[QUOTE=mciahel;2217830]Hi,a computer is not a toaster or a TV set. If I had no idea to set up a computer, I would ask somebody with enough experience.
He asked US and you started with the paranoid
party line suggesting the most dire off the wall consequences...
People talk about viri, but they aren't nearly as common as
all the worrying would suggest...
the last computer that someone practically abandoned on my
doorstep when they got a new one was "loaded with viruses",
if it's previous owner was to be believed...
what it had was a completely full HDD that was literally THE
most fragmented 120gb drive I've ever seen.
A missing CoA is something else than an unreadable one.
If the Windows CD is a 700MB CD-R edition without CoA,
I seriously doubt, it's a legit version.
My Laptop, a Gateway M350 has it's XP-Home COA, but many
laptops lose their COA because the manufacturer sticks them
on the bottom of the case where it's prone to getting scratched
into illegibility if not completely scraped off like the COA on my
IBM Thinkpad (Not that I care, it was a COA for Win98se:)
Brand name computers that were sold with Windows preinstalled
do have a CoA somewhere. You might do some reading about botnets.
rephrase that to HAD, as in there WAS one on
there and that doesn't mean it's still there, hell I'd have the
XP COA for my current HP735 IF it hadn't gone illegible with
the same event that smoke dammaged (a UPS tried to go "China Syndrome") the tower case it originally came in
I've got another HP where the idiot in the factory stuck in the backplane
OVER the "knockouts" in the back of the case where the modem
and SCSI card (for a scanner) had to go.
Even computers from innocent pre-owners might be infected (without owners knowledge)
Possible? Yeah. Likely? hardly.
any time someone has a virus "it's a virus" and frankly
it is less than 1% of the time.
I mentioned this for those who need an operating system for their "new" computer, but don't want to buy or pirate a copy of Windows. The usual basic stuff (Office, Mail, Internet) works out-of-the-box.
XP will usually run for quite awhile before it crashes
because of a "pirate detection", it'll do it within minutes if you set your computer to accept automatic updates.
If you want to run Windows-only soft- or hardware, then be prepared to spend another 100$ for a Windows license.
that's nice in theory, but MS has ordered their retailers to stop selling XP and sell Vista.
Microsoft has even gotten uppity with ebay because of sellers selling SEALED authentic copies of XP.
There is HARDWARE that will not run with Linux because
drivers simply do not exsist for linux support.
Hell I have enough trouble with scanner drivers for Windows...
Not necessarily child pron. Warez or other copyrighted content is enough to get into trouble. A botnet can be an extremely powerful server infrastructure.
Get into trouble with WHO? in the US the government
chases the SELLERS of pirated software, ALL the court cases you
hear about individuals are CIVIL actions brought by copyright holders
and the courts (and juries) are running out of patience with the antics
of RIAA and Microsoft lawyers
Admitted, wiping (zero fill) the HDD is the better option. Dban or tools from the HDD manufacturer should do the trick.
Several law enforcement organisations in some countries are developping (or even using) such tools, officially targeted to fight terrorism, child pron and other "severe crime".
Not to mention the methods the media industry applies in order to find "copyright violators".
"Some countries"? I think you worry too much.
Governments aren't looking to see if you have an outdated
(pirated) copy of office
Ditto for corporate entities searching for individual copyright violators.
I am not losing sleep worrying about microsoft copywrite police
knocking on my door at 2am because I don't have the COA for
my copy of Winows 2000-SP4
Mostly because it's been running 24-7 for three months with
automatic updates enabled.
it is "pirated" frankly I don't know one way or the other
THAT is as valid a test of ligitimacy for MS OS's as any.
If MS's update servers believe your COA is valid... it is.
I think you need to "tone down" the worry factor especially for the newbs.
One step at a time and help them with their spcific problem without the doom & Gloom.