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Windows 7: Putting retail version on OEM computer

16 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 6.1.7600 Build 7600
 
 
Putting retail version on OEM computer

I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate on my dell computer. When I was deleting partitions I noticed a Dell OEM partition. It was very small so I didn't delete this.

My thought was, if I ever wanted to sell this computer I would need to put Vista back on the computer and was afraid that my OEM disk would not work because I had deleted the partition.

I want to be able to put any computer back to the same state when purchased in order to avoid locking my Retail Version to one computer.

Does this little OEM partition have any bearing on the ability to revert the computer back to the original state?

If so, those of you putting retail might want to keep that partion available.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Well, on my computer, there was a retail partition, but it had the option of converting all the files onto a disc, so I did that and deleted it.

If you have the OEM cds, then that partition isn't too important I believe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jacen View Post
I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate on my dell computer. When I was deleting partitions I noticed a Dell OEM partition. It was very small so I didn't delete this.

My thought was, if I ever wanted to sell this computer I would need to put Vista back on the computer and was afraid that my OEM disk would not work because I had deleted the partition.

I want to be able to put any computer back to the same state when purchased in order to avoid locking my Retail Version to one computer.

Does this little OEM partition have any bearing on the ability to revert the computer back to the original state?

If so, those of you putting retail might want to keep that partion available.

The recovery disks normally will replace the recovery partition during installation. So there is no reason not to delete the recovery paritions, although I would create the disks or have them mailed before doing so for the reasons you state.

I am curious why you put Windows 7 retail on an VIsta OEM computer considering that Vista license - good for the life of the motherboard - entitles you to the much cheaper Upgrade. The Retail version belongs to YOU and can be migrated to any other computer as long as it is only on one at a time. Since this is my first time buying upgrades (for price) I am waiting to see if the same is also true of them, since MS says they can be reinstalled.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Oct 2009   #4

W8 Pro, W7 Ultimate, XP Pro x64, Vista x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jacen View Post
I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate on my dell computer. When I was deleting partitions I noticed a Dell OEM partition. It was very small so I didn't delete this.

My thought was, if I ever wanted to sell this computer I would need to put Vista back on the computer and was afraid that my OEM disk would not work because I had deleted the partition.

I want to be able to put any computer back to the same state when purchased in order to avoid locking my Retail Version to one computer.

Does this little OEM partition have any bearing on the ability to revert the computer back to the original state?

If so, those of you putting retail might want to keep that partion available.
That small (25-50MB) Dell OEM hidden partition holds the Dell diagnostics software. You can boot the diagnostics through the boot menu (F12). The software runs various levels of hardware diagnostics on the computer. The computer can and will function normally without that partition in place. However, the Dell Factory Image Restore utility may not work without that partition (or a dummy first partition you could create later).

The Dell Factory Image Restore utility is engaged by tapping the F8 key at boot and when presented with "Repair my computer" it will lead to the Dell Factory Image Restore page. The restore utility formats the C:\OS partition and mounts the file D:\Dell\Image\Factory.wim which is an image of the system exactly as it shipped from the factory.

This process differs from many other brands which have you to burn a set of DVDs for system recovery.

If you delete the D:\RECOVERY partition, all of your automated recovery options are lost.

So, the answer to your question is twofold. Removing the Dell OEM partition will not prevent you from using the Vista installation disk that came with the computer and reinstalling Vista. The disk is pre-activated on Dell computers so there is no separate "activation" necessary. But, as I mentioned, removing the Dell OEM partition can impede using the automated Dell Factory Image Restore utility because it is the first partition on the disk and the applet PCRestore.exe looks to mount the image from the second partition (D:\RECOVERY) to the third partition (C:\OS).

Lastly, if you really wish to get the computer back exactly like it left the factory and have already deleted the D:\RECOVERY partition, you might be able to obtain the System Restoration DVDs for your service tag. These are not the same "Reinstallation" disks that Dell allows you to order from the Support website, nor are they the same as the ones that shipped with the computer. If you are interested in getting them, let me know. I have some resources for obtaining them (Dell will typically deny they exist....and they don't exist per se...they are burned-to-order for field service personnel based on your service tag).

