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The Courts Microsoft Windows IT

Man, Seeking New Copy of Windows 7 After Forced Windows 10 Upgrade, Sues Microsoft (bleepingcomputer.com) 357

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: An Albuquerque man has sued Microsoft and its CEO -- Satya Nadella -- seeking a fresh copy of Windows 7 or $600 million in damages. According to a civil complaint filed last week on February 14, Frank K. Dickman Jr. of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is suing Microsoft because of a botched forced Windows 10 upgrade. "I own a ASUS 54L laptop computer which has an OEM license for Windows Version 7," Dickman's claim reads. "The computer was upgraded to Windows Version 10 and became non-functional immediately. The upgrade deleted the cached, or backup, version of Windows 7." Dickman says that the laptop's original OEM vendor is "untrustworthy," hence, he cannot obtain a legitimate copy of Windows 7 to downgrade his laptop.
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Man, Seeking New Copy of Windows 7 After Forced Windows 10 Upgrade, Sues Microsoft

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  • $600 million (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:04PM (#56152240)

    about 0 chances of winning

    • Re:$600 million (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:05PM (#56152250) Homepage

      But the second prize is .....

      Oh, you're correct.

    • Re:$600 million (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:10PM (#56152296)
      I think the $600 million is so Microsoft just rolls over and gives him a Windows 7 key. As easy as this would be to defend in court, I have a feeling that the lawyers would love nothing more than to drag it out long enough to bill at least a reasonable fraction of that $600 million for their own efforts.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:47PM (#56152422)

        This makes no sense. He has a Windows 7 key. It came with the laptop. Download the Win7 iso and re-install. Frivolous lawsuits like this are why we can't have nice things.

        • Re:$600 million (Score:5, Informative)

          by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:54PM (#56152492)

          I may be wrong, but I think once you(r computer on its own) upgrade to Win10, your Win7 key is listed on Microsoft's activation servers as no longer valid. Thus you might install Win7, but you can't activate it.

          • Re:$600 million (Score:4, Insightful)

            by VanGarrett ( 1269030 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @01:10PM (#56152640) Homepage

            OEM Windows keys won't activate a Retail copy of Windows. It'd actually be a hell of a lot easier for him to just use the manufacturer's installer. The OEM version of Windows has a simplified activation procedure, and the last time I had to do an install using it, I didn't even need to type in the key.

            • Re:$600 million (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2018 @03:00PM (#56153444)

              Independent computer stores often have windows disks that will install any retail or OEM version of windows 7, to match the key you have (or found on a junk PC). I've been photographing the key stickers on machines that IT scraps for quite a while.

            • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

              OEM Windows keys won't activate a Retail copy of Windows. It'd actually be a hell of a lot easier for him to just use the manufacturer's installer.

              Sounds like this particular computer didn't come with restore media -- it had one of those extra hard drive partitions you were supposed to restore from in the event of a Windows issue.

              "The computer was upgraded to Windows Version 10 and became non-functional immediately. The upgrade deleted the cached, or backup, version of Windows 7."

              Fat lot of good that does the consumer if the hard drive itself fails.

          • You're wrong. You can still go back to the previous version.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Far more likely fishing for a class action, consider it legal advertising, prior to opening it up. So anyone else want to join in?

    • Same odds as Man Seeking Woman

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Not even had he sued Asus, which would have been the most logical choice.
      It's just another attenion whore.

  • Sorry, sir (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:08PM (#56152270)

    We're fresh out of Windows 7 due to high demand, but we still have lots of copies of Vista hanging around. Would you like one? Two? A baker's dozen?

    Buddy? Pal?

  • From the article:

    The angry plaintiff wants a judge to force Microsoft to comply with his request in 30 days or pay up $600 million in damagesâ" albeit the judge may interpret the damages as $6 billion due to a redaction error, as the complaint reads "$6,000,000,000.00 (six hundred million dollars)."

    I'd love to know how he came up with either of those numbers as being somehow reasonable. I'm not inclined to defend Microsoft in any situation, but that's a lot of money for a laptop that was bricked by an OS upgrade. There is no mention in there of him losing any data either (or having even checked to see if any data was lost). Yeah it's a massive inconvenience but I have never met anyone who uses an ASUS laptop who will do $600,000,000 worth of work in their lifetimes.

    • I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg has ever used an Asus laptop.... /ponder

    • I'd love to know how he came up with either of those numbers as being somehow reasonable.

      An RIAA lawyer commented to say the math checks out.

    • Probably the cost th assemble a team to re-develop Windows 7 :)
    • Bitcoin. Not sure how, but it will be related.

    • but I have never met anyone who uses an ASUS laptop who will do $600,000,000 worth of work in their lifetimes.

      Damages in U.S. civil suits are broken down into:

      • Compensatory - to compensate the victim for financial losses suffered.
      • Punitive - to discourage the perpetrator from engaging in improper or illegal activities in the future. Punitive awards are usually scaled to be proportional to the company's revenue, to guarantee that it will sting. If you made it a fixed fine, a large company could just pay
      • $600 million is a little high, but doesn't seem like an unreasonable starting point for punitive awards against a company the size of Microsoft.

        Are you suggesting then that this is an OK award to pursue against a large company, but not against a small one? What if the product had been BeOS? Or Duke Nukem Forever? Or Big Rigs Over the Road Racing? Those companies are much smaller (or extinct). The award that the plaintiff seeks should have some sort of reflection on the actual damages. If the laptop had burst into flames and burned down his house, I could see a settlement of a few million for the house and all its contents (though proving it

        • I'm guessing you hadn't yet had your morning coffee when you read GP and posted that? Let me quote for you the post you replied to:
          --
          Damages in U.S. civil suits are broken down into two parts:

          Compensatory - to compensate the victim for financial losses suffered.

          Punitive - to discourage the perpetrator from engaging in improper or illegal activities in the future.
          --

          "The award that the plaintiff seeks should have some sort of reflection on the actual damages." - that's the first half. If someone causes dama

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "There is no mention in there of him losing any data either (or having even checked to see if any data was lost)"

      I mean, right in the fucking summary:

      "The upgrade deleted the cached, or backup, version of Windows 7."

      DYERTFS?

      • "There is no mention in there of him losing any data either (or having even checked to see if any data was lost)"

        "The upgrade deleted the cached, or backup, version of Windows 7."

        That is his (previous) operating system. He should not have any of his own personal data in the operating system itself. Yeah, he paid for it and should be able to get it back but it's still just his previous OS. Did he lose his tax information, his email, his contacts, or anything else that was his own? There is no shortage of people selling new licenses for Windows 7 on ebay (and many other places), he can replace it if he wants. Did he have data on there though that he forgot to back up that he can

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "That is his (previous) operating system. He should not have any of his own personal data in the operating system itself."

          Well, to add to his story, when Win10 got forced on my system, first it put windows 7 stuff in a Windows.old folder...

          And on the first fucking reboot (installing the actual sound card drivers instead of using Windows drivers,) Win10 upgraded, and deleted everything in that folder during upgrade. And it doesn't tell you that it's doing so.

          And I've been able to get this behavior to repeat

          • I don't doubt that the windows 10 "upgrade" process promptly wipes out the previous OS. I wouldn't be surprised if the process itself, as described somewhere deep in the documentation, is supposed to do exactly that.

            However that is still very, very different from actual user data and user documents. If it blew away the documents that would be a terrible terrible problem and I would think we would have heard a lot about it from other users by now. Windows user data and user documents are not in C:\Win
    • He has 600M worth of bitcoin on it.
      Or his manuscriot for a new movie ...
      Or his book ...

      Or any other work he did with a win95 wordprocessor on a Win7 system and can not access on his new and shiny Win10 system.

  • It puts Microsoft off implementing my MS Insecticide [slashdot.org] idea.

