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re-installing, COA and licence issues ?

By john ·
If I buy a PC with a wiped hard, drive and it has a genuine Windows 2000 pro COA sticker on it's base, with, of course the product licence key displayed on it, can I legally install Windows 2000 pro (from CD) ?

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by TheChas In reply to re-installing, COA and li ...

A lot of if's here.

I assume that the PC in question is a name brand such as a Dell, HP or Gateway.

If so, if you read the Windows OEM license agreement in detail, I believe that you will find that the OEM license for the specific copy of Windows is limited to the original purchaser of the PC and is non-transferable.

Further, for the product key on the COA to function, the Windows 2000 CD that you use needs to be from the same distribution lot as the original system CD.
Different service pack levels and different OEM's have different sets of "valid" product keys associated with them.

Bottom line, read the Windows EULA carefully.
I suspect that it is not legitimate to install Windows 2000 using the OEM license key on the COA sticker on a used PC.

As I understand it, technically, you cannot sell a used PC that has an operational OEM copy of Windows installed.

Now, if you can verify that the COA and license are for a retail distribution of Windows 2000, the rules are different.
I believe however, that for a valid transfer, you need the CD, Manual, and COA.


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by willcomp In reply to re-installing, COA and li ...

OEM operating systems can be transferred with a PC when it is sold providing that copies of media and manuals are included.

Some PCs don't come with media, so it can't be handed over.

Since you have the COA, you are at least somewhat legimate.

You will probably need an OEM copy of Win2K pro to use your product key (sticker will say if it is OEM Product). Any OEM copy should work. I haven't seen any that are manufacturer specific.

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by john In reply to re-installing, COA and li ...

Cheers for that info peeps.
It just confirms what a minefield this is.
btw this is a "hypothetical PC" at the moment.
I am doing some research for someone setting up a small business, who wants to "do it right" but also wants to avoid having to charge clients for a new copy of W2K for each machine (they all come with W2K OEM COA's attached from his supplier).
I wonder if it's worth trying to speak to MS or will that be opening a big can of worms ???


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