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#1 2018-07-26 10:41:45

Davy
Member
From: Ireland
Registered: 2016-05-31
Posts: 52

What should I do with the windows which came with my laptop?

Hello,

I have an oldish laptop which I haven't used since I made my desktop pc. It's very full and runs windows, so my plan is to back it up to an external hard drive and put a fresh install of bunsenlabs helium on it. My problem is this: what should I do with the windows on it? I don't want it on my laptop, but I don't want to get rid of it completely. Its value may be made up but it's value nonetheless. I certainly don't want to have to pay $200 if I ever need a windows partition on a computer or a relative wants me to make them a pc and wants it to run windows.

So to be brief: what can I do with the windows which came with my laptop so I can use it again on a different computer some time. Is there a license? Where?

I appreciate any help or advice you can give me,

All the best,

Davy

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#2 2018-07-26 12:11:44

Jimbo_G
Member
From: France
Registered: 2017-05-12
Posts: 76

Re: What should I do with the windows which came with my laptop?

If Windows came preinstalled on your laptop then I think the license is non-transferable to another PC. I don't know how reliable this information is, but I found the following on howtogeek.com

When you get a computer that comes with Windows system preinstalled by the manufacturer, the Windows license will always remain tied to that computer.

There’s no exception to this, aside from the exception for replacing the computer’s motherboard if it failed.

Manufacturers get these non-transferable licences for less than you’d pay for a transferable license, hence the restriction.

If you bought a full license and installed it on your laptop, it is possible to transfer it to another PC (but can only be used on one PC at any time).

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#3 2018-07-27 05:31:13

nore
>2⁹
From: blueberry bush
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 389

Re: What should I do with the windows which came with my laptop?

Shrink the Windows partition down as much as you can using preinstalled tools that came with it and install Bunsenlabs on free space. Then you have always access to Windows if you happen to need it or want to sell that laptop. Remember to keep Windows recovery partitions too.

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#4 2018-07-27 08:16:17

earlybird
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-12-16
Posts: 605
Website

Re: What should I do with the windows which came with my laptop?

nore wrote:

Shrink the Windows partition down as much as you can using preinstalled tools that came with it and install Bunsenlabs on free space. Then you have always access to Windows if you happen to need it or want to sell that laptop. Remember to keep Windows recovery partitions too.

OP should determine if he has an OEM or retail license. If OEM, the Windows is probably tied to the hardware (IIRC the Windows key could be stored somewhere in the UEFI firmware) and he should shrink the partition, since reinstalling Windows would probably erase Linux.

If it's a retail license, I would delete the Windows partition and reinstall Windows into a virtual machine (VMWare Workstation Player (better "desktop experience"), qemu/kvm) in order to be able to use it when needed.

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#5 2018-07-28 20:44:26

Bearded_Blunder
Member
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 381

Re: What should I do with the windows which came with my laptop?

OP doesn't state what Windows version is involved, there are some detail differences between versions what Microsoft allow and don't in some corner cases, essentially though @earlybird is correct OEM licences are tied explicitly to the hardware, look for the COA (usually on the laptop base if Windows came preinstalled) it will state if it's OEM right on the sticker with the key, and won't activate on anything else.  You could, from my reading of the terms for older windows versions install it in a VM on the original hardware, but only if the host OS is licensed separately (as Linux would be) Telephone activation would likely be required in such a case YMMV explaining what's being done and being believed during that process.

As mentioned above, some (big) PC vendors put a key in firmware (BIOS or UEFI) but they do so purely as a courtesy, in such cases the Windows installer simply doesn't ask for a key. The key on the COA can be entered manually in the scenario in my first paragraph and would be valid, the install will see the emulated firmware and ask for a key. You'll likely end up playing the phone activation game.

Retail copies are transferable, obviously Microsoft require that they're wiped from the previous hardware, and again telephone activation, and a conversation explaining is indicated, the normal process will fail because of hardware changes.

If setting up to dual-boot, you could as suggested shrink the partition, or wipe and reinstall leaving free space to install Linux, in dual-boot setups it's generally recommended to install Windows first. The key issue being if Linux is on first, Windows overwrites grub leaving Linux inaccessible & requiring booting a live Linux to chroot in and reinstall grub, or use of a third party tools to add Linux to the Windows bootloader. Grub isn't that rude when installed second, and simply adds the entry for Windows auto-magically.


Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed...

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#6 2018-07-31 09:41:35

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,197
Website

Re: What should I do with the windows which came with my laptop?

there's no good solution.

note: "very full" --- so, identify actual data you need, move it to an external drive and then delete it from the internal drive. clean up windows as much as you can. then shrink the partition from within windows, and hope that you can still install BL (and maybe even have enough space for a third data partition).

i once changed some hardware in my desktop PC and could not use windows after that anymore - not because it didn't recognize the hardware, but because it thought i'm using it on a different computer now.

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#7 2018-07-31 18:31:54

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,595

Re: What should I do with the windows which came with my laptop?

Personally I'd accidentally delete it (with small 'ups') and then later convince myself it was a real accident (If needed).

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