Another computer problem >.< (windows vista)

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Emileigh

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Well, I went to get on my desktop computer this morning, and when I logged onto my name, it said windows needed to be activated. Ok, so I tried the product key, which said it was in use.

I was told that the software can be used on up to 5 computers, and so my boyfriend used it on his and his sister's computer (it's really his software). And now it won't work on mine. I was thinking of calling microsoft but then decided against it in case he was wrong about the 5 computers thing.

I was thinking about switching to linux until he gets home to work this out tonight, and if he can't fix it I might have to switch to linux permanently. So what is the best sites to get the software? And how do I install it myself...since I suck at computers.

Thanks ^^
 

Jon

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I've never heard of a five-license copy before. I have a VLK (Volume License Key) with Microsoft, and the smallest number of licenses you can purchase with a VLK is 10. If anyone is interested in how I got this, it's pretty simple. You just have to be a registered partner with M$, and then you subscribe to something called the "Action Pack". It's 10 licenses of every mainstream software product M$ sells, including Windows Vista, Office 2007, all the server OSs, etc. Anyone can subscribe, as long as they register. It's about 300 bucks a year.

The software you have is probably only a single license, but M$ usually gives grace because some people move their copy around a lot, and so multiple activations are allowed. However, 5 installations probably will not activate, and may not receive updates via Windows Update.

Another possibility is that you have some sort of virus activity going on. First, I'd update my antivirus software, and then run a full scan.
If you don't have antivirus, then I'd recommend AVG Free.

If that does not turn up anything, you may want to try an antispyware scan. A few good products that are free are Ad-Aware, and Spybot S&D.

Feel free to contact me if you need further assistance.
 

Emileigh

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uh...one problem...the screen is all black, I cannot get to anything, only firefox, because it starts up when I press 'access your computer with reduced functionality'
 

Chris H

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Here's a guide to get your files off your computer and save it from the hell you're putting it through called Vista.

1. Have someone burn you a copy of the latest Ubuntu.
2. Boot off that disk, and run the OS off the disk.
3. Grab all the files that you need and back them up (not sure what you have to back them up... Thumb drives would work well unless you have a CD burner that's not being used by the Ubuntu disk)
4. Get a new OS (Ubuntu is a great OS, but if you really want to blow Vista out of the water, try Windows 7 Beta. Need a DVD burner for that, though. If your HDD is big enough, I'd say dual-boot windows 7 and ubuntu so you have a way to keep your files past the august 2009 beta end date)
5. Enjoy!
 

Emileigh

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so...where can I get windows 7? LOL And it must take up more memory than windows vista, and I only have 2gb of memory.
 
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Butterfly Mage

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I'm pretty sure that Vista is a single-computer license. The "five computers" thing probably relates to how many times the software can be reinstalled without intervention.
 

Hex

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so...where can I get windows 7? LOL And it must take up more memory than windows vista, and I only have 2gb of memory.
[font="Calibri,Arial"]
Disclaimer: I rarely look at the minimum requirements for Windows versions as generally they are too low to do much more than browse the web. So all numbers quoted here may be wrong but the general idea (that 7 will run on nearly any Vista computer) is correct.


To the best of my knowledge, Windows 7's minimum requirement is 1GB of RAM which is lower than Vista's (AFA I recall, Vista needs 2GB, I'm not definite on that fact though.)

As for hard drive space, Windows 7 goes from 5GB to 7GB.
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B

Butterfly Mage

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You can download Win-7 beta for free. the sys req are a LOT less than Vista and only slightly more than WinXP. I run Win-7 on my Asus eee-netbook (900 MHz Celeron, 1 Gb RAM) with no problems.
 

recovery

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If you got a Retail Copy of Vista, I am guessing It's like XP's EULA. IF anyone actually reads it? I did, a few years ago. :p

Anyway, if you have a retail it permits you to install it on 5 different computers (I.E. different hardware, typically it takes note of the mobo serial and serials of other parts of the hardware during registration). However! It starts you can only have one of those machines running XP at any given time. So you're violating the EUAL in that case.

OEM (the copies that come with PCs pre-installed) or if you order a "a few quid cheaper copy" You might find the disc comes in a paper envolope and the CoA Sticker. No fancy case. That is only permitted for one machine and non transferable.

Anyway, I've had that black screen happen before with a pirated copy of Vista. You can still browse the web, but since then I have got a Vista Disk to accept the key registered to the laptop and I had to activate it over the phone to a robot. Wouldn't let me do online :S. But it worked and is fine now.

My advice is to re-install vista that won't give you license/ Genuine validation problems. Or switch to Ubuntu. Ensure you back up your important data before hand though. Like running the ubuntu LiveCD, accessing you files on the HDD and copying to a USB pen.
 

Emileigh

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I'm not able to back anything up since I can't get to anything, but I think I might have some older backed up cds with the same stuff on it. Yet I just purchased some stuff on itunes, so I don't want to lose any of that >.<
 

chevre

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If you can get your hands on an Ubuntu or other Linux LiveCD then you can use that to boot your computer and access your disk (assuming you didn't use Vista's drive encryption). You'll be able to access your files on your HDD and then transfer them to another disk for backup.
 

Emileigh

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uh...is there any way I can burn a linux cd while my computer is like this?
 

chevre

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Couldn't tell you -- it depends on what all you can access. It sounds like it has you locked down pretty good. Sounds like you'd at least be able to download the ISO. I guess burning it is the question.
 

Emileigh

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Just found out my boyfriend messed up my computer, and the serial key thing is only supposed to be used on one computer...now I'm screwed -.-
 

NEJay

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Just found out my boyfriend messed up my computer, and the serial key thing is only supposed to be used on one computer...now I'm screwed -.-
Woah there... Relax... ;)

First off, if you haven't already tried to do a reinstall, go back to where you're prompted to call Microsoft... And call them. Over the past few years I've done this 4-5 times, with both XP and Vista... None of which were made for the computer they were installed on. They'll give you a good key.

When you call they'll ask you if your key is on the sticker on your case, say yes and read it (your boyfriend's key) to them. They'll either just give you a new key, or say it's invalid, and to call your manufacturer. If the latter, just say you've rebuilt the computer and it's basically a "homebrew" now, and they'll give you a new key.

Never had a problem with phone activation here. You shouldn't need to reinstall.
 

chevre

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If it's an OEM key there's a good chance it will not work, even with a new OEM key. If it's not an OEM key, it won't be on a sticker on your laptop (most likely). OEM keys are tied to the specific make and model of laptop and the key is typically stored on the machine itself. I found this out a few years back when I tried to clone my recovery partition for my sister whose hdd failed.
 
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