Reinstalling Vista



So my stepdad gave my his old Toshiba laptop to fix up and it runs Vista HP. It wouldn't get internet, it didn't have any back up or restore points and shadow volume had taken the decade off. My old PC has Vista on it too and it ran just fine when I started fixing it up. After I reinstalled Vista on this laptop, it told me I had a month to activate it, so I tried and have met with nothing but failure, finally being dumped here. So I've got a valid Vista license but nobody cares, I can't activate it here and I've got a month left with this poor forgotten laptop that won't go to recovery boot mode to save it's life. Any advice, barring purchasing a new os?

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