image backup software

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Gaz, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Gaz

    Simon G Guest

    Hey guys,

    I totally agree with what you are saying, and I appreciate the fact it could
    be seen as a personal backup service, and YES I do use norton Gohost etc on
    my own PC for backup.....


    As far as I know (and I have just got off the phone from Microsoft regarding
    this) they do not allow abusiness to "backup" a customers hard drive that
    has a copy of Windows on it.
    I was told that it was in violation of the Licensing Agreement, and if could
    would be liable for prosecution.

    Whether or not they would get that far, well thats another matter, but I for
    one do not want to lose my business over it.

    Im all for being leagal in business, however its horses for courses I

    I dont work for Microsoft or anyhting, just trying to share what little
    knowledge I have.


    Simon G, Jul 14, 2004
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  2. Gaz

    Simon G Guest

    The OP said: "I own a PC repair business, and thinking of means to offer
    Ok lets break this down....

    1) "For an extra sum" = Selling (asking for money)

    2) "I will ghost their system onto a cd or dvd = "Copying aleady licesnsed
    software onto a blank cd or dvd =

    1 + 2 = "Software piracy" Is it only me that can see this?

    As the end user you have the right to make a backup of your software,
    however you cannot pay someone else to do this for you. This is looked upon
    as software piracy.
    You dont have to be selling a PC to be classed as a System Builder under the
    terms of Microsofts License agreements. By servicing a computer, which the
    OP was doing in this case, he is still bound by the Terms of the End Users
    License Agreement, which will state that any duplication of the operating
    system is a violation of the EULA.

    Think about this for a moment.....

    If I was to come over and copy your hard drive to a Ghost bootable DVDR, and
    then charged you £10 for the disc, would you not see that as being software
    piracy? In the same vein that If I was to sell you a DVDR with Windows XP
    on it for £10, would you not see that as Software Piracy?

    Admitedly, the Customer has already paid for Windows XP in the first
    situation, however by making a copy of Windows XP for them, and charging
    them for the privaledge is just as bad (an just as againt the rules
    Microsoft have made) as actually buying a dodgy copy of XP in the first

    You see, if its not an official copy of XP on an XP CD, with COA & Key,
    Microsoft class it as piracy.

    And in relation to the System Builder licensing as I mentioned before, if
    Microsoft will not allow businessses to make "images" of drives, why should
    the situiation be any different for others?

    Im not trying to argue with anyone here, im just airing my views. As
    someone who owns a business myself, I have looked into this greatly, and I
    feel that others shoyuld know the information I have found.

    Simon G, Jul 14, 2004
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  3. Gaz

    SimonG Ltd. Guest

    I think the person you spoke with at Microsoft misunderstands the situation
    .. . . . if what you have written above is correct there will be many schools
    out there that are in breach of their license agreement because they have
    purchased a managed service where their supplier is responsible for setting
    up and managing their backup system . . . I understand where you are coming
    from regarding your business and not using pirated software, I have the
    same opinion regarding my business. Despite being asked by friends I refuse
    to supply OEM versions of Windows unless it is pre-installed on a system
    that they are buying from me.

    regards, SimonG
    SimonG Ltd., Jul 14, 2004
  4. Gaz

    Alex Fraser Guest

    Perhaps you would be good enough to ask them sometime what reasons they have
    for not permitting this service. I get the feeling that if true (that's not
    a dig at you; do you know how competent the person you spoke to at MS was?),
    it's simply an unintended consequence of the EULA.

    The same goes for system builders not being permitted to make recovery CDs
    provided with a new system - assuming they are in addition to a "proper" CD.
    I fail to see a commercial interest in either case.

    Alex Fraser, Jul 14, 2004
  5. Gaz

    Simon G Guest

    I can see your point to some degree. Presumably an end user is allowed to
    That would be one way around it.

    You see, as far as I am concerned, whatever I do must be legal, otherwise I
    am no different from the majority of PC support businesses out there.

    What the customer does with the PC when its outside of my control is down to
    them, I take no responsibility whatsoever. (They sign a form to this extent)

    I suppose its all about covering your own back. Admitedly, it would make my
    job a hell of a lot easier if I had images of working installs for every
    custtomer I have, or even if the customer has a working backup of the drive
    for themselves. However I have chosen not to do this, knowing that, even
    though it seems to be a grey area as such, there is no way Billy and teh
    Redwood Clan will be knocking on my door.

    Each to their own i suppose, but is the risk worth it?

    Not for me, not by a long shot.

