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How many times can I use a Windows 98SE CD before it Quits Working?

Posted on 2003-03-21
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Hi, I have 12 computers now and 3 more on the way. I know this sounds stupid but I wouldn't ask if I knew the answer. I am trying to gain real world experience with these, that I wouldn't be able to get otherwise. I have 2 with Win2Kpro,1 with Win ME, and 2 with Win SE. I have installed SE on 2 of them, with no problems. I have a brand new copy of Win XP Pro, and 2 Evaluation CDs of Win 2KPro. I am going to keep 4 of these for use in my own family and I wonder if the win98se will keep on working with the same product key used on all of them. I'm doing all kinds of changes, swapping drives etc. and in the end I would like to have the Winse on the ones I keep for myself. Will it work indefinately? Do I have to erase it off the ones I finally sell? Should I go ahead and use the 2kpro evaluation disks to get them up and running, and usable,and save the 98se? Can I make a copy of it legally? I heard the XP only works once, and then you call microsoft and get a new key number,(at their discretion). Also heard 98SE would quit at some point. I saw a website that said you could install 98SE in DOS mode and it would work forever, but this sounds like it might take a while. I'm open to any and all suggestions. Thanks kingsalmon
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Question by:kingsalmon
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13 Comments
 

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Groover2000 earned 200 total points
ID: 8179957
As far as i know you can install Windows98SE as many times as you want using the same product key. But depending on the license agreement you have you are only allowed to install it once or make a certain amount of installations.
Win98SE won't stop working if you install it on more computers as the license agreement says, but it's illegal.
And yes, if you sell a computer and you can't deliver a valid license with it, you have to erase Win98SE off the computer.
I think you can make a copy of the Win98SE CD legally for your own, but this doesn't mean that you are allowed to install it on more computers as the license agreement says. It's only for security if your original CD gets damaged.
I hope that i could answer (some of) your questions. But remember: these information are only based on what i heard, read and think. ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:Groover2000
ID: 8180125
about Windows XP: What you heard is correct. If you install Windows XP you have to activate it at Microsoft in order to use it for more that 30(?) days. If you have done so and you change a certain number of parts of your computer, XP will stop working until you have activated again. Do do a second activation you cave to call microsoft and ask them to send you a new activation code.

about Win2k evaluation: as the name says, it is an evaluation copy of Win2k. so i wouldn't use it for working in a productive environment.
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Expert Comment

by:tgtcat69
ID: 8180294
You can make as many copies of the Win98SE cd as you wish, however, they may not be legally distributed to anyone else other then yourself.  The codes and CD's both may be used indefinatly; again, this is not legal if the code is being used on more then one instance of windows, but Microsoft doesn't really care anymore because they're going to stop support of Win98 this summer.  There is no limit to the number of times you can use a CD; that is until it becomes worn and will no longer read. (That will take a while though if the CD is propererly cared for) It has been experience that not all Win98SE codes work with all Win98SE CD's.  Each code that comes shipped with the CD is guarenteed to work, however if you misplace that code, it sometimes is a chore to find one that will work with that CD.  You should erase the hard drives of the computers that you sell.  Your best bet for that is to format the hard drive and then remove the partition.  If you're really concerned that someone might access your data after you do that, Mcafee and Norton both offer programs to wipe the drives before you sell them.  After you install WinXP it does need to be activated within 30 days of the install.  After that period you will no longer be able to use WinXP until you activate it.  You may not use the same product code to install WinXP on two different computers without a call to Microsoft.  When XP activates, the Product ID you use ties itself to the serial numbers of your hard drive and motherboard.  Since no two serial numbers are a like, the code won't work on a different machine.  However, there is something called a volume license.  This is intended for use in a large company.  There is only one code for say fifty cd's.  TO provide for ease of installation and deployment, systems having that code do not need to be activated.  I'm not sure what you mean about installing Win98SE in dos mode and having it work forever.  You have to install Win98SE from dos if there is no data on your hard drive from which to boot.  Any way you install Win98SE requires a product code to be entered.
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Expert Comment

by:Arjun1
ID: 8182514
tgtcat69 says " Any way you install Win98SE requires a product code to be entered".

This is only true if the Win98SE CD that you got is commercial. What I mean by commercial is the one either brought from a store or provided with a PC.

If someone subscribes to MSDN Kit then the windows 98SE CD in that kit would not need the product code to be entered per se. This is because when such a CD is used the product code is automatically entered by default.
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Expert Comment

by:Arjun1
ID: 8182593
Groover2000 says "about Windows XP: What you heard is correct. If you install Windows XP you have to activate it at Microsoft in order to use it for more that 30(?) days".

This was true when windows XP was initially released. But  System Integrators and System Administrators at very large corporate environments found this process of activation and reactivation too cumbersome and time consuming. So to respect their wishes and also to make Windows XP a viable product Miscosoft no longer pushes for activation and all that.

I have installed Windows XP on various machines and Internet Servers during the process of Software and Hardware validation. And not one single time during or after the 30 days of use of those machines did I have to activate or call Microsoft for activation. And when I say Hardware testing I mean installation of Computer Telephony boards of various capacities and functionalities, into such test machines as mentioned above for Software testing as well.

I did not have any tropuble concerning activation or reactivation because I never bothered to do it. To this day all the machines work well and are used regularly. These machines are not on the internet, they are simple stand alone Test machines.
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Expert Comment

by:Groover2000
ID: 8183435
Arjun: As far as i know Windows XP Home Edition still requires activation, Windows XP Professional doesn't.

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Expert Comment

by:tgtcat69
ID: 8183721
Like I said before, there are volume licences of WinXP that don't need activated.  WinXP Professional does need activated as well.  ANY COPY OF WINXP NEEDS ACTIVATED UNLESS IT IS A VOLUME LICENSE, no ifs, ands or buts.
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Expert Comment

by:Arjun1
ID: 8186574
AGroover2000  Says : "Arjun: As far as i know Windows XP Home Edition still requires activation, Windows XP Professional doesn't."

Well, I have to say that your information may be wrong. I have a friend right next door with a Compaq (P4 1.6 Gig , 40 BG HDD, modem, NIC etc) with Win XP Home Version installed. This person is not much of a computer literate entity. So, usually I help him out with his computer issues. As far as I know, so far this computer with Win XP Home Version has been working perfectly well. The computer is almost an year old. He is on Dial up internet access(Juno) and is not sensible enough to know how to activate or could in no way have activated this product.
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Author Comment

by:kingsalmon
ID: 8187247
Wow, You Folks Are a great help! I forgot to add,(this is probably a topic for another question) I have a New Oem version of Win NT, I was told that I had to use NT for the three SCSI machines that I have. Will it work on all three? Or can I use Win 98se on those too?, If I disable Scsi? I had figured if I sold those 3, I would just tell the buyers they would have to worry about liscensing etc. themselves as I figured they'd be business people and probably switch to 2kpro or something else. All Your comments are being Gratefully processed through My Brain,It is going to be hard to choose which answers this Question the best. Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:tgtcat69
ID: 8187898
You can use either NT or Win98SE for the SCSI computers, as long as you have drivers for the SCSI adapter.  What on the computers is SCSI?  It doesn't really matter, both NT and Win98SE support SCSI, so its totally up to you in deciding which OS you want to use.
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Expert Comment

by:Arjun1
ID: 8580182
Hello kingsalmon,

E- Experts have not heard from you.
Did any comment / Opinion help you solve your problem ?
Do you have any more questions ?

Are you retired from active computing life ?

If any E- Expert's answer/ opinion helped you, please
accept his/her answer and provide him with an excellent or good grade.

:>)
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