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IT professionals and computer repair techs, question for you


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16 replies to this topic

#1 acerts04

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:49 PM

hey everyone, i have a question for when repairing a computer for a customer. i am young and plan to be in the IT field after finishing school. i repair computers for family members and friends alot, a couple of times i have had to do restores and clean installs of windows etc. my question to you guys are if a customer needs a clean install of their OS do you use a spare windows cd that you have? or does the customer need to bring you their OS cd from their OEM? for example i have a windows 7 cd i had to get from dell to do a clean install on my cousins dell laptop, would i be able to use that same cd on another persons pc if they needed a clean install and were running windows 7 64bit and if it asked for a key, just use their windows product key on their computer? or would that not work. what do you computer repair techs do? i am interested in learning as much as i can so any input is greatly appreciated!!!

 

thanks everyone

alex :thumbup2:


"In real life, the hardest aspect of the battle between good and evil is determining which is which."


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#2 TwinHeadedEagle

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 12:33 AM

You can use same cd on as many computers as you need, but you will need to type different product key...

#3 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:09 AM

Hi acerts04

 

To your questions answer is both 'Yes' and 'no'

 

In case of a customer having a retail purchased or digital download copy of Win7 you can use another retail DVD of same edition (ie Home basic, Premium, ultimate etc). If you want you can download legal trial versions of all editions of Win7 from 'Digitalriver' site. There is also a trick to create an all in one install DVD with all Windows editions by editing 'ei.cfg' file inside the DVD. You can google for more details.

Please note that you can use the same product key to switch from 32 bit to 64 or vice versa. That is if you have a 32 bit Home Premium install media you can install 64 bit Home Premium instead and activate using the product key.

 

in case of OEM editions like preinstalled versions on laptop you have to use manufacturer's recovery options. Dell recovery media only works with Dell systems. You can't use it to recover HP even if the edition is same. Only a few manufacturers like Dell provides clean installation disk for Win7. For other OEMs we are required to create 'recovery DVD set' to restore OS and all other bloatwares pre installed with it. OEM key is not valid for internet activation and hence it can't be directly used with retail DVD. A few users reported they are able to activate OEM after reinstalling with retail DVD by calling MS phone in support but so far i am unsuccessful.

 

There is a tool name ABR (activation backup and restore) to backup OEM Win 7 activation data.

 

 http://directedge.us/content/abr-activation-backup-and-restore

 

You can use this tool to backup OEM activation and then install Win7 from a retail DVD of same edition. After setup finishes rerun ABR to reactivate Win7.


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 27 April 2013 - 01:13 AM.


#4 noknojon

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:08 AM

Hello -

If you wish to be made aware of the full requirements and "legal" versions as per Bill Gates company -

 

OEM Licensing FAQ < < This post and all related links are from Microsoft only -
 

 



#5 acerts04

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:59 PM

anshad, thank you very much for your informative answer. just to clarify a few things-- first off, the dell cd that i received for my cousins laptop is pretty much useless for any computer other than dell to do a clean install on? the site that you provided for the free trial verisons of windows, can that site be used to create that "all in one" windows cd? since after clean installing a customers pc you would have their product key to activate, but in that case what would you do for installing their drivers? (i received a driver cd along with windows 7 cd from dell when i needed to do the clean install of windows) also, when you receive a customer that had an OEM pre installed computer, and they do not have their recovery set AND for some reason their recovery partition on their hard drive was not working (example of a pc i just dealt with) would you the technician have to contact their OEM and order their recovery set dvds? thanks for the information!

 

alex


Edited by acerts04, 27 April 2013 - 03:13 PM.

"In real life, the hardest aspect of the battle between good and evil is determining which is which."


#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:31 PM

Hi Acerts04,

 

The advice you have above about re-installing Windows is correct - drivers are another problem !

 

You don't need the OEM driver disc - it just makes life much easier. Win 7 includes a lot of drivers in its own install, but you will need things like motherboard and sound drivers, which you can get from the manufacturers web-sites. If you don't know what the components are, I would suggest installing something like Speccy - you can get it here   http://www.piriform.com/download   - which will tell you what components are installed and usually the manufacturer. Then you can get the drivers that you need. You can always ininstall Specy when you have finished.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#7 acerts04

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:33 PM

Chris, thank you for your input. When i re installed drivers after i did a clean install on my cousins computer, the OEM driver cd gave me the intel hd graphics driver also which made windows not look like it was in safe mode, are display drivers like that also downloaded from the manufacturers website as well? And speccy will list all of the drivers needed for that specific model pc? Also do you have any input on the questions i posted in response to anshads reply? Greatly appreciated, thank you!

"In real life, the hardest aspect of the battle between good and evil is determining which is which."


#8 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:17 AM

Hi acerts04

 

If you used Dell Home basic CD to recover HP system it won't automatically activated as the CD key and certificate of the dell CD won't match with the HP system. In simple words Windows activates itself by comparing OEM CD key, OEM Certificate (both embedded in to the DVD image) and the  BIOS of the system we restore. Dell CD contains a Dell OEM licence key and certificate which won't match with the 'software licencing table' embedded in to the BIOS of HP Laptop. Hence Win7 asks for activation if you install Dell OEM Win7 to HP.That is why we can't switch OEM recovery medias. 

