Would you trust an eBay Windows install?

iroc409

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jun 17, 2006
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As with most of us that have been around this a while, I've always reinstalled any new hardware that came with Windows--except maybe a recent laptop I bought with Windows (but it ended up with Fedora on it).

I bought one of those mini SFF machines from eBay to use as a media center, but it came with Windows preinstalled (probably one of those embedded keys). It's going to get Linux on it, but I need to get Windows on another machine. I have a Blue Iris box that was on Proxmox and it blowed up. It seems like you pretty much have to have Windows to get Windows, so I'm thinking of using this SFF machine just to build a new USB installer for Windows. Is this a safe activity, or am I better finding another alternative? I've thought about having a coworker build me an install media, but that's probably about the same risk right?

Am I being paranoid and over thinking this?
 

grim4593

Limp Gawd
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Nov 30, 2014
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No. If its OEM, factory reinstall it. If no pull the Windows key and reinstall.
 

iroc409

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OK, that's what I figured--good to know not much has changed. The problem is, I don't have a Windows machine available to make an installer with--or at least I haven't had any luck so far.
 

MrGuvernment

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Aug 3, 2004
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Ya, you just never know these days, better to be safe then to find out the next morning your entire network and all devices have been ransomware'd cause someone use a cracked key gen to patch it
 

MrGuvernment

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OK, that's what I figured--good to know not much has changed. The problem is, I don't have a Windows machine available to make an installer with--or at least I haven't had any luck so far.
What version of windows is the key for?
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
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Jun 7, 2007
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8,546
Generally no, although I might trust newegg or other well known vendors on ebay when buying asus, acer, hp, etc..

Also I'd usually reinstall to remove all the extra stuff they threw on anyway, though.
 

iroc409

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What version of windows is the key for?

Windows 7 Pro retail-something-or-other.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...8QFnoECAwQBQ&usg=AOvVaw2UJu0Dxocm9w-Xz68tXeHo
You can download the iso, then use Linux tools to create a bootable disk. I've never done it, but I'm sure it can be done.

Thanks for the link, I'm not sure I've seen that particular one. I have seen some similar ones. My particular flavor of Linux needs updating and the kernel is apparently behind so it has some file system issues. I need to update my desktop, which has new baked in support but haven't done it yet. Usually I use Balena Etcher, which works fantastic but it keeps giving me errors. I tried it again after this last post, it gave me errors but made the USB, so I'll give it a whirl. I haven't tried that link so maybe it's worth a shot (though I don't run Ubuntu).
 

iroc409

[H]ard|Gawd
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Well, this is becoming obnoxious pretty quickly. Balena Etcher didn't work, it'll boot but the Windows installer says it can't find drivers. Ventoy also boots, but then loading the installer fails with a Windows screen saying blah-blah fail.

So, I followed the guide travm posted, translating it for OpenSuSE (but with a 5.3 kernel with exfat-utils). It won't recognize the USB stick as a bootable device. I'm not sure what I'm missing here. It's exfat formatted, GPT with the contents of the ISO copied over. I even tried setting the legacy boot flag, nothing.

This is pretty frustrating.
 

travm

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Well, this is becoming obnoxious pretty quickly. Balena Etcher didn't work, it'll boot but the Windows installer says it can't find drivers. Ventoy also boots, but then loading the installer fails with a Windows screen saying blah-blah fail.

So, I followed the guide travm posted, translating it for OpenSuSE (but with a 5.3 kernel with exfat-utils). It won't recognize the USB stick as a bootable device. I'm not sure what I'm missing here. It's exfat formatted, GPT with the contents of the ISO copied over. I even tried setting the legacy boot flag, nothing.

This is pretty frustrating.
This is leaning towards a linux problem... IMO.
 

Axman

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Jul 13, 2005
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The problem is, I don't have a Windows machine available to make an installer with--or at least I haven't had any luck so far.

You can still use the OEM build to download the installer to do a clean install. Oh, and snag as many drivers as you can get before doing a clean install. Wifi especially.

If you activate the copy of Windows before doing a clean install, you probably won't even need to reactivate it or pull the key, MS will carry it over for you.
 

MrGuvernment

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Aug 3, 2004
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If you can get the key, pending on if it is in the "bios" or where ever, or on a sticker, it will activate a Windows 10 PRO install also, possible Windows 11 also

You just download the ISO from MS and off you go.
 
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