. 🙂

          Oh…. to wish the days of microsoft were numbered… and decreasing from single digits not tera-digits

        • #3305875

          Yes & No

          by hillsa ·

          In reply to On OEM versions

          Per the MS OEM System Builder site:

          “The OEM System Builder License grants you the right to distribute individual Windows? licenses with a non-peripheral computer hardware component, which means hardware that is essential to the functioning of the PC.

          However, application or server software (such as Office or Exchange) may ONLY be distributed with a fully assembled computer system. You may NOT distribute them with non-peripheral hardware.”

          “A non-peripheral hardware component is one essential to running a PC

          Examples of non-peripheral hardware:
          Internal drives
          Power supplies/cords

          Examples of components not considered essential are:
          External modems
          Networking devices”

          I am under the understanding that all OEM licenses fall under the OEM System Builder License as you/your company must join in order to get the OEM software from a distributor.

        • #3305870

          OEM Versions

          by randalbin ·

          In reply to On OEM versions

          In the past year or so the rules for OEM versions of MS software have been somewhat relaxed. They used to require a major hardware purchase (indicating a significant change or upgrade to the system) and this was sufficient to qualify for an OEM software purchase.

          As has been mentioned most Computer parts suppliers are now allowed to sell OEM software with any computer part. I recently purchased 3 copies of MS XP Home and each one was packed with an inexpensive part (supplied at no charge). 2 copies came with CD audio cables and one came with a power supply extension cable.

          Apparently, as long as there is another part on the invoice the terms of the agreement are satisfied. Although I doubt if MS feels the spirit of the agreement is satisfied.

          That being said, OEM software is less expensive because the installer is taking on the burden of support. If I choose to build computers, install OEM software, and sell them, this makes me the OEM supplier and I take on the burden of support.

          If you buy retail box software you pay extra for the support.

          Randy Albin

        • #3305835

          I doubt MS cares much

          by pillbug22 ·

          In reply to OEM Versions

          I have a feeling MS isn’t missing out on too much cash from retailers selling more copies of OEM software. Just means more people who have to pay for support when you call MS.

          Just like most businesses, I bet MS makes more profit from services than products.

        • #3305668

          I agree MS doesn’t care much

          by tecnopaul ·

          In reply to I doubt MS cares much

          Honestly, I think most of the people, if they couldn’t find an OEM version of the OS would probably just pirate it. Some, maybe 20%-40% might purchase the retail. But MS is more interested in overall bottom line.

          And OEM means less phone support, less staff, so it works out in just about every way for them to prefer OEM to boxed retail.

        • #3305758

          limited support even if buy retail version

          by ballroomdancer ·

          In reply to OEM Versions

          Even if you buy the full retail versions, you get only limited support from Microsoft.

          At one time if you bought NT Workstation 4.0 or was it Windows 2000 Professional, you were only allowed 2 support calls before having to pay. However Windows 95/98, etc. would allow for multiple calls.

          Given I got spoiled with OS/2, I prefered a better multi-tasking OS than Win 95/98. As a result, MS penalized me for it… 🙁

          I run MS OSs at home simply because I need to stay current for my work. Long for an alternative. Miss my OS/2 and likely will eventually try LINUX as long past fed up with MS.

        • #3305757

          OEM Sold at Schools

          by bs analyst ·

          In reply to On OEM versions

          I just purchased an OEM copy of Office 2003 Pro at my college. It is sold as a “student/teacher” version, but the disc is clearly marked OEM. Didn’t have to purchase any hardware.

        • #3307468

          If they are not directly breaking the agreement

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to OEM Sold at Schools

          They will be sailing very close to the wind on that one. There are Academic Versions available and that is what the college should be selling to both students and staff.


        • #3307485


          by grbrown ·

          In reply to On OEM versions

          Currently Microsoft will allow wholesalers to sell to a registered reseller OEM copies with an essential piece of computer hardware (excluding RAM)that includes a $3 mouse. This pricing allow people to obtain a legal copy at reasonable pricing. The contract is then between the reseller & client for support

        • #3307481

          And the Reseller

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to NO

          If they are unable to solve a problem have recourse to a System Builder line for support.

          But it in my experience has been no help what so ever as every time I’ve had to ring them it has resulted in a total waste of my time and effort. I have always been told to do what I’ve already done and then by this time I’m passed up from the first string support I get told well it should be working I can not see what is wrong! Once I even suggested to install a new OEM version of Windows and was told that it would prevent me from selling that copy. I just replied that I’m only testing to see if this computer will accept SP1 and have no intention of activating the product just test it. At the time I had a full retail version of XP Pro and was attempting to apply SP1 which seemed to install perfectly until you came to the restart screen and then what the unit POSTed the MBR’s where gone. Yes it was a legal copy and no it didn’t fall into the product numbers that where considered as vulnerable so M$ would not supply me with a new product key.

          In the end it turned out to be a Samsung DVD drive that was the problem but everything passed the XP compatibility test. But somehow the DVD drive was not SP1 compatible. Naturally I had disconnected everything except the DVD drive as there where known compatibility problems with the CDRW but no listing for that DVD drive. Well a week latter no hair left and Flashing the Firmware of the Drive cured the problem but it would have been so much easier if M$ had even suggested that the DVD drive could be the problem. The head of the support department who I eventually got passed to insisted that I had done everything right and just couldn’t understand why SP1 was destroying the Data on the HDD.

          Originally it started out as a simple HDD replacement as the SMART was reporting “Immanent Hard Drive Failure” and it was a friend of a friend on a Sunday Afternoon who was only 50 KMS away. What should have been a simple job was a complete nightmare and the only thing that saved that computer was the fact that I couldn’t find a long enough extension lead so that the computer would hit the swimming pool powered up.


        • #3307474

          Not for a long time now Maxwell

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to On OEM versions

          At a Partners Meeting several years ago it was M$ AU marketing manager who told the assembled audience that they could sell any OEM product as long as they where selling some hardware with it. He suggested a mouse as they where cheap and most likely would be needed at some time in the future.

          Currently we have retail stores here and I do not mean the small computer stores but the big chain stores selling prepackaged OEM software shrink wrapped wit a mouse. You can just buy Windows or Windows + Office and any other M$ software that you want. So for nothing more than the cost of a generic mouse you can buy a full set of OEM M$ software.

          But the funny thing here is that while you can buy OEM Software you can not buy OEM Microsoft Hardware like the keyboards and mice combo’s or joysticks unless you are buying a complete computer.


      • #3305853

        Did it come in a box?

        by chug ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        Did it come in a box like you find on the shelf at Best Buy or CompUSA, or did you just buy a CD and maybe some papers? If it didn’t come in an actual fancy box, it’s not retail.

        • #3305697

          Not necessarily so….

          by richards_unsubcribe ·

          In reply to Did it come in a box?

          I?ve seen OEM copies of original M$ software sold off the shelf by a reputable vendor…. and no they were not in a fancy box. It seems that we have been manipulated by the marketing guru’s on the idea that the bigger and fancier the packaging, the better and higher quality the product. It’s part of the age-old marketing strategy called conspicuous consumption… and for the buyer it’s a psychological way of setting ourselves apart and above the unwashed masses around us.


        • #3307717

          Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          by chug ·

          In reply to Not necessarily so….

          My main point was the box, not the vendor. You back that up with your own statement.

          “I?ve seen OEM copies of original M$ software sold off the shelf by a reputable vendor…. and no they were not in a fancy box. ”

          My point is, if it’s NOT a “fancy” box (full color packaging, Windows logo, Microsoft branding, etc., all over it), it’s not retail. I was responding to the original post of the person saying they did not realise originally that it was an OEM version.

        • #3307572

          Sorry, but I’m not in the USA

          by kevg ·

          In reply to Did it come in a box?

          bear in mind that I’m not in the USA, so I’ve never hear of “Best Buy or CompUSA” or even seen a Warmart.
          It did come in a sealed packet with CD KEY, logo, ect.

        • #3308091

          Info for living and working in Hawaii: ”HELP” please!

          by v.van-raad ·

          In reply to Sorry, but I’m not in the USA

          Hi All,
          I need more info about living and working in Hawaii-Honolulu. I have a job offer. The job is a mixture of scientific, engineering and IT field.
          I don’t know anything about Hawaii. I lived in Sydney (currently and for the last 13 yrs) and I lived in Europe, so I do not have any idea about the life in Hawaii.
          Please, send any comments or impressions for the life and work there. These can be any hints for working habits; work-dress code; working relationships; expenditure; car prices; renting – real estate; groceries…anything!

        • #3310424

          Life in Hawaii

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to Info for living and working in Hawaii: ”HELP” please!

          It’s good man! Very good! You can ride around in your convertable playing the Hawaii 5-0 theme and checking out the lovely ladies in bikinis!

          A lot of the information you are seeking can be found at

          Best of luck if you accept the offer!

        • #3308530

          Thank you for the info!

          by v.van-raad ·

          In reply to Life in Hawaii

          Thanks a bunch, but unfortunatley I am a woman. Thanks for the link.
          Also, shall I buy furniture or rent?

        • #3307715

          fancy box is the key

          by chug ·

          In reply to Sorry, but I’m not in the USA

          I apologize about the vendors, but that doesn’t really matter. My main point was about the box packaging. You say yours came “sealed”, but do you mean just the CD and some documentation and perhaps a “certificate” shrink-wrapped in plastic, or was it actually in a fancy box with full color printing, Windows and Microsoft logos all over it, etc.? My main point was that if it was a full blown fancy box, it’s not retail.

          (The mention of the vendors was places you might go to find what I mean by “fancy” box for a true retail version. So wherever you might go outside the US where you know for sure they sell full retail packages.)

      • #3305803

        Ther you go

        by brummy21 ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        Got your own answer there:

        “I saw the fellow that I bought it from the other day and he’s just as amused/puzzled/miffed”.

        That fellow is only amused/puzzled/miffed becuase he is totaly ignorant of the conditions of selling OEM software and is a rogue who should never have sold it to you. You should be calling him to account for wrongly selling you the OEM product and then washing his hands of his legal obligations to you, and to Microsoft.

        • #3305620

          oh please

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Ther you go

          Microsoft must love guys like you.
          You first buy their product and then when you try to sell something which YOU already paid for, you aren’t allowed to because the “EULA” won’t let you.

          Give me a break.

          If I pay for a TV and then decide to sell it six months later, I have every right to do so because it’s MY personal property that I have paid for.

          If I buy Windows XP and decide six months later I no longer want it, guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to sell it because I paid for it, and it’s MY personal property that I have paid for.

        • #3307312

          Don’t know the legal system in the US, do you?

          by lyttek ·

          In reply to oh please

          I hate to break this to you, but you don’t ‘own’ anything when you buy software… you purchase the right to use it, hence the name ‘License’. The owner of the software product allows you to use it, so long as you agree to the terms *they* spell out.

          So, can you sell it, legally speaking? Not unless the terms of the license say you can transfer it to someone else. You never actually own the software.

        • #3307467

          Actually the Terms of the EULA are very clear on this one

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Don’t know the legal system in the US, do you?

          The license remains the property of M$ and is only usable on the Original Hardware.

          So you are completely within your rights to sell the computer and you MUST SUPPLY any M$ OEM Software. However if you decide to only attempt to sell the Software that is a totally different story and anyone who is silly enough to buy the CD and product Key will be unable to activate it and most likely it will result in a visit from the Police Agency responsible for copyright in your area.


    • #3382910

      Horrible way of ending a conversation…

      by onbliss ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      ..phew. That is a nasty way to talk to customer for that matter anybody [except telemarketers 🙂 ]. Or did they think you were a telemarketer?

      You were using their product. You paid your hard earned money, instead of pirating…they should treat you with all the professional courtesy that is required.

      • #3305838

        Horrible? Or Just Abrupt?

        by spgoodman ·

        In reply to Horrible way of ending a conversation…

        There are more suitable routes to go through to get satisfaction on a support issue than the telephone… But since it’s the modem that caused your problem it would be a bit like the old “in the event of network problems contact us by email” joke.

        On the other hand, however, PC assembly is not for those who simply want to save money on the entire unit. It’s not a simple thing, and if one thinks about the complexity of an operating system, PCI/BIOS/other hardware foibles, and the combination of the above, one’s time is best spent looking for a *qualified* tech person to do the assembly and installations for them.

        The IT sector’s most neglected question is often “How much is my time worth?” – and since PC assembly isn’t exactly something one can master in an afternoon, non-technical users need to ask themselves how much time they might spend in comparison with someone who isn’t just putting together PCs in their spare time.

        This is not a belittling comment, but a fact of simple time management involving expertise. I wouldn’t expect to be able to write as good a Will in as little time as a good solicitor/lawyer could; as good an investment plan as a qualified investment advisor; or as good a damp-proof course as someone who does this for a living. While the DIY spirit has indeed motivated many people to excell in the IT arena, it’s not until much experience has been assimilated that one does more than learn.

        It doesn’t help that one of the most difficult problems IT has in the UK is that the business has been populated with what they call “cowboys”, much like the masses of plumbers who still aren’t CORGI-registered and don’t charge (or pay!) VAT. Most of these folks are only interested in the short-term benefits, ie money, and NOT interested in the slightest in helping others. The IT sector is a Service Industry, and not just a fast track to fame and fortune, but don’t tell these guys. It’s no wonder as a result that technical consultants in the UK are finding it difficult to survive (though the government’s ongoing campaign to make us all ‘simply go to the JobCentre’ despite no IT jobs being there doesn’t help). Since moving to London in 2000, I’ve learned that IT consultants have probably as bad a name as the hack jobbers who pretend to be painters-decorators but have never learned anything about the kinds of paint required for external use (in many cases they deserve it); and given the nature of people to assume the negative by default, especially when there’s so much of it about, it’s easy to think “Where else do I go?”

        I don’t unfortunately have an answer for that question unless one is in my part of town. I also won’t try to apologize for the poor social skills of otherwise-expertised people on the phone “at Microsoft”, and would recommend complaining to them in writing as opposed to email, which is still quite ignorable to many people, and still not accepted as a legal form of notification.

        If they don’t hear about it, it’s not a problem, yes?

    • #2674325

      Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

      by kevg ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      But the botton line is what happen when the company that you bought it from closes down?

      • #3305882

        Buyer beware

        by binwah ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.


        When ever you buy anything you should always be aware of who the support is going to come from. If the retail shrink wrapped version of the product sells for $120 and the OEM version from the man in the little shop costs $70 then you should instinctively ask yourself why is it cheaper? Something pays for support and that something is money pure and simple.

        I have used OEM software whenever I could as the price was lower, however I knew that any support would have to come from myself or some knowledgable person who I could ask. With the spread of the internet Google is the first place to search. It will usually spew out all sorts of answers and it is then upto you to figure out what to do.

        • #3305869


          by robert.d.lewis ·

          In reply to Buyer beware

          Microsoft shouldn’t be able to have it both ways. They sell a buggy product. They allow hobbyists to buy the oem software from retailers. You don’t own the software, they own it. You can only use it on the “original equipment”.

          But when it comes to needing support for the product, because it doesn’t work correctly, you are expected to pay for it…

          Lets see, I sell you a defective product and then charge you to fix the problems which exist in it? You know, if it were any other type of commodity/good we would be screaming about the responsibility of the manufacturer to make a defect free product and make them accountable.

          All I am seeing here is we should expect this kind of treatment. This is why I am going to go to Linux. I don’t need that kind of attitude in my life. Microsoft has the best of both worlds: they have an operating system which is the standard, yet they are not held accountable for its flaws! This needs to be fixed!!!!!!!!

        • #3305848

          Bug free products ?

          by toddah ·

          In reply to whoa….

          Where would I find one of those “products” as complex as windows that was “bug free”
          After you get to Linux please post the phone number of the “free” corporate tech support line for all teh rest of us.
          If the end user need to call MS for tech support then he will really be in trouble with Linux support (fine OS for the technically inclined)

        • #3305828

          Caveat Emptor

          by robert.d.lewis ·

          In reply to Bug free products ?

