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AgentX
13th July 2010, 10:47
Hi all,

Does anyone have a DVD for Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit they could sell or lend to me to help fix my laptop?

This is to repair an existing Vista installation, I'm not trying to score a cheap copy of it :)

I've had problems with this laptop for a while and it's refused to install any of the service packs. I've trawled the web and the Microsoft knowledge base and tried all the suggestions except one: restoring the system files from an original DVD.

These days, laptop manufacturers seem to think you don't need the DVD and insist on making 'recovery disks' instead. Well, reverting this machine back to the state it was in 3 years ago is simply not an option :Doh:

Can anyone help? Ideally, the DVD should be the original version of Vista since that's what I already have installed. I don't know whether a SP1 or SP2 disc would mess things up even worse. But, I'm going to clone the drive before doing the repair, so I guess there's nothing to lose by trying a later version.

Thanks in advance,
Paul.

Brataccas
13th September 2010, 13:32
Hi,

Is the COA sticker on the case itself or was this installed separate / upgraded from the installed OS? If it`s a COA sticker on the case you`ll need an OEM dvd that would have possibly come with the machine although most now are installed on a utility partition.

Cheers,

AmiNeo
13th September 2010, 15:14
I'm afraid your best bet would be to find a friend or someone who could loan you a disc. Selling a Windows disc without a COA or making a copy is illegal.

I'm sure we all bend some rules occasionally but this is probably inappropriate for this forum.

Hope you understand :thumbsup:

Merlin
13th September 2010, 15:42
@ AgentX

What brand is the laptop? My guess is Acer, but let's see if I'm right.....

davideo
13th September 2010, 15:42
I'm afraid your best bet would be to find a friend or someone who could loan you a disc. Selling a Windows disc without a COA or making a copy is illegal.

I'm sure we all bend some rules occasionally but this is probably inappropriate for this forum.

Hope you understand :thumbsup:

I think I would agree with the above and the rules also state something similair.

Dave G :cool:

AmiNeo
13th September 2010, 16:11
I will add however that if there is a COA on the case anywhere, you should be able to use any vista CD, retail or OEM provided it is 32-bit, with that key and do a full reinstall. You can even use a 64-bit CD and your key to give yourself 64-bit windows... This works, you can take that from me. With vista, the 32/64-bit comes from the installation CD and which version is actually installed (ie. Business, Home Premium, Ultimate etc) comes from the entered key. Every single Vista disc contains ALL versions of Vista regardless of what it says on the label.

A simple startup repair job won't even need the key however and a vista disc should be able to repair any boot sector problems.

One more thing I should add is that there should be a utility installed on your laptop which would allow you to make 'recovery discs'. Usually there will be a program installed on windows that helps you make these discs which effectively format the hard drive and reinstall everything back to a factory new installation.

If you cannot get into Windows, your best bet like I posted above, is to borrow a CD from someone you know, do a startup repair, and make sure you make some recovery discs when you get back into Windows.

Hope you get it fixed :)

Brataccas
13th September 2010, 17:23
@ Amineo - Most vendors require an OEM dvd of the OS as retail and MSDN keys are not the same as OEM keys. Might be different with Vista but with most other Winbloze os`s these are specific to the key. If it`s a Dell then ANY dell oem dvd will work and will not require a key to be entered.

Cheers,

HonestFlames
13th September 2010, 18:16
Depending on the Dell **EDIT** [Whoops, why did I assume you had a Dell?!], you can get into a recovery mode from a keypress during the power-on screen. I can't remember if it's Esc, F12, F2 or Del (sorry!).

If you've never re-partitioned your HD (i.e., never deleted any partitions), it's quite possible that you'll be able to enter the recovery bootup and restore your laptop to a working, basic install of Vista.

If not, then it *is* perfectly legal to obtain an OEM install CD image which can then be used to install Vista. It's illegal to copy an installation disc which you already own but it is not illegal to obtain a copy which is used solely to install a licensed version of Vista back onto your laptop.

I recently did this for a customer by using a multi-OEM version of the Vista SP2 disc (it came with an extra installation step which allowed me to select the correct OEM from a list). I used the OEM key code from the bottom of his laptop, thus the whole operation was legitimate. I actually installed from a USB flash drive (instructions on how to do this are readily Google-able) which made for a very quick install process.

Merlin
13th September 2010, 19:02
You can really start to tell the problematic laptops from the replies in here, including mine......:whistle: **

** Other brands of laptop are also available......

HonestFlames
13th September 2010, 19:19
Hey! My Dell has been OK. One dodgy battery (replaced for free) and a busted video card (probably my fault for mucking about with GPU frequencies). 3 years old and it's still darn good :)

Ed.D
13th September 2010, 19:35
AgentX, excuse the obvious question, but have you tried Vista's System Restore?

Regards,
Ed.

