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Refurbishing Company - Windows License?

Last response: in Business Computing
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March 21, 2012 1:51:10 PM

I recently got a new job as Lead tech of a PC refurbishing company. The store has not yet opened, and I am in charge of pretty much all daily operations.

The question I have is, is there any programs/offers for Windows operating systems (Win7 mainly).

I'm currently installing whatever OS the COA tag is, but would like to be able to use all XP on older machines and all Win7 on newer ones.

After looking on Microsoft's Volume License page, It would be $184 for each Win7 key. This won't work because this company is primarily focused on providing affordable computers for lower-income families.

As always thanks in advance to the great community here

Casey
March 21, 2012 1:59:12 PM

Install Linux on them?
March 21, 2012 2:18:20 PM

win 7 oem is 100 bucks a pop
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March 21, 2012 2:20:18 PM

Hi,
are you a non profit organization ?

I guess not.

The best thing would be to use any cd key that comes with the computers (since they are refurbish)

For windows xp: if you don't have recovery disk: you are screwed....

although. Lets say you have acer recovery disk : it could work on similar model.

good luck

March 21, 2012 2:31:38 PM

Your best bet is to just contact a MS sales rep. It's hard to find any concrete pricing online.
March 21, 2012 2:53:05 PM

I bought a computer ONCE from a place like this when money was tight.

Turns out the place just cloned hard drives, using the same COA # across all of those the same type.

Ended up having to buy a new valid COA from MS, of course the additional cost adding to the price of the PC. Did not matter what the sticker on the case stated. It did not match the OS that was installed.

March 21, 2012 4:31:08 PM

Thanks for quick responses guys.

We are a non-profit organization. I have looked a techsoup and found they sell for $16 each, but we cannot profit off the PC sales using these license (was told by sales rep)

I have contacted Microsofts Refurb program to see about becoming a member.

After reading through the material, it looks like every single PC i have built to date hasn't been legit in Microsoft's eyes (I had been just using the COA off the case and reinstalling after DoD wipe)

Am I headed down the right path or is there something else I'm missing?
March 21, 2012 5:38:47 PM

Looks good most people don't try to do it the right way good luck

Thent
March 21, 2012 5:46:19 PM

Don't make profits on the sale of the computer. Sell the computer at cost but sell your services for profit.

You can buy the computer for $300 and tech support for 30/60/90 days will be X amount more.
March 21, 2012 5:54:16 PM

Hi :) 

This is a legal minefield...I own computer shops and a lappy repair company in the UK...

STOP DOING what you have been doing and talk to MS first....

They can and will get both YOU and YOUR COMPANY prosecuted... :( 

I realise its unfair and realise it WILL increase the machine cost drastically to do it legally...but take my word..you have NO choice....

All the best Brett :) 
March 21, 2012 6:10:10 PM

Brett928S2 said:
I realise its unfair and realise it WILL increase the machine cost drastically to do it legally...


I wish I had some witty comment right now. :) 
March 22, 2012 2:31:11 AM

Using Windows OEM licensing for this specific usage would actually not be valid. Windows OEM licensing can only be used pre-installed on a brand new computer.

This whole refurbishing and reselling is an ugly mess right now. A couple years back the stance of the courts basically said that once a licensed software was purchased the purchaser OWNED that license key. This meant that if you bought a computer from Dell that has a licensed COA for Windows 7 then no matter if you ended up piecing out the computer or throwing it in the dump you still owned that license key. Now, things are more foggy again and the way Microsoft handles OEM keys is that they are good only for the specific computer that they are installed upon and can only be used to reinstall the OS on the same computer. Using the COA on any other system (ie any other motherboard) would be invalid use of the COA.

A couple years back I brought this exact issue to my lawyer to do some research on for me. After much research the result seemed that you SHOULD be able to use the specific OEM's Windows Recovery CD to match the computer's COA (for example, a Dell Windows XP CD for Dell COA or HP Windows 7 CD for HP COA) so long as the computer had the original valid COA from the original purchase. However, Microsoft was battling this type of usage and in their terms refurbishing a computer for resell requires having a NEW Windows license as the OEM licensing was installed on it when it was initially sold as a NEW computer.
March 22, 2012 6:55:11 AM

Like I said at the start, look into Linux.
Ubuntu or Mint would be fine for the average user, most things work out the box and a lot of applications come pre-installed.

Worst comes to worst you offer Windows as an add-on at near cost price.
April 25, 2012 9:15:44 PM

choucove you are absolutely wrong on this.

This is straight from MS's website located at: http://oem.microsoft.com/public/worldwide/refurb/micros...

When is a new Windows operating system license required and when is one not required?

A new Windows license is not required for a refurbished PC that has:
(1) The original Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for a Windows operating system affixed to the PC, and
(2) The original recovery media or hard-disk based recovery image associated with the PC.

The operating system identified on the original COA indicates the edition of Windows that was originally licensed for that PC and the
refurbisher can use either:
(1) The original recovery media or
(2) The original hard-disk based recovery image to reinstall the operating system software specified on the COA.