          At least most people know when they buy linux they can make as many copies as they want, give them to friends etc. without breaking any laws.

          The point I was making that when people pay for any other type of defective product, they expect the manufacturer to correct the problem. There is no such expectation of Microsoft.

          The user community to include business and personal has allowed this to continue unchecked. And now, we buy into the idea that defective software is ok to buy….even if we have to pay for support later on….get real…

          As for a consolidated support number for Linux??? I don’t know of any…oh wait, when you buy a real distro, you do get support…..typically for at least 90 days.

          Microsoft owes its market position not because the product is without flaws, but because it works well enough for most users. It is a terribly flawed product and to have to pay Microsoft for support only adds insult to injury.

        • #3307465

          Actually I have to disagree here

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Caveat Emptor

          Microsoft does not have its market position because it works well enough for most users but because they have made it their business to get third party software vendors to write Windows only code.

          So if you have an application that you just must have to run your business or play your game 99% where written to run on Windows and you have to go with that OS to use your Software. If there where both Unix and Windows versions of these programs I know which most of my customers would go with and that is not even considering the Legal Battle that is currently going on between SCO and IBM over Linux. Free BSD is also a viable option but until there is the necessary specialized software written for these OS’s we will be stuck with M$ and Windows PLAIN AND SIMPLE.


        • #3307262

          RE:Bug free products?

          by black-jack ·

          In reply to Bug free products ?

          Have you tried Linux? I am totally Linux at home and have convinced several people at my workplace to switch from Windows. I can work with most Microsoft documents, one exception being customized Excel spreadsheets (using VB Macros).

          Although I admit to being more technologically savy than many users, my wife also uses Linux on her computer and she doesn’t claim to be more than an average PC user.

          Perhaps it is time for you to look at some of the Linux distros.

        • #3307466

          Actually the Best help with any computer problem

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Bug free products ?

          I’ve ever had always comes from the Debian Community. I post a problem and always within a few hours I have at the very least a temporary fix if it is a code problem. If it is a straight hardware problem the fix is permanent.

          The same almost applies to Mandrake & SUSE as well so in all fairness Linux has a lot better support than M$ has ever supplied.

          What you also have to bear in mind is that with these distributions they are not just OS but a complete software installation so they are really a lot more complex than Windows ever will be unless M$ decides to package all of their products in a single package and you only load what you require.

          Perhaps when M$ embraces Linux as the standard OS and starts providing their software to run on Linux we will see far fewer problems with the OS and just be confined to software applications. Remember that Microsoft bought the right to make Linux from SCO earlier this year and while it may have been an attempt to help SCO in their legal case with IBM and Linux in general with a Linux Distro they could rightfully claim to produce OS that are capable of covering the entire computer market instead of just the small Server and desktop applications that they currently cover.

          Maybe I’ve led a sheltered life but I’ve yet to see anyone silly enough to actually install Windows on a mainframe setup.


        • #3305827

          I agree

          by noorman ·

          In reply to whoa….

          indeed, M$ made the buggy software, but beware, because they also make up the rules !!!!!

          If I hadn’t started with Windoze in 1997 and had instead gone with UNIX and Linux, I would be a lot better of and a lot less crancky …

        • #3305862

          thats exactly it guys and girls!

          by rkuun ·

          In reply to Buyer beware

          OEM/DSP products are sold to the RESELLERS by Microsoft Excluding the Price of the Support, thats why it’s so much cheaper… there is’nt a single product that you dont pay for support on. whether the price is included or you pay afterwards, you DO pay!! Microsoft have an agreement with the resellers that preinstall the software that they actually do all the support, so if you have a Mecer machine, that came preinstalled with Windows… phone Mecer. If you bought a DSP copy of windows without a major hardware component you were sold the product outside of the liscensing agreement… and this is why it’s not supported. The resellers should really tell there clients more about what it is exactly that they are selling!! Hardly any one know about this, so you guys are not alone!!

        • #3307463

          As an OEM Builder

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to thats exactly it guys and girls!

          There are a few problems with your answer. Firstly I’m allowed to preinstall Windows but no other M$ Software because the reasoning goes that if I install lets say Office the end user doesn’t get to see the EULA so they have not accepted the agreement.

          What we are actually supposed to do is install Windows and then leave it up to the End User to install any other M$ software that they buy from us.

          But keeping to basics lets have a look at both the Retail and OEM versions of XP Pro. The Retail version comes in a colorful box that is a lot bigger than what is needed and no doubt costs far more to freight around. The OEM comes in a shrink wrapped plastic cover with the COA stuck on the outside and when you buy 3 copies you get a preinstall disk that allows you to customize the installation with your company name and other details as well.

          Most of the difference in the costs of these products would be swallowed in freight alone long before M$ even takes into account support. Also when M$ talks about TOC they always compare OEM M$ products to Linux Open Source to make their figures look better than what they actually are and there is no talk in the TOC papers about support of any kind.

          Yes I sell OEM products and I support them to the best of my ability and when I do have a problem on the rare occasion I can get help from M$ but in every case where I’ve rung with a problem that I just can not come to grips with they have been unable to find a solution and I’m left to my own devices to cure the problem. Now granted I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve called M$ for support but on every occasion I’ve had to find a solution for myself and always I’ve passed my fix onto M$ Support for their reference.

          Now I do not have access to the source code of the product but I’m supposed to fix it when it breaks or produces an undocumented feature that the owner doesn’t like.

          Would you like to tell me EXACTLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

          I accept that I’m supposed to be the first line of help but I also expect M$ to be able to help me when I can not fix a problem after all they write the code and go to great lengths to prevent me from looking at the code so while I’m willing to accept M$ License I do expect them to also honor their responsibility’s as well.

          If they are unwilling or incapable of fixing their products why am I prevented from knowing the source code so I can fix any problems that I may encounter?


      • #3305846

        That’s always a risk

        by chug ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        That’s always a risk no matter where you buy anything from. Even if you had bought the whole computer from somebody, there’s no guarantee they’ll be around to support you. There have been numerous computer companies go out of business and left customers hanging. Take Packard Bell and AST, once huge names, now non-existant. As much as I like them, I fear Gateway is next. It’s even a bigger risk if you buy from a local shop. We have local independent shops open and close all the time in my town.

        • #3305831

          yeah but,

          by rkuun ·

          In reply to That’s always a risk

          i dont know about any where else but if you call MS in South Africa, and tell them your reseller went bust they will give you your standard two Warranty calls 9 times out of ten…

        • #3305789

          Please ignore my previous remark.

          by rkuun ·

          In reply to yeah but,

          Please ignore my previous remark. Invariably, all support provided by Microsoft is not free. If it were retail – the support is included in the price; Volume licenses ? support is purchased over and above the volume license agreement; and various other contracts. If the retailer were to close down, then Microsoft CANNOT carry the cost of the support as they were never paid for it in the first place. It?s like buying a car without a maintenance plan and then demanding the maintenance plan benefits. Had one bought it with the benefits, the cost would have been more. As far as bugs are concerned, Microsoft provides known bug-fixes for free; as well as security updates. A lot of issues raised here are found in the license agreement.

      • #3305845

        That’s always a risk

        by chug ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        ***(Sorry for the duplicate posts. The web site freaked out on me when I tried to submit it and it created multiple posts of the same message.)***

        That’s always a risk no matter where you buy anything from. Even if you had bought the whole computer from somebody, there’s no guarantee they’ll be around to support you. There have been numerous computer companies go out of business and left customers hanging. Take Packard Bell and AST, once huge names, now non-existant. As much as I like them, I fear Gateway is next. It’s even a bigger risk if you buy from a local shop. We have local independent shops open and close all the time in my town.

      • #3305842

        That’s always a risk

        by chug ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        ***(Sorry for the duplicate posts. The web site freaked out on me when I tried to submit it and it created multiple posts of the same message.)***

        That’s always a risk no matter where you buy anything from. Even if you had bought the whole computer from somebody, there’s no guarantee they’ll be around to support you. There have been numerous computer companies go out of business and left customers hanging. Take Packard Bell and AST, once huge names, now non-existant. As much as I like them, I fear Gateway is next. It’s even a bigger risk if you buy from a local shop. We have local independent shops open and close all the time in my town.

    • #3305880

      Read the licensing agreement, but…

      by sauerb01 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      If you had read the licensing agreement when it popped up during the installation process you would have seen that the disk you were using was an OEM disk and you also would have read that Microsoft does not support OEM installations. I know that only a handful of people have ever read the agreement, but the customer service rep at MS was correct. HOWEVER, the CS rep should have handled the conversation more professionally. As a side note; if the software from MS does not come in a retail box then it is more then likely an OEM version. This has been the case since the DOS days with MS.

    • #3305877

      It’s the CD not the PC

      by leev ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It seems the issue is with where you bought the CD not that you built the PC. Next time buy a full license and get support. Buying a OEM CD is for those who will provide the support whether it’s a shop or support yourself.

    • #3305876

      M.S. not intrested in support

      by plainranger ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It has been my experience since the release of Win95 to present ( if only Linux offered everything and was 100% compatible) Microsoft is not willing to give any help unless they can charge their going rate. Last time I contacted them, years ago, that rate was $65 for the first 15 minutes.
      I rely on my own knowledge or seek out information from workers and friends. If it’s a MS problem then whatever I do feel I’m not going to hurt it.

      • #3305823

        Rate has risen

        by blarman ·

        In reply to M.S. not intrested in support

        It’s now up to $125 per incident, and $250 for server-level stuff.

        And you’re exactly right – M$ isn’t interested in ANY kind of service, just money. Which makes all of their complaining about support for Linux just a little bit hilarious due to the hypocrisy.

    • #3305872

      You got the OEM software cheap, right?

      by kevin w ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Vendors get OEM software cheaply because they support it. If you get (legitimately) a copy of OEM software to use on a home built, you basically agreed to support it yourself and save money by making that agreement.

      I feel sorry for those who didn’t realize this going into the deal, but that is what it’s all about.

      • #3307461


        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to You got the OEM software cheap, right?

        The shop that sold you the OEM copy should offer the support but because they mostly are large chain stores with no Technical support they are breaking the Agreement between themselves and M$ not the end user.


    • #3305871

      The cost of doing business with an unstable company

      by kferraro1 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I guess this is the risk you take when you deal with small (or large)companies whose stability is in question. When you buy OEM software, the support contract is between the software manufacturer and the factory. You as the end user are completely removed from the picture as far as the software manufacturer is concerned. When you pay more for a product from a large/stable company one of the things you pay for is the ability they have to support the product.

      • #3305864


        by jmschattke9 ·

        In reply to The cost of doing business with an unstable company

        If I, as a knowledgable consumer, purchase parts and install an OEM copy of software on the computer, then I am both the end-user and the OEM.

        Of course, the support from MS is for non-VAR copies; many, but not all, OEM copies are sold through a VAR, because, as many have noted, it is cheaper.

      • #3307457

        Do you mean companies like

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to The cost of doing business with an unstable company


        When you talk about large stable companies?

        Lets face it in todays market there is no certainty that a company here today will be here tomorrow. We are all taking a gamble when we buy anything it was not so long ago that Daewoo went broke as well and they where a very large company that made a lot more than just monitors.

        If the company ceases trading for any reason there should be laws in place to force the original maker of the software to Honor their products. Here in AU it is illegal to sell unsalable merchandise and any company who knowingly imports a faulty product has to recall that product and repair or offer a refund in the event that it is unrepairable or unsalable.

        Now as an OEM system builder I have to offer the support for any OEM M$ products that I sell but at the same time I have my hands tied as I am not allowed to look at the source code to find any problems that may be written into that product.

        Now exactly how can I for fill my obligations when I’m prevented from doing my job?


      • #3308215

        In my opinion

        by philospher ·

        In reply to The cost of doing business with an unstable company

        I work in a retail office supply chain. The ranting in this thread is the usual large company bashing. Stabilty in a large or small company is the measure of the company’s overall support policy. I personally walk customers through what they’re purchasing hardware or software. As far as Linux is concerned “once again you get what you pay for. In 2003 we had a linux PDA came into our store. We solad everyone of them and got them all back because the comapny that bulit the PDA wouldn’t support the users.

        • #3308078

          What you have to remember is that you may be the exception

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to In my opinion

          But while you did go to great lengths to dismiss Linux all you managed to do was to show the company involved in producing that product for what it actually was Incompetent!

          Currently M$ accepts that they have an abysmal public perception and are attempting to improve this but it has been a topic of conversation by M$ personal at every M$ Partners Meeting that I’ve ever been to and that was since they started having them so it is nothing new but just a bigger problem that what they have experienced previously. This is because M$ tries to be everything for everyone which is impossible!


        • #3307700

          M$ Believes in Complexity – Period

          by mikeh ·

          In reply to What you have to remember is that you may be the exception

          I think we are all dancing around the root of the problem. M$ has created a beast they can’t control ( or support) because they have made every OS since Windows 3.1 more complex than its predecessor.

          How can anyone know these monsters well. And since they are a huge, complex monster, they cost 5 to 10 times as much as Windows cost 15 years ago.

          Remember going down to a software retail store and paying $39.95 for your “upgrade” Windows? and if it was full retail, it was $49.95.

          The code is too large, too expensive, too complex and impossible to support. No one completely understands it — it’s too much. We’ve had 30 posts in this thread just trying to understand the price!!

          The latest news I heard on Longhorn is that the date is slipping because it’s taking them longer to get all the app’s included to work properly together.

          This is a company that truly doesn’t get it. And since they have bought out or crushed all their competitors, they don’t have market forces to guide them towards what people really need. They believe their own BS instead.

          Pretty sad.


        • #3309615

          Mike I can not agree more

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to M$ Believes in Complexity – Period

          Winblows is a MONSTER totally out of control. But even though it is now a totally unknowable quantity we as OEM Builders are still supposed to support this monster. With only limited resources from M$. Their first string standard response is “RELOAD” as a cure all for everything. I will not even bother mentioning SP2 for XP here as I refuse to allow any of my customers to install it on their business computers. One did by mistake as she somehow managed to turn on the Automatic Updates after I had gone to all the trouble of turning them off in that business.

          Well it was the end of the month and she just had to get out the accounts and when the install wizard asked to reboot the computer it POSTed and did nothing more. I did a quick BIOS Flash and got it going again patched the known programs and because of time constraints that was how I left the thing. There are a few apps not working correctly but overall most things work and all the important things certainly do. I offered to come down and uninstall SP2 so that all the programs did work but because it is a business unit she can not afford the time particularly as everything that she requires is working perfectly. Well I should say working OK for M$ products!

          The really ridiculous thing however is that at Partners Meetings we get far more Technical Info that we get from their Support Line and over here we do not even have the customers line but a special line for OEM builders. The service is at best terrible and I have yet to ring them in the vain hope of finding an answer to a problem, So far I’ve always had to work out the problems for myself and then Inform M$ of the fix.

          What makes it even worse are the so called compatibility tools for XP as I had one computer a while ago that would not accept SP1 while it appeared to install correctly upon restart you would get the message that there was no HDD fitted. It was destroying the MBR when installing the SP. Now this was a P4 and fairly new so everything should have been XP compatible and even all the tools that M$ made available claimed that everything was XP compatible. Eventually it turned out to be the Samsung DVD ROM Drive that was at fault and of course when this started happening I disconnected everything but the DVD Drive if I had of disconnected that and left the CDRW connected it would have worked perfectly.


    • #3305868

      Buy a Retail Copy

      by the docman ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I hate to be a devil’s advocate here, but if you want support, go out and buy a retail copy of the product. Some support is usually built in to the pricing of retail versions. You didn’t pay for it with the OEM product.

      If you were looking for manufacturer support for the components of your home built PC, you could have purchased retail versions of the OS and all of the applications… It would have cost a fortune, but you got what you paid for.

      In order to provide reasonably priced alternatives, most of the software industry offers OEM products with the expectation that the OEM provides the support.

      (Go ahead and rekindle the debate about M$ profits if you want, but the purchase, and the risk, was your choice.)

