windows vista install

I am helping a friend. He has an old pc running Vista. It's not running well, and he wants to reload Vista. The thing is, he doesn't have the media. However, there is a Microsoft sticker on the pc with the Vista product key. So is there a way to get Vista install media that would work with his product key?
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
You can see if you can order a disk from Microsoft.  Failing that, you can try to purchase one off of eBay.

Is there by chance a recovery partition on the machine?

Almost all Vista machines I've worked on had one to bring the machine back to factory settings.

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Scot HalvorsenCommented:
Be careful, OEM Windows keys do not work with retail disks, it is also true for the reverse.

You may need to track down an install disk from your computers manufacturer.
Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
That is true.  Thanks for pointing that out.

But first see if there is a recovery partition on the computer and use that.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
The most useful things you can tell us about it are the make and model and the version described on the label.  The (CoA) sticker means it was supplied with Vista via the manufacturer (OEM).  So reinstallation media really needs to match what was originally supplied - because Vista is getting on in age now it's unlikely you'll be able to get a Vista DVD direct from the manufacturer anymore but as ScottCha says knowing which model it is will help in determining if there's a hidden partition on the hard drive with the installation files already set up ready to go.
JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
thank you for the help. I got the old pc home and started getting a clearer view of what is going on.
also, as I talked to my friend I found out that someone he works with tried to fix it up, and put some funky copy of vista on it, so I think that might have gotten rid of the manufacturers recovery partition
When I talked to my friend, we decided to get rid of this questionable copy of windows, So I think I'll see what I could get from the Manufacturer, however, it's an E machine. I don't know if they are still around.
is it a brand PC ?  these often have a factory restore partition on the drive, or software to make install media
so plse - post model of the PC - and verify in disk manager if the restore partition still exists
JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
It's an Emachine
I don't think they are still around.
press Alt + F10 during boot, and select Restore system from factory Default
did you verify if the partition is there, as i asked above? IS IT ?
JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
I don't see the partition. I looked in the disk manager, and used diskpart.
unless I'm missing it, it don't think it's there.
also, the alt + f10 think didn't work.
JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
thank you
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Windows Vista

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