    This is why we need Tort Reform - it would allow megacorps to play amusing practical jokes on people who pirate their stuff and if someone of those people are humiliated or indeed killed, there'd be no lawsuit.

  • by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:26PM (#56152374)

    Frank K. Dickman Jr. Elementary. Has a nice ring to it

  • by oldgraybeard ( 2939809 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:28PM (#56152376)
    All mute now since the system is hosed and he has a dysfunctional Windows 10 install. But for the future.

    1. Make a set of Recovery CD's
    2. Verify you have a good Windows 7 product key on the label stuck to the laptop.
    3. If no label with a product key, checked the Control Panel->System to get it.
    4. Note to everyone who gets a new windows computer. Make Recovery CD's, record your product key, put everything that came with the computer in a box or manila envelope and file it away. You will need it at some point ;)

    You can still get OEM copies of Windows 7 Pro on ebay with product key.
    • Why in the world should have to do all of those things to ensure continuous access to something I legally purchased? If I need more than a license key, there is something majorly wrong with that product.

      • by e r ( 2847683 )

        Why in the world should have to do all of those things to ensure continuous access to something I legally purchased?

        You seem to value your freedom and rights as an owner. So... you use Linux, right?

    • Additional note: consider using rewriteable discs, as their phase-changing crystal medium is far more stable than the organic dye used in write-once discs.

      I've lost way too much data to CD/DVD "bit rot" over the years. Multiple copies help, but write-once discs just have lousy shelf lives.

      • You're safer storing them as ISO files and backing them up than actually writing DVDs.
        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          Yea, no. I've got physical folders and folders of CDs and DVDs from a couple+ decades ago. All of them in quite pristine condition.

          Learn to get archival-quality WORM media and you generally have no issues.

          Meanwhile, you need to hope that your backup ISO copies don't get corrupted, malware-infested, etc. Have fun!

          • If you don't know how to secure your system from malware or how to take proper backups, that's you're fault. WORM media can be a part of a proper backup scheme, but you're foolish if you trust that archival WORM media will necessarily hold up. I've seen DVDs that were supposed to last 1,000 become completely unreadable after 3 years because... oops, there's was a manufacturing defect and the media wasn't as "archival" as advertised.
      • I would consider using different forms of media. M-Disc media comes to mind as one way, cloud storage with multiple providers another way, and a USB flesh drive using a bit-rot resistant filesystem (btrfs, ReFS, APFS) to at least know if the ISO got damaged during storage. I would say that storing copies different places is more useful than finding the perfect media for long term storage.

        It also doesn't hurt to have a SHA-512 hash manifest of the files as well when stored, or even GPG signatures. That wa

    • Best of all is to also Clonezilla image the laptop before ever booting Windows, and save the image, as well as the W7 image media somewhere secure (Amazon Glacier, Wasabi Cloud, Backblaze B2). Make sure the product key or keys are saved with the files as well.

    • To those who were right, but modded down
      Yes, I should have used the word moot ! mute.
  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @12:50PM (#56152450)
    I wonder *WHY* he thinks ASUS is "untrustworthy", and why he cannot get some sort of restore disk from them.
  • for the little guy to have a chance, he HAS to do something outrageous; something that might recruit public opinion to work for him; he can't compete with MS's sheer size and resources; how effective would a small claims approach be?

    does anyone think MS won't use everything they have to their own advantage?

    when you go up against Goliath and you're small, do you don armor and shield and hope it all works out? or maybe try a tactic that increases your chance for success?

    standing up for himself, I
    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Asking for $600M for a botched up laptop sure is gonna make the news in a few places like here (especially because anything Microsoft is clickbait on /.), but "recruit public opinion to work for him"? Fat chance, he just sounds like a whiny cheapskate.
      • by jm007 ( 746228 )
        didn't say it would work or not, just that he has to try something a bit more guerrilla in order to increase his chances

        and out of curiosity, how much does one have to be 'inconvenienced' before it rises to a level where pushing back is acceptable? do you have a monetary limit? perhaps time? what if he values his own time and money more than you? should he first get your permission?
  • I love the way he says "the original OEM vendor is untrustworthy"... Umm.. Does he think that.. magically.. MS *is* trustworthy???? Geez I HOPE not.. MS deserves to get its collective ass kicked HARD for the nasty malware-style way it forced 10 onto systems, BUT this guy will NEVER get anywhere close to the figure he asks for... He's gonna be lucky to get a copy of Win7 out of the suit...

