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Windows 7: OEM version - a little info please...

27 Sep 2009   #1

XP, Vista Ultimate, trying Win7
OEM version - a little info please...

I am working with a friend to build him a new 'computer.' He is looking at purchasing the Win7 'OEM' Home Premium version. I normally go with full versions so I am not familier with oem versions. I read somewhere that an OEM version 'bonds' itself to one particular motherboard or system and IF the mb or system fails it cannot be reinstalled onto another system period. IS this correct?? The retail version, on the other hand, allows for it to be reinstalled on another system should this occur but in no even can it be installed on more than ONE system AT ANY ONE TIME...Furthermore, should the mb or hard drive fail all he would have to do (worst case) is to call MS and ask for another activation code since he has a retail copy - CORRECT?? I need to let my friend know about oem before he buys it (due to the cheaper price)and then finds out it what strings are attached.. Are there any other 'downsides' to the OEM version that I should be aware of? THanks for any info..

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hi speedracer2008

The OEM EULA (End User License Agreement) states that when an OEM version of Windows is installed, it becomes part of that computer and cannot be moved to another computer.
In most cases, if you purchase any replacement parts from the same manufacturer where you bought the computer, you will not violate that EULA.
Your best source for information about this subject is the computer manufacturer where you buy the system. An OEM version is purchased by the computer manufacturer and they agree to provide the full support for that copy of Windows when they make that purchase.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7 RC

I have used OEM before and yes it does bond to the motherboard (at least with mine). If for some reason the motherboard goes bad, like mine did, it can be reinstalled but you will have to call Microsoft and explain what happened in order to authenticate it for the new install. I changed out my hds and video card many times just to try different things. When I reinstalled the OEM version I never had a problem. Only when I changed the motherboard did I run into an issue and have to make the call.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Sep 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

1. OEM is tied to the mobo. Other parts you can change including the disk(s)..
2. With OEM you are the manufacturer - that means you can go nowhere for support.
3. A full MS version can be moved to another system, but only to one system at any given time (meaning if you move it, you have to uninstall it from the initial system).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #5


That is why I use ACRONIS Disk Image. it will restore b ack to the last time, yes it complains that the drivers are wrong... but also, the OS will find install the correct drivers.... Then simply remake-refresh the Image. and its good for your new system.

I have never had to call MS for another KEY... beside it would be rather hard... I can not talk. and MS support are rather STUPID when I email them with that info. I sedn attachements via Medical reports that I have no Lyrnx - I can not talk, I do not have the ability of speech... IDIOTS.
will not respond to EMails which detail all that happened. So I have learned Acronic Disk Image will restore to NEW larger HDDs, or Smaller HDDs, almost every thing I can think of.. video cards, etc, etc,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

Snuffy, your above listed procedure allows you to effectively move an activated W7 installation from one system to another, but that still doesn't allow you to have one activation installed on two systems, correct? Anyway, I also find Acronis to be a pretty essential piece of kit, although there are other alternatives, but Acronis is my favorite by far.

And when you say "Acronis disk image," do you mean Acronis' compressed image backup or its clone disk wizard, or will either one work for this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snuffy View Post
I have never had to call MS for another KEY
Consider yourself lucky then, because most often, if you move an OEM license to another computer, it will need to be re-activated by phone. Even then, it is breaking the EULA.

To the OP, consider what type of user your friend is. If he only buys an OS when he buys a new computer, OEM is fine. If he is a fequent upgrader, save him and yourself some hassles by getting the retail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #8


A single phone call is all I have ever needed when upgrading a mobo for an XP OEM. Did it twice on a single license and once on a different license.

I do not have an XP EULA handy to read. Well, I do but I won't. I am not providing advice, just sharing personal eXPerience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2009   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The point of the OEM version is that it's intended to be installed onto one machine and live forever on that machine. So, if you upgrade a part here or there, it's just fine. However, if you upgrade the motherboard, the CPU, the memory all at the same time it more or less constitutes a new machine in the eyes of Microsoft and would require another license purchase. In the event of a mobo failure and you replace it with something equivalent to get the machine back up and running, than this constitutes a call to Microsoft to explain the situation and they are likely going to allow that.

For me, I rarely upgrade my computers. Instead, I just replace them every 2 to 3 years and then upgrade other machines in my house when I do. So for me, it's very clear when it's a new machine...because the old machine is still assembled and running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 OEM version - a little info please...

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