      • #3307456

        Only if you where

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Buy a Retail Copy

        Provided the choice by the seller.

        In many cases these people are only too willing to tell you that they will sell you something and if they do not deliberately misrepresent themselves they at best are vague.

        You can not blame a normal end user when they get sucked in by scams like this and in all fairness if M$ was to consider them official OEM’s they should make the source code available to the OEM so they can find any problems.


        After all you can not fix what you are unable to look at can you? M$ wants it all their own way nothing more nothing less.


    • #3305867

      MS Rules OK?

      by alanrphipps ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I also had a problem with MS as I am a home builder and used an OEM Sofware package i.e Windows XP Pro. I actually broke my master disk and have no way of replacing a perfectly legal version for the same reasons Kev mentioned. Luckily I have my copy CD, but it would be nice to have the master disk in a useable format again. Any ideas everyone??? (I would even pay a small fee for a replacement Master disk) Perhaps Linux beckons.

      • #3305815

        ISO Images

        by toucan ·

        In reply to MS Rules OK?

        Try the MSDN site, I recall being able to access the download site and get the IOS image to create a new CD. Naturally you need your license to install and I think only real CD Keys work not OEMs.

      • #3305677

        beckoning Linux

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to MS Rules OK?

        Switching to Linux might be a very good idea. If you don’t have any particular reason to stick with OSes produced by Microsoft other than familiarity, and you have enough of an affinity for computers to be willing to learn a whole new way of doing things, Linux is probably the way to go for someone looking to overcome the sorts of issues you describe.

        If you do decide to give Linux a whirl, I recommend using Google to locate your local area LUGs (Linux User Groups) and sign up on one or two LUG mailing lists. A good LUG is an invaluable resource for Linux users, and provides far better support than I’ve ever had, or heard of, from Microsoft for their products. In fact, depending on the LUG, you might even be able to get support for the occasional issue involving MS products.

    • #3305865

      You Get What You Pay For

      by vitaman203 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      The trade off of OEM software is that in exchange for a lower priced piece of software, you do not get the level of support or documentation you would if you purchased the higher priced non-OEM version of the software. Hence, you get what you pay for.

      • #3305850

        Yes, But…

        by ctos ·

        In reply to You Get What You Pay For

        I know you are correct, BUT! If a company wishes to maintain a good customer satisfaction base, I think they should allow at least ONE service call on the OEM cheaper version. Imagine how MANY times the phone rings Microsoft from and OEM customer, just to have them go away with startled and hurt feelings in a week…
        Good customer service, huh? lol
        Ah well, not everyone is concerned about that aspect as I am.

      • #3305665

        Of course, there’s always open source

        by revspalding ·

        In reply to You Get What You Pay For

        Try an open source operating system. Linux, Lindows and more and experience the opposite side of Mr. Corporation High and Mighty customer support. The open source community is full of people willing and able to help. What a change from the low paid telephone support that you receive from the ‘Giants of the Industry’…..

      • #3307454

        I’ve seen both and besides

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to You Get What You Pay For

        The box that the Retail version comes in and the CD face there is very little difference between the two.

        What M$ pays in freight for the retail version must nearly make up the difference in price between the OEM and Retail versions.


    • #3305859

      All the more reason…

      by willjr ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      to use keygens. If Microsoft can’t help, support others who will.

    • #3305858

      XP Support

      by teksoup ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Microsoft knows that many MS Authorized resellers of XP and OEM MS other products can’t support them. No one has the knowledge, experience or resources that Microsoft possesses. If MS offered free support for 30 days after the first call for Tech Support the matter could be resolved with equity.

      But that’s not the way Microsoft rules the World since Microsoft is in the Driver’s Seat with little competition.

      A good reason to seek, develop, and support ‘alternatives’ to Microsoft’s DEATH GRIP!
      Otherwise, it will only get worse, and besides WPA perhaps future MS applications will REQUIRE an ANNUAL MAINT. FEE just to activate an application. Gates NEEDS the MONEY ! (Gates & Ballmer’s wealth, alone, show how ‘overpriced’ are MS applications !

      • #3305852

        Why bother?

        by allprobikes ·

        In reply to XP Support

        I have been supporting MS products now since 1995 and I have never ever called them. Why everythng you want to know about a problem is on the net. If the computer you have is not working, go to one that does. The answers to everything are out there. Besides I don
        t have time to wait on the phone.

        • #3305839

          Re: Why Bother

          by carlr ·

          In reply to Why bother?

          Amen brother! preach it!! I started supporting them with DOS v3.0 and have never called them for support. Every piece of info i needed to support the software came from books, the net, or strategically placed friends Bottom line is, if you cannot figure out a problem with a microsoft piece of software, there are way more resources than calling MS Tech Support flunkies to try and get an answer.

        • #3305762

          email MS support

          by irons ·

          In reply to Why bother?

          About a year ago I emailed MS tech support about XPPro (OEM) and got good answers. The tech also sent a couple of good links that I’ve used since:

          Windows XP Professional How-to Articles for IT Pros

          Expert’s experience with Windows XP

        • #3307452

          The Windows Users Group

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to email MS support

          Is also quite good I’m surprised that the Tech didn’t point you in that direction as well.

          You should also join this at

          The worst that will happen is that you will gain knowledge, they also have some very good regular publications that you can subscribe to that are e-mailed to you.


      • #3305572

        Bozo Tech Support

        by jwkolman ·

        In reply to XP Support

        You are much better off to invest the time in resolving your own issues,figure it out for yourself ande gain valuable experience. Giving these money grubbing companies that hire nincompoops just because they will work cheap does us no good. There are plenty of knowledge bases out there with more information then some towelhead in India that can barely speak English, no less undeerstand Windows XP.

    • #3305856

      Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

      by toddah ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I really feel the MS rep was out of line if indeed the conversation ended as stated.
      This is an issue of MS not giving support it is not required to give by contract.

      Understanding what you are buying is the key here not changing the Microsoft stance. You should be upset with the guy who went out of business not MS. They sold him the OEM versions at a GREATLY discounted price (which he pass on to you)with the contractual obligation to provide the end user support. You can get full support for any in MS product by paying the per call rate! You are now paying the difference between the discounted “DEAL” you got on the original OEM license and the full retail cost of the over the counter package you should have bought. He was violating his contract by selling you the disks anyway. you can only legally buy OEM as part of a full system but many have reinterpited that rule. You will find the same issue with a DELL or HP or SONY also they are your support center.

      • #3305851


        by rkuun ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        To be honest I think the conversation was a bit exagerated…

      • #3307451

        Well with IBM a few years ago

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        They did not even supply install disks with their preloaded hardware. If you wanted these they cost you more.

        Now if I did something like that with any computer that I sold I would quite rightly face the wrath of M$ and their legal department, why do you think that these companies can get away with this type of action?


    • #3305854

      MicroSoft stinks

      by paparulo01 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      As an IT pro in a major firm in Argentina for the last 15 years, I have a lot of issues to discuss with MSoft.
      And I fully agree with You in that MS doesn’t give the slightest shadow of a support.
      Maintaining the hardware and software of almost 800 desktop computers, from Compaq and IBM , and almost 400 laptops of the same brands, all of them bought brand new, never, in any case I had a positive answer from Microsoft’s tech support.
      I’ve called them nearly 25…30 times in all those years, finding that, in every case, they tell You to “reinstall the o.s.” (after “download the last updates”, of course), if they give you an answer at all.
      So long, folks…..
      Long life to TUX……LINUX: here We go!!!!
      Hugs from down under.

      • #3305826

        Post Data

        by paparulo01 ·

        In reply to MicroSoft stinks

        I forgot to mention that, in aaaall those computers, the O.S. is not OEM.It’s the original MS software, for which We are paying A LOT of money in concept of “licensing”

    • #3305849

      And then there’s……..

      by tired-tech ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      OK,.. so I buy an oss the shelf unit and take it home,……

      I have a HD failure and replace the drive, on re-install of OS it won’t take the CD on the sticker placed on the outside of the case as my “license”
      but a problem comes up as “This key has been used too many times, please call Microsoft”
      but since it’s an OEM and I’m the only ione to install it ?? how did it get used too many times ??

      now the only difference I see here is an off the shelf unit or a “built” unit,… uuummmm
      If I purchase to parts to build a new system and am allowed to purchase an OEM of the XP OS,. but end up needing to call microsoft for a “real” issue (one I can’t fix myself is very rare)
      how is that any different.
      It seems that MS is just getting a little bit like the bully on the playground. (you know,.. gimme your lunch money or else…)

      Just my .02

    • #3305834

      It’s not just Microsoft

      by jdracy ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I bought an HP laptop that came with XP Home, but wanted XP Professional. The store (a national chain) suggested I just purchase the upgrade and do it myself, which I did. After installing, the OneTouch buttons no longer worked.

      Called HP, who told me that modifying the system voided any warranty and that I was not going to get any help. My response was the same as KG’s: resolve the problem myself.

      In addition, I have never bothered to call HP for support again, now that I know they will drop me at any hint that they can blame someone else.

      Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm today. Software maker blames hardware maker who blames software maker who blames hardware maker… It’s ridiculous and a huge waste of my time.

      • #3307446

        Actually I have not had anything to do with HP since

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to It’s not just Microsoft

        I had a Colardo Tape Drive fail many years ago. I rang my local HP supplier and explained what I needed was someone who was authorized to repair their products. Well I did think it was a simple question anyway but I got from the girl on the switch “Where the F**K did you get this phone number from?”

        At first I thought I had got a wrong number and did not believe the answer so I apologized and hung up, I then rang the number again making sure that this time I dialed the correct phone number and got exactly the same response, this time however I was prepared and just quoted my customer ID and asked to speak to the manager.

        Eventually the Sales Managed informed me that the repair info was in the book which I assured him it wasn’t so eventually he gave in and gave me a phone number to ring which was interstate and a non toll free number.

        When I rang them I was informed that they did not repair anything but just replaced it while UG and binned the broken product, they did not have any authorized repairers and my only recourse was to buy another tape drive which incidentally could not read the existing tapes which was the main problem in the first place anyway.

        Since then I’ve seen numerous HP devices break while UG and the owners think it is great when they deliver a new unit and remove the old one they rave about the service, my only response is “What will you do when it is no longer UG?” That brings them right down!

        By the way I did eventually find a listing in the phone book under “Service Center” but nothing to do with HP just service center so I suppose you need to be physic to know exactly how to contact them if you can not lay your hands on the books quickly.

        When it comes to complete computers they just replace the defective part and on one unit it was the HDD that had failed so the tech came out and replaced the drive with a preloaded drive with XP Pro and Office Pro already on it. Now exactly how that get away with things like that is way beyond me!


    • #3305832

      Re: MS not interested in support

      by mmecum ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I had the same experience with MS on a Sony PC, and found Sony support about worthless as well, they pointed me back to MS!!

    • #3305830

      Upgrade Path

      by tomh ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      If MS doesn’t want to support OEM (cheaper versions of Windows), there should be an inexpensive upgrade path from OEM to full package for Windows of all levels. Even OEM (Dell, Gateway, etc.) can’t support Windows like MS.

      • #3305814

        OEM is not just “cheaper version”

        by michael.litcofsky ·

        In reply to Upgrade Path

        OEM version is only for when you buy a system at an authorized computer manufacturer or reseller. You are not supposed to be able to buy it alone. Just like everything you buy from a software supplier, you get what you pay for or in this case don’t pay for. It’s like using a free version of Linux and then want a deal on upgrading to RedHat.

        • #3305710

          Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          by varase ·

          In reply to OEM is not just “cheaper version”

          I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.

          The cost of the software has two components: (1) the cost of development and reproduction and (2) the cost of support. Why not break out the cost of support, add a bit as a penalty for not buying the whole retail product in the first place, and charge that as an upgrade to a fully supported version.

          You know in this case, he probably should’ve purchased a full retail version – BUT: On your last computer purchase, were you offered a deal whereby you could purchase a full retail version of your OS (at a discount over the full retail box – remember that you already paid for the OEM software)? Ever call your OEM vendor? Were you happy with their answers?

          Remember that until quite recently PC vendors COULDN’T sell computers without including an OEM license for Windows of some flavor on them, if they wanted to include OEM Windows on ANY of their machines.

        • #3307445


          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to OEM is not just “cheaper version”

          For at least 1 year now M$ has told all of its resellers that they can sell any M$ OEM product provided that you sell a piece of hardware with the OEM Software.

          In fact you can buy a complete range of all M$ OEM product with a generic mouse if you want to.

          However what you can not do is buy OEM M$ hardware like joysticks and keyboards separately unless you buy the computer.


      • #3305675

        I completely agree!

        by anthonyw34 ·

        In reply to Upgrade Path

        I would have bought an support upgrade if it was avalable to me for my computer. I think having to buy an upgrade retail edition for an OS that is already in your computer is crazy just to get the support. I don’t want to bash MS, but I am sick of being a beta tester for a “final release” product with no support.

    • #3305820

      Can’t believe I’m reading this HERE!

      by toddah ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I would expect to hear this type of crap on a computers 101 newbie board but not here on a Tech republic board where we all assumibly have some level of technical knowledge. GET OVER IT ! YOU DUG YOUR OWN HOLE ! BUY A RETAIL LICENSE and get the support YOU need.

      • #3307599

        Cheaper Better Less headaches

        by old#9 ·

        In reply to Can’t believe I’m reading this HERE!

        Better yet, quit wasting your time putting PC’s together. You can buy a PC from a major vendor for under $1000 that will meet your business needs. And you’ll get support.

        • #3307443

          Yes you can

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Cheaper Better Less headaches

          But it is a pile of S**T that has no business being in a home to play games let alone a workplace where you are attempting to make money.


      • #3307476

        Finally a message worth reading

        by aqtsinger2 ·

        In reply to Can’t believe I’m reading this HERE!

        Same here

    • #3305818

      What was the original reason to call MS?

      by toddah ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      With all the brain drain caused by this dumb thread I am sure we could have collectivly solved your computer issue with much less typing and you could have been a happy guy. unless the whole point was just to bash MS.

      • #3305806


        by toucan ·

        In reply to What was the original reason to call MS?

        Perhaps the original point was to provide FYI on OEM vs retail edition. Society could probably add MS to the list of polite subject to be avoided along with politics and religion.

        • #3305802

          Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          by toddah ·

          In reply to Bingo

          I Agree!

    • #3305817

      Thanks TR for wasting our time

      by shraven ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      So what?
      The dude has an OEM disc – which he came by either through legitimate channels which include no support (know what you’re buying) or through questionable means.
      So what’s the issue? The guy’s an idiot either way for calling MS in the first place. He should be glad they didn’t push the issue regarding how he came to be in possession of an OEM disc with no OEM to call.
      I don’t like MS, but in this case, I find no fault with them for not supporting him. As for their rude response, I don’t see any claim that these were quotes and I’m thinking that the rep was in fact a little more professional, but kevg was just so frustrated that it seemed this rude to him. Look at his retort – it doesn’t even make sense, let alone the spelling.

      Try to find some more worthwhile issues for us to argue over, OK?

      • #3305767

        You get what you pay for.

        by jstevens ·

        In reply to Thanks TR for wasting our time

        Got to agree. When you buy cheap, you get cheap.
        Besides, in the amount of time it would take to get MS to resolve an issue you can nuke it and be back up running.

        • #3305669

          not the way you think

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to You get what you pay for.

          You get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean that paying more gets you a better product. Dealing with Microsoft for years has taught me that.

          If you pay more for something based on advertising hype, you’ll probably get nothing but advertising hype. Yep, you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean you get what you THINK you’re paying for.

          It’s advisable to shop around for good value for your dollar. The point there is to get good quality materials for low prices, obviously. Your mistake seems to be in thinking that paying less automatically renders the product inferior. The mistake the originator of this discussion made was in getting a cheap price without investigating the product to see if it was worth buying.

          Getting good deals that are more than worth the money spent requires being informed. Thinking that buying something that costs more just because it has a big name on it will get you good value for your money isn’t what I’d call “informed”.

