ISO cheap, legal Windows 7

I’ve volunteered to rebuild an old laptop for $Wife’s Friend’s Daughter who is suffering in school a bit due to lack of a home PC. (They have a tablet, I think, but…)

I’ve got an old laptop I need to check specs on, but I think it’s easiest to just nuke and pave. It’s currently got Linux on it, but as I’m saying “No, all I’ll do is reinstall at my own leisure” for support, I’m not sure I want to dump them into Linux for school work.

Any suggestions for good sources for legal licenses and install media?

Other than getting yourself an MSDN subscription or going pirate, you’re out of luck if you want Win7.

On the other hand, Microsoft is more than happy to just give you a sparkling clean Win10 ISO, along with a boot disk creator tool for USB stick or DVD. Still gotta buy a key, though.

Yeah, the key is the key. I either have or can download most of the installer ISOs. But I’m guessing he would rather not go full retail on a charity project. I ran into the same wall when my church wanted to give PCs to elderly shut-ins. Well, that and the fact that if they don’t have PCs, they probably don’t have internet service, which would make downloading sermons difficult.

Yeah, there’s some sites that claim to sell keys but they’re… suspect.

Amazon has in-box copies. I may just go there.I figured I’d check around first to see if anyone had any good tips, as I’d rather spend $$$ on maxing out the RAM on this box if I’m putting money into it.

Well, I found myself in a similar situation with an old laptop. Turns out, you can install Win10 just fine and use it without a key. You can’t customize a lot of the theme, and you get a “not licensed” tag in the corner, but that’s it. Still going strong since I installed it.

I ended up getting a cheap restore disk for Vista. I know it’s the favorite Windows version of, well, no one, but I didn’t want to spend too much on restoring a good physical condition, but low-spec, laptop.

It’s a little sad that I’m having as much if not more trouble getting this to just be happy running the Windows version it came with as opposed to my Hackintosh which shouldn’t be remotely happy at all.

Got stuck in a loop where it wanted to install SP1 every time. Finally worked through that: Apparently this was a big issue. It then found another 65+ updates to install.

And I’ms till not sure if wireless is working, which is kind of a deal breaker.

In case it helps… cheap-ish Win 10

Honestly, for $88 I could just save myself some frustration and get them a refurb laptop with a warranty that sucks in totally different ways.

I’m doing this right in a few ways: Setting up multiple user accounts (one for the parents, one for each kid) and will deliver it with a statement that there’s no warranty and I’m nice, but don’t care if it Samsungs and burns the house/cat/whatever. Recommending backing up documents to USB drives or similar.

Kind of sad I can’t put Chrome on it: There’s no supported build for 32 bit Vista.

It’s not a terrible machine, really. Nice big display (not great resolution, but I don’t know anyone whose eyes are getting younger) although it has a slow CPU, 1 gig of ram, and minimal features.

Just got to get Wireless working, And, yes, I checked for a hardware switch (there is one!). One of the 65+ post-SP1 updates mentioned a wireless driver, so maybe it’ll magically work now.

I continue to distrust and dislike Vista.

You can walk it up to a windows 10 machine, if it can handle it. I scarily enough did that last weekend - Vista home to win 7 home to win 7 pro to windows 10 upgrade loophole.

It’s pretty pokey as-is, I’m afraid anything newer will be worse, not better.

I got 2 gigs of RAM in today, so it’ll suck less.

Well, I finished this project. Handed over a laptop, sheet with passwords and other notes (Warranty: None.) and even a bag (that doesn’t fit for a laptop and is a knock-off M-51 Engineer’s bag I liked, but one of the toggles broke and the thing had a taste for blood due to a cheap metal piece… But that’s another story). and mouse.

I drove $Wife up and gave it to the people it’s intended for. They seem happy: I’ll find out if it’s usable as it’s a little pokey at times.

Note that I actually ordered a 4 gig kit, but this laptop won’t boot with more than 2. So one SODIMM installed, the other empty. Even tried for 2.5, but it’s a hard limit at 2. Oh well.

In case anyone cares: Good deed achieved! The family I gave this too apparently appreciates it. Their 11 or 12 year old daughter (I don’t really keep track) has a machine to do homework on. It’s slow but it works. Everyone’s happy.


Their younger son got yelled at for playing games on it. I’m kind of curious what he could play on it. They have an interest in MineCraft, which puts them up with most kids these days. (Or has Minecraft become something for old people?)