restoring the os from wiped hard drives

By henrylohn ·
I get a lot of older computer which I recycle however I have many which are in working order except that the hards drives have been wiped clean and therefore they don't have oprating systems. I am disabled and would like to get these ones running and donate some as well as sell a few. how do I do this without having to purchase new copies of xp for each one. Can the operating systems be restored? please help since they would not sell for more then 50.00 or so and XP cost over $100.00 what can I do I hate to waste working computers as scrap.

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Yes and No

by JamesRL In reply to restoring the os from wip ...

If the computer has a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached to the PC, you can reinstall the OS legally, if you have a copy of the appropriate OS.

No COA, no way to get it back. If the disk is truly wiped, it would be virtually impossible to restore.

Alternatively you could install Linux.


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how would I get a copy of linux and I can I use several times

by henrylohn In reply to Yes and No

I appreciate your response. How would I aquire a copy of linux and can it be used several times. Also how can I tell if it has a certificate of authenticity. thanks! Hank

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Certificate of authenticity

by JamesRL In reply to how would I get a copy of ...

Typically this are the stickers on the PC from Microsoft with a hologram and a product key (series of numbers) like this:

As for Linux, many people here can tell you how, and no doubt many people will tell you why their version is best.

You can buy a copy on CD, and install it as many times as you like. Or you can download a copy from the internet.

You probably also want to investigate OpenOffice - which is an open source suite of software like MS Office.

Hope that helps.


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just to add a little

by The Scummy One In reply to Certificate of authentici ...

to find a copy of Linux

This site covers all variations and gives some useful information about them as well without a bias for one ver. over another.

As for OpenOffice, many Linux distros come with it pre-installed. On most of the ones that do not, using the package manager should make it easy to find.

If Windows is installed on the systems, OpenOffice can be downloaded from Sun Microsystems (search Sun for OpenOffice

Hope this helps

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Down load Linux software..

On to them. Here are few to choose from:

Please post back if you have more problems or questions.

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Another Option

by TheChas In reply to restoring the os from wip ...

For what you want to do, it might be worth the time and effort to contact the Microsoft zone rep. or area sales manager.

From time to time, Microsoft has had programs to assist people like yourself who are recycling older computers for worthy causes.

For Linux, is a good source for links to different Linux distributions.

Don't forget to include some productivity software. Open Office is a very good open source software suite. There are versions for both Linux and Windows.


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Think you should look at the Linux solution or

by ComputerCookie In reply to restoring the os from wip ...

try putting an ad in the local paper for unwanted operating systems and software. there should be heaps of it around and you may end up with some more hardware as well.

MS are only giving away XP Pro and Office XP, however you will need to be a registered Not For Profit organisation and jump through a lot of hoops.

Another good reason why asking for software to be donated is because is because most of it will be old enough to run effectively on old computers. Win 98 and 2000 would be ideal, XP can be a real dog on older computers.


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There is another problem here as well

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to restoring the os from wip ...

Even if the Boxes do have a COA on them if you supply them without Install Media M$ can quite rightly claim that there is Pirate Software on them and take you to court.

Several Computer shops here have been hit with this for selling Trade In's without Install Media and end up paying M$ $250,000.00 + AU and making a Legal Undertaking not to do it again. Most settle out of court because it's cheaper than fighting the case.

If you are getting hardware without COA's on the cases they had Volume License Product on them and that License is owned by the Company and not the Hardware so installing any M$ Product without Legal OEM Software is both illegal and Pirating M$ Software.

As others have already given you help on where to find the available Linux Downloads all I'll say here is that Open BSD is also available and as BSD is the basis fore the Mac OSX System it may be a worth while alternative.


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Depends on licensing

by JamesRL In reply to There is another problem ...

In North America, vendor supplied COA (Dell IBM etc) are good.

I know this because I've done this over and over again.

In one instance, friend had a Dell PC he needed rebuilt. He didn't have the right CD, but he did have a COA. I had the right OS but not a Dell OEM copy, so when activating, I had to call MS. They gave me an activation key.

In another I bought a Dell from an eBay vendor. It had a COA, but they didn't supply OS CDs and the HD was a replacement. I called Dell and they shipped me CDs as my machine was under Gold service(I had to go through an ownership transfer process first, did it over the phone).

So it isn't illegal, if MS activated me, and they did both times. Laws in your jurisdiction may differ.


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James I do the same thing regularly with HP's Dell's and the like

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Depends on licensing

It isn't a problem installing Windows without the Makers Disc and M$ will activate it without any problems. But if you as a Company Sell M$ Loaded Computers without Install Media they get nasty here.

I've got a heap of Enforcement Alerts from M$ where they have taken companies to court for supplying second hand computers without Install Media. Not quite sure how this works with places like HP, Acer who don't supply Install Media New but as M$ likes getting money I don't argue with them.

Provided you supply Second Hand Computers that you sell loaded with M$ Product of any kind there is no problem but if you don't and someone complains to M$ their Legal Department will jump on any Computer Reseller if they get enough complaints I suppose.


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