# My brother needs to borrow my copy of WinXP

## Main Question or Discussion Point

My brother "needs to borrow" my copy of WinXP

I'm told that it's within the license agreement to install WinXP Pro on two computers. I thought that was for one home. He would also be using my key. I can't seem to convince him otherwise, but then I'm not clear on it myself. Help?

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"END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL EDITION SERVICE PACK 2

Furthermore, the original Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to another computer."

I bought an OEM version. Does that mean when this system goes to the graveyard, I can't install it on a new computer?!

russ_watters
Mentor
Yep.
lkfghjkhgfffg

I paid $140 for this disk. What rationalization could Microsoft have to limit the OS to just one computer? If the old one is dead, and I install it on a new one, that can't be bad for them. I fully expected to be able to install it on a new one. This doesn't seem right at all. I took "two processors" to mean two computers. After all, I didn't think the OS could even be installed on a processor. It means microsoft is an unethical beast that should be destoryed (along with other unethical corps). Free yourself and your brother and switch to the GNU philosophy or develop your own method of freeing yourself. I paid$140 for this disk. What rationalization could Microsoft have to limit the OS to just one computer? If the old one is dead, and I install it on a new one, that can't be bad for them.
OEM versions is pretty standard, for instance when you buy a Dell computer with an OEM XP then don't expect you can install it on a HP computer later.

I fully expected to be able to install it on a new one. This doesn't seem right at all.
Well if they did not inform you it was an OEM version then certainly it is not right, but otherwise, it is another case of reading the "small letter clauses".

I took "two processors" to mean two computers. After all, I didn't think the OS could even be installed on a processor.
Well that is clearly a mistake.
However it probably works on a dual core quad (four processors) as well. So perhaps they cut you some slack there.

OEM versions are not to be payed to Microsoft directly but to the vendor who sold the computer and who has some kind of quantity deal with Microsoft for using it on his computers only.

*grinds teeth* I guess this is the final straw. I installed it on a cheap old computer to tie me over before getting a new one. Having already activated WinXP on this one, looks like I'm out $140 bucks. I can feel my blood boiling now. I've tried Linux and didn't like it much. Ubuntu/Kubuntu was okay. But I'll leave Microsoft once and for all after this. Software vendors won't now be getting much of my business thanks to Microsoft's oppressive license agreement. *grinds teeth* I guess this is the final straw. I installed it on a cheap old computer to tie me over before getting a new one. Having already activated WinXP on this one, looks like I'm out$140 bucks. I can feel my blood boiling now.

I've tried Linux and didn't like it much. Ubuntu/Kubuntu was okay. But I'll leave Microsoft once and for all after this. Software vendors won't now be getting much of my business thanks to Microsoft's oppressive license agreement.
I think you can call M$and have them help you out. They can unactivated it and then u can reinstall, bar if its OEM. It is OEM. I did read the EULA, but clearly didn't understand it as well as I thought. Still seems so wrong. Thank you all for clearing this up. ---and brother gets a "no" to borrowing--- russ_watters Mentor I paid$140 for this disk. What rationalization could Microsoft have to limit the OS to just one computer?

MeJennifer is right, though - OEM versions have different limitations. I'm currently having a problem with my Dell at work: the cd burner died and the software won't recognize the new one. Not an uncommon issue.

FredGarvin
You can transfer XP to another computer. You just can't have it on 2 at the same time. I have a couple of friends that have built new computers that have done this. That was with a full, purchased version though. I have no idea about the OEM one.

I am not sure which version (license) I have, but after my hard-drive died, I installed XP Home on the other hard-drive and I was then unable to activate XP. What I ended up doing was calling Microsoft (they have a number you can call to active your XP), and I talked to some lady with a cute British accent and told her my hard-drive died and that I can't seem to active XP, and she gave me a code that activated my XP for me, and now I am good to go

You may want to try the same thing, it took only a few minutes.

MeJennifer is right, though - OEM versions have different limitations. I'm currently having a problem with my Dell at work: the cd burner died and the software won't recognize the new one. Not an uncommon issue.
Well, yeah, I get that it means more money for them. But that's more an agenda than a rationalization. I want to know what they expect me to believe makes it right for them to limit a customer so much. After all, they've now permanently lost all future business from me. And that's bad business sense.

FredGarvin
You need to think about it from their end. Forget for a minute that they have money out the wazoo. They are doing what they feel is right in protecting their product from piracy. The, close to, billions they have lost due to piracy all over the world I think trumps your one license in their eyes.

But that doesn't do a thing to piracy. Those efforts only hurt the legitimate customer. The pirates always find ways around the anti-piracy measures. If it's billions lost, then it clearly doesn't work at all. I feel like I'm being treated like a thief by being required to prove to them that I did buy a copy.

But that doesn't do a thing to piracy. Those efforts only hurt the legitimate customer. The pirates always find ways around the anti-piracy measures. If it's billions lost, then it clearly doesn't work at all. I feel like I'm being treated like a thief by being required to prove to them that I did buy a copy.
People used to copy software left and right before anti-piracy measures were taken. Imagine software makers surprise when cd-burners became mainstream. If you spent hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands) of hours developing software only to see money slipping out of your fingers because people were pirating it and giving you no support whatsoever, how do you think you'd feel?

