Recent service from Cougar-Extreme

  daveeb 14:12 19 Apr 2011

I dutifully installed my MS updates on Sunday only to get a blue screen "Fatal error" upon reboot. After failing to get in through safe mode etc i did a repair using the supplied disc for the first time (got it in Nov 2008).

All went well until i was asked for the 25 digit code to activate (which i didnt expect). However i looked in my box file (i have one for every pc i've ever owned and everything pertaining to that pc no matter how trivial goes in there). No key. Nothing anywhere on the pc either. When i asked to "remind me later" i was logged out as i had 0 days to activate. I couldn't even get into safe mode to use software to find the key.

After being given the runaround by microsofts woeful phone lines i ascertained that they offer no support for OEM software, it's between you and the vendor.

I rang Cougar (Paul) on Monday hoping they keep records of keys for customers who have purchased operaing they don't. I explained i had not received either the green windows booklet or the key (feeling slightly foolish i had not realised this much earlier). Paul stated they have a 3 stage checking procedure to ensure things go out correctly. At this impasse i was offered the chance to buy another copy. Being somewhat in a cul de sac i agreed.

I was rung back an hour later by a gentleman from sales. He offered me a small discount (possibly instigated by my mention of being a member of PCA). To be fair he was polite and helpful (as was Paul) and he gave me the key over the phone after i had paid and stayed on the phone while i checked if it worked. This worked and i got my pc back.

The package actually arrived the next day only 24 hours after ordering which is excellent.

All in all i still think they're a very helpful decent company and would reccommend them. I would however suggest they keep a note of OS keys for such eventualities, as they had my address, post code and phone number on record so surely it can't be a massive administrative burden to record the key as well. And a black mark to whoever finally signed off my original order...there's an orphaned xp key kicking around at cougar somewhere.

  HondaMan 16:32 19 Apr 2011

I usually take a screenshot of my system as displayed via control panel. That usually solves and problems. It's even easier to do with Win7

  daveeb 18:21 19 Apr 2011

Unfortunately it doesn't tell you the activation key. There is software that does, but unfortunately for me, discovering it was closing the gate after the horse had bolted.

  I am Spartacus 21:11 19 Apr 2011

I thought vendors were required to stick the activation key label on the PC? I've recently bought an OEM version of Windows 7 and there was a note instructing builders to do that in the packaging.

  daveeb 10:36 20 Apr 2011


They claimed they had stuck it on the side of the pc, however I'm positive there was nothing on the pc when i received it. Unfortunately i filed everything away at the time and didn't even think about keys until a few days ago.

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