Re-install Software on Replacement for Stolen Computer?

By Craig Dedo ·
Is it legal to re-install software that I have valid licenses for on the computer that I bought to replace a computer that was stolen during a burglary?

If legal, would a re-install of existing software trigger audits by firms such as Microsoft?

In other words, if I install software on the replacement for a stolen computer, do I get a free install or do I need to purchase an additional license?

Here is what happened.

Early on the morning of May 29, burglars broke into my house and stole several items of high-end electronic equipment, including my latest desktop PC. As soon as i discovered the burglary, I reported it to the police. The next day, I gave the police a complete list of the serial numbers of the stolen equipment. The fact of the burglary and the equipment that was stolen is now a matter of public record.

The stolen computer included installations of several expensive, high-end software packages, including Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft Project 2007, and Microsoft Visio 2007.

A week ago, I bought a replacement unit for the stolen desktop PC. I need to re-install the software packages on the replacement PC. I checked the EULAs and they are silent on this issue.

I have no idea who to contact at Microsoft or anyone else to get an answer to this question.

Does anyone reading this forum have any idea whether I can legally re-install the software without having to buy new licenses?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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All Answers

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You should be fine...

by Rob Kuhn In reply to Re-install Software on Re ...

As long as you filed a police report and you have copy of said report with all product keys and licneses for the software you reinstalled you should be OK should it ever come into quesiton.

You don't need to contact anyone unless you run into a problem reinstalling an appplication.

With respects to Microsoft, it shouldn't be a problem either. They expect their OS and apps to be reinstalled at least a few times as a result of a rebuild/reformat to a complete re-install onto a new computer or for troubleshooting purposes. It's only if the product keys are reused alot is when it will begin to draw their attention.

Having said that, if your Microsoft titles are licensed through Software Assurance for example, they you do have x-number of reinstalls.

HTH ...

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Re-install Software on Replacement for Stolen Computer?

by pw2much In reply to Re-install Software on Re ...

My first question is was the stolen desktop pre-installed or did you build it yourself and also is the newly bought computer the same as the one stolen,because every OS once installed becomes! well mapped to that system and changing it might not be legal in Microsoft's eyes.You cannot use the same OS license on another computer. Now for the other software if you paid for the license you can use it on your new computer.but please check with Microsoft first on the OS.And with all bought to own software some have time limits on their licenses,so you may have to re-purchase some of them anyway!!

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Reponse To Answer

by Craig Dedo In reply to Re-install Software on Re ...

The only software that was pre-installed on the stolen computer was Windows Vista Home Premium. I upgraded it to Windows Vista Ultimate right after I bought it. Everything else was bought and installed myself and came on DVDs, except for Intel Visual Fortran Professional, which I downloaded from the Intel web site. I have a copy of the IVF install files on my laptop.

The replacement computer is a similar, but not identical model with Windows Vista Home Premium pre-installed. I already bought a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade and have already installed it. The only software that I have that has time limits is Norton 360. I am already planning on buying an additional license.

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Also things here depend on your Insurance Company

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Re-install Software on Re ...

Microsoft generally accepts a Theft Report by the Police and a Insurance Claim and will accept the reuse of existing Software including Windows if you have the Install Media and Product Keys.

But this depends on your location however from my past experience I have yet to ever encounter M$ to balk at this as the Insurance Companies get downright nasty & will not pay. I took it up with the head of M$ Legal here when I first ran into this and they wanted to know was their a Police Report and which Insurance Company and then just gave me the Go Ahead in Writing to reuse OEM Software. The first time was just after XP was released that I ran across this and here at least it's been the same ever since.

Also depending on what License Type you bought it may be within your Licensing Agreement to install on more than 1 Computer. The Retail Versions of the Software tend to allow you to install on 2 Computers where as OEM is tied to the Original Hardware normally.


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Reponse To Answer

by Charles Bundy In reply to Also things here depend o ...

Actually I'm not certain anything ties the OEM application software to the physical hardware, except in the agreement terms. I built several systems for the family law firm and had to reinstall OS/Office 2010 OEM on one. Microsoft was OK on the OEM Win7 Pro reactivation but I had to do the automated phone call for Office.

Like you I assumed that there would be a hardware fingerprint tied to activation key, thus no problem on reinstall but that was not the case! While Win7/Vista has a HW fingerprint, Office (as of 2010) does not. Not certain about Visio, Visual Studoio & Project tho I imagine they would follow the MS-Office model versus the MS-Win model.

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Another thing to do

by davep.l In reply to Re-install Software on Re ...

Contact the MS Activation line and explain to them what has happened. I've had to reinstall several machines and have a volume license for Office 2003 which had maxed out. They were more than willing to reallocate thenumber of licenses to the rebuilt machines.

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