        • #3307479

          That would be OK if only M$

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to You get what you pay for.

          Did not recommend that retailers sell OEM product with some hardware any hardware.

          There are quite a few retailers selling OEM with something as simple as a generic mouse or sound cable for a CD ROM Drive.

          Last time I walked into a retail outlet they had one copy of the retail version of Windows and thousands of packaged copies of Windows with a mouse shrink wrapped with the install CD’s. The same applied to all the other M$ software.

          I think it is more to the point in saying you get what M$ wants to sell you rather than you get what you pay for!


      • #3305768

        You get what you pay for.

        by jstevens ·

        In reply to Thanks TR for wasting our time

        Got to agree. When you buy cheap, you get cheap.
        Besides, in the amount of time it would take to get MS to resolve an issue you can nuke it and be back up running.

      • #3305707

        And when the PC vendor goes out-of-business?

        by tomford1 ·

        In reply to Thanks TR for wasting our time

        I got into the same situation because a supposedly good, but small, PC vendor went belly-up just months after I bought a brand-new PC. No support from them, no support from Microsoft – unless I wanted to pay the per-call rate for their guesses. MS Support Knowledge Base became my tool.

      • #3307496

        Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        by kevg ·

        In reply to Thanks TR for wasting our time

        Yes, I was given the wrong product. Yes I paid a lot of money for it, just over 1200 bucks if I remember right, which is a LOT of beer money.
        But the orginal idea of the post was, what happens when you buy a new machince that has the OEM product on it. The store goes bang, as computer stores tend to nowdays. What support is there for the user?
        Saying turn to TECHREPUBLIC for help only works if you are a member. If you are a normal end user then what support does one have?
        When I posted this in Feb. there were 4 or 5 posts and I’lled totally forgoten about all this untill I logged in the other day.

        BTW, I had a diffrent email address to now.. Just to add to the confusion.

      • #3307480

        Well how about this one

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Thanks TR for wasting our time

        When I assembled a computer I was presented with an error message telling me that “Device 6” was missing.

        Well a long look through the material that I had bought from M$ and as long a look through their knowledge base failed to inform me what exactly Device 6 was. So I rang M$ and was promptly told that Device 6 was the CPU! Which was fitted correctly and testing perfectly.

        But when I asked how a computer could display an error message without a CPU installed the person at M$ had no response.

        After much trial and error it turned out to be a faulty Ram Stick but it was only a problem after Windows was installed as all the tests that had been done prior to loading the system passed it as working perfectly.

        While we OEM builders are paying for a service from M$ we are receiving very little in return.


    • #3305812

      OEM software

      by bbarnes3 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I use OEM software too, both at home and at work, because it costs substantially less than retail.

      There are 2 conditions on using OEM; first it’s supposed to be installed on a new computer, and secondly the tech support is the responsibility of the computer manufacturer, and not the software company.

      That’s the rules on OEM, and that’s why it’s cheaper. The home user needs to buy retail if he wants tech support.

      Microsoft may have sounded heartless, but they were correct in denying the support.

    • #3305811

      And here’s the reason why….

      by brummy21 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Microsoft OEM XP is sold to system builders at a reduced price compared with retail product – part of the deal is that the system builder contracts with MS to provide support to the end user. So Microsoft sell the OS at a price which means they don’t cover support costs. Also, as a system builder, I can only say that if someone decides to assemble their own PC, then they need to be competent to do it and sort any problems out that may arise.

      You wouldn’t dream of buying new piston rings for your car engine and then expect the part supplier to spend time helping you reassemble your engine when you don’t quite have the expertise you thought you had.

      Everyone seems to think they’re an expert at building their own PC ’till something goes wrong. I sell MS OEM OSs strictly in line with the license terms, but unfortunately the world is awash with rogue dealers who break the rules when selling OEM product without a complete PC. So what would you have Microsoft do – stop distributing OEM to smaller system builders because there are some rogues about and so hand the big brands price advantage on a plate – we’d all be quick to shout about that.

      As usual the PC user world is doing its best to put Microsoft between a rock and a hard place. We grumble when MS don’t support concession price product and we sure as eggs is eggs would grumble if MS put the price up to cover support to inexperienced PC makers.

      Bottom line – you solved the problem yourself so you’re obviously a competent PC assembler and the whole thing has worked exactly as it is supposed to. And as MS rightly intended !!!!!!

    • #3305807

      Support is poor at best

      by nettec2 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I am a registerd Microsoft computer OEM, as such I am required to use the OEM CD for instalation.

      Problem is that even when encounter problems that we may not be familiar with and that the KB can’t answer.

      I have had occassion in the past to call MS Support (or lack of)for a machine that I have built for someone or even ended up having a problem with one of my own personal machines.

      In those cases they either wanted to charge me an arm and a leg or refused to do anything because the cd key was for OEM. It is very frustrating especially when they tell you to go back to the OEM and you are the OEM and you can’t get the support you need for their product. I have had a couple cases where the problem actually ended up being a bug in the software that they knew about but didn’t tell anyone and instances where the CD itself was defective I bought a 3 back and 2 of the 3 disks were defective, They did replace one of the disks but not both.

      I called my distributor and they told me they couldn’t replace it because they couldn’t break a pack, and that it was up to Microsoft to relpace it, I called Microsoft they told me it was up to the distributor and that I could also try the publisher of the CD, I tried calling them but they don’t answer their phone, and when I tried to e-mail them the answer was to get it replaced by Microsoft end result I’m still out a OEM CD I paid for.

      I feel it is there product and they should support it especially when they require us as registered OEM’s to use their OEM products and to purchase in minimum size packs.

      I feel your pain.

    • #3305800

      If you want to know XP Pro inside and out…

      by nacromancer9 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Go to or This is the place for all kinds of knowledge you will never get from a phone support person anywhere. Another place to go and ask questions, get software utilities, etc. is Kelly’s Corner was created by a lady who works for Microsoft Technical support Division. This information I have given you is what they use as a quick reference support. You could spend a lifetime in there going from A-Z to know it all. But then again you should always keep in mind the support forums such as they have at , , and the most commonly known one are always a good place to spend a few years reading Faq’s and discussions about all kinds of tweaks and tips. MSN also has a members group that you can go in and chat with a live technical support person for free called You can post a question or chat live with someone who has been proven knowlegdeable in all areas of technical advice about your PC. Hope this helps you……..

    • #3305798

      MS dosn’t want to support it’s products

      by jcrobso ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      If you buy a name brand PC you have to call them for support, MS will not help you. OEM version your on your own. A friend of mine bought the full retail XP, had to call MS for a problem and they still tried to get out of helping him told him to call the company that made the PC. Keep in mind the only reason that XP SP2 is free is because MS was found guilty in the antitrust case.

    • #3305797

      And your surprised?

      by dotxen ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I worked in Cape Town as a trainer and almost all the PCs were built jobbies. The same problems arose.

      Best plan….tell MS to stick it up there help-desk and start using a professional, stable and secure operating system with world-wide support – I give you SuSE my friend. And long may you sail in it.

      I tell you this is a Microsoft engineer and instructor (of 10 years experience with MS prods and tech support). We pray for the day when ALL servers go SuSe (or other distro) and let the desktops stay in their comfort-zones with XP, or whatever the next unpatchable, bloated, insecure operating system is called.

      Still, keeps me in work. Shouldn’t grumble.

    • #3305790

      You aren’t alone…

      by milfordwillie ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      One hundred million years ago when dust hadn’t settled on Internet install disks yet, I went with the Microsoft Network. It seemed logical: the makers of the operating system running an internet service made sense?


      I stumbled with MSN over an issue downloading my email for several weeks. My mail was hopelessly locked up and I could not download email. Several long distance calls to MSN were no luck. I finally reached a supervisor who acknowledged all the problems I had gone through and offered to call me back to take the Long Distance call. He resolved that we would get to the bottom of the problem before he hung up the phone.

      After checking several settings, reloading and restarting the computer, reinstalling MSN from the disk and jumping through a dozen hoops, the guy was stumped. We had spent well over two hours on the phone. His troubleshooter information screen had run out of stuff to check. He finally had me look at the version of the mail program I was using. It was Outlook 97.

      MSN: ?So you?re not using Outlook Express? You have Office 97??

      Me: ?Correct,? I said, ?Is that a problem??

      MSN: ?Yeah, that?s not our problem? you need to call the Office Support Line.?

      Me: ?You mean the MICROSOFT Office Support Line??

      MSN: ?Yeah, they deal with Office.?

      Me: ?Can?t you just transfer the call??

      MSN: ?That?s MS Support. You have to call them.?

      I wrote a pretty pithy letter to MSN canceling my account immediately after getting off the phone with them. I have no doubt that the letter ended up in the circular file. I have been with my current ISP since and had no complaints, especially after they have offered prime service and a toll free support number that I have seldom had to use. Never had a problem with email again.

    • #3305786

      Difference of Opinion

      by estrelralph ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I strongly believe that whether a product is OEM or not, the product should be supported by both the manufacturer and the originator of the PC, expecially if you “paid” for the product and also may have “paid” for the support service. Therefore, if I purchase a computer from Dell or any other computer supplier, should all the software installed be solely supported by Dell? This does not sound realistic to many. I believe that there needs to be an escalation process. Not everyone is technically inclined to provide their own support for OEM products. Besides there are consumers out there that don’t know what OEM even means.

      • #3307478

        The interesting thing here is that

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Difference of Opinion

        Others like Corel are not worried about the original source of the product they want to help you as much as they can.

        With all the software vendors that I’ve dealt with it is only M$ that gives virtually no support, treats you like an incompetent fool who’s first course of action is to ring them at the first sign of trouble and wants to charge you for the service.

        Currently I’m an OEM builder and I only ring M$ support when I feel I need some pain as they are always my last resort in every case. I’ve been working IT for longer than I care to think about now and personally I’d prefer to attend a dentist than ring M$ support for even something as simple as a product key change which was required when SP1 was released. Currently I live in fear of what will happen when I roll out SP2 onto all my customers units as there are bound to be unforeseen problems that M$ knows absolutely nothing about. When SP1 was released we all considered it a big chunk of code to install without potential problems but SP2 which is up to 266 MEG is far more like a rewrite of the basic XP OS than a simple patch that SP1 was!

        At least as an OEM system builder I have a direct line that is supposed to offer far better service to me and my company than the general support line but I’ve found this service to be sadly lacking and generally I end up not only fixing the problems that I run across but informing M$ as well.


    • #3305785

      Greed knows no end

      by whizpc1 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Because of Microsoft’s policy of not giving support for their product(s), regardless of where it was brought, you will see more & more piracy, copies made & sold or outright giving copies away. That’s what happens to GREEDY SOBs. They deserve it. Too bad they hide behind the law when somebody rips them off but a user cannot use the law to made good on their promises and products. Gates, you are a DONKEYHOLE.

    • #3305783

      M.S. SUPPORT

      by bpines ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      i believe that if your copy of XP is Legit then M.S. should support it. If they don’t want to support then they should sell error free products.

    • #3305779

      The Lights are on but No One is Home!

      by pnielsen ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I am a VAR and have a relationship with Microsoft through the Partners Program. Last month I had a problem with an Office XP upgrade that I could not resolve on a machine that I built. The latest service pack would not load properly.

      Microsoft was notified, but did not reply. Eventually, I figured out what the problem was and was able to updated the product, but without any help from MS. I posted both the request for help on-line and the eventual answer myself. As frustrating as that is, it turned out that Microsoft’s update software was not installed or working properly on their site, and therefore did not recognized the files it had downloaded to the machine as actual updates.

      I sometimes feel MS is only interested in answering problems that are easy or that they already have an answer for. New ones are accumulated until they have enough demand to justify putting any resources on it.

    • #3305774

      MS’s Greatest Acheivement and Biggest Pain

      by robh ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      MS did the right thing in kevq’s situation. MS dominates the market because they tried to be all OS’s to all hardware. Even crappy hardware. The OEM version allows vendors to bundle the OS on “whatever” they chose to build it on, so if you bought substandard parts, or parts with crappy drivers, why should MS have to support that. The vendor you bought it from has that responsibility, which is why OEM OS software can be purchased at a lower price to System Vendors don’t have to tack on a $389 cost to the machine. If you buy the OS in the store and install it, MS will support it. If you build your own, or buy it from Dell, Gateway, HP or whomever, you have to call the company you bought it from for OS support. In this case, because the vendor went out of business, you are on your own. It’s not Microsoft’s responsibility to support your hardware when the OS acts “funny”. That’s on you.

      • #3307477

        And that is exactly why M$ is

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to MS’s Greatest Acheivement and Biggest Pain

        Encouraging retailers to sell OEM with some hardware.

        When third party companies start writing software that runs on Linux or a company comes out with a product like Win for Lin that actually works with all current code written for Windows Microsoft will see the bottom drop out of their market. Currently most companies are forced to use Windows only because the software that they find necessary will only run on Windows.

        Once they have a viable alternative I’ll bet you’ll see them voting with their feet and choosing Linux over Windows at every opportunity. Currently Microsoft is claiming that the “Total Cost of Ownership” is greater on a Linux system but if you look at their figures they use OEM M$ prices to make their fudged figures look as if they actually work.


    • #3305770

      M.S. not intrested in support

      by frantz11368 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I worked on a project at a major hospital in New York back in 1999 putting an NT Domain within a Nivell Netware Backbone network. I had to roll out Terminal Server NT 4.0 RDP. In the process I had to install MS Office on the TS. Unfortunately Clipart would not work on the Terminal Server. The team and I came with a sloppy solution as a quick fix. When we contacted Microsoft for support, they in turn asked us if we had done anything in the mean time to solve the problem. Innocently, we told them about our dirty quick fix. Three (3) weeks went by before we finally heard back from Microsoft. They had the nerves to give us as their solution the “DIRTY QUICK FIX” that we had come up with. We had other issues with printing locally from a Terminal Server session. We could never get a solution from Microsoft either. I guess that all I can say (without being sarcastic) is “Welcome to the real world of support from Miky Mouse.



    • #3305769

      m.s. not interested in support

      by buddytd ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Not sure what you expected, Kev. When I sell a computer with the OS, I get the OS from my supplier. They support me, and I support my customers. MS is not involved – that’s part of the deal. I’ve been a VAR for over 17 years.

      Of course, I am paying a wholesale price for the OEM OS, not retail, and the money I make on the resale pays, in part, for my support of the product.

      If you had purchased the full retail product from an authorized reseller, MS would have supported you. Just as they support me for the products I have purchased to use in my business.

      We all realize MS has a lot of money, but it is unreasonable to expect them, or any other firm, to provide something for nothing.

      Bud Izen
      Keizer Oregon

      • #3305765

        what they should supply

        by robert.d.lewis ·

        In reply to m.s. not interested in support

        Bottom line: Microsoft should supply bug free products. They charge a premium for the software. They should support it, OEM or not.

    • #3305761

      Simular Response from MS but they took my Credit Card

      by stuart_lesnett ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      XP version (OEM) purchased from Tigerdirect with components for a new pc. Microsoft Support Center’s Utah facility was the recipient of my call, I think Utah support center, which was in the process of being outsourced to India and support engineer would be looking for a job in a month. The only reason I know all this is it took 4 hours to get XP up and running (3 different 128k memory sticks, 2 different cd drives and then their replacement after the initial systems build.
      My point is that last night the final presidential debate was held on domestic issues. I continued to think about the support person now jobless. I have had to use MS support since then and the quality of communication (English) was very limited and be sure to bring money. I purchased the product and expect support at a reasonable price which means 2 people have to beable to communicate. I which you all luck, I looking at linux as alternative for my non-governement customer to reduce cost, especially to correct some of the security problem with IE.