    Simon G, Jul 14, 2004
  6. Gaz

    Simon G Guest

    if what you have written above is correct there will be many schools
    They would be allowed to do this under the Volume Licensing agreement, and
    being a "school"
    Microsoft have different arrangements, do they not?

    Well it seems to me they do from the stuff I have been reading on their

    I believe the person I spoke to totally knew what I was talking about, as I
    told them I run a small business and asked if I could make images of the
    customers drives so that I could easily restore to that point again in teh
    future. (I did not tell them I was going to charge for this service). I
    was told in no uncertain terms that copying a Microsoft product is totally
    forbidden, and not only against the OS License, but also illegal and liable
    for procecution.

    They went on to tell me that there is only one way that you can copy a disc
    legall in the UK, and that is for personal backup purposes only. That is a
    copy of the original disc, not the installed version of the software.
    unless it is pre-installed on a system
    Why not? I do. Bundle it with a Non MS Mouse (like the £2 ones you get
    from the computer fair) and you are perfectly legal.

    In fact it is legal to sell a copy of an OEM Operating System (this does not
    stretch to Productivity titles) with the following:

    Hard Drive, Processor, Motherboard, Memory, Non MS Mouse or Keyboard. In
    fact anything that is seen as an essential part of a computer system. Some
    argue that a HDD Cable is essential, although microsoft dont like that one
    too much!

    Anyway, there is no reason why you shouldnt sell OEM Operating Systems to
    your friends, unless you dont want to support it.

    Simon G, Jul 14, 2004
  7. Gaz

    Alex Fraser Guest

    So long as the instructor has his hands tied behind his back and an
    independent witness signs a declaration ;).

    Alex Fraser, Jul 14, 2004
  8. Gaz

    Alex Fraser Guest

    Did you make it clear that said image would reside with the customer?
    So _anyone_ making an image of their Windows installation is breaking the
    licence agreement? I find that very hard to believe.

    Alex Fraser, Jul 14, 2004
  9. Gaz

    Graham W Guest

    Simon G wrote:
    [big snip]
    This is the difference. If you keep the copy, it's a pirated copy.
    If they keep it, it's a backup. I don't think there is any basis as to who
    actually created it leading to define it as backup or pirated.
    Graham W, Jul 14, 2004
  10. Gaz

    AG Guest

    I think what he is saying is that anyone who makes an image of someone
    ELSE'S OS is in violation of the law.
    I have a hard time believing that a judge would let that go to prosecution
    since the repair person is acting as an agent of the owner of the computer.
    I'm going to stick to Linux for a while.
    AG, Jul 14, 2004
  11. Gaz

    TechGeekPro Guest

    Volume Licensing
    TechGeekPro, Jul 14, 2004
  12. Gaz

    Alex Fraser Guest

    I would presume they have a different licence agreement to the "normal" one
    being discussed here, so Simon's comments are not (necessarily) applicable.

    Alex Fraser, Jul 14, 2004
  13. Gaz

    no66y© Guest

    "Simon G" wrote in message
    That is totally outrageous!!

    Take this scenario:
    I have a new computer, I read in the PC mags that you should back up your
    stuff [good advice].
    I think "jolly good idea" but wait! I'm a new user, I don't know how to do
    that yet ffs!
    So, I ask someone who says "yes, I can back up your system and make a
    "recovery disk" so it goes legs
    up it will restore your system" and offers to do it for £20.00 [ergo saving
    me hours of work, tis a bargain and money well spent I tell you!]

    "Damn good Idea" says I. I have my windows licence sticker stuck to the PC
    coz that's how it came so "go for it" I says to the tech.

    So the tech backs up my hard drive onto CD which he **gives to me**. The
    recovery CD containing my FULLY licensed and LEGAL windows
    which I PAID FOR FFS! and bingo, he's broken the law!

    Bill Gates - shame on you!

    That really really sucks.

    Those who find they're touched by madness
    Sit down next to me

    Reply to address is a spam trap.
    Use no66y [at] breathe [dot] com
    no66y©, Jul 14, 2004
  14. Gaz

    no66y© Guest

    "Simon G" wrote in message
    No because I have a genuine legitimate licence sticker for that **very
    same** windows
    stuck to the side of my PC case.

    Those who find they're touched by madness
    Sit down next to me

    Reply to address is a spam trap.
    Use no66y [at] breathe [dot] com
    no66y©, Jul 14, 2004
  15. Gaz

    Simon G Guest

    Guys Guys Guys......

    Once again. I totally agree with you all on all counts. Morals dictate that
    we should be able to make a backup for our own use, something which I have
    done for ages.

