Unregistering Windows Genuine Advantage

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by JVC, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. JVC macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Exeter/London/Newport
    #1
    When Boot Camp was released, like many OS X users, I was curious to see if/how Windows ran on a Mac (rapidly, it turns out). So I navigated over to eBay to obtain a copy of XP SP2, created a partition and (after several hours) had Windows beating my beautiful MacBook Pro with the ugly stick. A few days later, the novelty factor had worn off and I haven't booted into XP since.

    Now I'd like to reclaim my hard drive: an extra 32Gb will free-up a lot of space for more porn, etc. While I'm at it, I'll take the plunge and upgrade from Tiger to Leopard.

    In principle, as I understand it, one can simply use Disk Utility to erase the partition. However, I'm also trying to persuade my parents to switch to an iMac. They "need Windows" because they occasionally run PC-specific programs. I'm the family's tech support guy, so another Mac would mean less work for me!

    Anyway, I would like to recycle my unwanted (registered) copy of XP for installation on a different machine, but I'm weary of Microsoft's 'Windows Genuine Advantage' anti-piracy protection. My questions are...

    1. How do I unregister XP? Can I do this without contacting Microsoft directly?

    2. Does Microsoft consider Windows 'locked' to a machine after installation? If so, what's the best lie to tell them to allow unregistration (e.g. hard drive exploded, needs replacing)?

    3. Will I need to use Tiger's Disk Utility to reclaim the Windows partition before upgrading to Leopard, or will a clean install automatically give me the space back?


    I especially welcome replies from those who've gone through this process. Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #2
    As far as I know there is no way to unregister the install.

    If you've got a retail version of XP, erase your original XP install and just install it to another machine. You may have to call to get a new key. It will tell you when you try to activate, but depending on how long it's been since the last install it may not require it. I've moved a single retail license from machine to machine about 4 times over the years. I think only once I had to call. Just tell them that you've only got it installed on a single machine and they will give you a new key.

    If you've got an OEM version of XP, it is supposed to be locked to a particular machine. However, you might try the same as above. I know one person who asked MS support how to install an OEM version from a dead compaq on a new machine and they game him instructions on how to bypass the bios check that only installed it on compaq and gave him a new key. I've had to reactivate my OEM license I use for bootcamp/parallels/fusion about a half dozen times. They never asked me if it was installed to the original machine, just that it was installed to a single machine. As much as I don't like the idea of the WGA, honestly the customer support in moving the license around is very good.
     
  3. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #3
    As for the last question, Disk Utility doesn't do anything for you here. Upgrade to Leopard (using whichever method you prefer) and then run Boot Camp Assistant again at your convenience. It gives you the option of deleting the partition and returning it the the Mac.
     
  4. JVC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Exeter/London/Newport
    #4
    Thanks!

    Sorry, it's a full retail version, not OEM (it isn't branded with "DELL" or any other manufacturer). As I won't have a problem with locking or BIOS check, I'll call Microsoft to see if I need a new key.
     
  5. JVC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Exeter/London/Newport
    #5
    Thanks! I think that I'll return the partition to Tiger before do a clean install.

    Supposedly it's good to reset the PRAM afterwards, is this true?
     
  6. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #6
    BC Assistant beta is expired, so it won't function in Tiger unless you set your system clock back a few months. You should just do the Leopard upgrade first, since BC in Leo is active & fully supported.

    Resetting the PRAM is a troubleshooting/repair/restorative action. No need for it in any upgrade.
     

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