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Bootleg Windows: What’s Next?

Sunday, September 13th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Windows 10, Windows 8

John got burned after purchasing a used PC. He writes:  “Last year the 32bit (used) computer I bought for Win 7 apparently had bootleg Win 7 license, as a required reinstall resulted in not being able to Activate and only have 8 more days (till it shuts down?). Manufacturer claims that the license does not belong with this computer. One reason I do not want to purchase a Win 10 computer is I WILL NOT be forced to replace Hardware and Software that 10 does not support.
So if I buy a computer with Win 8.1 and assuming I cannot get a reinstall/repair disk from manufacturer will I be able to burn one on the new computer or will I need to clone the drive?
When I free upgrade to Win 10, will I be able to burn a reinstall/repair or need to clone?
Since I am most comfortable with XP and still fumbling with Win 7, should I spend more initial time with 10 or 8?”


John, first of all, most hardware and software that works with 8.1 will work with Windows 10. Buying an 8.1 PC and upgrading to 10 is not going to give you a different result that just buying a Windows 10 PC, though you may be able to get a better deal on an 8.1 PC at this point. You can check the compatibility of hardware and software using the Windows Compatibility Center.


You can burn a reinstall disc and repair disc in both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.  I’ve talked about the process in these two articles:

Create Installation Disc For Windows 10

Create A System Disc In Windows 10

I also get into it in my Ultimate Guide To Windows 10.

I wouldn’t bother learning Windows 8.1, if you plan to upgrade. I think you’ll be more comfortable going straight to Windows 10.

~ Cynthia

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One Response to “Bootleg Windows: What’s Next?”

  1. JJM says:

    Thanks for the replies and links. New computer should be delivered in next couple days. Plan to contact manufacturer to order their Reinstall/Repair disks for 8.1 and/or burn a set myself. Shortly thereafter, at your suggestion, upgrade to 10 and burn a set of Reinstall.
    At least I do have Reinstall disks for XP for the used computer model so can transfer to ‘offline’ company use.

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