    • #3305759

      As an OEM builder

      by bywhatnow ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      We at “WHAT NOW!” Computers in Middleburg, Florida build and support our own computers. We have had the times that a “software” problem required us to find an answer from Microsoft. We, too, have found that MS does not appear to care about those of us in the OEM channel. However, as a regular attender of the TS/2 meeting, I have several email address of thier tech support people. We also use the knowledge base very extensivly. I am appalled the MS does act toward the OEM segment as red headed “bastard” step childern, as they are always telling me how much they want my business and support for them. I have a meeting in my area with MS on the 21st of this month and I will address this problem and give an update on thier answer. Michael

      • #3305744


        by jyoun3 ·

        In reply to As an OEM builder

        Your comment about the “red headed bastard” is offensive.
        Perhaps next time you could choose another analogy?


      • #3307561

        Once Upon a Time

        by willcomp ·

        In reply to As an OEM builder

        MS used to provide free e-mail support to all Partners regardless of documented sales and to registered OEM System Builders. The free service was discontinued several years ago to small shops like yours truly here. The big MS software buyers still receive free support via the Partner program.

        Very small businesses in rural areas get it stuck to us by the phone company, utilities, local tax man, and many others. Guess MS just wants to join in the fun.


        • #3307475

          Have you ever attended a M$ Partners Meeting and seen

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Once Upon a Time

          The Gold Club Members treatment? At one MS Partners Briefing I was misdirected to the Gold Club area and I couldn’t believe that we where all attending the same meeting. There is just no comparison with the big end of town. They get better deals better support and worse still will get help that we only dream of from M$ when they have a problem of their own making.

          On the other hand when we run into a problem of M$ making we are left to suffer and wait until they either produce a fix or we give in and change the hardware.


    • #3305756

      MS support

      by rburello ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      You could always pay for support and it does not have to come from microsoft, it could come from one of their partners.

    • #3305754

      Not really a surprise

      by z80man ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I have had the same experience, but then I have also had Microsoft refuse to support products we use at work, even though we have a huge contract with them. I bet if you pay, they might support, but even when I have gotten support from them, it was nearly worthless. I find forums and other user sources to be more useful, though it does take time to wade through the info. There is a reason so many folks love to hate Microsoft.

      • #3305749


        by pka ·

        In reply to Not really a surprise

        Long ago I quit using MS Support. While we are an authorized oem distributor we also don’t recommend nor install oem 2k or XP but instead sell the user a retail version if they want it. But to the guy with the problem, it’s never been a secret that MS won’t support their oem products so he needs to quit whining.

      • #3305667

        and how I fixed that problem

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Not really a surprise

        That’s just one of many reasons that of four computers, I only have Windows on one of them — and I wouldn’t even have that if I didn’t need it for work. It’s sad when the best support you can get for MS products is community support, especially since the community support for Linux and BSD is so much better than it is for Windows.

    • #3305748


      by pbiss ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Companies like Microsoft and Dell are obsessed with limiting the support that they give to consumer customers. Ask them anything out of the ordinary and they send you packing.
      Considering the number of consumer customers, their many cases, of skill and just plain laziness, we can hardly be surprised. I know that Dell can also be extremely supportive of the right kind of question – it earns them income from their premium rate number!

    • #3305747


      by pbiss ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Companies like Microsoft and Dell are obsessed with limiting the support that they give to consumer customers. Ask them anything out of the ordinary and they send you packing.
      Considering the number of consumer customers, their many cases, of skill and just plain laziness, we can hardly be surprised. I know that Dell can also be extremely supportive of the right kind of question – it earns them income from their premium rate number!

    • #3305743

      Fight back… file a complaint

      by mdpetrel ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      We need to start a grass roots movement to force legislation that will protect consumer rights for all. Start with an inquiry directed to your state’s PIRG.

      A pc w/o an OS is like a car w/o a steering wheel. I don’t care how many pgm’ers feel they need to be paid for their efforts, intellectual property, etc. You, the consumer, are *forced* to purchase an OS. As such, having to pay between $100US & $200US to upgrade from Windows 95/98/ME to Windows XP is excessive. This is *not* simple suplly & demand; this is commerce has gone awry.

      The least MS can do is offer absolutely free (1-800) tech support w/ no waiting on the phone. They *can* afford it. Bill Gates alone makes more than $40 billion. He can spend $500 million of his own pocket money to staff a larger support center, and still have $43 & 1/2 billion dollars left over.


    • #3305741

      OEM Registration

      by beaujester ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Someone is missing the whole point with this complaint. When the OEM product is first used with the application it will ask for an internet connexion or telephone line to confirm the coding and registration. Unregistered OEM products are time limited and therefore will become invalid. (MS)OEM products that are correctly registered are assured backup and assistance from the helpdesk. Unauthorized copies of OEM CD’s, or CD’s that have been “borrowed” from wholesale lots of company comp.s will not have the backing of MS.

      • #3305727

        Additional Missed Point

        by robcastaldo ·

        In reply to OEM Registration

        I think it’s funny that everyone is blaming MS for what is really poor training of Call Center employees.

        Microsoft out-sources most of it’s call center work, companies such as Client Logic and others higher college kids or people with little or no computer experience, who sit there and read a script. These people are not techs. Same thing with the MSN Customer service complaint. The rep couldn’t transfer you because there was no way for your call to be routed to the other call center that handles Office products, chances are they were farmed out to a different call center company.

        You’re generally, unless it’s a Server/Enterprise or some other high priced corporate product question, talking to someone working for a call center not Microsoft, from what I understand the higher level corporate software is still handled by MS)

        I realize that these people are representing MS, but that’s what happens when you start outsourcing all you work.

        That’s big part pf the reason that Dell moved all their mid to large level corporate call centers back to the US from India, they were losing mid to large corporate clients over the outsourced call center issues not being handled satisfactorily.

      • #3305705

        In Reply to the OEM Registration – It doesnt Mater (Still Screwed)

        by anthonyw34 ·

        In reply to OEM Registration

        I registered my OS. MS told me it was regestered properly. The OS was less than 3 months old and installed on a new laptop. They told me that it was an OEM product and they won’t deal with it, and I need to talk with the manufacture of the laptop. I also had the same problem with a friends home built computer, and it was also regestered. I now own an Apple laptop with OS X on it. It is UNIX based and works extemely well with my AIX and SOLARIS stuff. Way better than MS ever did. I did have one small problem with my Apple, but it was rectified by a customer support person from Apple (in the US) and I didn’t even have to wait 2 hours to get the representative to come on the line to help me.

    • #3305737

      Support IS the weakest link

      by blueknight ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I had a very similar experience myself quite some time ago. In the end, I solved the problem with the help of a tech friend of mine at work and good information I found via the web.

      In my opinion, MS created the software and therefore should support it. If they don’t want to provide support then they should get out of the business (or give the product(s) away free with no warranty or support provisions).

      Yeah… support IS the weakest link

    • #3305735

      I had a similar experience

      by jwgii2001 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I run a small computer graphics company. I had a problem with XP not loading up on one computer. Calling Microsoft revealed the same problem. I built all the computers used by my company. As a result of my experience. I now only one computer running XP, the others are now running Linux. At this time the one computer computer is only being used for the graphics application. When I next upgrade that application I plan to get the linux version instead. My problem turned out to be a corrupted Windows XP file.

    • #3305733

      MS has an ARROGANT attitude

      by jurgislasevicius9 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I agree as I have had the same problem over here in Brazil, maybe we all should start migrating over to Linux and give these guys(MS)a slap to wake them up irrespective of wether its OEM or not this bunch of so and so’s designed and manufactured the product.
      I would liken it to buying a vehicle and just because you did not buy it from the manufacturers dealer they are now not willing to service or repair the car even if you’re willing to pay. I have migrated my browser over to Firefox – away from IE as I’m fed up to the back teeth with MS’ attitudes, the only reason I run MS on one of my machines is that as I work from home and have to use MS Word to be compatible with my clients.

    • #3305729

      OEM support – What support!!!!

      by anthonyw34 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      This does not apply to homebuilt, but all computers that come with OEM OS’s. Thats right I had a Toshiba laptop that came with the OEM XP on it and it had a problem. MS told me to talk to Toshiba about the problem. Okay I called Toshiba to have the problem fixed. You know what they told me after a few minutes with a less than knoledgable tech representative… yes you guessed it… call MS. I finally said to hell with this and sold the laptop and bought an Apple one. No problems with OS X and great tech support. I have really began to loath MS for not even as so much to have any support for their OEM OS’s when they sell them to manufacures. PS – I have also heard aboutthe same problem with a home built PC’s from others as well.
      Very fusterating!

    • #3305711

      Alternate route

      by dsteckel ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Become a Micro$oft partner for about $250 or less if you attend one of their regional briefings. You get a lot of software for FREE and much better support. You in fact become an OEM and get their best support. You built a PC. You’re system builder.

    • #3305699

      MS isn’t the only one not interested in supporting their products

      by mercedesman1981 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I just went through quite a round with a major computer manufacturer (or should I say assembler? – they don’t really “make” anything, they are really VAR’s – value added retailers) trying to get a defective dimm module replaced that has a lifetime warranty fully supported by the original manufacturer. I am still not certain the transaction for a replacement dimm will fully complete, it has only taken 6 months of haggling (after awhile it gets to be the principal). I have plenty of expertise in building my own system and will do so in the future since support is really non-existant unless you are willing to pay the money to sign up for a service contract. That is tough to justify when you do most of the service yourself anyway. What is worse was their tech support and their supervisors. When I got them on the phone the first time they insisted their diagnostics were the only ones that worked and there was nothing wrong with the module. I ultimately proved them wrong and feel bad for those folks that are not computer engineers when running into problems like I did. I bought from this vendor because of price. It is hard to assemble your own computer and purchase software for it and beat the prices of the various manufacturers. The overall cost however is hidden in the service contract you should sign up for to continue the protection their suppliers offer on the parts sold to them.

      So not only does hardware service suck, software does too. MS$ is interested in one thing and one thing only – maximizing their dollars.

      All Linux needs is better driver support from hardware manufacturers and support from software applications. We are seeing more cross-platform scripting, I hope the trend continues. If it does, MS$ will be toast.

      —GO Penguin GO!

    • #3305698

      OEM Product Does Not Belong To Microsoft

      by huoren ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Microsoft should stop vendors from selling OEM Products. It appears that it does not belong to them or did not make the profits to offer services to users who had bought a licensed product. A Microsoft Product!

      • #3307442

        Over here M$ is doing the

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to OEM Product Does Not Belong To Microsoft

        Exact opposite. They are encouraging retailers to sell OEM product. I have walked into major chain stores and not seen a single Retail copy of any M$ product. They are all shrink wrapped with a generic mouse and if you like you could buy a complete range of M$ products as OEM’s for nothing more than the cost of the OEM and a $2.00 mouse.

        I think M$ has finally succumbed to the fact that they can not support their own product so they are doing everything possible to stop any support questions arising.


    • #3305696

      Caveat Emptor

      by z06 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I certainly wouldn’t support Microsoft and its policies versus Kevg or anyone else. However, any reputable vendor from whom you purchase OEM software will (or should) make plain that Microsoft does NOT support OEM software. Retail boxed software is, obviously, more expensive, but you gotta bite the bullet if you want to be assured of support. If you purchase a computer from a vendor with OEM software already installed, then the vendor will support your software issues. In Kevg’s case, though, I doubt his vendor would have been of help even if they hadn’t gone out of business, because the software CD was purchased separately from a computer system.

    • #3305686

      Lil Billy’s Bugware

      by zombywulf ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Do you really expect any help from the guys who still can’t get it right.
      lil Billy’s bugware has NEVER yet released anything but Beta versions. And heaven forbid you try to read the EULA you’ll find that out for yourself. gates, are not out to make software that works, they are just out to make money. And as it seem they don’t care who gets burned in the process. So go try Linux, at least you’ll know from the start where they stand.

    • #3305674

      Microsoft takes the easy way out

      by miltbern ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It seems to me that as long as you have a legal licensed product then they should be obligated to provide support during the active life of the program.
      It has been my experience that Microsoft does not want to deal with small businesses or individuals who buy their products but only with large organizations. I would suggest buying your MS software from larger businesses to avoid this problem or do without Microsoft altogether. Don’t expect them to help you the individual. All they want from us is to test their products for them and do it free as well as pay them for the privilege of testing their latest creation.

    • #3305671

      MS largest customers

      by sphillips84 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I have read threw most of the replies here, and every one seems to be missing the major part of the problem. No amount of money could go into testing the product so that it would not have any errors? allot of the problems come from people who do not know that they are doing clicking around and fooling with stuff witch they should not. Or people who purposely create hostile coding. When you look at the mass amount of people who use MS products compared to the number of people who really do have problems. you will notice that MS is doing a decent job. With every one saying Ohh linx here I come. they don’t understand that no one is attacking linx isn’t because it is better, but because there isn’t a face to it. there is no one to attack. its like Hitting air. what will that accomplish. same thing applies for people writing software. MS has taken steps to make sure that people are creating software that will work with there products. haven’t you seen the little Designed for stickers on products?

      If MS gives support for all of its software do you know many jobs that we destroy? Dell call centers would be no more ( granted I think we need to bring them all back to the USA not just corporate) Compaq, HP too. not to monition the constaltiant’s the support the products, the biggest MS customers aren’t the end users. it is the Techies who support the crap they cant handle and do have the money to research. such as will this software that was written 10 years ago with with XP along with sound card that manufacture didn’t even create proper drivers for work?? the only way to stop the problems would be to have ONE company make all of the computer products then there would be no issue with conflicts and errors and support because you would be going to one place.

      • #3307439


        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to MS largest customers

        Now if only M$ would give us all access to their source code so we could fix the problems that we run across it would be so much easier wouldn’t it?

        While I’ve had a few problems with users doing the wrong thing they are very few and even then currently the worst has been end users installing SP2 after being told not to because of compatibility problems with third party software.

        While I do not work in this area I have seen numerous units where the OS has been trashed when a game was installed even now I refuse to reinstall my sons computer as he destroys Windows XP so many times it’s no longer funny I just make him reinstall Windows and ever since I started doing that he has not trashed a OS.

        The main problems that I run across are silly ones like not being able to print from MYOB but the printer works perfectly when in Windows and that has a “Designed for XP sticker on the box!” There are many problems like this that a half way decent programmer could fix in short order but of course we can not look at the code let alone alter it can we?

        Since M$ released the final version of SP2 I’ve been testing it with all my clients apps and at this point in time am still unwilling to even suggest installing that critical patch. I can not help but wonder just how much DOS code is actually in Windows XP that is no longer used but as M$ proceeds further down the development road the programs get bigger and hog more of the processing power of the computers that we have.

        I can not help but wonder why a 486 running DRDOS still opens and executes Word faster than a 3 GIG P4 with 1 GIG of RAM running XP Pro and Office 2003 Pro, sure the new stuff does a lot more but just how much of it is actually necessary?

        Back in the DOS & Word Perfect 5 days it was accepted that only 10% of any one program was used how much do you think that figure is now?


    • #3305660

      Fun with Microsoft

      by smargaretten ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It would seem that as long as you possessed a legal copy of a Microsoft product, that weather it was OEM or retail, they are responsible for support.
      Next time try asking for a supervisor/manager, and restate your issue. If they also wish to deny you support… ask to speak to there legal department. You will probably get some cooperation.
      An alliterative is to go to Microsoft’s web site and register as a VAR or Reseller. These partnerships will allow you support with OEM products.

      Good luck.

    • #3305655

      Been There Done That…It’s not just MS

      by todd ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      While I recognize the business aspect of what Microsoft is doing… I would think, in the great capitalist world we live in 🙂 they would offer an alternative… like buying Tech support etc.. instead of just saying they won’t help.

      For what it is worth, to this day there are certain companies I won’t buy from because of problems like this. Situation were I felt the company didn’t care about their business or helping the client, just getting the clients money. Interesting enough, some of those companies aren’t in business anymore, other are, but they sell different products, etc.

    • #3305648

      M.S. not intrested in support.

      by plockit007 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Mopst of the corporations out there provide inadequate support. I’m an A+ technician with about 25 years of experience. It is rather sad that we cannot get support from these companies.

