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Everything posted by osiyo

  1. osiyo

    Backup Question

    snipped rest for brevity..... Ouch, now you guys are making my brain hurt. And I just got up this morning and am still on my first cup of coffee. The file copying, editing, etc I follow easily enough. As I've stated, I'm not a complete computer newbie. What's making my head hurt is all the different info and views about this licensing or product key thing. Probably it's just that I'm sort of dense, slow thinking, and a knuckle dragger pretending to be a homo sapien. I'm probably misunderstanding. But some of the info here sounds like methodology to circumvent having a LEGAL copy of Windows and using it. What makes me reasonably certain my impression is wrong is that in numerous posts to this Foum which I've read, the majority of posters appear to honest and intent upon not doing that. Ohhh, some may push the EULA thing by making hacks or changes not approved by MS. I'm not against that. Have done it myself with Win98. I just don't expect MS to provide customer support if I change their original stuff. And all I change is my own personal copy of the OS. (In the case of Win98, I haven't even tried to do such with XP as I know far too little about any of the NT based versions of Windows.) My conclusion? My head hurts. And I know I've gotta be misunderstanding something. I THOUGHT ... that the product key or COA, whichever as I'm not sure of the difference, was the equivalent of my "Proof of Purchase". A method to prove to MS that I did indeed buy and pay for one valid copy of a Windows OS, which I could freely use on ONE machine at a time. Thus, that has been the principle I've been going by. For each machine in my home, plus a few in my adult children's homes, I can produce one original CD, with the product key factory printed on it. I've got a CD storage cabinet with assorted and sundry original CDs in it. For various versions Windows, MS Office, etc. I do have backup copies of the CDs, with product key penciled in on a label. But if required can produce matching original. The backup is just that, a backup. Now, some of the machines in my home are running XP. And I've one copy for each of an original CD. Tho, not one for my wife's new machine, as it didn't come with a CD. Which caused my original question. How do I make a LEGAL backup of an install type CD, that I could legally use to rebuild her system if the HD crashed or something. Legal, as in she could reactivate HER copy of XP, go to MS's website without worrying for customer support, to get updates, etc. She could let em run their validation tool, with no worries, and so forth. Because she could demonstrate she has a valid license. Honestly gotten. I avoided asking any such question at any Warez or crackers group or forum, figured somebody on such would know, but also figured I might get questionable (as concerns legality) answers. I'm not particularly afraid of the boogey man, or MS trying to track me down, or anything. If I wanted to go an illegal route, I would. Simple as that. And figure my personal chances of getting away with it are pretty good. I'm not in the class with many of the folks whose posts I read here, but I do know a thing or 2. And have muddled my way thru reverse engineering a few times. (It's been a while, tho.) Even have all the basic tools and am not totally lost when dealing with assembly, C, C+, etc. And am quite aware one can find sites where one can download updates, fixes, upgrades, etc without ever pinging MS's sites. But I am a practical man. I'm not against MS, or any programmer, making an honest buck. (I am myself a programmer, but within a rather specialized field) Besides, if you're a legal owner of a liscense, you can reasonably expect at least some customer support and help. ie In my work I own legal liscence for a few specialty programs which I use daily. I quite reasonably expect that if one does not work as advertised I can call maker and complain. Have em fix problem, or tell me what I'm doing wrong, or provide some sort of work-around, etc. This is what I've been trying to maintain with MS. I don't use or like ALL of their apps. In some cases I think others do a particular chore better. And I'll use an app made by someone else instead of the MS equivalent. But my world, work world, is a DOS and Windows world. (Yes, DOS is still being used here and there. A number of things I work with still employ DOS, or a version of it. Sometimes embedded.) And most of the tools I use for automation work; dedicated controller setup, controller programming, GUI front-end creation, etc; are based upon the Windows platform. On the home front, I don't want my wife, for instance, to have to come to me for every nitpicking little thing as concerns her machine. I want her OS to be at least reasonably compliant and standard, so it'll run the things she uses without unnecessary hassles, I want her to be able to openly just click on "Updates" and get the latest changes, and I want her to be able to openly go to MS, her computer hardware maker, etc and ask for help when she has issues ... no problems ... because she's a legite customer. Sorry for being so long. But I'm trying to be clear. There are very good and valid reasons for being a LEGITIMATE customer. I wasn't asking for any illegal hacks or cracks. Not that I know that was what some of you were offering, I don't. I'm just confused about this product key/COA thing I'm guessing. I'm evidently not the least bit familiar with how it actually works. I was presuming it was something like a method we use for products we sell. Customer gets a unique "key", if yah want to call it that. Although other info is also required, such as customer name, address, ec. Copy of software CD is freely copiable. Make all the backups yah want. Want to put software on a different puter? Be our guest. But first wipe it off the original puter. The software does "phone home" so to speak. We don't care about customer's personal business. Or whether or not customer moves software once a year, once a month, or once a day. <Shrug> Customer's copy, do as yah like. But if TWO running copies with same identifier "phone home", we're gonna ask questions. Or if one copy "phones home" and has an identifier we have no record for. There are ways to defeat this, of course. I haven't done so, but could probably do it myself. But I won't. Want to run software on 2 machines at same time? Buy 2 copies. There is a discount for this. Also site licenses for running many copies. I'm guessing MS's system is not like this? Must be. My head is still hurting. But that's not at all unusual for us knuckle draggers. We're always behind the times and have trouble with new concepts. :-) Am I being told I can copy, for instance, my original ... it has the holograms and everything, Windows XP CD and use it to restore/reinstall my wife's system, as long as we enter that code on the sticker on the side of her new puter? Granting it's the same version of Windows? And everything will be legite? I appreciate everything everyone has said so far, and REALLY appreciate the patience you've had with this Neanderthal.
  2. osiyo

