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 Post subject: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to charity
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Scott, is there a proper way to donate a PC with a Windows installation to a charity associated with a thrift store? I guess it depends on the licensing of the version of Windows installed.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:17 pm 
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Regarding the license there is really nothing to do other than leave the Certificate of Authenticity sticker (with product key) on the system when the system is donated. The license stays with the system regardless of the Windows version. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:52 pm 
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I've been thinking about getting rid of a certain PC that has the Retail version of Windows XP Professional installed. It doesn't have a Certificate of Authenticity sticker attached to it. I received a Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for the system from Microsoft. It didn't come with a COA sticker, but Microsoft did give me a Product Key.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:44 pm 
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Current WGA kits include a COA that must be applied to the system for the license to be valid: http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensi ... e_kit.aspx

Without a COA on the system I don't think the license will be valid for a new user. Unfortunately I can't find any specific information about this scenario in regards to XP so I recommend you contact Microsoft to see what they say. Let me know what they tell you, Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:57 am 
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Well, Scott, I got my WGA kit in 2007. It was for Windows XP Professional.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Scott wrote:
...Unfortunately I can't find any specific information about this scenario in regards to XP so I recommend you contact Microsoft to see what they say. Let me know what they tell you, Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:07 pm 
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I called Microsoft today. A guy I spoke with validated the Product Key I had received for my aforementioned WGA kit in 2007. He said that it would be OK for me to donate the PC.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:10 pm 
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Excellent, glad to hear that! Thanks for letting me know, Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:44 am 
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From a different angle to the question, IMHO a proper way to donate a PC should include either either a single pass zero wipe of all free space on any drives (could still be hidden or unnoticed log files, registry entries or temp files recoverable), or if you are really nice a complete wipe of the drive followed by a clean install of the OS and drivers. This latter method has the advantage of testing the drive surface on an old drive.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:49 pm 
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I agree 100%, I would never let a system I actually used (i.e. having my own data on it) out of my posession without the HDD being wiped or destroyed. In many cases more recently I've been doing the latter as wiping takes too much time on older systems that aren't worth much. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Scott, do you think it's OK to donate a PC to charity without a hard drive?


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:37 pm 
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That would be the easiest way to go, no issues with wiping the drive in that case. I'd check with the recipient to see if they would still want it that way. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Or alternatively, wipe the drive and donate without the licensed OS if don't have the capability of clean installing it. [possibly loading a Linux distro in its stead]


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 Post subject: Re: Proper way to donate PC with Windows installation to cha
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:02 am 
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I work in the computer ministry of a local charity. We don't specificly wipe hard drives, we just format and do a fresh install with the latest updates slipstreamed into the media and then use the COA on the case to activate it.
No hard drives in the system is normally not a problem. We keep an assortment of hard drives scavenged from other computers whose processors are either "benchmark challenged" or have expensive things broken on them (ie: motherboards).
Nobody sits around looking for data. We just throw hardware together in a triage environment, do the best we can with it and put it on the shelf for sale. We get a lot of XP units so Scott's performance tips for that version are very helpful.
Thanks again Scott. You have helped more people than you will ever know.


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