Re: PC Service & software piracy (again)

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by RussS, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. RussS

    RussS Guest

    Only one thing to do .... Cover your own ass.
    If a machine comes in that I need to reinstall I refuse to do so unless
    there is a genuine OS disk (not a copy) and accompanied with a genuine S/N.
    I had one smart ass threaten to sue me unless I sorted his machine using the
    copied CD and pirated XP key - a quick reference to Microsoft and how they
    would be my joint defendant and he backed off real fast. Funnily enough
    this guy has a business with 50/60 machines all running XP - I wonder how
    many are legit ... lol
    RussS, Sep 2, 2003
    #1
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  2. RussS

    Gaz Guest

    "RussS" <> wrote in message
    news:w9X4b.134891$...
    > Only one thing to do .... Cover your own ass.
    > If a machine comes in that I need to reinstall I refuse to do so unless
    > there is a genuine OS disk (not a copy) and accompanied with a genuine

    S/N.
    > I had one smart ass threaten to sue me unless I sorted his machine using

    the
    > copied CD and pirated XP key - a quick reference to Microsoft and how they
    > would be my joint defendant and he backed off real fast. Funnily enough
    > this guy has a business with 50/60 machines all running XP - I wonder how
    > many are legit ... lol


    But, turning away business can be tough. I find that 9/10 people who have no
    disk, actually bought their machine from Tiny/Time (UK) and have had
    Win98/Me pre-installed. If they cant find their recovery disk/license manual
    I use 'keyfinder' and install from that.

    I have come across a couple of PCs built by a friend of a friend etc, which
    do have clearly dodgy licenses, which the customer is entirely unaware of.

    Gaz
    Gaz, Sep 2, 2003
    #2
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  3. RussS

    techshare Guest

    It's been my experience that even the most seemingly ignorant customers know
    that they are running pirated software.
    Do they readily admit it? NO
    Will they tell me who sold/gave it to them? NO
    Would they be very happy if I also gave them pirated software to replace
    their broken sh*t? YES
    Do I want to smack them and the jerk that "sold" it to them? YES ;)
    "Gaz" <> wrote in message
    news:bj33n8$ec87j$-berlin.de...
    >
    > "RussS" <> wrote in message
    > news:w9X4b.134891$...
    > > Only one thing to do .... Cover your own ass.
    > > If a machine comes in that I need to reinstall I refuse to do so unless
    > > there is a genuine OS disk (not a copy) and accompanied with a genuine

    > S/N.
    > > I had one smart ass threaten to sue me unless I sorted his machine using

    > the
    > > copied CD and pirated XP key - a quick reference to Microsoft and how

    they
    > > would be my joint defendant and he backed off real fast. Funnily enough
    > > this guy has a business with 50/60 machines all running XP - I wonder

    how
    > > many are legit ... lol

    >
    > But, turning away business can be tough. I find that 9/10 people who have

    no
    > disk, actually bought their machine from Tiny/Time (UK) and have had
    > Win98/Me pre-installed. If they cant find their recovery disk/license

    manual
    > I use 'keyfinder' and install from that.
    >
    > I have come across a couple of PCs built by a friend of a friend etc,

    which
    > do have clearly dodgy licenses, which the customer is entirely unaware of.
    >
    > Gaz
    >
    >
    techshare, Sep 2, 2003
    #3
  4. RussS

    LJS Guest

    I just passed both my A+ exams today, and I had a question about this topic.

    I know my personal PC (an HP desktop I bought from CompUSA) came with a
    Windows XP manual and certificate of authenticity/serial number, but no
    installation CD-ROM. From talking to my friends and family, it seems like a
    lot of computer manufacturers aren't including installation CD-ROMs with
    their systems.

    Any ideas on how to solve this quandry in a situation where you need to do a
    re-install? Thanks!
    LJS, Sep 3, 2003
    #4
  5. RussS

    techshare Guest

    Do you mean a real Windows installation CD? Umm.. not sure where you've been
    .... but few (if any?) of the major integrators include such CD's.
    Furthermore, they haven't included them for a long time now. You know .. the
    famous "system restore" CD's .. that's what you get.

