Quote: Originally Posted by mzimmer4
Just one more thing that I'm curious about... When I receive my new hard drive and go through the Windows 7 install again, am I going to run into problems activating Windows? I've read several sites that say that I won't; however, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that "OEM" meant that the OS can only be installed once. That is, it's tied to one "computer" (whereas retail versions are tied to one "user").
1) If you have a Windows 7 OEM restore disk provided by the vendor (also called OEM recovery disk), you can reinstall Windows 7 simply by booting from the disk and running install. Windows 7 will auto-activate and you will not be required to input any key.
2) If you dont have such a disk, you have 2 options. You can order one from your OEM vendor (dell, HP whatever) for a small price. Heck, if you explain your circumstances to them, they might even ship the disk free.
The other option is to get hold of a generic Windows 7 disk (borrow from a friend or download etc.), then install, and activate using the COA key at the back of or beneath the battery of your computer. You'll need to phone activate. Activate Windows 7 by Phone
3) In case you mean, you've installed from a System builder's OEM disk (like the ones from Newegg etc.), those behave and activate like retail ones, except that MS has no responsibility for tech support. In that case, you would have activated ONLINE. To reactivate after reinstalling from a such a disk, you'll again need to go online and unless you've changed hardware like crazy in recent times, it should go through. Thats because certain weightages are assigned to certain hardware changes and simply changing a hdd should not upset the balance.
4) See, OEM activation is tied to the first computer it is installed on, you cant transfer the license to another machine. Thats about it.