What model Dell and is it still under warranty?

Let me know.
Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jacen View Post
I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate on my dell computer. When I was deleting partitions I noticed a Dell OEM partition. It was very small so I didn't delete this.

My thought was, if I ever wanted to sell this computer I would need to put Vista back on the computer and was afraid that my OEM disk would not work because I had deleted the partition.

I want to be able to put any computer back to the same state when purchased in order to avoid locking my Retail Version to one computer.

Does this little OEM partition have any bearing on the ability to revert the computer back to the original state?

If so, those of you putting retail might want to keep that partion available.
Hi Jacen
As you have deleted the recovery partition,NO.

When you first got your Dell PC, did you make the recovery DVD's, from the Dell recovery program?

If yes you can recover from them.

If NO,call Dell they can sent a set to you, may be a fee.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 6.1.7600 Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jacen View Post
I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate on my dell computer. When I was deleting partitions I noticed a Dell OEM partition. It was very small so I didn't delete this.

My thought was, if I ever wanted to sell this computer I would need to put Vista back on the computer and was afraid that my OEM disk would not work because I had deleted the partition.

I want to be able to put any computer back to the same state when purchased in order to avoid locking my Retail Version to one computer.

Does this little OEM partition have any bearing on the ability to revert the computer back to the original state?

If so, those of you putting retail might want to keep that partion available.
Hi Jacen
As you have deleted the recovery partition,NO.

When you first got your Dell PC, did you make the recovery DVD's, from the Dell recovery program?

If yes you can recover from them.

If NO,call Dell they can sent a set to you, may be a fee.
It wasn't a recovery partition. Dell always send recovery disks with their computer, at least for the 3 I have purchased through them. I have all the disks. I just thought it was there so when you insert the Dell OEM disk, the computer knew you could install the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 6.1.7600 Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Jacen View Post
I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate on my dell computer. When I was deleting partitions I noticed a Dell OEM partition. It was very small so I didn't delete this.

My thought was, if I ever wanted to sell this computer I would need to put Vista back on the computer and was afraid that my OEM disk would not work because I had deleted the partition.

I want to be able to put any computer back to the same state when purchased in order to avoid locking my Retail Version to one computer.

Does this little OEM partition have any bearing on the ability to revert the computer back to the original state?

If so, those of you putting retail might want to keep that partion available.

The recovery disks normally will replace the recovery partition during installation. So there is no reason not to delete the recovery paritions, although I would create the disks or have them mailed before doing so for the reasons you state.

I am curious why you put Windows 7 retail on an VIsta OEM computer considering that Vista license - good for the life of the motherboard - entitles you to the much cheaper Upgrade. The Retail version belongs to YOU and can be migrated to any other computer as long as it is only on one at a time. Since this is my first time buying upgrades (for price) I am waiting to see if the same is also true of them, since MS says they can be reinstalled.
I was one of those lucky people who won a free copy of Ultimate for hosting a Windows 7 Launch Party. I am also a college student which allows me to purchase the full retail version from the microsoft store for only 30 bucks. With the full retail version I do not have to have a prior Microsoft OS activated to install the new system. This comes in handy since I like to clean my computer about once a year.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2011   #8

Win7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

zrtom,

Hi. I've read this post and would like to know if you still have the capability of getting thoe "System Restoration Discs" for the Dell systems.

I'd like to have a Restoration disc for my system.

Thanks, Tim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

My guess is that you blew away the F12 loader option from your old hard drive when you installed your retail copy of Windows 7. So, I think hitting the F12 key and restoring back to the way it was is now out of the question. That's the way that it worked for me and my Dells.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2011   #10

Windows 2000 5.0 Build 2195
 
 

I can't really understand your situation and I didn't read any other posts (my sincere apologies about that)

But on my laptop, I wiped my whole hard drive (along with the OEM partitions and all) and installed a retail version with the OEM key on the bottom of my laptop. It works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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