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"Free" Windows 10

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VileReynard
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"Free" Windows 10

I came across this site, https://www.windowscentral.com/you-do-not-need-activate-windows-10

which had basic instructions on installing Windows 10 by downloading a mere 5GB from http://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows10

It did not ask me for a serial number or whatever they call it. I was only loading it into a VM - it needs to walled off!

The reason I was doing this was my daughter was busy buying a new laptop with Windows 10 "preinstalled" - but she would have to pay an extra £40 to "activate" it - is this usual? Knuppel

She's also going to take her 3years old laptop (no backups ever taken) to an establishment who claim they will attempt to rescue files from Windows onto an external drive - no charge if they fail & only £90 if they succeed - how does that work? Crazy3

At least she'll have an external drive to take proper backups now...

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

21 REPLIES 21
ejs
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Re: "Free" Windows 10


@VileReynard wrote:
The reason I was doing this was my daughter was busy buying a new laptop with Windows 10 "preinstalled" - but she would have to pay an extra £40 to "activate" it - is this usual? Knuppel

I think that's the shop selling you pointless extra services.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: "Free" Windows 10

@VileReynard - Retrieving data from a non bootable or seemingly dead disk is not rocket science and is something you can do yourself if you’re willing to put in a bit of research and effort. You then also save yourself the money and know that your daughter’s files aren’t out in the wild.

ReedRichards
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Re: "Free" Windows 10


@VileReynard wrote:

 

The reason I was doing this was my daughter was busy buying a new laptop with Windows 10 "preinstalled" - but she would have to pay an extra £40 to "activate" it - is this usual? Knuppel

She's also going to take her 3years old laptop (no backups ever taken) to an establishment who claim they will attempt to rescue files from Windows onto an external drive - no charge if they fail & only £90 if they succeed - how does that work? Crazy3


I have never come across a reputable company that charges to "activate" Windows.  Activate really means purchase in this context.

£90 is expensive for what you are being offered.  You extract the hard drive, connect it to another computer.  If it still works you copy the user data onto a memory stick (or another form of external drive).  Labour charge should be under an hour.  Plus cost of external drive, possibly.  Actual copying may take longer than an hour but you can be doing something else whilst it happens.    

Marksfish
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

I bought a new laptop 3 months ago with W10 preinstalled, no activation charge there. I wouldn't buy it if the shop isn't selling it without a licence!!

 

Getting files off the laptop is easy if you can get the hard drive out. I have one of these docks: http://bit.ly/2MVWEKP  Plop the drive in, navigate the file structure and copy your content off. Bonus is that you now also have a hard drive you can use for regular backups.

Mark

RobPN
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

Personally, I wouldn't place much trust in a HDD which had been removed from a laptop, and certainly wouldn't rely on it for a main backup device.

VileReynard
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

I disagree about data recovery!

I didn't mention that I booted the laptop from a Linux USB stick, I could see the partitions but the big NTFS partition was unmountable, due to corruption.

That £40 was my reaction - especially as this was a Tottenham Court Rd outlet. But I wasn't there. Sad

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

ReedRichards
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

@VileReynard wrote:

I didn't mention that I booted the laptop from a Linux USB stick, I could see the partitions but the big NTFS partition was unmountable, due to corruption.

No, you didn't mention that, did you.  If you take the drive to a shop they will do exactly the equivalent to what you did, tell you the drive is unreadable, no data could be recovered so there is nothing to pay but you have wasted two journeys, one to deliver the drive and one to collect it again.

If only the hard drive was damaged in the old computer, why not replace it with an SSD?  If it had Windows 10 then you can re-install Windows 10 and that really will be free.  And a 3-year old computer with an SSD will most likely out-perform a new computer with a old-fashioned electro-mechanical hard drive.  

VileReynard
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

It was a 1TB drive, 90% full because the rubbish had never been removed in 3 years. She can't afford a large SSD.

I told my daughter that the chances of data recovery were virtually zero, since it had some HP bloatware that carried out hardware tests and returned a "bad disk" return code - but she was insistent that her data was vital.

The only good thingCheesy was that the desk was still spinning and I could read its partition table.

NTFS is a difficult thing to repair and I honestly don't know why it is provided for large disks.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

Jonpe
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Re: "Free" Windows 10


@Marksfish wrote:

I bought a new laptop 3 months ago with W10 preinstalled, no activation charge there. I wouldn't buy it if the shop isn't selling it without a licence!!

 


Surely if you buy a new computer with an operating system preinstalled, it comes with a licence to use it.

I've seen some retailers offering to set up your computer for a fee, or perhaps the licence was for Microsoft Office.  The worst thing with W10 I found was the five-hour wait for all the updating before I could use it.

Marksfish
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

But if you are paying to activate it, you either have the professional version or you are paying for the licence? Like I say, all new ones I have ever bought have never needed to be paid for, I do know people that have bought from independents and specified their own spec and then had to buy the licence separately.

I agree about the updating, I hate the way it is enforced. Worst times are either when you are turning it off for the night and it decides to update or when you turn it on to do something important and it starts the update. Downloading silently in the background is also a pain as everything slows right down and the fan really has to give it some.

idonno
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Re: "Free" Windows 10


@VileReynard wrote:The only good thingCheesy was that the desk was still spinning and I could read its partition table. NTFS is a difficult thing to repair and I honestly don't know why it is provided for large disks.

Fat 32 hits a 4Gb max file limit. NTFS limit is far higher.

if you can read the partition table, the data is still there. It sounds more like the boot sector has become corrupted. I tried a trial version of Active@ File recovery. The trial version will only let you recover around 60kb files but it does show everything that it finds on the disk. One reason I ended up buying it.Got me out of big problems several times.

 

Have you actually used the windows 10 software? I used this to get one of the Win 10 laptops which wouldn't boot, up and running. Once installed (I used a USB stick) choose the repair option.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
shutter
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

This little prog may be of use, too..

RECUVA      https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva

 

Scroll down and read the "interesting bits" , about what it can do...  esp the bit about damaged or recently formatted hdd`s

 

 

VileReynard
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

But for all these Windows solutions you need a working Windows machine + the know-how to extract a disk from a laptop + a laptop sized caddy to put the extracted disk in.

I have none of these - unless you count buying a new laptop as a solution.

Thanks anyway.

Probably a solution for the next time it happens.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

idonno
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Re: "Free" Windows 10

You get the computer / laptop in question to boot from the USB stick (you make it in any other computer, the laptop I mentioned would only give me a blank screen. No need to even remove any HDD or have a caddy to put it in.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?