      I have a small home based computer repair business and run into this type of situation always. There are plenty of great small business techs that will help you around the problem visist my site @ or feel free to email your questions to

      Please remember to tell me who you are as I get lots of email from all over the U.S.

      Happy Computing to All of us

      P&M Services Computer Repair

    • #3305643

      Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Let me guess. You did not read the End User License Agreement?

      You folks have to understand that if you buy a power cord and get the latest operating system for 30 bux, that that is the support that you get.

      Does this mean that there is a lack of support? If you were a PC vendor, No. If you are one of those who bought it and then later are complaining cause you get no support, No.

      This is one of those situations where you forget one small thing: You get what you pay for. The product support is free if you bought the retail product, and if you buy the OEM version, you notice that it is a heck of a lot cheaper, and the manufacturer of the product is the support.

      You got what you paid for.

    • #3305641

      MS not interested

      by ron.riley ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      MS hasn’t been interested in support since windows 3.1. No surprise, Welcome to our world.
      IF you HAD a CD Key from a major vendor, Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. Then they would only have handed you off to that VENDOR. You need to understand, MS is only in the business of SELLING SOFTWARE, NOT supporting it !!.
      When computer vendors started puting the information phamplet IN the BOX, that explains HOW to UNPACK the BOX. And operating system Installation notes/manuals on the CD. Which requires you to have a SECOND WORKING PC in order to read the INSTALLATION manual. You should have seen the writing on the wall, that “YOUR ON YOUR OWN”.
      With little or no help from the vendors.
      With most of the future software design and PC support being sent offshore, don’t expect it to get better. This is as good as it’s going to be.
      If you doubt my offshore remark, look around, how many HARDWARE designs do you see being done in the USA. Not many since the early 70’s. You can probably count them on one hand. The US gave away all of it’s electronic hardware mfg & development work in the 70’s. And with the Internet, software & support are going FAST. I back up those remarks with 30 years experience in the industry.
      To further this, MS has developed a scaled down cheaper version of it’s OS’s to sell in 3rd world countries. So they will have future programmers & support people willing to put up with anything and still work cheap !

    • #3305637

      Are they call that “support”?

      by aristogato ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It has happened that time we has the backoffice installed on a NT server, and SQL2000 has just arrived on the market. To install the SQL, I was obliged to upgrade the browser and, doing so, the control pannel to configure all the backoffice services stopped to respond, replying that the browser version is incorrect and showing an url that I could download a servicepack to fix it. I got another machine, accessed the url they told, and for my surprise, the answer was: file not found! I spent 15 calls to support, sending me since pages that has no links, but an excuse, to others they even know what for about. On that 15th call, I beg to the operator to view for herself that the link she asked to click returned no file; Finally, she replied: Sorry, but we, from Brazilian Microsoft Helpdesk, do not have access to the web!
      Never more I’d contected the support!

    • #3305635

      I don’t buy it!

      by jrshull ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I’ve purchased OEM Products and the few times I ever called Microsoft for support, I have never had a problem. Possibly, this was a unhappy employee that decided you were the target of his frustrations.

      • #3305588

        Wake Up, Get Real

        by themikebutler ·

        In reply to I don’t buy it!

        I’m guessing MANY of you whiners out there were born after 1980 when the first PC hit the market. I can remember the day when you could put 7 techs in a room with their PC’s and none of their PC’s could communicate with the other. Microsoft fixed that problem! Now you require ONE Company (MS) to make a product that will work with 500 million or so completely different PC’s around the world. While they are at it make it work with whatever it is you bought, at the cheapest price, from somebody who has little technical knowledge, but is able to manufacture it cheaply. Windows is like the tires on your car. Take away the tires and you go nowhere. If your car won’t start, don’t blame the tires! Even tires have a limited application in which they will work. Not ANY tire on ANY car. I can empathise with you on wanting to FIX a Windows crashing problem but anything that takes more than one hour is not worth the time since you can format and reload and it will most likely work correctly. I have spent way too many hours trying to learn to ‘fix’ a problem in hopes on learning more. That is the price we pay. I have never had a problem where I had to call MS. Quite frankly I have many, many end users call me for support when the main reason they called is because they were too lazy to read the instructions or EULA themselves. I make a lot of money from those guys who refuse to read the book. I always make it a point to educate the end user as much as he possibly wants within reason. As far as recovering data, that is and always has been the end users responsibility. If they backup, and it really is quite easy today, they can recover/restore their entire system in minutes instead of hours. About outsourcing overseas, we brought that on ourselves because we demand the best product for the lowest possible price while at the same time we, as employees, want the most money for the least amount of effort on our part. We, by implied consent, agree to tolerate a certain amount of inconvenience to obtain that lowest price. Linux users, get real, about 50% of their computer time is spent fixing problems or looking for new, free software that works like Microsoft Software, they in turn agree to a certain amount of inconvenience to get what they want for free. Why do you think that you cannot go to the software store and pick software off the shelf for free? Because NOBODY is making any money from it!!! EVERYBODY wants to be paid for their services, expertise and time. If you want Windows to run perfectly then load it up on a NEW system designed for Windows and do not add or change anything ever. It will run for a very long time without failure, however you may not be able to do much since it is the tire of your system. When you add or change anything, then you alter the terms of the agreement. Contrary to what you may think, once the end user logs on, no two systems are alike from that point on. Finally, look at yourself, you demand perfection from Microsoft but many, many of you lack even the most basic typing, spelling and grammar skills to get your point across where it even makes sense. Skip the criticism of me, since I admit the lack of perfection on my part and only after several proofreads did I get this to look as is does. That is a key item, PROOFREAD your comments before hit the submit button to keep yourself from looking like a complete,illiterate, uneducated moron. Have a great day all of you and remember if Microsoft were perfect, many of us would be jobless or working in another field. Quite frankly, I LOVE MY WORK!!!

        • #3307520

          Pretty right!

          by igiron ·

          In reply to Wake Up, Get Real

          I have supported m$-DOS and m$-win from version 1, and I can say it has been a buggy thing from the first release. Which is not bad, for I have made quite a lot of money supporting all this crap. So, I thank M$ for creating such vaporware.

          On the other hand, I have also being installing and supporting Linux and I find it very pleasant to solve problems over the internet (i.e via ssh). And I also make LOTS of money. Yes, you can also make money with Linux. Let me say it again, just a bit lowder: YOU CAN ALSO MAKE MONEY WITH LINUX!. There?s NOTHING that prevents you from profiting from Linux. You dont’t even need to buy the software or sign such a rights-give-away known as EULA. Just download a set of CDs (or even even a set of diskettes) and you are ready to go. Granted: it’s harder for a regular Linux user to trash a well crafted system, than it is for a regular m$-win user, or even a m$-win patch to trash winxxx. I hartedly ask you to follow your own advice about not being too lazy to read, and READ AND UNDERSTAND the GNU/GPL licence in order to avoid spreading myths about Linux. Then, and only then, press the submit button.

          Linux is free. Your work doesn’t need to be free.



        • #3307438

          Well here is one of what you like to describe as a

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Wake Up, Get Real

          Winner who sure as hell worked in what is now know as IT long before MS was even thought of and computers took up at least an entire floor of a building if not the entire building. Back then we used Unix and with the horrible old command lines of incomprehensible syntax I very quickly lost my ability to spell English any more, but those systems worked and continued to work for a very long time without yearly updates of the main programs.

          Sure communication between different mainframes was a problem but HTML cured that and M$ sure as hell had nothing to do with that development.

          Perhaps it is because I worked on Unix systems that I see so many flaws in the M$ software and OS’s but I can honestly say that I have yet to see one single M$ application do as it was claimed to do when it was released. It gets almost usable after about the 4 th Service Pack or whatever they wish to call a major rewrite.

          But as far as the rest of your posting goes you are perfectly correct I just love M$ as they provide me with so much income with all the call outs that I have to perform to get the networks working acceptably well. However I have yet to see a M$ network work as well as the old Unix system of so long ago. Sure they do a lot more now days but they also have far more powerful machines the current crop of Intel workstations would have a greater number crunching capacity that several floors of mainframe capacity and it can be held on a hand in the case of a Lap Top.

          But and here is the big one do you think things are any better now than what they where way back when you actually needed to know machine languages and had units that where measured in Kilohertz than what they are today?


    • #3305586


      by gazoo548 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I just went through the same scenario that you described.They wanted $35 for help even though I,Like you had bought the program from a reseller.It seems that microsoft sells licences to outsiders but they stipulate two things when it comes to the reseller. The reseller must provide support and the program must come with some kind of hardware.Now,Let’s get on to a solution for your problem.The best way to do this is to put “how can I find the key # for a microsoft installation disk” in almost any address bar with most isps.It will make a search and give you choices. The way it worked for me is the link took me to a place where I could download the orogram which is very small.You can dowload and install the program or you can download it to a floppy.Once you have it all you have to do is click on the program and it will bring the # right up or insert the floppy and click on the program and it will pop up with the #.Two programs that I used were very good and simple. One was called viewkey and the second one was rockxp. If after trying what I said and it doesn’t work,E-mail me and I will send you the file.

      • #2534149


        by montdor1 ·

        In reply to ISN’T MICROSOFT WONDERFUL?

        Ain’t she sweet…I wholly concur, MS is wonderful–wonderfully greedy. My story, which won’t be tellable soon because I shall sure drown in ridiculousness unless…Well I paid $199.99 for a real live genuine copy of MS Windows xp home edition about two years ago at CompuData (something like that). The means I have a contract with them. As the party with deeper pockets, they ought to take me at my word and throw me a bone. Sometimes do you get the feeling they’re basically saying, “Look. We f-cked up. There hundreds of thousands of user just like you and we’re overwhelmed. But wait, don’t you call suspiciously all the time? (Sure I call two or three times a year. Every programmer has to do a clean install now and again, it’s like a haircut. That’s why all this agita is nuts. Tonight is the last night I’ll spend trying to activate xp–my own copy, same pc, same me, as when I bought it–Wintel, give us a break. The BBB has been called, by me, 10 trillion times, and by 50 friends. Do the math. I hate to call names, but you’re jerks (that’s the tame version).

    • #3307336

      MS SHOULD support its products

      by harposdad ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I have also had problems with MS support?, recently I had to reinstall Win2K Pro for which (surprise surprise) the product key had been lost. I dutifully rang MS and quoted the numbers off the CD and was given a key that failed. The tech? on the phone told me I would need to purchase another copy as there seemed to be a problem with the copy I had and that MS could not support it. My customer gave up and bought XP Pro instead.

      • #3307435

        The one I loved was

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to MS SHOULD support its products

        A LT came in for repairs and needed a new HDD. So I requested the original software, drivers and the original copy of Windows. Well this was an old LT that lacked a CD ROM and had Floppies for WIN 98 along with a retail version of 98 and a product key that worked with the CD that was supplied. The floppies where original M$ and would not accept the product key that was on the sticker or book or whatever I can not remember now. So I rang M$ support line and asked for a product key that would work with the Floppies all 40 of them from memory. Well M$ at first insisted that they never supplied 98 on floppies but finally said that they no longer supported the Floppy installation and offered to post me a 98 CD although where I was supposed to put it I’m not overly sure it would have made a nice drink coaster but was fairly useless as an install disk. All the drivers where on floppies and the only problem was to find a way of loading the floppies that had been supplied with the LT which I couldn’t get a key for.

        Eventually I ended up buying an external CD ROM Drive loading DOS and installing the required drivers then after the CD ROM was running I installed 98 from that even though the copy of 98 that was provided insisted that it was an Original Copy and I needed an Upgrade copy eventually I got it reloaded and off it went along with a nice new CD ROM drive that was totally unnecessary if I could only have got the Key for the Floppy install.

        I’ve since been to that persons home and the CD ROM is sitting in its box in a draw as it is unnecessary for their applications talk about a waste of time and hardware. But it did work out far cheaper than sending the dead HDD away to have the data and Windows Key recovered which was unnecessary as all their important data had been backed up and I was only required to fit and load a new HDD.


    • #3307330

      Dell is equally as bad

      by aljen ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Tech Support appears to be a thing of the past. The timing of this article is right on. I just got off the phone with Dell and Earth Link. I spent 6 hours of cell phone time talking with Steve, Ryan and Phillip, All Indians, who speak well but obviously can’t hear. Dell finally admitted they ouldn’t help me at level one and would have to send me to level two. Then He said that is a pay level of support. What a deal I have to pay because they are too stupid to fix thier problem.

      • #3307433

        If you think that is bad

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Dell is equally as bad

        Try dealing with IBM for the server side of things. It is far less painful stabbing yourself with a 12 inch screwdriver and at least then you know if it doesn’t kill you eventually you will get better, the same can not be said about IBM as you just know that you’ll be ringing them again about something else.


    • #3307323


      by rabo ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I bought my XP Home from a general wholesaler called “Game” who know SWEET NOTHING about PCs but I thought I was buying an original Microsoft CD it being halogrammed an’ all. Had the same stupid response when I needed technical help from MS Johannesburg. MS is a failure to it’s customers.
      We made BNill rich, now he don’t know us…

    • #3307319

      gray market

      by mustang221 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      what you ran into is commonly called a gray market. When the shop sold you the CD, it was only supposed to be sold as part of a system they put together for you and then supported. If you want to build your own, and recieve MS support, then you need a retail version of the product. Computer shops selling clone parts, and computer shows are often selling you goods they have obtained outside the normal channels. Let the buyer beware.

    • #3307316

      Microsoft does support OEM

      by ppumacom ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I think Kev must have coped a dud support teco. I have been selling systems with OEM software for several years and both I and clients have received excellent support for 2000 Pro, XP Pro & XP Home OS problems. I always ask the name of the teco so if there is a problem I can at least refer back to the previous teco. GK

      • #3307313

        Rules might be different in AU

        by thechas ·

        In reply to Microsoft does support OEM

        I can’t speak for down under.

        Here in the US, Microsoft and most other suppliers of OEM software specifically require the user to get ALL support from the OEM.

        The limits of support are covered in the EULA and I have even seen CDs with support limitation statements on them.


      • #3307431

        Different country

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Microsoft does support OEM

        So different rules apply! Over here in AU M$ must support their OEM product as that is our LAW but in other parts of the world this just is not the case.

        We have the Trade Practices Act here which hamstrings M$ quite a lot. Also the ACCC has a lot of power and is capable of inflicting massive harm on M$ if they step too far out of line. But the main thing is that under AU Law a product must be of “Marketable Quality and have Adequate Support” before it can be sold here.

        That is the reason why M$ does offer support for OEM products here in AU but not in other parts of the world. Although in anything but the simple questions I’ve found the support line to be next to useless but to be fair I am asking questions that are not in the script so the support guys who are only reading a computer screen and have no technical skills are unable to answer most of my questions.


    • #3307295

      No sympathy here

      by jgaskell ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Quite simply, you are asking for something to which you are not entitled. If you were sold the OEM CD on its own, then you were buying it from a shonky operator as OEM software is not to be sold in this way. If you bought it with some qualifying hardware, then the responsibility for support lies with the company that sold you the hardware. It’s pretty clear.

      You may have a case to feel aggrieved with the dodgy dealer who sold you the software (sounds like there could be a good reason they are no longer in business), but I can’t see how Microsoft is at fault. I find it extremely irritating when people take the cheap and shonky way around things and then bleat when that action comes back to bite them.

    • #3307294

      MS- Big Brother

      by bob5 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It seems that Microsoft is wanting to become a “Big Brother” Type- You do what they say or else-No support>I have had several contacts with them and found about the same as Kevg Did.It puts me in a position that I an looking for a differnt system other than WIndows.ANd I don’t push Microsoft products as a result of there attitude.Bob P

    • #3307289

      Buy the retail product

      by myron_s ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I suppose what Microsoft wants you to do is purchase the retail version of the operating system, then you’ll get supported. (Sigh . . .)

      • #3307264

        Don’t count on it.

        by ken e ·

        In reply to Buy the retail product

        You will get an email [from India] asking for a full and complete description of the problem. When you send it, they do not understand enough English to fully comprehend the issue, and mail you a “canned” response that does not even pertain to your problem. Then to top it all off, they send you a survey a few days later wanting you to tell them how great they were.