If you do not know anything about OEM software, you should not buy it. All you had to do was google it. On newegg.com they sell OEM windows and there is an explicit warning that you can only install it onto one computer. OEM Windows XP will cost you less than Windows XP home. This is to reduce the price people pay on a new computer. Do you think Best Buy should start telling grandma to configure her own WinXP? There are a ton of people who are not computer saavy enough to even install windows, which would create a major hurt for computer retail vendors.

Think about the big picture. ;) (all you had to do was say your hard drive broke or something to get it to activate too, right?)

Phil

P.S. I'm no fan of Microsoft.

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People used to copy software left and right before anti-piracy measures were taken. Imagine software makers surprise when cd-burners became mainstream. If you spent hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands) of hours developing software only to see money slipping out of your fingers because people were pirating it and giving you no support whatsoever, how do you think you'd feel?
I suppose that's a fair point. This isn't really an argument I'm capable of maintaining, though. So I'll bow out. I've seen points from both sides that I find difficult to argue with. Therefore, I'm still not convinced that it is altogether the right thing to do.

If you do not know anything about OEM software, you should not buy it. All you had to do was google it. On newegg.com they sell OEM windows and there is an explicit warning that you can only install it onto one computer. OEM Windows XP will cost you less than Windows XP home. This is to reduce the price people pay on a new computer. Do you think Best Buy should start telling grandma to configure her own WinXP? There are a ton of people who are not computer saavy enough to even install windows, which would create a major hurt for computer retail vendors.
All I had to do was google it? Now I feel like I'm being patronized. In any case, I did looked up OEM a while back and thought I understood it. And like 99% of people, when I buy something, I go more with my gut than spend time doing the research. I went with what made sense to me. Yet, I do read through every license agreement before installing software. I would have appreciated the same warning you say Newegg puts up. I bought mine from TigerDirect http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=335900&CatId=306". I don't see anything like that warning.

I am pissed so I may not be thinking too rationally. All I know is that it doesn't feel right. Notice that I haven't pointed at Microsoft's profits. That they are hyper-rich is not a reason I would use as a case against them. I am trying to be fair about this.

That some people, like Grandma, are not savvy enough to install- I don't see how this is a reason to limit the OS to one computer. Would it be fair to limit music and movies to one boombox, one tv?

Think about the big picture. ;) (all you had to do was say your hard drive broke or something to get it to activate too, right?)
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What does this mean?

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You can use linux, you know. I've been having a lot of fun with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SabayonLinux" [Broken] lately. Linux distros are like cheeses. Try them till you find one you like.

oh and wait for 3.3

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Yeah, Linux is where I'm headed now. I've tried several distros and so far Ubuntu/Kubuntu is okay.

But thanks everyone for your input and advice. And please don't mind me and my attitude. I am, afterall, not a happy camper right now.

I suppose that's a fair point. This isn't really an argument I'm capable of maintaining, though. So I'll bow out. I've seen points from both sides that I find difficult to argue with. Therefore, I'm still not convinced that it is altogether the right thing to do.

All I had to do was google it? Now I feel like I'm being patronized. In any case, I did looked up OEM a while back and thought I understood it. And like 99% of people, when I buy something, I go more with my gut than spend time doing the research. I went with what made sense to me. Yet, I do read through every license agreement before installing software. I would have appreciated the same warning you say Newegg puts up. I bought mine from TigerDirect http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=335900&CatId=306". I don't see anything like that warning.

I am pissed so I may not be thinking too rationally. All I know is that it doesn't feel right. Notice that I haven't pointed at Microsoft's profits. That they are hyper-rich is not a reason I would use as a case against them. I am trying to be fair about this.

That some people, like Grandma, are not savvy enough to install- I don't see how this is a reason to limit the OS to one computer. Would it be fair to limit music and movies to one boombox, one tv?

What does this mean?
I'll respond to everything in reversed order, starting with the last thing you spoke of.

I meant to look at the big picture of why they might do things as they do before you judge too harshly. The reason why the OEM windows is only made for one PC is because transferability has a value. By taking that away, they reduce the value of the product. They make up the money by selling more licenses than they would compared to if every person simply bought one copy of WinXP and had it installed it on their main computer (and then formatted their old hard drive on their old computer). By having it non-transferrable, that means you can reinstall it on the old computer if need be, but not to the new computer. The cost of the OS is included when you buy a new computer from somewhere like Best Buy or Circuit City. Computer prices would be higher at these retail stores if they had non-OEM versions of WinXP installed, so people like grandma or people who don't even understand that they can own a copy of Windows don't pay more money for something they won't use (any new computer they buy will probably come with another copy of Windows pre-installed on it with a difference license). OEM software/hardware is a good thing, but it should not be sold to those who don't understand what it is. I think Tigerdirect is at fault here for not having any explicit warning. I don't blame you entirely for this mistake, but you should have googled "OEM windows" before buying this product. (I don't use Tigerdirect normally, I love Newegg. I think they value their customers more.)