    Backup Question

    Sage advice, I'm thinking. On my own puters, I keep auto-update turned off. But DO check MS's site regularly and do manual updates. A lot of folks don't, or put it off far too long. My wife, for instance. These days I've started making it a routine to log onto hers and ensure she's not only downloaded the updates, but also that they're installed. As concerns the downloading and swapping of illegal ... or questionable ... files. As I said, I'm no IT pro. But know a little something. And have a lot of friends and acquaintainces who know next to nothing of computers and OSs, except how to turn em on and run a favorite app. Which is fine. There are a lot of things I know absolutely nothing about. So many come to me for help. I've noted that the machines I've seen that have been screwed up the worst (in numbers of adware, malware, and virii) have been machines where I've also found the signs and evidence that a user has been visiting ... ummm ... questionable sites, and/or running peer-2-peer proggies and swapping files. <Shrug> I'm not about to judge of other people's morales and values. None of my business. But morales aside, it seems from what I've seen that spending any significant time visiting, and/or doing any significant file downloading/swapping at sites which have illegal copies of music, cracked commercial programs ... or keygens for same, or at hard core porn sites ... is just asking for trouble. From what I've seen, a LOT of folks intent upon spreading malware, adware, and virii seem to concentrate on doing so thru such sites. Chuckle, sometimes I've got to try REAL HARD not to laugh at or rib someone about the things I find on their harddrives. In several cases the people concerned tried to delete the evidence of certain activities they really didn't want anyone else to know about. But obviously didn't know the many ways Windows leaves behind the evidence. Fortunately, I don't shock very easily. Again, thanks to all for the info provided.
  3. osiyo