 

Best way to re install Windows on Laptops is to use either recovery media or recovery partition. If you can boot in to the desktop you can also use ABR to backup activation and re install using a retail disc like i explained earlier. If the customer lost their recovery CD or situations like recovery partition gone (HDD need replacement etc) i don't recommend ordering  recovery media. Instead i will buy a retail copy of Win7 Home Basic (cheap and easy to activate). Cost of new recovery media and a retail copy is almost same. Microsoft don't even provide support for OEM OS. So retail Windows is always better than OEM.

 

In case of drivers i always recommend to look first in manufacturers website if i don't have a driver install CD. This is important in case of laptop as most of the drivers like Display, WLAN, Bluetooth and often sound drivers may be  customized for that particular model. Laptop graphics are best examples. You can't install the Nvidia Geforce 430 driver of an Acer laptop to a HP laptop with same card. Same applies to ATI. Bluetooth and Wlan drivers are also system specific.

 

Some link to OEM driver download pages :

 

DELL : http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/drivershome/showproductselector

 

Acer : http://www.acer.com/worldwide/support/

 

Thoshiba :http://support.toshiba.com/

 

 

There may be situation like drivers are missing in manufacturers site. For example you may want to install Win 7 32 in a laptop but the OEM may only provides driver for 64 bit OS (Dell and SONY are famous for it). In situation like this you may use generic drivers available from net. For example Intel display and chipset drivers are available from Intel's site. Realtek Audio, LAN and WLAN are available in their site. Other manufacturers don't provides direct driver download link for their products (ie Sigmatel, conexant, Soundmax , Broadcom , atheros etc). There is also generic driver collections are available on the net to help situation like this. For example "Driver Pack solution"

 

                                                                                 http://drp.su/

 

This a very use full and unavoidable universal driver install disc which can be used with both desktop and laptop. 


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 28 April 2013 - 01:26 AM.


#9 acerts04

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:37 PM

anshad, thank you again for the great info. i have a few more questions based on what you said, first off why do you prefer buying a retail copy of windows instead of ordering recovery media for the customer? i ask this because when i repaired my cousins computer for him and we needed recovery discs due to his partition being busted up, it only cost 16$ and i didnt have to worry about drivers or anything. plus i would think a retails windows disc would be much more than 16$ right? also, that driver pack solution link you gave me, basically you can get all the required drivers for any model computer from there instead of the manufacturers website? it seems easier. lastly, i was curious about the digital river link you provided, can you burn those trial iso's to a cd and use those to activate windows after a clean install instead of buying a retail copy or using recovery media? basically create that all in one windows cd with those trials? if not, what exactly can you use the trials for? thanks so much again

 

alex


"In real life, the hardest aspect of the battle between good and evil is determining which is which."


#10 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:38 PM

Hi Acerts04,

 

Speccy is a great tool, but I thnk you have slightly misunderstood my previous post. Speccy does not list the drivers, but it does tell you what devices you have, down to model No., and tells you who the manufacturer is. This gives you the choice of going to either the device manufacturer's web-site and downloading the drivers needed, or going to the computer maker's web-site to get them.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#11 acerts04

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

ah i think i understand now, so basically after a clean install you could use speccy to identify what devices are on the computer itself and from there download the drivers from wherever for those devices?


"In real life, the hardest aspect of the battle between good and evil is determining which is which."


#12 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:13 PM

Yes, that's more or less how it works.

 

As a concrete example, Speccy tells me I have a GeForce 9500 GT video card. So I can either go direct to nVidia and download the drivers, or to the computer manufacturer's web-site or, if I don't know that nVidia are the manufacturers, I can plug 'GeForce 9500 GT' into Google and it will refer me to the nVidia web-site.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#13 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:48 PM

Hi Acerts04

 

If you can get the original recovery media at a low price, of course you should buy it instead of retail disc. Price greatly differs from one OEM to another.

 

Yes you can use the trail versions downloaded from 'DigitalRiver' to re install customers PC when they lost the CD. Just use their legitimate product key to activate. You can convert any retail disc (Any Edition) or a disc downloaded from 'Digital river'  to an all in one install disc simply by editing 'EI.CFG' file. I can't describe all the steps as i doubt it may violate forum rules.

 

for Laptops preferred method is recovering using recovery partition or recovery media. If you lost the recovery media, recovery partition , you may try re installing with a retail disc (Backup activation first)

 

You can use a retail disc and ABR to clean install a laptop to remove all the crapwares installed by the OEM and speed up the system.



#14 acerts04

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:16 AM

Thanks chris and anshad, i am learning so much!! You guys are great. Anshad, why you say for "laptops" those options are the more preferred methods? Wouldnt it be for desktops also?

"In real life, the hardest aspect of the battle between good and evil is determining which is which."


#15 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:53 AM

I omitted Desktop due to most desktops are custom  built and use retail OS. In case of branded desktops same rules of Laptops can be applied.

 

 Also If you can boot the system you can backup the installed drivers using a free program named 'DriverMax" - http://www.innovative-sol.com/drivermax/

 

After re installing OS use device manager--->Update driver and select the folder in which drivers are backed up to reinstall them.






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