buying used laptop without OS

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by ugabulldog, May 16, 2018.

  1. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Member

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    I am a newbie and wondering if I buy a used laptop on ebay without an OS, more specifically a dell latitude 2013 or newer, how hard would it be tput one on it and is there anything other issue I should be aware of? I would need the product key or use the same OS that matches the sticker on the laptop? Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  2. _Pete_

    _Pete_ Active Member

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    I would think that if you bought a used laptop off Ebay without an OS it will not have a Windows product number sticker. If the sticker is on it firstly that is going against Microsoft's terms and conditions and if it's there, effectively, an OS is on it or is capable of being installed from any old cd/dvd therefore I wouldn't think the price would be any cheaper than buying a laptop with an OS installed.

    Obviously you can buy used with an OS. It is reasonably easy to install an operating system on them but you would have to pay. Have you thought about Linux. You will need access to a computer to download the free ISO. You can buy a Linux DVD for not a lot but again you will need internet access to order it.
     
  3. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Member

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    I was researching and it says the product key doesn't come on sticker but it embedded in computer after windows 8? Should I make sure laptop also has an express service code also?
     
  4. johnb35

    johnb35 Administrator Staff Member

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    So what operating system do you want to use? The Express service code wont help anyway.
     
  5. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Member

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    I just want a clean fresh install on a used computer. If it comes with an OS, I was told I can do a clean install (if I am saying it correctly) on any OS that is newer than windows 7 as it has a recovery partition built in?

    I was thinking I needed the express service code if i needed any assistance from Dell.
     
  6. _Pete_

    _Pete_ Active Member

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    If the product code is imbedded, which it is and was with Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 then that computer will have UEFI bios. You should be able to install Windows 10 on it but because of the type of bios it isn't quite as easy. I also don't think that that laptop would be very much cheaper than buying a used computer with Windows 10 already installed.

    You can download the Microsoft Media Tool from here that will let you save an ISO or make a bootable USB stick to install Windows 10. You will have to set the bios to legacy boot and then boot your computer from the USB stick which will start the installation process. But as I said this is not that easy if you do not what you are doing.

    The Express Service Code is just a Dell code that allows you to access technical and support stuff relatively quickly on the Dll website. It's nothing to do with the installation of an OS. You should find that code on a sticker on the bottom of the computer.

    You can use the recovery partition, and that would be the easiest way to put the original OS back on.. That would probably be Windows 8 or 8.1. To be honest I wouldn't do that I would use that tool that I linked to and put a clean install of Windows 10 on it.
     
  7. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Member

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    If it has windows 10 already installed, would I be to do a fresh install, recovery partition built in (if i'm calling it right) to make sure it didn't have any viruses etc and start over with my settings?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  8. _Pete_

    _Pete_ Active Member

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    That is what I would do. In fact that IS what I do even when I buy a new computer. I use that media creation tool and reinstall Windows 10. That gets rid of the absolutely useless bloatware that all manufacturers put on their computers. Windows is full of useless bloatware as well and most of that can be got rid of but first get your computer and see where you go with it initially. We are here to give you advice but basically it is down to you to find stuff out and try it. The best time to try things is when you just bought your computer. That way you don't lose personal files which are, by far the most important part of your computer. Once you have got it set up as you want it then don't forget to back up your personal files. People will tell you to do full backups, I don't I only back up my personal files as I do a full clean install every six months. It's my personal choice and how you do your backups will be your personal choice.
     
  9. johnb35

    johnb35 Administrator Staff Member

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    40,910
    Most likely, it won't even have the recovery partition on the drive at all, and even if it did, it might not be accessible. I would find something with windows 10 already installed and go from there. With the trouble I had explaining to you how to download and install drivers to your XP laptop, you are way better off getting one that has the OS already installed and ready to go.
     
    aldan likes this.
  10. _Pete_

    _Pete_ Active Member

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    But he has to learn and what better way to learn than to do it with a new computer BEFORE all the files that you want to keep are on it. There is masses of "how to" stuff on the internet and it isn't THAT hard with Windows 10. Windows XP was infinetly more difficult to install and get right than Windows 10. The biggest problem with Windows 10 is the UEFI security (assuming that computer has UEFI) and that isn't that difficult it's just unfamiliar again with plenty of "how to" stuff on the web.
     