    PS. you passed both A+, but bought an HP from CompUSA?!! Why not build a
    nice unit? Sorry, but on top of the HP ... thinking about CompUSA "techs"
    just makes me laugh, cry, sick to my stomach .... or all of the above!
    "LJS" <> wrote in message
    news:tFe5b.13$...
    > I just passed both my A+ exams today, and I had a question about this

    topic.
    >
    > I know my personal PC (an HP desktop I bought from CompUSA) came with a
    > Windows XP manual and certificate of authenticity/serial number, but no
    > installation CD-ROM. From talking to my friends and family, it seems like

    a
    > lot of computer manufacturers aren't including installation CD-ROMs with
    > their systems.
    >
    > Any ideas on how to solve this quandry in a situation where you need to do

    a
    > re-install? Thanks!
    >
    >
    techshare, Sep 3, 2003
    #5
  6. RussS

    David Hough Guest

    Wake up guys! I also have a new HP. It is full ATX with Asus MB and 2
    gig P4. It came from Walmart. I could not buy the parts to build one,
    for what I paid. As for the restore CDs, it is quick and easy to
    restore these Ghost images. As long as the origional hardware is in
    place, there is no configuing to be done, no questions to answer. It
    doesn't get any easier.
    David Hough, Sep 3, 2003
    #6
  7. You couldn't buy the parts to build one yourself? You didn't search around
    hard enough then. I can get a system off www.pricewatch.com for a lot less
    than an HP system and it will be just as fast if not much faster for the
    same price with out all the proprietary overhead that HP has installed. The
    only savings you might get is if they bundle printers/scanners/extras, etc
    with the system.

    The cheapest system I found for a 2 ghz system off of pricewatch is

    Complete sys - Intel Pentium 4 2.0GHz Socket 478. Win 98SE/ME or XP.
    COA. 3 Yrs Wrnty;Lifetime Tech 128Mb, 20Gb HDD, Video, Snd, 52X CD, FD,
    10-100 LAN, USB 2.0, Front USB, ATX 350Wt! All New Parts
    (Part - JBHJB)



    I am not saying it's the best, but I have never seen an HP that cheap, the
    only other part you would need to buy is a monitor and those are under 200
    for even a 19" .

    Philip



    "David Hough" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    >
    > Wake up guys! I also have a new HP. It is full ATX with Asus MB and 2
    > gig P4. It came from Walmart. I could not buy the parts to build one,
    > for what I paid. As for the restore CDs, it is quick and easy to
    > restore these Ghost images. As long as the origional hardware is in
    > place, there is no configuing to be done, no questions to answer. It
    > doesn't get any easier.
    >
    C. Philip Cutler II, Sep 3, 2003
    #7
  8. RussS

    LJS Guest

    Grow up!
    LJS, Sep 3, 2003
    #8
  9. RussS

    Pat Guest

    "David Hough" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > As long as the origional hardware is in
    > place, there is no configuing to be done, no questions to answer.


    And there you have the primary complaint. That, and NTFS drives when XP
    won't boot and the usual "critical" pictures and assorted crap are on the
    drive.

    Even MS recommends a parallel OS installation to regain access to back up
    the data in that instance, followed by reformatting to clean up the mess.
    Try getting a second OS installation from your restore disks.
    Pat, Sep 3, 2003
    #9
  10. On most HP's, there is a separate partition for system restore. As long
    as that's intact, you can boot into it (it's kind of like "multi-boot",
    to OS' on the same machine) and recreate the other partition that way.

    A better solution is to burn the \I386 folder on the main hard drive
    partition to a CD-R disc. With that folder (assuming that in includes
    both Winnt.exe and Winnt32.exe) burned to a CD, you have, essentially,
    all of the capability of a full install CD. The expertise to use it is
    something that you will need to acquire, but it will come automatically
    if you are serious about this. Basically, Winnt.exe is the DOS setup
    program, while Winnt32.exe is the Windows setup program. I presume that
    you can handle partitioning and formatting yourself.