AmiNeo
14th September 2010, 03:43
@ Amineo - Most vendors require an OEM dvd of the OS as retail and MSDN keys are not the same as OEM keys. Might be different with Vista but with most other Winbloze os`s these are specific to the key. If it`s a Dell then ANY dell oem dvd will work and will not require a key to be entered.

Cheers,


Who mentioned MSDN? Every key I've seen on any retail system is OEM and it's these I'm talking about.
I'm an IT Tech (MCP, CompTIA and Cisco Certified) and have delt with a lot of different Vista laptops and towers in the last few years. Most vendors seem to not bother with a disc and install recovery partitions on the system instead with the option of making recovery discs through software which is pre installed into the windows installation...
The keys attached to these systems work fine with OEM or retail instalations from disc and usually when installing from any pre made recovery discs everything is done for you.

Of the companies that do this, I'm unsure of Dell, but it is definately true of all Vista running Acer, Toshiba and HP systems. I'd be suprised if Dell took a different approach as it seems the easiest way for vendors to impliment recovery these days.

Brataccas
14th September 2010, 09:05
@ Amineo - Sure I`m MCSE myself but this isn`t about how good we are :) I was making the point that their are multiple different license key types and that some media cannot be used with all types of key as in the case with Dell, if you loose any boot media (if it is older and was supplied with the system) then you may not be able to use it to perform full installation as the keys are normally tied to the vendor. Now a days they use SLIC to trigger the activation (as is the case with Windows 7). Like i commented earlier i cannot be 100% sure with Vista but normally vendor specific installations are OEM which is different to a Retail boxed version of the OS. Anyhow AgentX good luck with the recovery :)

Cheers,

AmiNeo
14th September 2010, 11:29
@ Amineo - Sure I`m MCSE myself but this isn`t about how good we are :) I was making the point that their are multiple different license key types and that some media cannot be used with all types of key as in the case with Dell, if you loose any boot media (if it is older and was supplied with the system) then you may not be able to use it to perform full installation as the keys are normally tied to the vendor. Now a days they use SLIC to trigger the activation (as is the case with Windows 7). Like i commented earlier i cannot be 100% sure with Vista but normally vendor specific installations are OEM which is different to a Retail boxed version of the OS. Anyhow AgentX good luck with the recovery :)

Cheers,

:lol: Sorry, I didn't intend it to become a war of egotistic (un)professionalism. Being an MCSE you're almost definately more experienced. I'm a mere MCDST MCP. MCSE is where I want to be but right now no low end jobs (call centres, help desk etc) will take me because I'm apparently TOO experienced (WTF? Why is working from the bottom a problem when I explain I need more experience) and I lack relevant experience in other areas (such as SQL server) required for the more advanced jobs. I worked for a new media company part time for about a year and thats all the professional experience I have besides call outs / odd jobs. I now also have no cash to continue college since I'm finding it so hard to find work. I'm at a dead end. :|

But yea as I mentioned. Vista installs are odd in that you can use any disc (OEM or Retail) with any OEM or retail key, even if it's issued to a manufacturer specific system. It seems every Vista disc produced has every version. You can see this on install when you choose not to input the key before the install (simply click next without inputting the key) and the liscense agreement includes every version of Vista in its headder.

I myself have an Acer Laptop and a custom desktop both of which run Vista (unfortunately :lol:) and I have used a vista business 64 bit OEM disc to reinstall the OS which gave me 64-bit Vista Home premium! :lol: After discovering this I tried it on a few other machines when people had problems and it works no probs. So it's a tactic I now use for any call outs. It's handy to know I dont need lots of different Vista discs. XP however works differently so I need to carry multiple discs for that.

Brataccas
14th September 2010, 12:05
@ Amineo - Ahha! Ok no worries, i wasn`t too sure (as stated) with the Vista side of things and OEM/retail builds but it`s good to know that any disc would work, sure as for XP etc it is specific and you`ll need the right disc for the right key. As for agentx he should be ok with any Vista disc :)

No flaming mate, to be honest experience counts more than paperwork :) MCSE wise i did it on my own back over a period of time, i had the opposite, lots of experience but no paperwork and employers were not prepared to pay so i did, to be honest it hasn`t really added much since getting it, well no pay increase anyhow! If you need advise, reading materials etc for it let me know and i`ll help out if i can, 70-291 is the biggest pain but the others are pretty easy.

@ Mods - Sorry for the digretion on the thread :)

Cheers,

AmiNeo
14th September 2010, 18:33
One more off topic post to reply to Brataccas-

What I really need help with more than anything is finding employment in the IT sector. I'm in a dialemma.

Just to see what happens I've dumbed my CV down by taking off the Cisco quals and a few of my more complex acheivments. Hopefully this will give me a better chance at actually getting a job. (seems backwards to me but as I am at the moment it seems I'd be better off that way).

If I can score a local entry level job I'll be happy. I really dont care about starting lower than I'm at, I just need a chance to progress and prove myself.