Can I use any windows disk?

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Can I use any windows disk?

Postposted on Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:43 pm

Hi,

I want to re-install Windows Vista (yes you read that right) on a laptop that had it pre-installed. I'm having trouble with the recovery disc, so I was wondering if I can just download Vista, and install it using the OEM key that's under the laptop?

Bonus question: Vista OS was installed in French, but the keyboard is bilingual (there was probably the option initially to install in French or English). Should I be able to install Windows in English?
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Re: Can I use any windows disk?

Postposted on Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:52 pm

The only download from a reliable source that I have found has been just for the 'Ultimate' Edition of Vista, in both 32 and 64 bit. I ran into issues using my retail DVD with an OEM just last night, so I'm interested in what you find in your searches.
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Re: Can I use any windows disk?

Postposted on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:40 pm

http://en.community.dell.com/support-fo ... river.aspx

This page has download links and instructions for acquiring the Windows Vista installation media. I believe you should be able to select the edition of Vista you want at the beginning of installation and use your OEM product key. At the end you'll have to call the automated Microsoft line to get the activation code.
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Re: Can I use any windows disk?

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:35 am

If you're looking to replicate the original install a little closer, you can use the OEM activation method, no phone call needed. Instead of the key from the bottom of the machine, Google up the OEM SLP key for your OEM. With that, plus the right certificate (must match the OEM you're installing on), you're activated instantly.
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Re: Can I use any windows disk?

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:53 am

Got mine to activate after all !!! It turns out the OEM key only worked after I had installed SP1 on Vista, it did not work pre-SP1. I was then able to activate it, then update to SP2 and call it a success.
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