Install XP on Dell Licensed for NT

February 18, 2009 at 11:01:41
Specs: Windows XP
I have successfully installed Windows XP Professional on a a Dell OptiPlex GX 150 licensed for NT 4.0 after wiping the hard drive clean.

When I insert the Reinstall CD and boot from CD the OS installs without asking for CD Key or activation. I can download SP's, and updates with no problems.

Is this legal?


See More: Install XP on Dell Licensed for NT

Report •


#1
February 18, 2009 at 11:57:35
"Is this legal?"

That would depend on how you acquired the copy of Windows XP Pro which you installed. If you paid for a completely legal copy and have the certification to prove it, it is completely legal. Unless your using this computer in a business environment, don't worry about it, Microsoft does not have a policy of prosecuting private individuals for license irregularities unless there's evidence they are distributing software illegally.


Report •

#2
February 18, 2009 at 13:28:53
Just because Microsoft will not prosecute you does not make it ok. I have heard that if everyone who steals software bought it instead, the software could cost half as much and Microsoft's profit would remain the same.

Report •

#3
February 18, 2009 at 15:00:45
Somebody needs to ease up here; maybe take
their meds.

Nobody is talking about stealing anything. I
am talking about taking a legally obtained
Windows XP Professional Dell branded re-
installation CD and booting up from it on a
legally obtained Dell OptiPlex GX-150 that
was originally configured with Windows NT
4.0.

The original OS was wiped from the GX-150
hard drive. When I booted up the GX-150 from
the Dell Windows XP Professional re-
installation CD I was neither prompted for a
COA nor was there an activation request.

I could then immediately proceed with Windows
Update with no problems. I thought that was
kind of strange and so I posed the question
here expecting a straightforward, non
accusatory, non wise-ass response.

The question was and is...."Is the procedure
I outlined legal or illegal...to anyone's
actual knowledge as opposed to "actual
guess"?


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
February 18, 2009 at 15:22:55
Depends. What is the status of the original system?

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


Report •

#5
February 18, 2009 at 15:53:24
The reason you were not prompted to activate Windows is because (1) formatting the HD does not remove the hidden EISA partition (no drive letter), and (2) you used Dell-provided CD.

This EISA partition - in conjunction with the motherboard - is what made up System-Locked Pre-Activation used by all major OEM system builders. As long as the EISA partition have not been removed (i.e., new replacement Hard drive) and the motherboard has not been replaced, no activation is required.

i_Xp/VistaUser


Report •

#6
February 18, 2009 at 16:13:12
I'll try to answer respondents #4, & #5 as
best I can.

First, respondent #4 I believe I stated that
I wiped the original OS on the OptiPlex GX-
150, so the status of the original system is
that there is/was no original system. I am
unable to provide more information than that
without additional prompting.

Second: Respondent #5 I used Ontrack Data
Eraser to wipe the hard drive. If you are
correct and I have no reason to disbelieve
you, Ontrack Data Eraser does not alter the
original EISA partition. I may attempt
another experiment using a hard drive that
has never been married to a Dell motherboard
for verification. Having said that, your
explanation clearly makes the most sense.

However, I am still looking for an answer to
my original question which was/is..........
Is what I have done considered to be illegal,
or legal?


Report •

#7
February 18, 2009 at 16:48:44
If your question boils down to whether what you did is legal or illegal, no one here can answer your question with absolute certainity. Only a lawyer specialized in intellectual proprietary software can do that. Google for one & be prepared to fork over big expense.

i_Xp/VistaUser


Report •

#8
February 18, 2009 at 17:18:41
XPUser:

Thanks for your response with regard to the activation question. I know how to find a lawyer if I need one. Right now I can't see the need for one yet.


Report •

#9
February 19, 2009 at 06:10:31
I asked about the original system, because that CD would have accompanied a Dell computer, on which was installed XP. So, what is the status of that original system?

