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I have a dying HDD in a 5 year old ACER laptop running Vista 32 bit, but I do not have the OEM CD to do a fresh install. ACER laptops comes with the bootable partition in the HDD, but it is useless since i am swapping out the HDD.

I thought I might be able to make a bootable Vista DVD to do the fresh install then enter the serial at the back of the laptop. But..

This says it doesn't work http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=9085#system-requirements

This says the only way is to buy a copy from MS http://www.mydigitallife.info/windows-vista-free-direct-download-link/

Some suggest these, I haven't tried, but does not look like can install into a brand new HDD http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=9085#system-requirements

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=10333

Any suggestions for me? Thank you.

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3 Answers

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Microsoft does not offer Windows Vista for downloading, at least not if you are eligible for some special programs listed below in the comments. No OEM DVDs, anyway. Ask Acer to ship you a DVD or find a friend to help you out.

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You're wrong. Microsoft Windows Vista is available for download through MSDN subscriptions, Technet subscriptions, for BizSpark members, elected Microsoft MVPs, and students and staff at universities participating in MSDNAA. Probably some other groups as well. –  Daniel Beck Nov 6 '11 at 13:08
    
You're right, I should have limited my statement to "OEM versions". The question pointed on unlimited access downloads, so I didn't include that. –  Jens Erat Nov 6 '11 at 13:11
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If it's just a HD swap you might be able to copy the recovery partitions to the new HD. I've done that and had it work, but not specifically on an Asus. It might be too little too late if your drive is failing...but you can also usually do a 'burn OS disk' once on most computers I've been in contact with recently.

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I would purchase a recovery CD from Acer.

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They're making you buy something that they're technically required to give you? What a ripoff. At least Dell will send you one for free. –  MBraedley Nov 6 '11 at 13:37
    
That's why this will be my last resort! –  Jake Nov 7 '11 at 4:02
    
An Acer User-Guide says "If your computer experiences problems that are not recoverable by other methods, you may need to reinstall the Windows operating system and factory loaded software and drivers. To ensure you can recover your computer when needed, you should create a recovery backup as soon as possible." It goes on to describe how to create a recovery CD or USB flash drive. If you neglect to do so, it isn't unreasonable that they make some charge for the costs of stocking and shipping a CD/DVD for a five-year old product. –  RedGrittyBrick Nov 7 '11 at 10:08
    
It's fine to charge you shipping (which Dell may actually do, I don't know for sure), but considering that it costs less than a dollar to ship it by regular mail, and less than ten by courier, whatever they're charging is probably too much. Saying that you should have created a backup disk doesn't cut it, especially with the average Acer customer. –  MBraedley Nov 8 '11 at 15:03
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