Using a Windows CD that came with a Gateway to install onto a Dell?

by on November 9, 2008

Q: Can I use a Windows Vista CD that was distributed for a Gateway to install Windows onto my Dell laptop?

A: It may technically be possible to use the Windows disc that came with your Gateway to install Windows Vista onto your Dell but versions of Windows that come pre-installed on computers are special.

A copy of Windows that comes pre-installed on a computer can legally only be installed on that computer. In other words, the copy of Windows Vista that came with your Gateway can only be installed on that exact Gateway.

If you need the flexibility of being able to install Windows on whichever computer you choose, you will need to purchase a full retail version of Windows from a reputable retailer near you — do not purchase an upgrade retail version. Although a retail version of Windows can still only be installed on one computer at a time, you get to choose which computer receives the installation

Tip: Although retail versions of Windows are expensive, pirated copies of Windows often contain viruses and other infections that can put your confidential information at risk! If you only use your computers to go online, check email, and do word processing, consider replacing Windows with a free operating system called Ubuntu Linux.