If the original recovery media is not present, an end user can contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the PC to obtain the
appropriate recovery media for a fee—subject to availability. Second-hand recovery media is sometimes offered for sale by individuals
in various forums and markets. Purchasing media from unknown sources is not recommended as it introduces the risks of copyright
infringement, improper licensing and infected/corrupted or incomplete software.

A new Windows license is required for a refurbished PC if:
(1) The refurbisher cannot obtain the original recovery media or
(2) The PC does not have a hard-disk based recovery image.

The refurbisher must purchase a new Windows in order to provide the purchaser of the refurbished PC with a genuine, licensed
version of Windows on the PC.

April 27, 2012 1:53:14 AM

Skippy27 said:
choucove you are absolutely wrong on this.

This is straight from MS's website located at: http://oem.microsoft.com/public/worldwide/refurb/micros...

When is a new Windows operating system license required and when is one not required?

A new Windows license is not required for a refurbished PC that has:
(1) The original Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for a Windows operating system affixed to the PC, and
(2) The original recovery media or hard-disk based recovery image associated with the PC.

The operating system identified on the original COA indicates the edition of Windows that was originally licensed for that PC and the
refurbisher can use either:
(1) The original recovery media or
(2) The original hard-disk based recovery image to reinstall the operating system software specified on the COA.

If the original recovery media is not present, an end user can contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the PC to obtain the
appropriate recovery media for a fee—subject to availability. Second-hand recovery media is sometimes offered for sale by individuals
in various forums and markets. Purchasing media from unknown sources is not recommended as it introduces the risks of copyright
infringement, improper licensing and infected/corrupted or incomplete software.

A new Windows license is required for a refurbished PC if:
(1) The refurbisher cannot obtain the original recovery media or
(2) The PC does not have a hard-disk based recovery image.

The refurbisher must purchase a new Windows in order to provide the purchaser of the refurbished PC with a genuine, licensed
version of Windows on the PC.


I believe that the page you linked to actually states exactly what I was meaning to get across, I'm sorry if that was confusing. The COA of a Windows license can be used to reinstall the operating system that was installed on that specific computer (so long as the motherboard has not been replaced.) However, you cannot take the COA license from one system and use it to refurbish another. Also, upgrading the motherboard is considered a new computer so requires new OEM licensing.

I guess what was most confusing on this matter when I looked into it a few years back was who had ownership rights to that actual license. Was it Microsoft? Was it the original purchaser of the computer from the OEM? Was it the new customer if the system is sold? There's still a lot of legal back and forth going on about this (Adobe is one software developer currently debating this in US courts) but the current stance as I understand it is that Microsoft is the owner of the license itself. This is different than a few years back when I was researching it, where at the time it was the original purchaser of the license (the first end user) that is considered the owner of the license.
December 15, 2012 7:54:44 PM

It's actually worse than that. According to the MS refurb site you cannot install an OS from other than a machine's own recovery media. That means I cannot take an image, or an OEM disk, and restore or install it to a different machine and then apply that machine's original COA to itself. This is exceedingly onerous.
March 13, 2013 9:25:57 PM

paul1149 said:
It's actually worse than that. According to the MS refurb site you cannot install an OS from other than a machine's own recovery media. That means I cannot take an image, or an OEM disk, and restore or install it to a different machine and then apply that machine's original COA to itself. This is exceedingly onerous.


This is so f'n confusing. Legal or Illegal? I get a computer with an XP-Pro Coa attached, The hard drive was shredded. I put in new hard drive and use my trusy XP-PRO Oem installation disk and re-install XP-Pro and use the COA license key to activate it?
If this isnt legal, then I now hate MS for good. Do they want all the money? Well that was a dumb question. Actually I do too.
March 14, 2013 1:34:40 AM

refurbisher said:
paul1149 said:
It's actually worse than that. According to the MS refurb site you cannot install an OS from other than a machine's own recovery media. That means I cannot take an image, or an OEM disk, and restore or install it to a different machine and then apply that machine's original COA to itself. This is exceedingly onerous.


This is so f'n confusing. Legal or Illegal? I get a computer with an XP-Pro Coa attached, The hard drive was shredded. I put in new hard drive and use my trusy XP-PRO Oem installation disk and re-install XP-Pro and use the COA license key to activate it?
If this isnt legal, then I now hate MS for good. Do they want all the money? Well that was a dumb question. Actually I do too.


Hi :) 

Wow, I can cheer you up ...lol

That IS LEGAL...

Because... only new hard drive and you are using original COA.... you can even download the media from MS nowadays...

All the best Brett :) 
March 14, 2013 8:17:21 AM

What Brett is saying is what I have found so far in researching this as well. Yes, it is legal, so long as you are not replacing the motherboard of the original computer in the process or repairs. The computer has t 1) have the original motherboard, 2) have the original COA, and 3) must have the same version of the operating system installed as indicated by the original COA.

I know of a repair shop that was doing this. They'd take older computers people were throwing away, remove the Windows XP COAs, and reuse them on rebuilt systems and reactivate with those relocated COAs. I informed the owner that this wasn't acceptable under Microsoft terms, but it's his business and his responsibility should They come knocking.
!