Dell Vista Disc On Another Make Of Computer

Found 15th Dec 2008
I have just purchased a new laptop, a Hewlett Packard, which is running Vista Premium.

I also have a Dell Desktop, also running Vista Premium.

My question is, can I use my Dell Vista Premium CD should I ever need to reinstall Vista on my new laptop (using the Product Key supplied with the new laptop, so it would be a legitimate installation)? Or are these discs somehow locked to Dell machines?

Advice appreciated. Thanks.

12 Comments

The fresh installation would not pre-activate (in that sense the disc is locked to DELL machines), I doubt it would let you activate the installation over the internet using an OEM key.

You could probably download HP's "certificate" which would then activate the installation or should that fail, phone Microsoft.

Original Poster

abomination;3769887

Locked.


Ocht

Any way around it? Really don't fancy having to deal with all the sh*t that manufacturers put on their computers these days, would rather be able to do a format and clean install.

As stated the software is locked to Dell. There is no way around this.

You will probably find that the Dell disk is an image created for either a specific Dell model or a limited range of Dell models. These will either fail to boot as an error will advise that the disk is only for Dell machines or if it does allow the disk to be used, it will fail at first startup due to differences in HAL, chipset, drivers. It's worth a try as an absolute last resort but I wouldn't recomend it.

Windows XP and Vista pre-activation (SLP) is relatively simple but I can't go into specifics here obviously.

It can be done, Google is your friend :).

You need to understand the difference between a "proper" Windows disk, and a restore or recovery disk.

1) Windows disk: If you go into a shop and buy a copy of Windows then this will come with a "proper" Windows disk and a key to install it. This could, in effect, be installed on any computer.

Microsoft do not usually allow "proper" Windows disks to be shipped with computers, they prefer if a restore or recovery disk is shipped instead (see below). They dont like "proper" Windows disks to be shipped as people can install them on other computers.

2) Restore or Recovery disk: This is NOT a proper Windows disk but a disk to allow you to rebuild Windows on your computer. The "image" on the disk will often include drivers and other files over and above those shipped with a basic Windows disk.

It is NOT likely that a restore or recorvery disk for one platform (say Dell) will install and work on another platform (say HP) due to difference in the hardware. There may also be checks on the CD or DVD to ensure it is installed only on the correct hardware.

Dell have in the past shipped proper installation media, I don't know what their policy is now though.

Can I say one other thing (just to confuse matters).

Even if you do locate a "proper" Windows disk, it may not work with your product key.

There are a number of "builds" of Windows such as Retail, OEM, Enterprise, Developer etc.

A Windows product key for say the OEM version will not work on a Windows Retail disk and so on.

My GUESS is that your product key is an OEM key, so you need to get hold of a "proper" OEM Windows disk, and it would have to be EXACTLY the same version as is on your PC, ie Vista Home Premium.

Your key would not work with Vista Home Basic or other versions of Vista.

abomination;3770216

Dell have in the past shipped proper installation media, I don't know … Dell have in the past shipped proper installation media, I don't know what their policy is now though.



Microsoft stoped companies doing this a few years ago, while XP was still around.

I doubt if any companies like Dell have shipped a "proper" copy of Vista, it is always a restore or recovery disk.

The best way to get a proper copy of Windows is to build a PC yourself, or get a small local company to do it, and buy a copy of the OEM version of Windows.

The OEM version is for "new builds".

It doesn't really matter.

If you download a copy of Vista as distributed by Microsoft themselves you can pre-activate it against an OEM machine with relative ease.

guilbert53;3770240

Microsoft stoped companies doing this a few years ago, while XP was still … Microsoft stoped companies doing this a few years ago, while XP was still around.I doubt if any companies like Dell have shipped a "proper" copy of Vista, it is always a restore or recovery disk.



Not so; the Dell OS CD/DVD is a full version; as has been pointed out, the only difference is a modified install routine that checks the BIOS.

If it finds a Dell BIOS it will cheerfully install without the need to enter a product key or the need to activate.

Banned

yeah, installed 32bit ultimate with a dell no problem on my custom built pc, just as long as the disk is one of them oem ones without a serial needed. the dell logo in control panel can be removed aswell. i did wipe my hard drive clean before installation, im not sure if its neccessary in order to install.
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