[mythtv-users] VDPAU update from the front lines, December 2008

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Sun Dec 7 22:23:10 UTC 2008

> I think what he meant is, if you have a device with a CoA affixed, but
> no install media, you can borrow install media from someone else.  That
> should be legal, since you're still installing on the device with the
> CoA.  One caveat is that Windows XP OEM install disks are often keyed to
> a specific manufacturer's motherboards -- for example, if you use OEM
> Dell Windows CDs on a non-Dell machine, the Windows install will fail to
> activate.  Been there, done that.

There are ways around this. I had an old Compaq Presario P4 that
shipped with Windows and still has its CoA attached.

This system came with a recovery partition rather than a recovery
disk, and was given to me after an HDD failure left the thing useless.

Of course I replaced the failed HDD and installed it with Fedora.
About a year later I needed MS Office for a project I was working on
(OO.o wasn't going to cut it with the docs I had to deal with).

I decided to install Windows Home (which is the license the box came
with) and Office under vmplayer, but neither a legitimate install
image nor a questionable one would accept the license key.

So I went ahead and called the support number the installer told me to
call. It only took about five minutes to get to a human. I explained I
had a valid CoA but that the OEM partition was long lost, and I was
using a different XP Home install/recovery disk with the proper key
for the box. I also explained that I was trying to install on a VM.

Although I strongly suspect it was not his real name, 'Roger' gave me
a new key on the spot and it worked without problem.

I did tell him I was using a 'different' install image than what came
with the machine, so it wasn't really a lie. It was an XP Home image.
It just happened to be from one of the (clean) XP-all-in-one images
floating around the more disreputable parts of the internet.

This really is one of those things I find baffling about Microsoft.
They suggest that using anything other than original media is
tantamount to piracy, yet they also require license keys.

If you're going to require keys, than why the requirement for official
media? If you require official media then why do you need keys?

I remember in 2000 or so when I was living in eastern Europe, I bought
a used laptop in the US (with a Win98 license) and tried to install
the Czech/Slovak language version and it completely choked. I had a
CoA, and I had the original media, but it wouldn't work. But I found I
could install Win98 with the proper language pack from a generic CZ/SK
image and a key that was all 0s.

If MS were smart (rather than clever, which they've always been)
they'd have images available everywhere along with an easy and simple
way to buy keys. Since I realize that MS is perpetually clever yet
never smart, I have done my best to eliminate them from my life.

Nonetheless, it's been my experience that if you just call them and
ask for a key, they'll give it to you. I was expecting a fight, and it
was quite surprising for me that I didn't get one.

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