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Windows 7: OEM?

30 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 x64 RC1, Vista Ultimate, XP Pro
 
 
OEM?

I paid $189 form Amazon for the full version of Windows 7 saving myself about $30 all together and when I wanted to ask Microsoft a question they said they couldn't help me because I didn't have the right one. I never need tech support for any windows I've ever bought so why not save a hundred dollars and buy the OEM version. If I buy the OEM and my computer blows up I was told I couldn't use that OS on another computer so I just have to throw it away?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello lostsoul62.



That's correct, once installed, OEM cannot be moved to another PC as it's forever tied to the first motherboard that it's installed to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Unfortunately, yes. OEM license is tied to the computer, it is first installed on. Legally, it cannot be transferred, it lives and dies with its first computer.

Thats the reason OEM copies are cheaper than Retail ones. And remember, MS is obliged to provide tech support only on Retail copies, not on OEM ones.

However, you can make small hardware changes without requiring reactivation. E.g. if you only replace memory or only replace a hard drive. For MS, motherboard is the computer. Changing it will definitely deactivate you, unless maybe you are able to replace it with the same, identical model.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It is my understanding from a recent German high court case that in Europe it is perfectly legal to unbundle the software from the hardware.

Getting it to activate is another matter.

MS are pretty good , I hear , if you need to change the mobo. Apparently they will give a new key for that.

Of course they keep a record and will only do it once.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

There seems to be perfect contradiction here between theory and practice. In previous versions of windows, it was legal for an end user to build a computer with an OEM license since in that case, the end user himself was considered a System Builder. But in the Windows 7 EULA, that clause has been omitted which means that unless you intend to resell that computer, you cannot legally use OEM. So the restrictions have actually been tightened. But OEM copies continue to be sold by Newegg, Amazon et. al.

This is a little like getting a Technet subscription. As per the Technet web site, it's intended for "IT Professionals". Yet anyone can pay for a subscription without having to submit any credentials or answer any questions. It may be INTENDED for IT Professionals, but Microsoft is happy to sell a subscription to anyone who'll pay for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 RC1, Vista Ultimate, XP Pro
 
 

How can you tell if you have an OEM version? I go to computer right mouse click and go to properties and it tells me I have Windows 7 but will it tell me if I have an OEM version?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #8

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lostsoul62 View Post
How can you tell if you have an OEM version? I go to computer right mouse click and go to properties and it tells me I have Windows 7 but will it tell me if I have an OEM version?
Try opening a command prompt as administrator. (type cmd in the search box, right click on it, run as administrator).

Type
Quote:
slmgr -dli
A window will open in a few seconds, and if it says anything other than RETAIL channel it means you have either an OEM or an enterprise license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lostsoul62 View Post
How can you tell if you have an OEM version? I go to computer right mouse click and go to properties and it tells me I have Windows 7 but will it tell me if I have an OEM version?
Hello lostsoul62.


Did you get Windows 7 installed on a "ready built" PC, if so then it's OEM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

You can download the MS diagnostics tool.

Run the tool, it'll show a report. Look for an entry called "Windows License Type" (about 9-10 lines down from the top). If it says "Retail", its a retail license, if it says "OEM SLP" its a OEM preinstalled license, if it says "OEM non slp" its an OEM System builder.
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