COA’s and Laptops

July 29, 2011

COA stands for Certificate Of Authenticity. It refers to the sticker on your computer that says what version of Windows you have, and what the license key is. This is an important sticker. It proves you have a licensed copy of Windows. If you have a really bad infection, or if your hard drive fails, Windows may need to be reinstalled. To do that, the license key on that sticker will be needed.

Laptops often have the COA on the bottom of the laptop. You wouldn’t think this would be a problem, except what often happens is that if you have your laptop in your lap, your legs rub on the sticker and, over time, the lettering on the sticker rubs off and becomes unreadable. If that sticker is not readable and you find yourself in the situation of having to reinstall Windows, you can call the manufacturer and try to get them to tell you your license key. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to purchase a new copy of Windows, which isn’t cheap. 

To avoid that situation, some laptop manufacturers have begun putting the COA under the battery to protect it. But many still put the sticker on the bottom. If you own a laptop, take a moment to look for the COA. If yours is on the bottom of the laptop, there are a couple of things you can do to protect yourself. First, take a strip of clear packing tape and put it over the COA. That will protect it from being rubbed off. The other thing you can do is write down the information on the COA and keep it in a safe place. The only information you need off of it is the exact version of Windows you have, and the license key.

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