Reply To: 21 Mar 15 Is your copy of Windows legal?
I don’t know if it’s legal, or not. Microsoft thinks it is (well it is currently activated), and the way I came to a working installation, originally, was legal. But, I can’t duplicate it now.
Here’s the path as to how I ended up with Win 7 Pro, and got into a disagreement with Microsoft on how to really have a decent installation.
I was running XP. Good, legal installation off the original installation CD.
I bought the family upgrade pack to move up to Win 7 Home (actually good for 3 computers). To do that upgrade, I had to be already running Windows — which I was. That preserved my installed programs, data files, and such, and the old Windows was moved over to a Windows.old folder.
I wanted the XP mode (misteak), so bought the upgrade to the Pro version. That gave me a new product key that I entered, and the upgrade was done like an online update. No new installation CD involved.
Everything worked, and I thought I was happy. I have 3 product keys, and two installation CDs. There came a time when I wanted to do a repair install to the Win 7. Nothing would work, the CD for Win 7 Home wouldn’t work since I was downgrading. I downloaded from Microsoft a CD image for the Win 7 Pro that I was running. Couldn’t use that either, since it is for a full install and the product key I had was for an upgrade.
I solved my problems a different way, and went on sort of happy.
Then a friend donated a SSD drive to me, that I wanted to use for the boot drive. But, Windows was already far to big to fit on it. So, I needed to go the original install path. XP first, then 7 Home, then 7 Pro. But, each of these installs leaves trash on the HD, and the 64 GB HD was too small.
Emails to Microsoft got the reply that all I had to do was call them and they could solve my problem. Turns out, their solution was to sell me (For money) a new product key to go with that Win 7 image I had downloaded. In other words, scrap the Win 7 install that I had already paid for. I declined that.
I ended up using the product key from an unused laptop here, and that went thru the activation OK.
I think, with the money I had already paid Microsoft, that I was entitled to a working installation CD and product key. Using the product key from that dead laptop may not be legal. I really don’t know!