ITAD Management Service

ITADWISE experts in managing the protection, privacy and security of your organisations end of life IT assets.

ITAD Management Service

ITADWISE experts in managing the protection, privacy and security of your organisations end of life IT assets.


Refurbished IT OS Licencing

One of the best ways to recycle a PC is to sell it so it’s re-used and not stripped down for processing.

This is great because you reduce landfill and you can sometimes see some money back from the sell. But how do we deal with licencing of the refurbished device.

Microsoft have very strict rules around software licencing and this means when you sell the PC you don’t automatically pass on the licence agreement.

Can I transfer the software to another user?

You may transfer the software directly to another user, only with the licensed computer. The transfer must include the software, proof of purchase, and, if provided with the computer, an authentic Windows label such as the certificate of authenticity label including the product key. You may not keep any copies of the software or any earlier version. Before any permitted transfer, the other party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software.

How to install a OS and stay legal?

ITAD providers can install the OS at a reduced cost so long as the ITAD provider is a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher or a Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher. They can’t install the OS as part of break\fix. The new OS still costs money but nothing like the cost of a new OS.

How do I know if the software is Genuine?

When a new OS is installed the refurbisher has strict guidelines to follow which includes adding a new Certificate of Authenticity (COA) BUT they must also leave the original COA on show

                 First COA is the original

                 Second is the new COA

This means a correctly refurbished PC will have 2 COA stickers. If you only see one, then the device might NOT be legal.

What is a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher PC?

 A registered refurbished PC is a used PC that has gone through the following processes that leave the PC ready for use by a new owner:

Data wiping of hard drive

Testing and validation of hardware and component functionality

Cosmetic repair and/or replacement of defective minor PC components

With respect to operating system licensing, a PC is considered to be a refurbished PC if it has the original motherboard, or a replacement was made of a defective motherboard with one of exactly the same make, model and specification. A refurbished PC may also have replacement of or upgrades to the RAM, disk and graphics components. Major repairs, such as the installation of a new model motherboard, results in a “new” PC and not a “refurbished” PC.

To finish off

I haven’t gone into great detail about the licence requirements but have outlined the basic details. If you want to understand the licencing requirements in more details then you can search on the internet or for basic information, feel free to give ITADwise a call.

If you use a ITAD provider and they sell your old devices, it is worth asking them about the MAR or the MRR programs. If your ITAD provider is happy to sell the kit with illegal software what else have they skipped? Data wiping, electrical testing? Who knows.

If you’re not sure and want to check if your ITAD provider is Microsoft Registered Refurbisher (not a MAR) then click here

Please note an ITAD provider is allowed to sell refurbished PC's without an OS

Additional Microsoft information

Is a refurbisher licensed to reinstall the original Windows on a PC they refurbish?

Only if they are the original equipment manufacturer who originally installed it under license from Microsoft or if they are the end user who is licensed by the End User License Agreement (EULA). If they are neither of these then they probably are not licensed to work with the Windows software that was provided with the PC to the refurbisher. Recognising this, Microsoft has created special licensing programs for refurbishers.

What if my customers don’t care whether the PC I sell them is licensed for Windows?

Customers may not understand that their ability to use software is based on both obtaining the software and accepting the software’s license terms. Purchasers of PCs with unlicensed software on them are likely to be subjecting themselves to easily avoidable legal risks as well as security, malware or virus risks. These risks can be mitigated by ensuring that an appropriately licensed version of Windows is provided with every PC.



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