I am sure some of us here have bought a new laptop or desktop computer recently that came with Windows Vista pre-loaded. That’s good in a way because we have a genuine license and don’t need to use any cracks which would then get deactivated after installing some hotfix. I bought an Acer laptop late last year and it came with Vista Business plus a lot of other Acer software (LaunchManager, eSetting, eRecovery, ePower, eFramework, eDataSecurity) that made the laptop slow. Honestly I don’t need any of those and uninstalling it from Control Panel would still leave traces. I know I can use ccleaner or similar software to clean it up but I’d prefer to install a clean copy of Vista and then only install other third party software that I need. This way I can keep my laptop clean from useless software.
I can easily find and download an OEM Vista installation DVD from Rapidshare or Torrent, then use the product key from the license sticker to activate but there is a limit to activate the key. Once you’ve gone over the limit, you’ll have to call Microsoft to get a replacement. Recently I just got to know that computer came with Vista pre-installed will have a different product key from the license sticker. That is the generic OEM key and can only be used when we do a full restore but cannot be used to activate a clean Vista installation.
I now know of a way to activate a clean Vista installation using the OEM generic product key. Of course this method is meant for ONLY about reinstalling Vista on a system that you purchased, WITH A VISTA LICENSE and not on a computer without a Vista license.
ABR is a tool that can backup and restore Windows Vista activation for systems that are pre-installed from the factory by an OEM, allowing you to reinstall the system without having to call Microsoft. It saves the activation to a file and allows you to restore it once you’ve done a clean install. ABR works with Vista SP1, and on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista.
To backup and restore your Vista OEM license using ABR:
- 1. Download ABR and unzip
- 2. Run “activation_backup.exe”
- 3. Save the backup files somewhere safe
- 4. Reinstall Vista
- 5. Restore activation by running “activation_restore.exe”
ABR can only be used to install the same version of Vista you have the original OEM license for. For example, if your computer came pre-installed with Vista Home Premium, you can only reinstall with Home Premium. You can, however, switch between 32-bit and 64-bit. This tool supports Windows 7 but you need to download the ABRbeta.exe from the webpage.