Using Dell OEM software to test non dell hardware

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Steve W., Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Steve W.

    Steve W. Guest

    I have about 4 machines (2 IBM 2 HP) that have formatted hard drives in
    them. I would like to test them out before I actually buy software for
    them. The only problem is I sold the retail copy of 98SE I had with a
    different machine. I have Dell OEM copies of ME and XP, But both of them
    look at the BIOS before they will load. Not a problem with my 8200 but,
    these are not Dells. What are the chances of making a copy of the disc
    and leaving out a file or something that will allow me to test these
    machines. They will be set up with retail software but I'd rather not
    buy 4 copies just to test these machines.

    Any ideas?
    Oh is ME still out there as retail software? One person is asking me for
    that on one of them.
    Steve W., Mar 12, 2005
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  2. Steve W.

    Ben Myers Guest

    Check your copy of Dell OEM XP again. I've had no trouble using it to load up a
    non-Dell machine, except that it requests a COA, of course. I do not know how
    Dell distributed ME and whether or not the restore/install medium is somehow
    restricted to Dell-only.

    Loading the OS is one way to test hardware pretty thoroughly. HP is VERY
    deficient in terms of the software they have available on-line. But at the IBM
    web site you can download comprehensive diagnostics for whatever model of IBM
    box you have there. Also you can run memtest-86 and the drive manufacturer's
    diagnostic tests to exercise the hardware. I invariably do so when I set up a
    computer with hardware that may be uncertain. The issue with using Windows as
    as hardware test is hardware failure isolation. So the computer blue screens
    when installing Windows? Now what? What caused it? ... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Mar 12, 2005
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  3. Steve W.

    S.Lewis Guest

    Why not do the proper thing and spend the $85 for a retail copy of WinXP
    Home and grab a legal copy of WinMe off of ebay or the like?

    If you're "testing" these units to ultimately sell or place with someone
    else, they'll understand that they can't have something they didn't pay for.
    And if they don't understand it, then you really don't want them as a
    customer/friend/or associate.

    S.Lewis, Mar 12, 2005
  4. If you just need to verify the operation of the system, consider using
    knoppix instead.

    The only version of Windows that is available for retail sale now is XP.
    You'd have to turn to an auction site like EBay for older versions - the
    ME CD from Dell will not install on a non-Dell system. XP will, but it
    will require activation, which you can't do multiple times on different
    Edward J. Neth, Mar 12, 2005
  5. Steve W.

    dxyzc Guest

    Or load Linux?
    dxyzc, Mar 13, 2005
  6. Steve W.

    Steve W. Guest

    At least two (the HPs) of these machines are going to the local VFD. I
    am a member there and I planned on setting them up so the Chief and
    officers could handle paperwork and such. I just wanted to test them
    before I hand them over. They are both ex corporate machines that had
    the drives formatted. I figured there might be a way to load them and
    check them then reformat and hand them over. Then they will buy the
    software and have me set them up IF they work OK. I just wanted to be
    sure they work running some form of windows before I demo them. Oh well,
    guess I'll have to find a retail copy.

    Oh and for folks who suggest using the copy of XP. It will NOT load on a
    machine without a Dell BIOS. I tried it already. It goes to the first
    install screen, then pops up an error screen that says plain as day.
    This copy of Windows XP for Dell will not install on this computer.
    Steve W., Mar 13, 2005
  7. Steve W.

    Tom Scales Guest

    Describe the XP CD. Every single Dell XP I've seen WILL install, but
    requires the OEM COA.

    Tom Scales, Mar 13, 2005
  8. Steve W.

    Steve W. Guest

    The copies I have are the ones that were sent out free for folks who
    bought the Dimension 8200 when XP first came out but was not released on
    new machines yet. You just sent in a letter to Dell and they sent you a
    copy of XP home. They actually sent me a few different CDs. One to
    upgrade EZCD, One with the new utilities and Av updates. There are two
    different XP cds
    One is really flashy holographic and is labeled Upgrade Windows XP Home
    Edition Version 2002. For product support contact the manufacturer of
    your PC. To me this looks like an OEM Upgrade CD. The other has the
    standard OEM distro info and copying illegality. It says it is Windows
    Xp Home edition for new PCs. I think this is a full install disc for use
    with a clean drive. Then there is a Step by step interactive training. I
    think this is just a tutorial disc about how to upgrade to XP. Never
    really bothered with them because I actually have had zero problems with
    ME that were not my fault anyway. I did a clean install when I first got
    the 8200 and it has run fine since. (I did replace a HD under warranty
    and the MB had a bad memory socket so Dell sent me an upgraded one)

    Using either of the XP discs in a NON Dell machine brings up the - This
    isn't a Dell machine Sorry.. Tried it with an IBM Thinkcenter and an
    older Compaq Presario that my FIL has now. Mainly because folks were
    telling how they had installed Dell OEM on other machine, and others
    were saying it didn't work. I guess I'm in the latter list.
    Not a big deal, just annoying. Having XP here and it being useless.