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


Report •

#10
February 19, 2009 at 12:49:57
I believe your original question was answered. If you legally purchased a copy of Windows XP for the purpose of upgrading the OS on your Dell OptiPlex GX 150 and installed it on that machine, it is legal, regardless if it didn't require any product activation. When you write:
"...taking a legally obtained
Windows XP Professional Dell branded re-
installation CD and booting up from it on a
legally obtained Dell OptiPlex GX-150..."
you don't define what is meant by "legally obtained". Dell is a licensed reseller of Microsoft software and they have license to provide Microsoft software upgrades to the customers of Dell computers. If you purchased your re-installation CD from Dell for the purpose of installing Windows XP on the GX-150, there is nothing illegal about that. Or, if there is, it is Dell which has violated their software distribution license, not you for buying and using it.

However, if by "legally obtained" you mean that the re-installation CD came with another computer that you have "legally obtained" and you have found that it also works on the GX-150 which you "legally obtained", then NO, it is not legal to use on the GX-150. The license for the re-installation copy is only for the computer which is was sold with, not for any other computers.


Report •

#11
February 19, 2009 at 17:17:04
"However, if by "legally obtained" you mean that the re-installation CD came with another computer that you have "legally obtained" and you have found that it also works on the GX-150 which you "legally obtained", then NO, it is not legal to use on the GX-150. The license for the re-installation copy is only for the computer which is was sold with, not for any other computers."

The quoted response above describes exactly what was done. However, I can find no way to connect the re-installation CD to any one Dell PC.

In other words I can find no evidence that the re-installation CD is directly associated with any particular PC. Both PC's are Dells. The only evidence we have is my "confession"! I find this hard to believe. Is this a "loophole"?


Report •

#12
February 19, 2009 at 18:21:04
Maybe you should look at this in a basic, but logical, manner. Microsoft retains ownership of all of their software, end users are merely licensed to use the software. When you buy a computer from a Microsoft licensed vendor, like Dell, with Windows XP on it, a license to use Windows XP for the life of the computer comes with the purchase. It's a single license for using Windows XP on a single computer. It does tranfer with the computer if the computer is resold. If you go to someplace like Best Buy and buy a retail box of Windows XP, it comes with a license for one user to use on one computer, you DO NOT buy the software - you buy the license to use it. If your Dell OptiPlex GX 150 did not come with a license for Windows XP, and you have not purchased a license for using Windows XP on it, then it would be "illegal" to be using Windows XP on that computer.

Now, here's a scenario; a computer is brought with Windows XP on it, so the owner of that computer has a license to use Windows XP on that one computer. But, the computer stops working for some reason and is sold or discarded without the OS on it (hard drive was stripped). The owner also has another computer and uses the backup or re-installation disk from the discarded computer to put Windows XP on this 2nd computer. Is that legal? Microsoft would most probably say NO, but if such an arguement actually went to trial (which would NEVER happen), it is very probable that the court would consider that Fair Use because the owner had paid for a license to use Windows XP on the original computer and, due to that computer breaking down, was only able to exercise the use of his legally purchased license by putting the OS on another computer. Which is why Microsoft would NEVER allow such a case to go before a judge.

If your running a business and the BSA does an audit on you, you will have to present the licenses for all the software you are using on your business servers and workstations. The BSA does not have prove you don't have a license, you have to prove you do. Without documentation to show otherwise, it is considered that the software is unlicensed. The service tag on your Dell computers will provide documentation showing what OS was on the computer when originally shipped and that provides sufficient proof of license. But, your Dell OptiPlex GX 150 would show NT 4.0 and you would have to present other documentation to show there was a license to be using XP on the machine.


Report •

#13
February 19, 2009 at 19:20:06
"The service tag on your Dell computers will provide documentation showing what OS was on the computer when originally shipped and that provides sufficient proof of license. But, your Dell OptiPlex GX 150 would show NT 4.0 and you would have to present other documentation to show there was a license to be using XP on the machine."

According to the compelling argument above I have broken the law by booting up and installing Windows XP Professional on a PC that did not ship with that OS installed. This can be proven by the Dell service tag on the OptiPlex GX-150.

So, I ran the service tag on Dell's support site and came up with 8 different OS's for that model, including Linux Red Hat. Windows XP Pro was not included.

I am satisfied with the information received and truly appreciate the wisdom offered, but I am not convinced I have broken the law. I may have violated the EULA which is a civil concern, but the EULA is not the law.

I don't think this will put me in the rear seat of a squad car anytime soon.


Report •

#14
February 20, 2009 at 06:17:22
You never answered my question about the original system that shipped with the XP CD you used to install.