        • #3307430

          So True

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Don’t count on it.

          The last time I got a survey from M$ was the day prior to a Partners Meeting I’ll probably never get another invitation!


    • #3307280

      one good responce

      by hansmassage ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Knowing MS OEM reputation it was with great trepidation that I called to re registrat my copy of XP when the used hard drive I had instaled it on died. Too my suprise the lady who took my call checked my registration and gave me a new code number and said call againe if I needed.

    • #3307275

      The error is on three sides…

      by mr. tinker ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      First error: A vendor selling the OEM software as retail product, second error: purchase of same without being told the consequences, third error: MS for not supporting the OEM product in any degree when purchased in error.
      The problem occurs when a vendor has to liquidate his liabilities, and MS-software is one of those. (sadly he can’t return them for refund.)

    • #3307266

      MS needs to feel the hand of Uncle Sam across their backside

      by ken e ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I have also been in this position, multiple times. I have been building my own PC’s for over 5 years. Even when an error within their code and/or miniscule documentation causes the users’ problem, there is no assistance readily available. It is time for Federal Oversight on this run-away monopoly. – and I’m a free market advocate! If MS doesn’t want people to pirate their wares, they should offer generous support to all who seek it. The alternative is for everyone to “borrow” a retail authintication from a friend and get the support they deserve as a licencee of the software in the first place. If MS doesn’t want all the “grannies” in the world calling, they should build a better, self-evident product that does not generate as many inquiries. MS should offer free telephone support to anyone running a legitimate version of any MS product and “Uncle” should see to it that they do – without hours-long waiting in line or constant busy signals.

    • #3307261

      Your stuck and it’s probably reasonable

      by bogmeadow ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Except for my lap top all my PCs (4) are home built. They run Windows XP that I’ve upgraded from W98 that I upgraded form W95 all the way back to windows 3 and before. I’ve bought retail upgrade packages for each machine in all cases. I’ve had to call for support and I’ve gotten it. Presumably, the “OEM” CD you bought was legitimate and the price the OEM paid for it was considerably less than the retail upgrade or full install version. The price to the OEM is lower because MS isn’t going to provide end user support for it. Well, your OEM went out of business and your stuck just as you would be for support on an Hewlett Packard PC if they went out of business. MS isn’t obligated to provide the support and I suspect that the could incur a substantial cost if they agreed to pick up windows support for every OEM tha failed. The incremental cost to handle your problem would be negligible but the incremental cost to handle ALL the folks in your position might be large.

      • #3307428

        Or if it was a genuine problem

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Your stuck and it’s probably reasonable

        They just might become aware of a code problem and be in a position to fix it faster.

        If you do any Beta Testing M$ wants all the feedback that they can get and are only too willing to offer possible solutions but once it reaches production status they no longer seem to care. Most likely it is because it is now being dealt with by a different section but I still feel like a Beta Tester when I”m installing paid for product on my customers computers.


    • #3307252

      no problem

      by gr6120 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Microsoft has always supported me when ever I had a problem , I am not sure who you called but you wont hear anything bad about microsoft from me

    • #3307248

      M.S. not intrested in support.

      by ahgjr ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      That is why with every system that my company builds, we put an original over-the-counter non-OEM version on the system. The client gets support from Microsoft as well as us. We’ve put some 300 systems doing just that without a hitch.

    • #3307247

      It doesn’t matter who builds the computer it’s all OEM

      by abccomputer ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It doesn’t matter if it is a DELL, HP, Compaq, Gateway, Build it yourself. They all come with OEM software and the support is from the manufacturer. Then you get in the middle of it’s not the software it’s the hardware and the hardware folks saying that it’s not the hardware it’s the software.

      As an OEM, I find that most often the answers are on the microsoft support knowledge base. But get answers that arent’ there from OEM newsgroups.

    • #3307228

      Thank God only software giants can condemn a buyer

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I bought a car from a dealer. He went out of business later. Fortunately, when I needed new brakes, the mechanic down the road fixed it with parts other than from the original manufacturer. And he didn’t even need MS approval first :))

    • #3307227


      by aaron a baker ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I am a Home-Tech,I’ve gone to many homes where something had gone wrong with the system and when they called the store from which they bought all they got was “Bring it back and for a “Fee” we’ll fix it for you”.
      Then they usually just do a quick re-install and charge outrageous prices. I get very upset when hear this kind of crap going on. When a person buys a Computer System from the “Store”, they should certainly also get every disk that goes with making that system work,including the Windows version installed. Now,Firms even have “Store Disks” with Multiple Windows versions so as to make the installation easier. When I explain this to people, they”naturally” get very upset.Selling a Computer with the Software is in my opinion the same as selling the care with out the spare tires. I don’t consider it an honest policy and deplore firms that do this type of business. Microsoft is the worst because it make’s no effort to find out if the OEM they sent for distribitution actually went out or if it’s being used to rip off clients”as is usually the case”. Microsoft is as much to blame as anybody in this little “SCAM BUSINESS” because unless you’ve paid their unbeleivably outrageous and inflated prices, you’re not worth anything to them.So they ignore you and hpe you’ll go away.Whenever possible I always advise the client,”Make SURE” that all the Disks “including Microsoft vrs” comes with the Computer or go somewhere else because, given the opportunity these guys “WILL” rip you off. It’s not popular but it’s the truth. I think it’s a scam way of doing business and should exposes to novices loud and clear. It’s one thing to say “Buyer Beware”, but you can’t “Beware if you knowledge is limited in the first place.The average Customer is not a tech, they’re just people who want to own a computer and should get far better treatment from our industry.Especially MICROSOFT. AS for those of us who build our own Computers from the gound up,we’re on our own, expect no help from Microsoft and the like minded.
      Unfair but True.
      Thank You for your attention.
      Aaron A Baker

    • #3307217

      don`t trust Microsoft

      by ccacc ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I had a simillar situation as Kev when I was in bussiness they wouldn`t help, I fixed it with much head scratching and frustration and now I am out of the bussiness and only help other people, saves me stress and money.I used to build PC`s

    • #3307193

      Welcome to the Wonderful World of MS

      by tchall ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Congratulations, you now KNOW why OEM packages cost less.
      Microsoft is being absolutly reasonable here.
      They sold the product with a deep discount as the OS for a PC built by someone who INTENDED to build and operate their own PC and support their users/customers themselves. There is no
      Their System Builder OEM program is avilable for support (the knowledge base anyway) as well as hundreds of megabytes of other web accessible information.
      They would be shooting themselves in the foot to offer the same support to OEM customers as those who paid full retail for the package. Especially when that tech support is what those retail customers paid a premium to have avilable.
      Microsoft’s OEM program is no doubt a surprise for anyone who’d not worked with them as an OEMSystem Builder in the past, but it’s worked this way for a couple of decades with some success.
      Even the big PC builders have the option of providing the retail pack and letting their customers contact MS direct with full support.
      Choosing to take advantage of their OEM/bulk purchase discounts comes with a price.
      They, much as I feel for you and your troubles, are NOT the weakest link here. Knowing what you were NOT paying for when you got that great price on the OS would have been a good thing.

      • #3307423

        While you are quite correct

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Welcome to the Wonderful World of MS

        There has to be a line drawn in the sand somewhere. As an OEM builder for small business I often see the eyes of my clients glaze over when I attempt to find out exactly what they require in a new computer/network.

        They expect me to build them what they need and then be able to sit at it and do their work nothing more and nothing less. A while ago I attempted to put together a list of Jargon so my clients could understand me a bit better and I kept all the descriptions very brief and to the point.

        Sounds simple and like a good idea right?

        Well when it got to 165 pages in word I stopped and just gave up I’m now back to the physic and supplying what I think they will need rather than what they think they want it just works better that way and so far I have yet to remove a unit from work because it no longer works properly. But I have removed plenty of my units because they no longer have any Tax benefit to the company but are performing perfectly.

        Expecting a customer to know almost anything technical is a nice idea but the reality is they just go in tell a salesperson what they want and get supplied it and it doesn’t matter if it will work or not they got exactly what they asked for. I’ve seen cases where a company has only got Windows XP Home on a computer that they have bought with no software at all because the salesperson didn’t tell them that they would require it they just asked for their budget and supplied hardware with an OS to come in at the price. In one particularly bad case I saw a computer that needed two monitors one on each side of a desk for a salesperson to show pictures of machines and there was no way of connecting the second monitor but the company involved was more than happy to sell them the second monitor. They even went so far as to tell me that they where unaware that this company wanted a second monitor on the computer when they sold it to them and at the time I was holding a copy of the original order in my hand which was very specific on the issue. But they did provide all the CD’s with the computer but there was no CD ROM in it as it was a basic workstation.


    • #3307185

      Support?? Ha ha!!!

      by ripvan ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      It has been just under 10 years since I bought my first computer and I realized on my first tech support call that the company known as Micro$oft did not have worthwhile tech support, and the sooner I could get off the telephone with the idiot I was talking to, the sooner I could apply worthwhile problem solving techniques (whatever resources I could find on my own) to the problem. I feel sorry for people who don’t get deeper into things themselves, in a way they are losing out. Then again, they are always calling people like you and me to fix simple (and not-so-simple) things for them. I also learned that first time not to buy name brand computers anymore (they are better now, but I would still rather build myself). As the original post indicated, there is one other area in which to be careful, and that is the acquisition of software! Some lessons are cheap, and some lessons come from the bargain bin (sorry).

      Now if only I could make my own laptop…

    • #3307178

      Not only home built but also DELL

      by mgfyo01 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      The Dell notebook I recently got was unable to send e-mails more than one word long.

      Calling MS brought me the same answer than the one kevg got.

      Dell has been unable to give me a right answer (even the in-depth support failed).

      Fortunately a forum on the web explained a XP patch wiped out a MTU DWORD parameter in the register.

      Restoring this DWORD parameter restored the ability to send e-mails.

      Thanks forums. Support pros, you’re fired.

    • #3307148

      Microsoft support is an oxymoron

      by drew.mcbee-tradesmeninternational ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I gave up long ago trying to get any kind of support from MS. It would always kill me when I heard people discuss NT4.0(or W9x) and say, “Well, you know, MS isn’t going to support that OS starting next month…” My reply is usually -“…when did flying hell they support it to begin with???”. I get MUCH more support from the IT community. Google is your friend, as they say….

    • #3307144

      Kevg is out of line

      by janiecarlisle ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Microsoft is absolutely right in not supporting OEM products. The reason there are so many software and tech support millionaires is because of this policy. Microsoft basically supports front line techies and every other body in the world supports everyone else. Do a web search and see how many help desk and tech support options there are for Microsoft products. If Microsoft did it all themselves, all these other people would be out of business and even TechRepublic would have no reason to exist. What would they offer that you couldn’t get direct from Microsoft. Additionally, everyone acts as if this is only a Microsoft policy. I assure you that if you buy a car from the dealer, go home and change out parts and tinker with it yourself, you will void the warranty and the mechanics will no longer support your car. Simple solution. If you don’t know what you’re doing, call someone who does. BTW, Dell’s (who obviously is an OEM) customers call me all the time for tech support. Why don’t they call Dell? I’m sure you can guess the reason.

      • #3307573

        ehhhh, sorry me stupid

        by kevg ·

        In reply to Kevg is out of line

        This is where I’m confused. If I had bought the upgrade (which I should have being given), then they would have supported me. But I went the more expensive route (I belive). Bottom line is that I was told to go back to the vendor that sold me the machine/software of the OME product. If the vendor has gone out he window, then what?

    • #3307026

      M.S. not intrested in support? FALSE!

      by liberty1947 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Your reported experience is suspiciously lacking in detaqils. The fact is that over the last three years, Microsoft has implemeted an AWESOME support system. Along with a number of other American Corporations, they have discovered that Customer support is a PROFIT CENTER — NOT a cost center! I am a software developer who has made a fortune by building on the output of Bill Gates’ brilliant mind. I have made use of MS Support on HUNDREDS of occasions and on all but about three occasions, it waa absolutely world class! I know hundreds of others who report the same experience. Are you sure your conclusions do not result from a built-in bias against Microsoft?

      I could tell you some absolutely true and accurate stories about MS support techs going WAY beyond the extra mile to help me and my users. Just ONE example was when I was got a call back from an MS Support tech on CHRISTMAS DAY! He said that they were closing down the office for Christmas but he wanted me to have access to him over the holiday if I needed it, so HE GAVE ME HIS PERSONAL CELL NUMBER!

    • #3306991

      Support Options for OEM OS’s

      by catcapt ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I started out building my own boxes and then expanded to family member. I got really upset the first time I attempted to use MS’s support for the OEM products I’d bought ’cause they wanted me to PAY for it. As a friend of mine once said, “I’ve never had to pay for it in my life!” Since then I have worked for others and now have my own shop and have discoverd a few options. (1)Pay for it! I saved $165 off retail getting an OEM copy of XP Pro from Comp-U-Plus. That will pay for a lot of support at $35/incident. (2)If you build a lot of systems, become a Microsoft Partner. It’s $300, but you get several MS products to use (not sell) that more than compensate for the cost if you just use one copy of XP Pro and Office 2003 Pro. You also get paid support at half price! Good Luck

    • #3307611

      Resources for Support – APCUG

      by jon.h ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      So far no one has mentioned trying a local PC Users Group to get help. Most groups have expert members who can provide help, mostly free. Check for your nearest local club at the Association of PC Userg Groups web site at

      • #3307422

        What about the

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Resources for Support – APCUG

        Windows Users Group on Microsoft’s web page?

        They are helpful and from experience far better informed than any M$ worker.


    • #3307598

      “but didn’t need Micosoft in the end”

      by old#9 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I think more and more people are going to come to that conclusion.

    • #3307571

      Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

      by kevg ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I’ve just completed the MSCDT course, haven’t done the exam yet btw.
      On the course it came out that I could move the software to another m/c, phone M.S. explain and they would give me a new number

    • #3307555

      Keven was had early on..

      by billing ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      The problem here is Kevin bought an OEM version from a Ratail point. MS has never authorized the sale of OEM versions of Windows over the counter, and anyone that is selling them that way are probably breaking the law. Had he had a retail version of Windows hed have gotten support.


      • #3307421

        No you are incorrect

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Keven was had early on..

        Provided you buy at least one piece of hardware you can buy any OEM Microsoft Product you like.

        In fact if you bought a generic mouse it is possible to buy a complete set of OEM M$ software at considerably reduced prices.

        This is something that M$ has been pushing for at least the past 12 – 18 months as I can not remember exactly when they announced it at a partners meeting but it was a long time after XP was introduced and it was the meeting just after the announcement had come out the OEM software was only to be used on “Original Hardware” that discussion which was not in the program lasted almost half the day.


        • #3307413


          by hav ·

          In reply to No you are incorrect

          I asked a local retailer about that issue and he said that if he gets audited by MS. he has to show that he sold 1 piece of hardware with the OEM disk.
          As a foot note, If you buy a PC from many of the large OEMs you no longer get an OEM disk. You get a recovery disk which may or may not let you reinstall the OS if you have changed your system configuration. I read an article where a guy bought a Micron pc. The motherboard died after the warranty did. Ater replacing the motherboard, MS. would not allow him to register XP even though it was on the same computer. They told him to go buy a new OS.

    • #3307497

      Re: Support from Microsoft

      by jacjud ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      What else is new? Anyone who expects suport for any software from Microsoft is dreaming in techolor. There is no warranty worth a damn from the greatest extortionists in the world. Get a book on XP if you want help. Could you imagine buying anything else without a detailed user’s manual? Open a retail package of any operating system ever built and all you get is a disk and maybe a quick installation guide of 2 pages. Even my toaster has a better manual.

      But my toaster doesn’t need me to go through product activation every time I change brands of bread, yet Microsoft does.

    • #3307419

      F**** Microsoft Use Linux

      by gmartos2001 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      F**** Microsoft Use Linux. You will never need a product key!