    Steve W.
    Steve W., Mar 13, 2005
  9. S.Lewis wrote:

    I see nothing improper with using the Dell XP CD to install XP an a non
    Dell box, providing, of course, I have a valid COA for the target
    system. Am I missing something?
    Sparky Singer, Mar 13, 2005
  10. Steve W.

    Tom Scales Guest

    Ah, weird ones. I have one of those.

    We're discussing the normal XP CD that ships with the system. They WILL
    install, but will require activation.

    Now, it's breaking the license agreement, so I don't recommend it.

    Tom Scales, Mar 13, 2005
  11. Steve W.

    Tom Scales Guest

    Yes, the license agreement is tied to the specific Dell machine. Installing
    it on another machine is violating the license agreement.

    Tom Scales, Mar 13, 2005
  12. Steve W.

    S.Lewis Guest

    What he said.

    I've got probably a half dozen Dell and non-Dell XP CDs around here. In the
    case of varying retail discs (Pro, Home, upgrade, etc.), when I sell or loan
    a system it can be a headache to keep the original discs that came with or
    was purchased for those systems. I do so with a small utility (rockXP) that
    displays the key (at desktop) when run.

    I sort of enjoy the occasional request to "install XP" on a machine with no
    license and a crashed OS, but no CDs.

    The Redmond mafia has made my life much easier to tell these cheapos "if you
    want it you're going to have to buy it", or find someone else to do what
    you're asking, which is illegal.

    S.Lewis, Mar 13, 2005
  13. Steve W.

    John Fryatt Guest

    Three occur to me.

    1. You could use Linux to test the machines. Either install it, say Suse
    or Mandrake (fairly painless), or use a Live distribution like Knoppix.

    2. Get FreeDOS. Run some share/freeware testing utilites.

    3. Get a copy of some older version of Windows, e.g. 95, from eBay.

    It depends exactly what testing you want to do, in as much as running
    W95 might not PROVE that WinXP will work ok. It should enable you to
    check out the hardware finally thoroughly though. Only issue that I can
    think of is that of drivers, in as much as USB might not be supported in
    FreeDOS, for example.
    John Fryatt, Mar 13, 2005
  14. Isn't it the license, i.e., the COA, that's tied to the Dell machine,
    not the code on the CD? Still difficult to see any problem with using
    the Dell CD along with the other box's COA to install Windows.
    Sparky Singer, Mar 13, 2005
  15. Steve W.

    Tom Scales Guest

    No, my bad, I didn't focus on the last part of your sentence.

    Tom Scales, Mar 13, 2005
  16. My situation is similar, but on a smaller scale. I keep all the Dell CDs
    for a box together (a quart sized Ziploc bag with an actual zipper seems
    perfect for this) and they go along with the box when it's replaced,
    e.g., the 5 CDs plus the 2 CD Office Small Business set. This is what I
    did when I passed my XPSB866r along to my son (even went to the Dell
    site & made the xfer official there). I don't have any CDs that came
    with that box. I upgraded Windows on that box with a retail copy of
    Win2000 purchased locally.
    Sparky Singer, Mar 13, 2005
  17. Although personally I'd go with a live distro like Slax or Knoppix,
    there is actually a live distro equivalent of XP. It's known as BartPE
    (o a google search for more info), and ought to allow the original
    poster to run any diagnostics he needs.
    Nicholas Andrade, Mar 13, 2005
  18. Do any of these machines have the COA on them?

    [This is where the OS version of MSDN comes in real handy, FWIW.]
    William P.N. Smith, Mar 14, 2005
  19. Glad we're back on the same page, Tom

    <no pun intended>
    Sparky Singer, Mar 14, 2005
  20. Steve W.

    Hank Arnold Guest

    From what I've read, my impression is that the purpose of installing here is
    strictly to test that the hardware works. After installing XP, you have,
    IIRC, 30 days to activate it. Seems to me that this is, IMNSHO, within the
    spirit, if not the letter, of the law.....
    Hank Arnold, Mar 14, 2005
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