    However, what i was mearly trying to point out was that Microsoft do not
    allow a third person or company to make an image of your drive for use in
    restoration, unless you have permission of course.

    We have two things here which people seem to be confusing.

    1) A person making a backup of the original OS media OR making a backup of
    the HDD is ACEPTABLE in Microsofts eyes. (Personal Use)

    2) A Company (computer business) making an image of a customers Hard Drive
    is NOT ACCEPTABLE by Microsoft. (Commercial use)

    The original poster wrote in a way which would identify him with being a
    Computer Repair / Support business, therefore his request would not be seen
    as legal in Microsofts eyes.

    Shoot Bill Gates, not the messenger.

    Simon G, Jul 14, 2004
  16. Gaz

    Paul Hopwood Guest

    I did.
    Isn't that precisely what a backup is?? The fact remains you're
    entitled to make backups; what form that takes, be it a file copy,
    image or some other form is immaterial.

    From what I can gather the OP wishes to provide backup images with the
    machine for disaster recovery purposes. He's simply providing a
    service, making and giving the backup to customers who, supposedly,
    already have licenses for the software contained on the drive. As
    long the OP doesn't distribute copies he's doing nothing illegal.

    Most reputable service providers who supply servers and the like will
    make a full backup before handing it over to the customer. That's no
    I did and I still think you're wrong! ;-)

    Paul Hopwood, Jul 14, 2004
  17. Gaz

    Paul Hopwood Guest

    How on earth did you come to that conclusion? Where that true it
    would prohibit anyone from taking a full backup!
    The OP never claimed to be a system builder nor distributing OEM
    software thus there's no reason to believe he is bound by the somewhat
    restrictive terms of the Microsoft OEM System Builder License.

    In any case, it's highly debatable if this clause would stand up to
    much scrutiny in an EU/UK court.

    It would be a mistake to assume anything written within a Microsoft
    license agreement bears any semblance to the law. Even were that so
    Microsoft have a multitude of license agreements and to the best of my
    knowledge none, except perhaps the Microsoft OEM System Builder
    License, contain such a clause prohibiting drive imaging.

    In fact, most large companies deploy clients and/or servers using such
    tools. Microsoft themselves have a number of tools , including RIS
    Server and Automated Deployment Services (which is a FREE download
    for doing precisely that, and another free tool called SysPrep for
    preparing a system for imaging using their own or third-party

    It's even covered, albeit briefly, in Microsoft training and companies
    in the Microsoft Certified Partner programmes are generally expected
    to know how to deploy using imaging tools.

    Paul Hopwood, Jul 14, 2004
  18. Gaz

    Paul Hopwood Guest

    Actually no, I wouldn't see that as piracy. You're providing a backup
    service for the customer. Most repairs shops, system engineers,
    managed services providers, disaster recovery vendors etc do precisely
    this kind of thing routinely.

    Are you suggesting half the IT industry is operating illegally?
    If you leave the backup media with the customer you've simply provided
    them with a service. Were you to leave the premises with the copy it
    becomes more questionable, unless you're simply storing it for the
    customer and/or have a license of your own.
    If it's not distributed I doubt they would. And if they do, they're
    As already pointed out in this thread, they *do* allow it. Actively
    encourage it in fact.

    Paul Hopwood, Jul 14, 2004
  19. Gaz

    Gaz Guest

    Not so much selling, as a service.
    No, it is not the medium that it is important, it is the license, the
    individual has the license, there is no intent to distribute this software
    to anyone else.
    Only if you believe copying a music album onto your hard disk, for use in
    Itunes is piracy.
    oh dear, I wont need Johnny Cochrane to get out of that one.
    Good job that microsoft dont write the laws in this country.
    It is the right to use the software, not the software, or how it is
    installed that is important, the customer has no intentions of using the
    image as well as their existing software, WPA makes it very tricky,
    avoidable only by deliberate deceit.
    erm, no it isnt. It is not the act of copying xp cds etc which is the act of
    piracy, it is the use of unlicensed serial codes.
    They may class it, but it isnt. If you have the COA, that is it. You have
    the license, and no court in the land would give an alternative judgement.
    Oh dear, that puts all the server backup software out of business, i presume
    that we will see a law suit for damages against Symantec.
    Thanks for the info, i appreciate it, however, I do tend to work around
    common sense, as do the courts. An individual pays microsoft for the right
    to use their software, the means of installation is irrelevant.

    Gaz, Jul 14, 2004
  20. Me too.

    Tom MacIntyre, Jul 14, 2004
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