Windows genuine advantage

How can I rebuild my computer and not buy new Windows software?

Episode 1165

Dave from Anaheim, CA

Dave upgraded to Windows 7, and now he's thinking upgrading all his hardware. He's been told, however, that he may have to buy a new version of Windows. Leo says that's not true. While Microsoft is paranoid about piracy to the point that they've created Windows Genuine Advantage, all he will need to do is call Microsoft. He should let them know that he's rebuilt his computer and ask them to reset it. He should just be pleasant and they should help him. They may say he'll need to buy a new serial number.

How can I restore my Windows 8 activation key?

Episod 1093

John from Dayton, OH

John is having issues with Windows 8.1 and a hard drive failure that has wiped out his Windows key. Leo says if he doesn't have the key, he'll have to contact Microsoft. There may be a way to recover the key from the hard drive. The chatroom says Belarc Advisor can give him the key as it will have it listed in it's register. Leo says that Microsoft also saves the product key in his Microsoft account, so he can log in with another machine and see it. But John says that Microsoft has blocked the key, so it won't help. Leo says the boot UFEI firmware saves it as well.

Will Microsoft ever stop authenticating Windows XP?

Episode 1080

Jeff from Sun Valley, CA

Jeff has a few Windows XP machines and wants to know if Microsoft will continue to support Windows Genuine Advantage for it to reinstall it. Leo says they will continue to allow that. Just don't expect them to release any new patches. Does he have enough RAM at 3GB? Leo says that is plenty, especially since Windows XP is 32 bit and can only see 4GB.