    LJS wrote:

    > I just passed both my A+ exams today, and I had a question about this topic.
    >
    > I know my personal PC (an HP desktop I bought from CompUSA) came with a
    > Windows XP manual and certificate of authenticity/serial number, but no
    > installation CD-ROM. From talking to my friends and family, it seems like a
    > lot of computer manufacturers aren't including installation CD-ROMs with
    > their systems.
    >
    > Any ideas on how to solve this quandry in a situation where you need to do a
    > re-install? Thanks!
    >
    >
    Barry Watzman, Sep 3, 2003
    #10
  11. On Wed, 3 Sep 2003 01:07:33 -0400, "LJS" <>
    wrote:

    >I just passed both my A+ exams today, and I had a question about this topic.
    >
    >I know my personal PC (an HP desktop I bought from CompUSA) came with a
    >Windows XP manual and certificate of authenticity/serial number, but no
    >installation CD-ROM. From talking to my friends and family, it seems like a
    >lot of computer manufacturers aren't including installation CD-ROMs with
    >their systems.
    >
    >Any ideas on how to solve this quandry in a situation where you need to do a
    >re-install? Thanks!
    >


    The install files are on a hidden HDD partition. Have you ever
    wondered why the HDD is not as big as is advertised?

    You may get a CD if you specifically request it, and if it's still
    under warranty, but you'll have to check it out. I used to know their
    policy, but can't remember, and it may have changed anyway.

    Tom
    Tom MacIntyre, Sep 4, 2003
    #11
  12. RussS

    LJS Guest

    Thanks for the info!

    "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On most HP's, there is a separate partition for system restore. As long
    > as that's intact, you can boot into it (it's kind of like "multi-boot",
    > to OS' on the same machine) and recreate the other partition that way.
    >
    > A better solution is to burn the \I386 folder on the main hard drive
    > partition to a CD-R disc. With that folder (assuming that in includes
    > both Winnt.exe and Winnt32.exe) burned to a CD, you have, essentially,
    > all of the capability of a full install CD. The expertise to use it is
    > something that you will need to acquire, but it will come automatically
    > if you are serious about this. Basically, Winnt.exe is the DOS setup
    > program, while Winnt32.exe is the Windows setup program. I presume that
    > you can handle partitioning and formatting yourself.
    LJS, Sep 4, 2003
    #12
  13. RussS

    Dan Dawson Guest

    I run into the same problem quite often. Many customers bring their PCs and
    insist that they have a legitimate copy of the OS, but they lost the disk
    and the serial number. How can I find they have a legitimate copy or not, if
    they don't have the serial number? What is "keyfinder"? Is it some tool to
    find the serial number of the OS?

    Dan.
    "Gaz" <> wrote in message
    news:bj33n8$ec87j$-berlin.de...
    >
    > "RussS" <> wrote in message
    > news:w9X4b.134891$...
    > > Only one thing to do .... Cover your own ass.
    > > If a machine comes in that I need to reinstall I refuse to do so unless
    > > there is a genuine OS disk (not a copy) and accompanied with a genuine

    > S/N.
    > > I had one smart ass threaten to sue me unless I sorted his machine using

    > the
    > > copied CD and pirated XP key - a quick reference to Microsoft and how

    they
    > > would be my joint defendant and he backed off real fast. Funnily enough
    > > this guy has a business with 50/60 machines all running XP - I wonder

    how
    > > many are legit ... lol

    >
    > But, turning away business can be tough. I find that 9/10 people who have

    no
    > disk, actually bought their machine from Tiny/Time (UK) and have had
    > Win98/Me pre-installed. If they cant find their recovery disk/license

    manual
    > I use 'keyfinder' and install from that.
    >
    > I have come across a couple of PCs built by a friend of a friend etc,

    which
    > do have clearly dodgy licenses, which the customer is entirely unaware of.
    >
    > Gaz
    >
    >
    Dan Dawson, Oct 28, 2003
    #13
  14. RussS

    xxx xxx Guest

    Keyfinder finds the original product key you used when you installed Windows
    OS on your system.
    Keyfinder finds keys for other Microsoft products as well. Product keys
    Keyfinder can find include:

    Windows 95
    Windows 98
    Windows Me
    Windows NT 4.0
    Windows 2000
    Windows XP
    Windows Server 2003
    Office 97
    Office XP
    You can download it from: http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml


