A reader wrote in to tell us he had paid a technician to build a PC. The PC builder did so, but installed the operating system under a volume licence. As this is legal only in a corporate setting, our Helproom Expert explained how to tell if the copy of Windows is geniune.

QUESTION A technician built a PC for me. I paid him for his time, the parts and a ‘legitimate' copy of Windows XP. He then installed the OS under a 'volume' licence, which I've since come to understand as being legal only in a corporate setting. The technician offered to ‘fix' the issue, but this was done at the expense of my Vista partition. Ronald Edberg

HELPROOM ANSWER As an end user you should never accept a volume-licensed version of Windows – unless you're paying for your own volume licence, which is highly unlikely. For installation on a single PC, Microsoft provides instructions on how to tell whether your copy of Windows is genuine.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice.