I bought a acer aspire 3680 from walmart in the spring I believe it is refurbished but it had windows vista home basic on it but didnt come with restore or recovery software. So now it is asking me for a new product key...etc. so I heard somewhere that because I bought it with vista on the system that I am able to download it legally how do I go about this. or how do I return my system to original state and register my latop
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Re: vista software and system retore
If you get that from walmart it has to have a sticker with a serial number and a tel number or you can conect to the internet and register your computer they may will ask you about that number so ones you provides that they will give you the serial number that will work on your computer and must of the time the computer has the hard drive divided on 2 one is C:\ an the other is D:\ this last one is the one has the restore system
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Have you activated this before? If so a recent update might have caused this. So you can contact them or can check their site / remove the update. If its a pirate version you have installed genuine software using the internet or have reset the timer. (Since its installed in year 2007). So you have to either purchase a key + activate the key or stop the activation timer using a third party software (not recommended since its piracy). If you update the system (not in a genuine copy) it would cause similar problems.
Usually the operating system is on a separate partition especially for reinstallation when things go pearshape.
Some models used the SHIFT 0 when booting up to get to the windows installation. If you have deleted ALL partitions and reformatted then you have a real problem. Call DELL if you have not deleted partitions and find the specific s]sequence of accessing the partition for your model.
If you have no support discs & did not make a recoverty disc then you will have to contact the retailer you purchased the laptop from or Acer themselves. You should have documentation that will detail your product key though without this you may have issues getting the genuine copy of vista reinstalled. An alternative would be to buy a copy of windows 7 (if your laptop can take it) as it is far more stable & streamlined than Vista. or get a genuine copy of XP for cheaper.
Its probably also a good idea to take it back to the local computer guy & demand he reinstalls vista or gives you a genuine copy of XP. You can report him to the police for distributing illegal software too.