And, yes, you did violate Piracy laws by installing the OS on a machine for which it is not licensed.

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


Report •

#15
February 20, 2009 at 07:58:37
The original system is running smoothly.

Can you point me to the specific law I have broken? I understand I have violated the EULA, but that is not a law. I am really interested in what the law says.

Thanks.


Report •

#16
February 20, 2009 at 09:56:04
Why are you being so evasive? I asked a simple question as to the status of the computer that shipped with the pre-installed version of XP that you decided to install on another computer.

If that machine is up and running, the License for XP is tied to that machine. You cannot legally use it to install on another machine. The EULA is a contract stating that you abide by the rules set forth regarding Piracy.

You asked a question, and it's been answered. Just because you choose to maneuver around the facts doesn't make what you did any less illegal.

I'm not a Lawyer nor a Law Enforcement Officer. Google Piracy Laws if you want details.

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


Report •

#17
February 20, 2009 at 10:06:46
Dell is OEM which means the recovery cd is linked to the hardware.

You can not "legally" sell or buy OEM software and use it on another machine. When the machine dies so does the software associated with it.

The EULA is a legal statement of the terms of ownership and is backed up by copyright law and other state and federal laws that can be legally enforced.

If you had bought a retail version of XP and installed it that would be legal.

What you did was not. It's that simple.


Report •

#18
February 20, 2009 at 11:59:13
Thank you all for your input. It has been rather interesting.

Jennifer I am not being evasive. You asked me for the status of the original system. The original PC is up and running, and there is no conflict between that system and the one I installed on the old OptiPlex GX-150. I really and truly do not know what else you want from me.

I suppose if somebody wanted to spend a lot of time and money to put this old retired guy in jail one might succeed, but I doubt it because I would just replace that OS with the original OS and be done with it.

I merely tried installing the OS using the legally obtained re-installation CD to see if would work and it did...without a hitch.

I thought that was strange so I posed a question about it on this forum and unwittingly created a "firestorm", in addition to being called a thief and a criminal.

If you go back and review the history of Mr. Gates and Mr. Allen you will find they committed far more serious crimes, and became billionaires as a direct result. As I see it the only difference is they did not say anything, and I shot off my mouth.

Once again I thank you all for the time you devoted to the subject.

Peace.


Report •

#19
February 20, 2009 at 14:35:45
Well, I haven't seen any "firestorm" raging in this thread, nor did I see any post calling you a "thief" or a "criminal". There was one indirect reference to "stealing" software (meaning the poster did not directly say you were stealing software) and another reference to software piracy. I personally do not believe the scenario you've asked about is what software companies are concerned about when they talk about software piracy, though I would accept that it fits within a strict interpretation of the term.

But, you didn't ask if it was "stealing".
Nor did you ask if it was "piracy".
Your question from the beginning was, is this "legal". Responders have just been trying to get sufficient details of the situation to be able to provide an accurate answer. Keep in mind, it is "illegal" to go 58MPH in a 55MPH speed zone, yet it's obvious that not too many people are concerned about that.

It is my sincere belief that nobody, but NOBODY, at Microsoft gives a flying rat's ass that some "old retired guy" is using an unlicensed copy of Windows XP on his old OptiPlex GX-150. But, nobody at Microsoft is going to say it's "legal", either. As a publicly traded corporation, Microsoft has a legal fiduciary responsibility to the company's shareholders to protect the copyright to the company's "intellectual property". So, the answers in this thread have been what is understood to be the "official" position of Microsoft, not an attack on your integrity or morality. You using Windows XP on that computer does not deprive Microsoft of one thin dime of profits, because NOBODY is ever going to pay $100-150 for a software license for a computer that wouldn't sell for $50.


Report •

#20
February 20, 2009 at 16:12:51
"Well, I haven't seen any "firestorm" raging in this thread, There was one indirect reference to "stealing" software (meaning the poster did not directly say you were stealing software) and another reference to software piracy"

The (stealing) inference was there, whether direct or indirect is not the point (and I don't really care).

What is a "firestorm" to one may be "superfluous" to another depending upon one's point of view, and whether one is on the sending or receiving end of the exchange.


I will give you the last word if you care to continue to beat this horse.


Report •


Ask Question