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Thread: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

  1. #1
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    Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    I want to completely wipe out Windows 10 from my brand new Dell laptop (still under warranty) to install Ubuntu.

    But in case I have a hardware issue and send it to Dell for repair (after having reinstall W10) they might say the warranty is voided because I have wiped out the original Windows installation and refuse to do anything on it.

    To avoid this problem I heard that I have to extract Windows GUID key from my laptop. Download the official W10 recovery image from Dell and add into it the original GUID key. If that's true can you please help to understand how I can do that?

    I know that instead I could install Ubuntu alongside Windows in dual boot, but it's not what I'd prefer...

  2. #2
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    Some users have posted they remove the Windows HDD and put in a new SSD just for Ubuntu.
    Then later if they want to sell system, they just restore Windows drive which then is like new with no user data.
    You could do something similar, if that concerned about warranty issues.
    If system is broken, you may be able to install or reinstall anything using broken system.

    Windows stores its product key inside UEFI. So when installing Windows it automatically finds that key.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...nd-product-key

    But each vendor has a different image of Windows as it includes the extra drivers required. Those drivers are typically on the vendor's support site. Few vendors now offer a full image and expect users to use the Windows image & install additional drivers as needed.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  3. #3
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    Thank you for your quick response oldfred. I appreciate.
    I already have a new SSD in my brand new laptop so I don't think I'll buy another one just for that.

    For you the Windows product key and the GUID is the same thing?

    Don't you think that this: https://www.dell.com/support/home/en...rs/osiso/WT64A could be a full Windows image?

  4. #4
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    Do not know about Dell recovery image.
    Most systems have a recovery image as a separate partition on drive. Of course if drive fails that image is worthless.

    Product key for Windows is just a code in UEFI.
    GUID is a family of codes for partitions. Actually several. There is a unique code for every partition and then a type code to identify the partition.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  5. #5
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    Any idea how I can extract Windows GUID key and then incorporate it into the official W10 recovery image from Dell?

  6. #6
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    The GUID is deliberately hard to extract. Microsoft wants it that way so that it is difficult to get around their EULA.

    There are third party extraction tools, but I would avoid those out of concern for malware.

    I don't know for sure about Dell, but there should be a recovery partition on the drive. It used to be that you could create a "recovery" image, which would use that partition to restore the factory image on the drive. I'm not sure if that is the case any longer.

    If you create a recovery image, leave the recovery partition on your drive (that partition used to be called "D:\" in Microsoft's incorrect terminology calling a partition a "drive". That would be your first option.

    Second option would be to contact Dell and request a DVD of the installation media for your machine. That will cost you a small amount.

    I don't want to spend your money, but I go with oldfred for your third option -- it's what I do as my first option: SSDs are fairly inexpensive at about $100 - $150US per TB unless you opt for the top of the line models. Buy a new one and call it "insurance". Keep the old device secure and don't mess with it. If you have problems, pop it back in and see if it is hardware or your Linux installation. If it's hardware, leave it in and return it for service. That is the most certain to work and Dell will be none the wiser.
    Last edited by QIII; October 18th, 2020 at 06:23 PM.
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    Quote Originally Posted by QIII View Post

    I don't want to spend your money, but I go with oldfred for your third option -- it's what I do as my first option: SSDs are fairly inexpensive at about $100 - $150US per TB unless you opt for the top of the line models. Buy a new one and call it "insurance". Keep the old device secure and don't mess with it. If you have problems, pop it back in and see if it is hardware or your Linux installation. If it's hardware, leave it in and return it for service. That is the most certain to work and Dell will be none the wiser.

    Either buy a new SSD and swap out the drive with Windows, or buy another HDD or external drive to clone the existing installation to.

    Either way, you should have another drive for backups...unless you don't place that much value on your data, or time.

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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    It doesn't make sense that wiping the original software from a computer voids warranty on the hardware, but swapping the harddrive does not. But then, big enterprises aren't exactly known for being sensible. Swapping the original harddrive out and back in is certainly less detectable.

  9. #9
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    You're confusing support requirements with warranty.

    Typically, in consumer line of products, only one OS version is supported, the one bundled/preinstalled. Professional, servers and whatnot often have a list of supported OS and then tech support will troubleshoot your issue with any of the supported OS you have installed at the moment.
    Installing other OSes does not void the warranty but you're expected to have the supported OS (or OSes) running when you call them for a warranty claim. Furthermore you can reinstall the same original OS as many times you want and for current Windows, as explained already, you don't need any serial number let alone GUID, that would be ridiculous. And you can use the manufacturer's image when there's one or from the recovery partition, preferably, because those include additional drivers, also already explained, or reinstall using the standard Windows image provided directly by Microsoft and then reinstall the drivers. They may at times require you to reinstall the OS and drivers on the call with their instructions if they suspect the problem is software/OS related and not hardware.
    This is all there is. You CAN install any other OS, standalone or multi-boot, without affecting the warranty, as long as when you do a warranty claim the troubleshoot must be done with the original OS or, in some cases, with one of the officially supported OS for the given model.

    Obviously you won't be able to reinstall if the drive itself failed. In those cases an external diagnostics tool will be used to confirm the hardware issue. Dell have Dell Diags but any of the typical third-party tools are often accepted. They don't care about what's in the failed drive, they'll replace it under warranty, that's all.

  10. #10
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    Re: Original Windows installation to avoid warranty being voided

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    Some users have posted they remove the Windows HDD and put in a new SSD just for Ubuntu.
    Then later if they want to sell system, they just restore Windows drive which then is like new with no user data.
    You could do something similar, if that concerned about warranty issues.
    If system is broken, you may be able to install or reinstall anything using broken system.
    That's a great idea.

    If you don't want to spend money on an extra SSD, you can also boot Ubuntu from a USB stick, and save a full image of the hard drive to an external drive.

    Then you can restore the image before sending your PC for repairs. If your PC is too broken to boot Ubuntu, you can take out the hard drive and put it in another computer, restore the disk image there, and then put it back.

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