I am having a bit of regret contacting Microsoft on their Piracy email address about copies of Windows XP I bought off eBay... Mainly my XP Pro that was sold w/o the product key and was initially an OEM OS.
My inquery to Microsoft was to ask whether it was true I could obtain a key to use with it after the fact. I was so 'burned' by the way I expected this to install and then noted looking back at the listing, it seems to have mentioned no code or key being included... Somehow I had neglected that. My earlier copy of Windows 98 SE I was hoping to reinstall after the drive was wiped to fix damage to the tracks/sectors.. I was told without a 'ghost' it would ask for a product key but if there were remnants of 98 on the HDD still, it would reinstall, which it had, without any input required. After getting back automated responces of thanks via Microsoft's returned email, they advised me, quoting the Windows 98 problem, to call their phone number and speak with them on the matter.

My question, is I think I'm liable just for buying Windows in the manner described and the fact, I have copied items in the past for my own use, scares me a bit (The simple fact I can't afford to buy everything I need to use... goes back to the day of our family's first Apple... You know that software was librally traded and swapped giving software makers just concern)

I gave Microsoft information on the XP auction and seller, but again, mainly out of that feeling of frustration... Did I open a Pandora's box here? Nothing drastic resulting yet, but I have a feeling the Microsoft people are 'hard-liners'!


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intresting... you can't legaly sell windows with out a key... you should also contact ebay, describe the situation to them... on a furthernote... selling OEM is also illegal (link here for ebay: http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/oem.html).
this is ebays policy on OEM's

Sellers may not list "OEM" or "bundled" copies of software on eBay unless they are selling it with computer hardware. OEM software licenses usually prohibit the purchaser from reselling the software without the accompanying computer or without any computer hardware.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

Listing cancellation

Limits on account privileges

Account suspension

Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings

Loss of PowerSeller status

unless its coming with a new PC OEM is illegal.

try reporting an unathorized copy... b/c that's basicly what it is...

if that doesn't work... at the bottom of the OEM page... there is a report problem with a seller button... try that... explain the situation in whole to them, tell them you have allready contact microsoft about it... and see if you can get ebay to force the seller to return your money...

I've noted often bundling with hardware, when the OS is the main item, classifies as anything related. When I bought Windows XP as a stand along here weeks back, I bought it with a 40GB HDD, which equates to a new PC in affect I think. Alot of recommendations are for BYO PCs instead of a pre-fab desktop/laptop.

The problem going the eBay route is I waited several months now and 90 days is typically eBay status on completed auctions, far as I know the seller is no longer registered. The other factor is I was also dropped as a member due to many attempts by a Internet third-party conman using my email passwords to gain access to my account there. I had problems getting a third email account at the time I was on live at eBay to fix the problem... I have made new accounts, but this also seems to be a vicious (sp?) cycle until the third party is stopped... I have no idea how they get my passwords, other then a Firewall or virus protection item lacking. I had gone online to test a modem card on a Windows 95 computer, it couldn't run the McAfee because of memory limitations, etc.
Long story short, I still have to re-register with eBay on that front
The story picks up today, as a stop at the Goodwill resulted in a DVD ROM drive purchase for $3. I was pretty happy just finding this, but I also opened the drawer to find a "MAPS" disk labelled as XP Pro, which is the same OS I got off eBay above. I already have the home version as OEM on my Compaq and a new stand alone copy as well. Not sure if XP Pro is really something I need for my home computing and I als know from looking up MAPS, it's not intended for home use, but if the disk is labelled as 'for evaluation, testing and development', is it a fully working OS? I've no knowledge of this program being a home user, but welcome the info, especially since IT professionals are targetted in the MAPS program

Ok... I'm going to have to step in on this thread before things go too far out.

Firstly, don't install a version of Windows that you aren't completely positive you have legitimate licensure for. That includes OEM software, and of MAPS- type sources where you might not have the license for. (Not entirely sure what MAPS, is, either-- I've only heard of things like TechNet and MSDN for IT professionals)

Second, just go buy a "real" copy of Windows. Don't futz with the OEM stuff, or anything else-- save yourselff the trouble, and don't wake up one morning to a machine needing "activation" because someone else just booted up a PC with the same Product Key as yours.

By all means, call Microsoft about the copy you bought. They need to know who's pirating their software, or improperly selling versions of Windows XP, thus violating their OEM seller agreements. They're not going to bust your chops-- in fact, they might even offer you a discounted legit version of XP for turning the folks in.

commented: Nice +1

MAPS is short for Microsofts' Action Pack Subscription, I read something about ten installs before a deactivation or one is required, anyway, I booted it up to see what it was exactly. If you recall I had already bought a new copy of XP Home Edition, but this was a version of XP Pro. It installed to the same stage as the version I got off eBay, which formatted partitions and loaded drivers, files, etc... then asks for name, company and product key...the same as the regular version (states an orange label on diskette jacket has this key. I was told by a tech at Geek Squad I could get a key from Microsoft, so I looked for a way to ask them about that, using the piracy emaill, I decided. I DID submit the name and address of seller and at that time, a link to the auction. I put the XP and HDD I have now in an old Compaq Deskpro...it may be limited to a 133MHz FSB so I was a bit reluctant to make the expense, but I also think it may work with RAM beyond 256MB but not sure how to tell that

Thanks for the insight. Basically I learned the hardway about buying a used OS that way, and trust me, I won't be going that route again. Expensive drink coasters is not what I was after


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