Now, if you ask me about software and prices, I don't believe capitalism is fair. I think that a fair profit should be made by a person's work, but risk plays a big part in it too. The more work/risk a person takes, the higher the reward should be if they succeed. I don't think that spending $1 million to create a piece of software should yield$200 billion in profits though, even if there was a very high risk of loss. I also don't agree with Microsoft's policy of doing whatever they can to make as much money as possible. In earlier versions of their OS's, when they had a product competing with another company's, they would actually create flaws in the OS that would prevent the software of a rival company from working correctly so businesses would be forced to buy their inferior product. I think this is highly unethical and it is for this reason that I do not approve of Microsoft. Also, charging for updates to fix problems with their software was pretty bad too. They also would cause major problems with their auditing of universities and large businesses, because the university or business had to eat the cost of letting them audit. Also, with the xbox, it was a pain in the ass. I wish I bought a PS2 long ago.. Although it was capable of playing DVD's just fine, it wouldn't because they forced you to pay $30 for their remote (the PS2 plays dvds out of the box and their remote only costs$10). And.. And.. And.. I could go on. Suffice it to say, I'm not Microsoft's defender, but I don't think they should be attacked unfairly either.

With your situation, you were able to call them up and tell them that your hard drive went bad so they would reset the code, and then you could install it on your new computer, right? Because of that, you actually ended up saving some money by purchasing the OEM version rather than the retail version of WindowsXP, but at the cost of a headache. I'd be pretty irritated if I were you too though, I have to admit.

With your philosophy, I recommend linux highly to you, but don't forget that you won't have DX10 or the ability to run windows games/software. Ohh, you might also want to check out FreeBSD. If I can run FreeBSD, I'd do that over linux any day. (It's a POSIX OS and it runs many of the same programs that linux does but is more stable. It has KDE and pretty much all of the other GUI's that Linux has. It has less of a driver base for hardware though and is a little bit more limited on what programs you can run, but most people can find more than enough programs for it.)

Philip

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-snip-
With your situation, you were able to call them up and tell them that your hard drive went bad so they would reset the code, and then you could install it on your new computer, right? Because of that, you actually ended up saving some money from having to buy the retail version of WindowsXP, at the cost of a headache. I'd be pretty irritated if I were you too though, I have to admit.
-snip-
Philip
No no. I have an old computer, a PIII 500MHz. It works fine, but I doubt will last another year. I was planning on buying a new computer in a few months maybe. In the meantime I decided to install XP on this old system to tie me over. Having already activated my copy, and then later being told about the ramifications of OEM, that's when I realized that I goofed. I guess I could go with a proprietary preinstalled system, but then that's another OEM and that makes my purchase redundant.

Having calmed down a bit, I'm warming up to your points. But as for not googling OEM, as I said, I thought I understood it well enough. So that fault rest with me.

Most of my work here on out is art/computer graphics and study for college coming up this fall. Thus I suppose Linux will be fine.

And thanks again for taking time to cover this with me.

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No no. I have an old computer, a PIII 500MHz. It works fine, but I doubt will last another year. I was planning on buying a new computer in a few months maybe. In the meantime I decided to install XP on this old system to tie me over. Having already activated my copy, and then later being told about the ramifications of OEM, that's when I realized that I goofed. I guess I could go with a proprietary preinstalled system, but then that's another OEM and that makes my purchase redundant.

Having calmed down a bit, I'm warming up to your points. But as for not googling OEM, as I said, I thought I understood it well enough. So that fault rest with me.

Most of my work here on out is art/computer graphics and study for college coming up this fall. Thus I suppose Linux will be fine.

And thanks again for taking time to cover this with me.
I did some research on this. OEM windows binds itself to your motherboard. If you replace your motherboard (or try to install this windows on a new machine), it will ask you to register your product again. If you call up microsoft and tell them that you had to replace your motherboard because it went bad and you are getting a "please register" window, they will then ask you if you have Windows installed on another computer. If you say no, they will reset your key and allow you to then use that license.

Just make sure to format your old computer's hard drive (after backing up any data you might still want/need).

Well, I hope this helps. :)

Phil

Now that is interesting because the hard drives are new, as are the memory modules, video card, etc. A new motherboard wouldn't necessarily constitute a new computer, would it?

That might work!

I guess I can go without a completely new system, just a new motherboard.

I don't think you understood what I meant.

OEM windows will be ok if you change out anything other than your motherboard. If you change out your motherboard, then it will ask you to register your copy of windows XP and you won't be able to use your existing key. To get around this, when you build your new computer, install your OEM WinXP onto the new system, use the key, and then when the computer starts and asks you to register or something, call up microsoft tech support and tell them that you needed to replace your motherboard and your windows stopped working. They should reset your key so that you can use it to register your new installation. Just be careful not to use your old computer online or you might get the key blacklisted and then the windows on both computers will stop working.

Phil

Oh.

The only problem I have with this is that it sounds like I would be tiptoeing around the EULA. As much as I disagree with the EULA, I'm not going to break rules. If I wanted to do this, I would just find some cracking program to bypass activation altogether.