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Windows 7: Wondows OS Recommendations and usage question

27 Jun 2011   #1

Win XP Home 2002
Wondows OS Recommendations and usage question

This is my first post.
I am reviewing specifications for my first PC build to replace my 2002 Dell tower!
Yes pretty old but still going.
I am hung on the OS though. I have read thru many threads and have a good understanding of the differences of Full, OEM, Upgrade.
It is my thought that I will purchase an OEM version of Win 7 Pro as I intend to build and use this PC for many years. So I won't need the transportability of the full version. Thoughts on this will be appreciated.
However I do want to be able to run XP also perhaps in Virtual XP Mode or even perhaps as a 2nd bootable OS. Just not sure which would be the easiest way to do this. I have a program that I use that will not work past XP, nor will it be upgraded to do so as I am informed. So I either use in XP or select a new software product to do the same thing. I would rather keep the old program and the database that is with it and so not start over with a new program.
Any opinions or thoughts or recommendations

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

If you are building your own PC, then an OEM version of Windows will be fine. You say you're going to use the PC for several years so when you do change it we'll probably be renting an OS from the cloud the way things are going so there's no point in paying over the odds for the retail version of Windows 7.

If you want to use XP Mode you'll need Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate. XP Mode will run your legacy software, but you will take a performance hit because the Virtual PC shares memory with the Host PC so you might want to consider dual-booting XP with 7.

Just double check you can get XP drivers if you dual-boot rather than virtualize. Also, if you dual-boot, make sure you install XP before 7 because XP will overwrite 7's boot record if you install 7 first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


1) Full Retail Windows 7 version is personal use.

2) Upgrade Retail Windows 7 version is personal use with a under lying lic for Win XP or Vista.(not licence from the Dell, which will stay with that PC.

3) OEM version is for System Builders for resale.
A "Must Read" for OEM license users
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jun 2011   #4

Win XP Home 2002

seavixen32: Thanks for the reply. Yes we may get the OS from the clouds by the time I get another new PC. Look how long I've run my Dell!
I think Win7 Pro is as high as I need to go. As for the performance hit if using Virtual PC, this does not matter. The program is a billing prog and was originally used on Win 3.11 and Win95! Just fortunate it can function in XP. May be I'll just buy a full ver of XP Pro and runt it, then add Win7 latter! This solves the dual boot issue you mention of first and second.

theog: Thank you for your reply also. Agreed, what you write is my understanding also. Thanks for confirmation. I did read thru your link and also the links further on. Well I am building this PC for my wife so maybe I sell it to her and problem solved. She mostly uses it and I mostly work on it anyhow! I would not even be going thru all this if my Dell was not 9 years old. I do know someone at the local college here so maybe I can get them to order Win7 at the student price! How would they know? I will add that the information is interesting but seems stupid as It seems hard for them to patrol the EULA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Considering the power of today's computers, there's very little, if any, reason to dual-boot, unless it is something 3D intensive you need to run in the old OS. That doesn't sound like the case, so virtualizing is definitely the easiest and safest way to go.

You'll be fine with an OEM license. You would be the system builder, which means you are legit to use the license. You don't get support from Microsoft, but honestly, who actually calls Microsoft for support?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The only other thing to consider about buying an OEM license is that you don't get the right to call Microsoft on the phone and get support. This may be a non-issue for you, as it is for me...but it's worth mentioning.

As far as the virtualized machine running slower, on new hardware, I wouldn't worry about this at all. VM's on my machines really scream and I have no concerns with performance either of the host or the virtual PC. I haven't really relied on dual booting in years as virtualization is a far better fit for everything that I need and do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

To be quite honest, more and more people are computer savvy these days, so I think lack of Microsoft support for OEM software becomes less of an issue by the day.

Besides, who needs support from Redmond when we've some fantastic people at WSF!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #8

Win XP Home 2002

I tend to agree. I probably called Dell or MS 2 times in the 9 years of my Dell.
Also with people like on this forum you can find all and what really is needed and can help. True experience readily available.
My virtualization speed is not a problem. I experienced it when I used a MAC clone and ran virtual PC (Win95) on it.
So this leads me to one final question for discussion, probably preference mostly.
If using the VM, then which is the recommended way to go?
Use Win 7 Pro and then use MS VM or go with Win 7 Home and go with say Virtual Box and buy a WinXP OEm or Full?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I would go Windows 7 Pro.
  1. Ability to remote desktop to it
  2. Ability to join domain if you ever get inclined
  3. Group Policy Editor is available if ever inclined
  4. XP Pro license is free via XP Mode
  5. Buying XP can be hard as MS doesn't officially provide licenses for it anymore

Another option would be to purchase a Technet standard account for $199 and this would give you licenses for XP, Vista, 7, Office and the Server products. It's hard to not hit $199 buying stand-alone licenses. As long as you use your Technet account for personal only use and don't share it, you should be just fine in the eyes of Microsoft.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Personally, I'd go for Win 7 Pro and use MS VM with XP Mode. Just look at the comparison with XP, but, as you say, it really is personal preference.

Compare Windows - Microsoft Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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