PC technician supply question

As some dopers know, I am doing a little computer repair business.

After about 2 hours on the phone with various branches of microsoft sales, and getting about 6 different answers from 6 different people I turn to the dopers…

I am looking for or hoping to find a “technician set” of media for the various versions of windows. I don’t need licences just a copy of the media of the various versions and subversions of the OS so that if I go out to a customer who can’t find disks or upgraded with an XP home upgrade but tossed the win2k disk because they didnt think they needed it any more, I can still use their licence keys to reinstall windows.

In ways I am stunned that MS does not have a package like this for sale for example:

A set of disks something like:

XP home Retail
XP home upgrade
XP home OEM
XP Pro retail
XP Pro upgrade
Various service packs
XP Hi Opal
XP 64 …
XP whatever

no licences, just media to install with a customers existing licence when disks are missing or for working on them in my shop without customer media present.

I have seen things like this all over but I don’t think this is what I am looking for.

Any insight on a way to aquire media without licences for us repair types or am I basically just stuck buying a copy of every damn OS and subversion they make to build a shop set.


and any reccomendations for true wholesale parts sources for pc shops would be appreciated. Are there any “trade only” providers out there or am I better off buying cases from manufacturers.

Per an old boss, there are TWO TRUE wholesalers:

Ingram Micro

Best Buy buys from Ingram Micro, as I’ve seen their return address on product displayed at retail.

If you set up a real dealer account, be aware that any orders for quantities under 25 or 50 are likely to annoy your rep.

Also, if you have any large local White Box PC chains, they may offer reseller discounts. Just go in with proof of business license and you may be able to get reduced prices… not their cost, but sometimes the lowest you’ll be able to find at a given volume vs shipping cost point.

Look into a TechNet Plus subscription.

Technet, though useful in its own right, does not come with the “consumer” software drachillix is looking for. The truth is, there is no single solution to the problem he’s encountering, primarily because of Microsoft’s rather draconian copyright and licensing schemes.
drachillix, I’ve added you to my Yahoo messenger, and we can chat some, and I’ll tell you what you might can do to get around this and still help your customers. I was a reseller/white-box system integrator for 8 years, and I will be happy to help you with contact info for legit wholesalers and parts suppliers, as well as a few direct manufacturers for certain very-high-profit components.

Thank you thank you thank you

DirkGntly is my new offical doper hero !!!

At a large internet computer reseller I used to work out (The symbal is a butterfly), they installed most of the operating systems by having the .cab files on a network drive. However, when they needed an actual disk, they just made a copy of a disk they had. From what I heard, Microsoft doesn’t have any problems with people copying the actual media, what you buy when you buy the software is the CD key (licence), so you could use any media that you might have.

So I would say, just burn yourself a copy of the disks if you need them. As long as you don’t install it without a proper licence, Microsoft won’t care.


Get the action pack, not only do you get the latest OEM valid disk media for OS, servers, office, etc…, but licenses to set up your lab and office PCs.

Already looked into it, its basically just XP Pro and XP 64 Pro and a ton of (great) stuff I will most likely never use. What I need is media to do things like restore an XP pro upgrade an OEM or retail copy if the media will not do that as well as stuff like 2K, 2K Pro, ME, or any of the other bazillion permutations of windows over the last 8-10 years that I have stumbled across already. I could just aquire burned copies of all of the disks eventually, one of the guys at microsoft said as much and said there was nothing wrong with that as long as the same licence was not in use on more than one machine. Just hate to buy $200+ a pop licences I will never use, just to get a disk.

Anyone want to start a “Send Drach a copy of their windows disk” pool. I will happily pay postage.