    • #3308214

      Reply originating from a Microsoft technician

      by trevor ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Yeah this is a pain point for us here [at
      Microsoft] as there is nothing that we can do
      to support OEM versions of Windows.

      OEM means original equipment manufacturer,
      basically this means that
      DELL or COMPAQ or whatever company (in
      this case, the store that went
      out of business) purchases thousands of
      licenses at a largely reduced
      price from Microsoft with the understanding
      that they will provide all support for these
      licenses and that they will not need any boxes
      or manuals as they will provide those as well.

      Next, the OEM can change the installation CD
      in any way that they want, for example put
      Netscape on the desktop instead of IE, or add
      a bunch of startup items like antivirus etc etc.

      They can also change the way that the CD
      works so that instead of providing the regular
      recovery tools that are included on the retail
      Windows XP CD they put on a batch file that
      formats and reinstalls the OS and all the third
      party applications that the OEM had originally

      This is why Microsoft cannot support these
      types of installations, because we don’t know
      what has been changed on the CD, for
      example we could insert the CD and boot from
      it assuming that we will get to the recovery
      console or run a repair installation, and for all
      we know it could automatically launch into a
      Format / Reinstall batch file that the OEM has
      configured on the CD.

      It’s totally understandable that this customer
      was less than satisfied, but if you were to ask
      him what he paid for his copy of Windows XP
      that he bought from that store I can guarantee
      that it was quite a bit cheaper than the retail
      version you can get in stores. This is because
      the retailer bought a bunch of OEM cd’s so that
      they could sell them for cheaper (or for the
      same price, effectively ripping off the customer
      and keeping the profits).

      Buyer beware in those scenarios, when the
      CD says “for installation with a New PC Only”
      it means that this version should come with
      the purchase of a computer from DELL or
      Compaq or Sony or whatever, and not to be
      bought standalone.

      The following was added by TechRepublic

      I am not trying to defend Microsoft nor its policy
      regarding OEM-installed software. It is
      understandable why Microsoft cannot and will
      not provide support to such software.

      However, I believe it should be a legal
      requirement that such facts should be clearly
      indicated in advertisements — in a type size
      that matches the rest of the typesizes in the ad
      and NOT in barely-legible 4-point type running
      across the bottom of the ad.

      Ad agencies are, in my opinion, are in the
      same category as lawyers/politicians when it
      comes to the area of trustworthiness and
      integrity. More focus is spent on manipulating
      the wording of lies until they resemble the
      truth, to achieve a situation where ‘plausible
      deniability’ can be claimed, and then spit out
      some catch-phrase like “let the buyer beware”
      as a justification for misleading (at best)

      • #3308073

        While what you stated above is quite correct for the big end of town

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Reply originating from a Microsoft technician

        It is totally incorrect for the small builder who buys genuine M$ OEM product from M$.

        Remember here we are not talking about a Dell, Gateway, HP or anything else CD but a M$ CD with all the associated holograph and COA with it. M$ could and should support these installations because they make them and do not allow them to be modified in any way what so ever. If you buy more than 3 you them get a preinstall copy that allows you to effectively install Windows and alter some of the minor displays like your company Logo but when the customer takes delivery of their computer they have to punch in the Product Key on the COA and activate it with M$ as well.

        What gets under my skin is that while I’m allowed to sell computers with Windows installed I’m supposed to only provide the OEM CD for any other product that I sell with the computer so that way the end user can accept the EULA before installing the product. Now take a serious look at a recent job that I did where I supplies 250 computers as a complete network. Does M$ seriously think that I can place these computers in a business environment and then expect the end users to actually install things like Office?

        I would be failing in my job if I was to do things like this as there would be no way to tie individual software to a computer in a smaller environment. All I would be able to say is that they bought x number of copies of Y software to install on X number of computers that I supplied and I have absolutely no idea what ended where. At least on the bigger jobs I can use Volume License versions but on the really small jobs it is a potential nightmare when you have to reload when something goes wrong.


      • #3309004

        Corrections from an ex-MS contractor

        by ruisert ·

        In reply to Reply originating from a Microsoft technician

        Well, the reasons for not providing OEM product support the MS tech has stated in this reply are in fact incorrect. MS does support their OEM products, on a best effort basis, but only in a fee based situation. Essentially, because OEM software is provided to hardware providers at a lower cost, the cost of free support for the product is not built in, and Microsoft requires the hardware provider to provide the support.
        This is not a technical issue, but an economic one.
        In many cases, if you access the system properties general window, you’ll see a notification that the software is supported by the manufacturer of your PC, if it’s a name brand. There’s usually also a ‘support info’ button that will give the manufacturer’s preferred support options. This would not happen in this specific incident, however, unless the PC builder had obtained his OEM licence directly from MS.
        Further, in many cases, the MS Knowledge Base on the support website can be used to resolve problems at no charge if one is willing to spend the time self-supporting.
        But the crux of the biscuit, to quote Zappa, is you get what you pay for. Buy a cheap XP disc at a trade show and don’t be surprised if when you call Microsoft for support, they tell you you’re SOL in the politest possible terms. And trust me, the rep you’re bawling out about lack of support is being as polite as humanly possible in most cases. Been there, done it, and if I had a nickel for every time I had to restrain myself from replying in kind to a clueless user, I’d have a nice nest egg now…

    • #3308455

      One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show

      by johnnybluenote305 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I’m a Microsoft Partner; I go to Microsoft live events and webcasts every week; I talk to Microsoft support people on the phone and in person all the time. I’ve never found anyone who wasn’t genuinely interested in helping. Personally, I’m tired of all the Microsoft bashing. The company isn’t perfect and perhaps you did get one jerk on the phone but, in my opinion, this incident doesn’t reflect the norm. I spout off more here:

      • #3308411

        Well I’m a Microsoft Partner as well

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show

        And I do all that you do but I still on the rare occasion that I ring Microsoft’s Technical Support line for help and here in AU they do have to support OEM product but we partners get a special line to ring where we are supposed to get on faster and get better service. But on every occasion that I’ve had to ring for help I’ve always got the feeling that I’m only ringing them to put the Tech Support people out and they always suggest the obvious.

        No while I do not claim to be an expert in all things Microsoft or for that matter Windows either I do have a fair understanding of their products and I only ring them when I’m stumped. Now granted they have to go over the basics as there is always something that I may have overlooked and I do accept this but it is the way that I’m treated by at the very least the first string support staff where there is a problem. The higher up you go the better things get but the first point of contact just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

        On every occasion when I’ve had to ring them for help I have never got an answer that cures my current problem. I’ve always had to work it out for myself and then pass the fix back to the Tech Support which I’m happy to do but if I knew or had access to all the literature that is available to the M$ staff I would be a lot better off and most likely never have to ring them.

        Granted I’ve only worked with PC’s since 1992 and every version of every Microsoft Product but in that time I’ve only had to ring them on a hand full of occasions and every time it has been nothing but a waste of my time as the best that I have ever got is “Well it should be working!” Well I know that but the fact remains that it isn’t and I have to waste my time and effort to fix a problem that should be easily found and known about by Microsoft.

        Also there was one case where I was getting an error message “Device 6 is missing” no matter where I looked I could find no reference to exactly what Device 6 was so I eventually out of sheer desperation rand M$ in the forlorn hope that they could tell me what was going wrong. Their only answer after at least 1.5 hours on the phone and being transfered to different people was “You do not have a CPU in the unit!”

        Now exactly how do you get a display on a monitor telling you that you have no CPU installed? The person was willing to admit that the error message was an impossibility but still insisted that I had not fitted a CPU to the computer that I was building and the fact that it ran DOS perfectly had no bearing on the fact that on attempting to load Windows I got this error message.

        There are some excellent people at M$ and there are some really crappy people as well it is only a pity that you get the crap ones first as they do leave a lasting impression upon you!

        As I’ve already said we have our own support line and I feel that we get at best substandard service so I do not know what the general population feels as they are supposed to get a lower grade of service that what I get. But if my experience is anything to go by I* can fully understand why so many people think the way that they do. Over here even Microsoft admits this and claims to be working on the problem although I have not as yet seen any real improvement in the service.

        On the other hand the programmers who run technical training courses are excellent and are very useful to know as they are only too willing to help you out with problems.

        I’m just glad that I live in AU and not the USA as I do not know how I would get along with supporting OEM products there.


      • #3294472

        Just because…

        by soundy ·

        In reply to One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show

        … the PEOPLE are interested in helping, doesn’t mean the COMPANY is, and if the company policy doesn’t let them help, there’s not generally much the people can do. People bashing Microsoft are bashing the COMPANY, not the PEOPLE, and bashing of the COMPANY tends to be pretty well-deserved.

        • #3297096

          Well in AU at least

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Just because…

          Microsoft acknowledge this problem and claim that they are attempting to improve their perceived appearance in the public eye.


    • #3309040

      Illegal copy?

      by rcom ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      OEM versions of Windows are supposed to be sold with a system or to system builders to be offered in the same way. So its not Microsoft’s fault that the company you got it from didn’t let you know or sold you an illegal copy of the OS.

      • #3308973

        Wrong if you buy 1 piece of hardware

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Illegal copy?

        The shop is quite within their rights to sell you any OEM M$ software ranging from Windows XP to whatever you want provided it is available as OEM product from M$.

        I’ve seen retail shops with shrink wrapped OEM Windows XP Office and a mouse on sale and this is quite legal as M$ actually push this stuff that way.


        • #3296666

          He didn’t say he got hardware with the OS

          by rcom ·

          In reply to Wrong if you buy 1 piece of hardware

          I said he MAY have gotten an illegal copy or the copy was sold illegally. Plus he didn’t say he purchased hardware, just the OS. Either way he didn’t understand that OEM versions come with no direct support from MS and came here spouting about something that was up to him to understand. Now that he has been informed I think he should retract his statements.

        • #3296650

          Actually here in AU

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to He didn’t say he got hardware with the OS

          M$ is forced to offer support for any of their products no matter what they may be.

          As this person also didn’t say that he had not bought any hardware with the OEM disk the whole point about if it is legal or not is academic and the real problem remains that any OEM can sell OEM product and while they are supposed to offer support what happens when the OEM builder ceases trading?

          Do you think it fair that a genuine M$ customer be left out in the cold? So to speak without any help what so ever when something goes wrong. Lets face it with Windows things are far more likely to go wrong than any other OS that has ever been built and that is because of the complexity and poor programming that M$ uses to create their products. Not to mention the cutting corners to get the stuff on the shelves in the first place.

          Can you even give me one case where any M$ product has been released on its original projected release date? They always have been put back and even then rushed into commercial production with known faults.

          Even 2003 M$ Flagship Server had known problems in it when it was released but I was at the release and there was no mention made of any flaws only the “Trusted Computing” that M$ was committed to and a couple of week latter the patch was available. You can not really believe that they didn’t know about the problem at the release and took under 2 weeks to produce the patch can you?

          Also would you care to hazard a guess as to how I fix a problem with several M$ OEM products as I’ve listed on the bottom of the page here?


        • #3297588

          Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

          by kevg ·

          In reply to He didn’t say he got hardware with the OS

          Oh Boy. By the number of post on this subject, and the length tht it’s being going on, it appears that I’m not the only one in this postion.

    • #3297173

      M.S. are interested in support

      by robert_john ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I work for Microsoft as a temp and am not pro-Microsoft, what is not correct about your that you brought an OEM version, so Microsoft does not support you as you have not paid for support, the person that sold you the product for a fraction of the price should support you that is the deal with OEM versions.

      • #3297095

        That is probably a problem with the LAW

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to M.S. are interested in support

        As here in AU a company which sells a thing must support it.

        This is just the top of the ice berg as if you have a think on the whole issue what happens if someone buys a computer from a shop and next week the shop goes out of business? Now you claim that M$ isn’t responsible for supporting their software but what if it was a hardware problem who is then responsible?

        Are you attempting to say that companies like Intel would never consider accepting faulty stock from the End Users?

        Just what makes M$ so special that they can get away with this type of rubbish?

        They are selling a product that has proven to be defective all the time and worse still they accept the defects and while they provide patches for them they also provide to anyone who is interested enough what exactly the patches patch so they are in effect making public their problems as well their fixes. The point being that M$ are supplying the “Script Kiddies” with exploitation points and this is accepted.

        Why is it so?


      • #3297067

        Reply To: M.S. not intrested in support.

        by kevg ·

        In reply to M.S. are interested in support

        Maybe some people have missed what I’ve said already. So just to repoint it out, just in case I’ve missed something.
        YES, I was sold an OEM product, which was wrong, but was done. I’m not sure about how many people have fallen into this trap.
        The OEM info, I did not see as it was in pale pink on the disk. I do not see it any were else. The disk came in a sealed packet, no box, a small bookelet (about 12 pages I think) and a cert. I had to reformat my drive and lose all my win98 in order to install. It was early days and I did not relise what was involved.
        Besides could I have gone back to the store the next day and said I’ve opened this but it’s not what I need. I want my money back?
        And as for it being a CHEAP version of WINDOWS. It cost allmost 2 months repayment as my car.

    • #3296907

      MS not interested in support ???

      by benjoel ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Just a few days ago I finished working with MS on a problem with XP Pro. I had each Email reply within less than 24 hours.

      Contact: Jack Xing
      Microsoft Windows Support Professional

      Very satisfied customers are my top priority.

      Please let my manager or me know what you think of the level of service provided. You can send feedback to Microsoft Management at
      or directly to my manager,
      Rick Lu at

      I would imagine that any negative feedback could go to this address, on any subject.

    • #3296655

      Well now I’ve heard it all

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      As of today at 5.10 pm I am totally convinced that M$ wants nothing at all to do with supporting any of their products at all.

      A computer that I built 2 months ago had to be reloaded after they person in question removed the AV program and ran it on the net without any virus protection. Well naturally it got several infections and to fix it up the owner wiped all the HDD’s and reloaded Windows, Office etc. Well that was now 2 days ago and now Windows is not opening because it claims that it needs to be activated as it has been running for over 30 days so he can not even open Windows but only gets the product activation screen.

      Well that in itself is OK as well but when he attempts to ring M$ for an activation key he is told that all of his software has been installed too many times and that he has to buy new software.

      Just a tad expensive for a foolish mistake but I suppose it is a great money earner for M$ isn’t it?

      As an OEM builder I’m supposed to support these products but here this is clearly a M$ issue that I really can not come into at all.

      Now just how is this guy supposed to get activation keys for all of his M$ products that are his to use?

      M$ doesn’t even want any money to fix this problem just to sell new software.


      • #3296527

        now thats weird.

        by husp1 ·

        In reply to Well now I’ve heard it all

        who would have thought that you could install windows too many times? maybe once is too many? mayhap you should look at linux?

        • #3296273

          Well you may be correct

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to now thats weird.

          But I do not think it is in M$ best interests to expose this all that often do you?


    • #3313415

      Or there is always this little problem

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      Currently I’m building a new Notebook for a customer and supplying all OEM software which is normal procedure but here is the hitch.

      The makers of the Notebook Chassis specifically state not to install SP2 for XP until they have notified me of a BIOS update. Well the parts arrived today and along with the hardware the OEM version of XP Pro has SP2 included on the CD which I can not use on this chip set.

      Now I know how I’m going to get around this little problem but anyone have any suggestions as to what would be acceptable to MS in this particular case?


    • #3293378

      microsoft support

      by ejw19597 ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      If you look a that Certificate of Authenticity it has Microsoft on it in several location & they also ask you if it genuine on the certificate.
      Because if it not genuie then they want you to email them. They should be held responsable since it also has their labels on the Certificate of Authenticity. Maybe people should file a class action against Microsoft since they also do not back up the OEM version with their labels on the books, CD & Certificate.

    • #3327768


      by hilw8p ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I have about 34% free space left on my computer what do I do to clear up so space.

    • #3324022


      by dahill ·

      In reply to M.S. not intrested in support.

      I love the way M$ makes you call in to receive hotfixes for their software. Its like paying for a software patch

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