Help resetting or downgrading to Vista

chas045May 9, 2013

I have two problems and was planning to just let my computer guy help me out but perhaps he is out of town or something. With some advise, I can probably do this myself anyway. I mainly need to know if I am thinking this thru correctly.

First: The wife and I were much more familiar with WinXP and I still have trouble working with Win7 so the particular version of windows is probably not an issue. I don't assume I could go back to xp but....
I have a Dell Vostro200 desktop running Win7. with office2007. I got it on Craigslist 1.5 years ago. The sticker says that Vista home premium was loaded originally. The seller said he had upgraded it to win7. I believe I ran the MS authentication check and it said it was OK. Last year, microsoft said I only had a one year deal on office. My computer guy got me office2007 then(he has it in bulk). End of introduction.

A few weeks ago, what I first thought was spam, appears to be microsoft now saying that I have an invalid Win7. I ran validation, was told there was a particular patch that I found and then was told that this patch repaired a gap that previously allowed false validation and I needed to get a valid copy. I was planning to see if my computer guy had bulk Win7 deal (I'm sure he does) but he isn't responding today.

However I also remembered that I scrounged an old Upgrade set of Win Vista Ultimate in a sealed case. I'm actually having a hard time opening it! It is sealed up well. Since I have the original vista tag on the case, can I just run this upgrade set and downgrade to Vista fairly easily??? Will the upgrade set require original win 7 or original Vista disks that I don't have?

Second Problem: as I was planning to call my computer guy, I realized that we somehow left a dvdrom drive door open and the wife banged into it. Brute strength didn't reset it. It is stuck open. I figure an old dvdROM is cheap and I can yank the old one out. However the computer should be shut down. I wonder if this drive not shutting will mess with shutdown, and more importantly mess with a restart. I suppose I can just power down if necessary; open the case; remove the broken drive; and restart without a drive if I haven't gotten one yet?? I have a rw dvd drive anyway too.

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Before doing anything be sure to back up anything you do not want to lose including your contact list for emails. Make a note of installed programs and find the needed CD/DVD for each.

I think you will have to do a fresh install of Vista, not positive but I doubt they included the ability to move backwards.

The advantage would be that everything is squeaky clean. Use the Vista CD/s you have but when it requires the 25 digit authentication code use the one fixed to the computer now. If you go with a fresh install you should allow the computer to format the drive, select NTFS to make the best use of the hard drive.

You should go to the Dell site, download and save all the drivers you will need before proceeding. Save these on a thumb drive or CD if the DVD player problem has been addressed.

DVD player is very easy to install. simply shut down and either switch off at the rear if provided or remove the power cord. Remove both sides, remove 2 screws each side of DVD player, remove wide (2 inch) ribbon cable, flat power cable and skiiny sound wire. Slide defective DVD player out then reverse the procedure to install the new DVD player. done.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:15PM
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I understand the advantage of "squeaky clean", but in addition to not having original Windows disks, I don't have MS Office disks either, so it wouldn't be practical to reformat the disk. I assume (hope) there is a way to 'just' reload a Windows version?? Also, you mentioned using the original tag 25digit code. I was assuming that would be used. However, I see that the Vista upgrade disk package also has a sticker on it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Your problem Chas is you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If your Office program was provided by the same vendor as the operating system it may also be a pirated program. Did you ever have the CDs for Office?

As MS has flagged your operating system you will likely be forced to make a decision. You could consider Open Office which is free, you also need to assess how much of Office you actually used. If only the word processor then there is Wordpad on every PC or there are free alternatives out there.

Why I suggested using the 25 digit key already attached to the computer is because this is perfectly legal and it leaves you with another legal version of Vista on the CD/DVD. There would be absolutely nothing to gain by using the code on that CD

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Thanks re the ticket number issue. I think that I am probably ok re my office validity although admittedly I don't have disks. The computer person I have used for 8 years installed a new and probably valid copy of office2007. He said he has a bulk license for office 2007 and other stuff presumably. He often upgrades old computers for people. In the past, he has done a couple of previous machines for me, that gave no validation problems for years until I upgraded for other reasons. He is highly regarded in this area.

I suspect that the original win7 upgrade done by the previous owner was sleazy in some way, and the original 2010 Office was probably a workstation or business, year by year contract deal that ran out.

Is there likely to be an easy way to use the Vista upgrade to just remove win7 and install the vista upgrade??

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:06PM
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PKponder TX

You cannot go backwards like that, the installation will keep throwing the error that a newer version of Windows exists and simply not proceed. It's either purchase your own licensed copy of Windows 7 and Office (whatever version you like) or do as Owbist suggested and perform a clean install of Vista.

I would not trust a 'bulk' license with this computer already flagged.

edited to add: I just noticed that Vista is an upgrade disk. Do you have the full version of XP (maybe even an earlier version like 98) to pop in for a moment to upgrade from? You would not be installing the earlier version, just validating that you have it.

This post was edited by pkponder on Sat, May 11, 13 at 10:25

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:46PM
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