NOTE: Jordon cross-posted to unrelated an newsgroup. Original list
The following unrelated newsgroup omitted in my reply:
No version of Microsoft's Windows is or was freeware.
He told me that he retired his PC that came with Vista and that
he never used the disks after installing it on that PC so I'm
sure Microsoft will be fine with that.
"never used the disks after installing it on that PC". In what world
do you live where using the discs for installation constitutes never
have used them? Are these real installation discs or the recovery
discs (that came with his computer or that he created by following the
maker's procedure for burning the recovery discs)?
First you claimed the license for Vista was never used (but never
mentioned if it was a retail [full or upgrade] or OEM/system builder
license). What does it matter what your friend did with his old PC if
those Vista CDs were never "used"?
Now the story changes and those Vista CDs *were* used. Not using them
AFTER INSTALLATION is *not* they were never used. They were used.
Your friend, as you now claim, USED them to install Vista on his PC.
The license is transferable, right?
No one knows because you didn't state if the Vista license is for a
retail version (full or upgrade) or for an OEM/system builder version.
The "never used" statement was untrue and the Vista CDs were used to
perform an installation (or are recovery CDs for a pre-installed
instance on a pre-built computer).
Retail license (full or upgrade): transferrable.
OEM or system builder license: NOT transferrable.
Once transferred the license must not still exist on the prior
computer. If that license was used as the basis for a subsequent
upgrade then the prior license is not transferrable.
You won't be able to tell from the CD/install key if it is for a
retail or OEM license; however, you could ask your friend if the
*product* ID on the sticker still on his old PC has an "OEM" string
somewhere within it. Or just look at the Vista CDs that your friend
gave you as the markings on them will indicate if it is an OEM or
retail licensed version. If it is OEM (most likely) and since your
friend already installed it on his old PC (or it was pre-installed for
him on a pre-built computer that he bought) then you can't use it.
The story changes. First your friend gave you an unused license for
Windows Vista. Now it comes out that your friend did use that license
as that what got installed on his PC. You never mentioned that your
friend wiped his hard disk so he is no longer using that license. You
never mentioned if he installed a new full or OEM license on his PC or
if he upgraded to the next version of Windows. An upgrade is still
tied to any prior upgrade or full licenses (i.e., installing an
upgrade doesn't not break the chain for upgrades based on the prior
license). If your friend installed a full or OEM license on his PC
after giving you his old Vista CDs then those are for an unfettered
license *IF* they were for a retail license (full or upgrade). If you
got an OEM license and since it was already deployed on your friends
PC then you can't legitimately use that *used* OEM license. If you
got an upgrade license for those Vista CDs your friend gave you then
your friend must not have used that license to upgrade to a later
version of Windows (a prior license is void after an upgrade based on
that prior license). If your friend still has that Vista license
installed on his PC then it is obviously still in use so it is not a
legit license for you to use concurrently.
You don't say what you got (retail full, retail upgrade, or OEM). You
don't say what your friend did with his installation of that license.
You first said it was unused but now you say it was used. We don't
know what you got or what happened to the prior instantiation of that
Take a photo of the CD(s) and put online somewhere with a link to
those photos (if the CD key is shown then blur it out with an image
editor). Ask your friend if the license came pre-installed on a
pre-built computer or if he purchased it separately. Ask your friend
if it is a retail or OEM license? Ask your friend what he did with
the old installation of that Vista license (i.e., is it still
installed on his old PC).