    "Dan Dawson" <> wrote in message
    news:Vgwnb.2772$...
    > I run into the same problem quite often. Many customers bring their PCs

    and
    > insist that they have a legitimate copy of the OS, but they lost the disk
    > and the serial number. How can I find they have a legitimate copy or not,

    if
    > they don't have the serial number? What is "keyfinder"? Is it some tool to
    > find the serial number of the OS?
    >
    > Dan.
    > "Gaz" <> wrote in message
    > news:bj33n8$ec87j$-berlin.de...
    > >
    > > "RussS" <> wrote in message
    > > news:w9X4b.134891$...
    > > > Only one thing to do .... Cover your own ass.
    > > > If a machine comes in that I need to reinstall I refuse to do so

    unless
    > > > there is a genuine OS disk (not a copy) and accompanied with a genuine

    > > S/N.
    > > > I had one smart ass threaten to sue me unless I sorted his machine

    using
    > > the
    > > > copied CD and pirated XP key - a quick reference to Microsoft and how

    > they
    > > > would be my joint defendant and he backed off real fast. Funnily

    enough
    > > > this guy has a business with 50/60 machines all running XP - I wonder

    > how
    > > > many are legit ... lol

    > >
    > > But, turning away business can be tough. I find that 9/10 people who

    have
    > no
    > > disk, actually bought their machine from Tiny/Time (UK) and have had
    > > Win98/Me pre-installed. If they cant find their recovery disk/license

    > manual
    > > I use 'keyfinder' and install from that.
    > >
    > > I have come across a couple of PCs built by a friend of a friend etc,

    > which
    > > do have clearly dodgy licenses, which the customer is entirely unaware

    of.
    > >
    > > Gaz
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    xxx xxx, Oct 28, 2003
    #14
  15. RussS

    Dan Dawson Guest

    Thanks for the prompt response! Now, once I find the key, how do I know
    whether it is a legitimate copy or not? Should I call Microsoft?

    Dan.
    "xxx xxx" <> wrote in message
    news:hexnb.9795$f7.532411@localhost...
    > Keyfinder finds the original product key you used when you installed

    Windows
    > OS on your system.
    > Keyfinder finds keys for other Microsoft products as well. Product keys
    > Keyfinder can find include:
    >
    > Windows 95
    > Windows 98
    > Windows Me
    > Windows NT 4.0
    > Windows 2000
    > Windows XP
    > Windows Server 2003
    > Office 97
    > Office XP
    > You can download it from: http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml
    >
    >
    > "Dan Dawson" <> wrote in message
    > news:Vgwnb.2772$...
    > > I run into the same problem quite often. Many customers bring their PCs

    > and
    > > insist that they have a legitimate copy of the OS, but they lost the

    disk
    > > and the serial number. How can I find they have a legitimate copy or

    not,
    > if
    > > they don't have the serial number? What is "keyfinder"? Is it some tool

    to
    > > find the serial number of the OS?
    > >
    > > Dan.
    > > "Gaz" <> wrote in message
    > > news:bj33n8$ec87j$-berlin.de...
    > > >
    > > > "RussS" <> wrote in message
    > > > news:w9X4b.134891$...
    > > > > Only one thing to do .... Cover your own ass.
    > > > > If a machine comes in that I need to reinstall I refuse to do so

    > unless
    > > > > there is a genuine OS disk (not a copy) and accompanied with a

    genuine
    > > > S/N.
    > > > > I had one smart ass threaten to sue me unless I sorted his machine

    > using
    > > > the
    > > > > copied CD and pirated XP key - a quick reference to Microsoft and

    how
    > > they
    > > > > would be my joint defendant and he backed off real fast. Funnily

    > enough
    > > > > this guy has a business with 50/60 machines all running XP - I

    wonder
    > > how
    > > > > many are legit ... lol
    > > >
    > > > But, turning away business can be tough. I find that 9/10 people who

    > have
    > > no
    > > > disk, actually bought their machine from Tiny/Time (UK) and have had
    > > > Win98/Me pre-installed. If they cant find their recovery disk/license

    > > manual
    > > > I use 'keyfinder' and install from that.
    > > >
    > > > I have come across a couple of PCs built by a friend of a friend etc,