  • Based on these numbers, I think I may be owed $1.3 trillion for Windows Vista.
  • Rule 1: Backup
    Rule 2: BACKUP
    Rule 3: See Rules 1 & 2

    So, when did your data become important to you, before or after you lost it?

    If he had anything important and didn't have it backed up, he's an idiot.

    There's no way his damages come anywhere near $600 million, unless he's utterly incompetent, in which case, he deserves to lose it.
    The unreliability of his OEM isn't Microsofts fault.

    Most computer OEMs don't provide disks for you for the installed software. Instead they use a legal loophole and when you fir
    • Windows upgrades to 10 without the user's consent or interaction. I had to download a little utility that still sits in my taskbar today that specifically prevented automatic upgrades. [ultimateoutsider.com]
    • by twistedcubic ( 577194 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @02:38PM (#56153294)

      "No company is going to support the old stuff forever, not even Microsoft, nor should anyone expect them too."

      He's not asking for support. If I sell you a TV and destroy it five years later, can I legitimately say I destroyed it because "I can't support the TV forever".

    • The unreliability of his OEM isn't Microsofts fault.

      Microsoft licenses the OEM to ship their products. They are responsible for finding reliable OEMs or supporting the products they produce directly.

      I saw a college classmate go through this hell. He upgraded the Windows OS on his laptop and he had driver problems. As I recall the sound stopped working and the video was flaky. So he calls the people that made his laptop. He's told that they aren't responsible, talk to the chip makers for the video and sound chips. So he contacts the people that made the

      • " get people to take up that offer to buy the latest Microsoft OS."

        The problem is that MS doesn't really want to sell their software. What they want to sell is user metrics and their software as a service. Their real money made is enterprise service contracts, they're moving home users to the model (and most don't even realize it).

  • Aside from the absurdity of his claim, he could just get a Windows 7 ISO from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-g... [microsoft.com]

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @01:33PM (#56152846)
    On that model there's a full, unused license COA for Windows 7 under the battery or in the center of the bottom plate. I guess he didn't check.
  • by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Monday February 19, 2018 @01:34PM (#56152854) Homepage

    re-installing Windows 7 using a regular install DVD and an OEM key is that the online validation never works. You have to use the phone validation. It is tedious, but always works.

    • You can skip validation at install time and validate later once Windows is fully installed and booted. It will be able to validate online then.
  • Why didn't he create a DVD or USB of the Factory Reset when the system was brand new?
    The laptop prompted him to do so, the user manual told him to do so...
    Free

    Of course, no one ever does. And then whines when the drive dies, taking the reset partition and OS with it.
  • Don't see why this is worthy to be posted here.

  • Using these numbers, I estimate I am owed $1.3 trillion for Windows Vista.
  • The installer keeps the old Windows 7 install backed up locally so it can be restored if there's a problem with the upgrade. AFAIK there are only a few cases where it is removed::

    1. You run Disk Cleanup inside of the upgraded Windows and remove the data.

    2.. After some period of time the backup is removed as it is presumed the upgrade is working for the you, as you have not tried to restore the backup but have been using the upgraded PC.

    3. You reinstall Windows 10, whereupon it, again, backs up your current

  • Nice try, but the upgrade does not delete the Windows 7 installation.

  • its easy enough to look online for a install disk that has no cracks installed then use your key that printed on the machine or embedded in efi. its not Microsoft issue that you can't figure this out.
  • 1. Download the Windows 7 ISO (https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows7)
    2. Install using the license key that's on the sticker on the bottom of your system.
    3. Profit!

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