    Backup Question

    Thanks to all for the info. It's helpful. Also, thanks for the suggestion of Ghost. I will look into it. Have seen ads, seen reviews, etc. But as with all advertisements, I take em with a grain of salt ... and wear the hip waders as I'm fairly sure it's gonna be piled high and deep. So it always helps my decision making if I hear or read favorable reports from folks who actually use whatever. As concerns NLite, etc .... I will be reading and investigating. I've always done a local download of upgrades, fixes, and the like. Comes in handy. ie Just a couple weeks ago my best friend's desktop took a dump on him. A virus, apparently. Probable culprit ... his 18 yr old daughter. He's caught her before using his computer and trying to download illegal copies of music and such. (She only has dialup at her place, daddy has high speed cable) Anyway, he was out of town for a week (work), came back, and suddenly his internet access was woefully slow ... turtle slow. BUT ... activity lights on his cable modem was going crazy. Even when he wasn't using the computer. Puter also has a modem, and it kept attempting to dial out. (He finally unplugged phone line) And his printer/scanner wouldn't work from that puter. Most annoying. He also has a laptop. But when home, prefers the full sized desktop due to the larger screen and better keyboard. And that computer isn't just entertainment. Like myself, his office is in his home. A traveling tech, does security work. Door access control, security cameras, etc. In fact he did the security (of the sort I mentioned) for MS's Fago, ND business offices. Like myself, he does all his paperwork, files payroll time, creates reports, orders parts and materials, starts up AutoCad or Visio to do layout designs and wiring schematics, etc from home. Prints copy, sends digital copy to main office, and so forth. For both of us, we only actually go in to the real 'Office' maybe once a week for a meeting or something. Like I said, messed up puter is annoying. Especially when yah just came off a week's roadtrip, and are all ready to file final reports, update drawings for "as builts", and such so main office can bill the customer. Then file your expense reports, fill out your time sheet so you'll get paid, yourself. So I got a call by annoyed friend. Went over. I don't know what he had, but he had it good. Try to pop up his anti-virus proggie (Norton) and it'd flash on screen, then close. I tried Adaware and some other commercial program he had on his machine for protecting it from ad and malware. Both would load. But wouldn't scan, wouldn't even try to do online updates. Nothing. I checked items with MSConfig and found unknown processes running. I'd close em out, reboot ... and they'd be back. Used a file scanner and found endless files with whacky names. Anyway, I finally gave up and told him it seemed like a good time for a new install. He had original WinXP disk he got with puter. I wiped harddrive well, installed XP. Old copy. Pre-SP1. He moaned about endless download and installs to update. Which is when I pulled out my home made CD's with SP2 and other updates on it. And I got him up and flying again. BTW, he removed his daughters ID and password on this new install. He was more than a little miffed. Wasn't his wife's doing. She has her own puter. Old and slow, but she only does email on a puter, so it serves well enough for her purpose. So I'm kinda anxious to merge some original OS CDs with updates. Would save even a bit more time, I'm thinking. Thanks to all, again. I'm glad I found this forum.
  4. Okay, I'm new here. Been reading for a while but never posted or formally joined. Until now. I'm not a complete computer systems novice. Been using them since way back. And in fact make a living using them. But in a specialty field, computer automation control of various mechanical and electrical equipment. So there are big gaps in my knowledge, particularly concerning the newer versions of the Windows OSs. Anyway, this is a personal problem I'm asking a question about. I have several computers about the house. With a variety of different Windows versions scattered among them. I OWN original CDs of the OSs. So, no problem. I have the originals stored away, and I make a dupe for usage, when and if needed. ie Several of the puters are older, hacked together items. And as one would expect, from time to time something fails. No prob, I do a reinstall after repair/replacement. However, my wife just bought herself a new puter. And the durned thing didn't come with an OS CD. This bugs me since she's an on-line game player. She's handicapped, so it's a way for her to keep entertained plus the on-line chats associated with the game rooms she visits is a way for her to socialize freely. And she's formed numerous lasting friendships with on-line friends. BUT .... past experience has shown that she also picks up a lot of bugs, adware, malware, assorted virii, and so forth in her usage of her machine. Seems every couple months she'd tell me her machine is acting funny, and operating sluggish as heck. And I'd have to get on it for several hours to clean up the unwanted garbage. Usually use readily available utility programs. AVG, Adaware, Spybot, EasyCleaner, etc. But sometimes have had to resort to manual cleanups. The old file manager, hex viewer, Rededit, MSconfig, and so forth to find problems, bash em, replace infected/altered components, etc. A couple times, I even deemed situation FUBAR. Could maybe manually fix, but it'd take days. So I resorted to complete reinstall. Now with new new machine, less than a week old, I did original setup, XP Home was installed, I did config and added some things, and started off by installing every security measure I could think of ... that would still be consistant with letting her visit her game rooms and play the games. (Mostly variations of different card and board games). Then, as I'm inclined to do, search shipping box for the original XP Home CD. So I could stick it somewhere safe. No CD. Okay. What's with this? I presume manufacturer must have some files on the hard drive I can't find? Copy of whole WinXP install? Maybe not. I don't find anything ... which I recognize as such. Any hints or ideas? Not asking for whole answer. Just point me in the right direction. I'd like to make a CD with the whole "Install" copy of XP home for her puter. I mean, what happens if the harddrive itself crashes? Or do some manufacturers of desktops put on ONLY a customized, stripped down version of Windows on their machines? If so, how the heck do yah handle changing hardware components to one they didn't plan on you having? I know, I could just use one of my other Win XP CDs to reload her machine if it came to a serious crash. But I don't want to do that. That copy, on her machine, is hers, now registered to her. I don't need or want licensing issues with MS, due to running 2 copies of same OS with same reg/product key. I want to be able to make backup reinstall copy of the WinXP on HER puter. So I can put it away for use when and if needed. Please, no suggestions for cracks, altering product keys on one of my other OS Cds, or whatever. I've done some cracking in the past, but as a hobby. Like figuring out puzzles. Not as a means to get a pirated copy of something I'd actually use. I own originals of everything I actually use. Or, item is a freeware. I don't do the illegal copy ... for use ... thing. Ideas? Suggestions? Just a pointer for where I can look further?

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