  11. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Member

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    thanks to both
     
  12. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Well-Known Member

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    I buy bare bone laptops on eBay all the time. Since you are looking at an older 2013 Delll, it should have a product key on it for the OS that was used. These are OEM so it shouldn't be a problem installing Windows 7 or whatever on it. Although, I have no idea about 10 and this embedded crap.

    You'll find a laptop with no OS go a lot cheaper than a laptop that does have an OS. Especially if a laptop is selling with Win 10 already on it. Then they sell like freaking hot cakes because people think the latest and greatest should cost more or something.

    Do you know how to install an OS?
     
  13. _Pete_

    _Pete_ Active Member

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    He can learn. If the product number is embedded in the BIOS and if he uses that Win 10 media creation tool I linked to it's easy. Windows 10 is the easiest of all the operating systems to install. The hardest part is setting the UEFI to legacy boot and that's not exactly rocket science. As I said there is a mass of stuff on the web. You can use Windows 7 but it is a "has been" operating system and only supported for another 18 months or so but hey ho it's his choice.
     
    Darren likes this.
  14. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Member

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    I bought an E5440, no OS, seller said product key was on laptop. I am assuming this had windows 7, so it won't have the UEFI bios? and will be easier to install 10? Hopefully I can be successful in installing 10 and if not, I am sure with everyone continuing to be so helpful, I can be successful.
     
  15. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Well-Known Member

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    3,294
    I don't think it has UEFI. You can install 7 on it with the product key providing that product key is meant for 7. Keep in mind it has to be for that specific version. So if the product key is for Win 7 professional, then you have to use professional and not ultimate as an example. There's little diffrence between ultimate and pro anyways. Unless you need Bitlocker which I would avoid like the plague and use something like Veracrypt. Just sayn'.

    If you want to install 10, you'll need to buy 10. UEFI or not. You can obtain the Dell install media on the net or they sell the CD on eBay. Remember, it has to be the same version as the product key.


    To install the OS. While the computer boots keep pressing the F12 key. You should have the option to boot from CD. Let it install and do not boot from CD once it reboots and asks. Just let it do its thing. You could also press F2 and change the boot order in BIOS. F2 will take you to BIOS. If you install or have an SSD, make sure that AHCI is enabled in BIOS. Do that before installing Windows and if you are using a SSD. I guess you could use AHCI for a platter, too.
     
  16. Darren

    Darren Moderator Staff Member

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    You do not need to buy 10. Just activate it with the 7 key and it will work.

    I refurbished literally hundreds of Dell latititude laptops at my last job and nearly every single one we sold was with 10 on it using the 7 product key. Just boot off a flash drive with your selected OS (7 or 10, not 8) and make sure you install the same version (likely Pro).

    If it's had 8 or higher installed on it before it will activate automatically anyway.
     
  17. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Well-Known Member

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    Now that I did not know. Albeit, I don't use 10. LOL
     
  18. _Pete_

    _Pete_ Active Member

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    So you all skipped over this post from the OP. Being that he is a novice and this post suggests that the computer he is buying is post Windows 8 then the product key will be embedded in the bios which would, highly likely, be UEFI therefore Windows will just install and activate automatically.. Other than that if the computer had Windows 7 on it then the computer's OS should have activated and the computer should be registered on Microsoft's activation servers and Windows 10 should automatically activate otherwise the OP will need the Win 7 key off the sticker and the vendor should not be selling bare computers with product number stickers on them.

    When I bought a used laptop with no OS on it from an Ebay seller the product key had been deactivated. Similarly when I bought a bunch of Windows 7 product numbers from a vendor on Ebay, who said that they were legit, they had all been deactivated. Of course when I tried to get my money back the vendor had dissapeared and Ebay didn't want to know.
     
  19. Darren

    Darren Moderator Staff Member

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    11,282
    Nope. I read just fine.

     
  20. ugabulldog

    ugabulldog Member

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    I am waiting for laptop to be delivered. I am fairly confident I can save windows 10 to a 8gb usb flash drive an another computer, and boot from usb on the laptop...… I looked up the specs for dell E5440 and it says it has a hybrid drive. I am confused on if the highlighted above will apply, and if so, how to go about making sure AHCI is enabled in BIOS? Thanks
     

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