    > > which
    > > > do have clearly dodgy licenses, which the customer is entirely unaware

    > of.
    > > >
    > > > Gaz
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Dan Dawson, Oct 28, 2003
    #15
  16. RussS

    martin426 Guest

    Unforunately, Piracy is an issue that won't go away. In fact, I
    believe that Microsoft's policies actually encourage it. If you look
    closely enough, you'll find that the licenses for Windows when you
    purchase from a company such as Dell, HP, Compaq, etc. are good for
    that system only. Technically, you are not allowed to use it on a
    different PC. Often, the only way you can "reinstall" it is by
    loading the "recovery cd" which will load the original image of the PC
    onto the system, including all the other crap that goes along with it.
    For instance, my Sony PCG-GRX580 Laptop came with Windows XP, and
    about 50 other applications (some have merit, but about 90% of them
    are worthless and just slow down the system. Naturally, being a
    techie I want a clean system. My only option would be to install XP
    that I got with my custom built desktop (OEM), which is technically a
    violation. On top of that, to get any of the apps that I paid for and
    actually want, I would need to violate the DCMA because they are
    encrypted on the recovery CD using Sony's proprietary system. (While
    there are programs out there that will do this, it is again a
    technical violation).

    Further, try call up DELL (or any of the others, not to pick on Dell)
    and tell them you'd like a system without Windows. (Gasp) For
    instance, you want to install Linux on your own. They will not sell
    you a PC without a version of Windows, because Microsoft has them by
    the balls.

    It seems to have gotten to a point of extreme excess. It reminds me
    of my college days at Georgia Tech, when hazing became (scratch that,
    was made) a major issue. The problem was that everything was hazing,
    so everyone was guilty, and they could pick and choose who they went
    after.

    If you do have a customer who has pirated software, it is correct that
    it is not your responsibility. Just take the high road if they want
    you to do something illegal, it's not worth the risk. Also, I suggest
    accepting only cash on delivery, because they obviously don't have
    qualms about stealing. Use your judgement.

    Regards...

    "ImhoTech" <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > "Dan Dawson" <> wrote in message
    > news:Vgwnb.2772$...
    > > I run into the same problem quite often. Many customers bring their PCs

    > and
    > > insist that they have a legitimate copy of the OS, but they lost the disk
    > > and the serial number. How can I find they have a legitimate copy or not,

    > if
    > > they don't have the serial number? What is "keyfinder"? Is it some tool to
    > > find the serial number of the OS?

    >
    > Your putting too much effort into it. If the job requires OS installation
    > and they can't provide the OS, then they are just out of luck, or they can
    > purchase a new copy from you.
    >
    > If they can provide the disk, and don't have the key, you can locate the
    > original key in the registry, which may or not work with the disk provided.
    > ( and be aware that whether it works or not, there's no way to tell if it
    > was legimate).
    >
    > Whether the customer provided software is legitimate is not your
    > responsibility. You aren't the software police, you're just a tech trying to
    > operate legally.
    >
    > What you can't do is use your personal, or business disks to install
    > software for the client, regardless of whether the customer has a 'right' to
    > the OS or not, providing a key or certificate of authenticity is not enough.
    >
    > You certainly have the right to refuse any job that you feel is suspicious,
    > just remember that your concern is your actions, not your customers. In
    > other words if a customer brings in a CDR Copy with the key written on it in
    > sharpie, you may very well want to question the customer about the validity.
    > Of course if the customer insists that it is a valid copy of his own
    > software, you may accept that as reasonable and want to continue the job. On
    > the other hand you may have a customer provide original disks and COA, and
    > continue the job unsuspecting, when in fact it was a 'borrowed' copy and due
    > to that fact not legimate.
    >
    > Point being again, you aren't the software police, and shouldn't have to be.
    > Just use a little common sense and protect yourself, if you lose a few
    > customers because of it. Just make sure that the customer understands the
    > legality issue. Most times you won't run into blatant intentional piracy,
    > just people that didn't know better, or people with fleamarket computers
    > that came with no disks (where the real criminal is the guy selling the used
    > computer with illegimate software installed.)
    martin426, Oct 30, 2003
    #16
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