Windows vista: when are you a pirate?

I just bought a computer off of ebay. It comes with the hard drive empty and no disk’s or documentation. It does have the windows vista key on the side. Does that mean if I borrow a copy of vista from someone, install it, and use that key I am legal? Or do I need to buy another copy? On the same note, if it is legal, can I download vista from somewhere (legally), just in case I can’t find a hard copy around here?

Did you pay for Vista? Sounds like someone illegally redistributed their key while retaining the install media.

Since MS considers the OS to be a part of the PC, why not install? If I had to guess, the key is an OEM key that will only work with that brand of PC.

you’d be the legal owner of the key since oem keys are tied to the original machine they are bundled with and cannot be transferred.

Any many OEMs never send the disk in the first place, so the seller could’ve just formatted it just to be sure the data was gone, so you dont see thier child pron or that they stole it.

Make sure you have an OEM Vista disc, a retail copy won’t work with the OEM serial key on the side of the computer.

Is it a well known brand like Dell, HP, etc? You might be able to call the manufacturer and request the physical media.

Fuck all that crap. Install Ubuntu and stop worrying!

With Vista you’re always a pirate!

In Soviet Russia, Vista pirates you!

If you have any problems activating once you’ve installed, you’ll have to call Microsoft. Make sure to tell them that your computer is the only one running that Vista key.

Mog, I actually had that happen to me (forced to call MS to get phone auth) for the first time about 2 weeks ago. As much as I change hardware and reinstall Vista, I’m shocked it hasn’t happened sooner.

It was strange: all I did was swap out the primary HDD on my media center PC, which has been the same hardware config for months. Prior to that-- and we’re talking 6+ months ago-- I did increase the memory, change the CPU, and upgrade the video card. Vista had no problem whatsoever with these upgrades, no reactivation necessary. Maybe there’s some kind of internal ticker I finally tripped with all the cumulative upgrades? Was the hard drive swap the straw that broke the camel’s back?

Seems pretty generous, if so…

XP and Vista activation gets tripped after a certain number of “significant” hardware changes occur.

Some useful info:

Generous, eh? You pay them a shitload of money - one way or another - and they “generously” allow you the use of an OS. Such 20th century thinking! An OS shouldn’t give a damn what you do, my friend. (PS: Fight the power, etc!)

Having just had all my toys nicked in a burglary, and as this seems vaguely related, is there a way to deliberately and permanently invalidate a Vista Key? I know it won’t do a great deal in the long term to the usability but I would like some small modicum of vengence.

Nope. You’ll have to find inner peace another way. Buy yourself new underwear. Perhaps hire a maid to clean the house so that it no longer feels sullied. Commiserations on your loss.

You mean start worrying, right? I mean how the fuck would it be any more useful than a Mac then?

What, you still use a PC for Games? How 1999!

Why, can I play WoW, M2TW, CivIV, etc on my XBox 360 all of a sudden?