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Old 01-08-2009, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default Where to get a clean version of Vista

Windows Vista Home Premium to be precise. When I bought my laptop I formatted and installed XP because lets face it, 1gb of RAM isn't enough for Vista. I've since upgraded my laptop so it is more then capable to run Vista now and I feel like trying it out.

I have my CD key and I even have my restore disks ASUS gave me, the only problem is the restore CD restores everything, including all the useless software they initially gave me. Plus it takes like an hour to get it up and running with that DVD.

Does anyone know where I could just download a plain version of Windows Vista Home Premium? Or could someone point me to a microsoft link that tells me what my key is good for, i.e. OEM version or etc? I've been at it once but I can't find it now.

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Old 01-09-2009, 03:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Where to get a clean version of Vista


Your cd key is good for the cd that came with your computer. It won't work with any other windows cd that you get.

Here are a couple of links for Vista Home Preimium:
Vista Home Premium

Vista Home Premium OEM


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Old 01-09-2009, 04:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Where to get a clean version of Vista

Oh my the things I learn running around the internet. I've come to report back that I have solved my problem and I'd like to note some things.

Yes the DVD that came with my laptop will only work with my laptop because it is an OEM and linked to it by an OEM certificate, key, and something in my BIOS. However, that does not mean other Vista DVDs will not work on my machine as long as I have my key and certificate.

I found a nifty site that was kind enough to offer OEM certificates of varying companies and I suppose you could grind these out of a Vista DVD but I don't know how so I downloaded the ASUS one.

I also discovered that all Vista DVDs are basically the same, they only install the version of Vista you want based on the Key you provide them. I had a Home Premium key so when I downloaded a version of Vista all I did was enter my key from the bottom of my laptop and it started to install a Home Premium version which is what I wanted.

Of course just because Vista accepts a key on installation does not mean it's a legit key. So when I got to my desktop and checked my activation it said I was not good to go. So I opened a command prompt with admin privileges by right click on the command prompt icon in start menu and selecting run as admin, just opening it with out the right click only gets you a regular command prompt.

That is when I took my OEM certificate, used this command to load it

slmgr.vbs -ilc c:\asus.xrm-ms

And it accepted it just as it should have. From there I was still not yet activated so I had right click on the my computer icon, scroll to the bottom, and simply resubmit my key and my version of Vista is now activated.

I looked inside my windows installation for the certificates and all of the companies are located in a sys32 OEM folder. So no third part software, files really, and I used my legit key. And I suppose the trial version of Vista from microsoft.com could work as an installation DVD.

I was provided a link to copying your own activation files from your preinstalled vista but I didn't get to try it out. It is much more comprehensive then my little ramble but in the end the same goal is acheived.

I now know more about activating Vista then I ever cared to know.
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