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Windows 7: Clean install best novice action.

18 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7
Clean install best novice action.

Hey. So I'm about to buy a new computer without an OS.

I want to buy Windows 7 home premium 64-bit, but I've become kind of bgged down with talk of upgrades, retail and OEM's.

I was wondering if anyone would help me find the best type to use.
I'd like to use it mostly for general browsing and gaming.
I have a budget of about 80 and I don't intend on upgrading my Hardware (Other than maybe the graphics card and cooling system after a while).

Does anyone have any good advice for me or is anybody able to tell me which version would be better, if Windows 7 is better at all.

I'm almost a complete novice at this sort of thing, I've always purchased my computers with a ready-installed OS, so I really am at a loss.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

The standard recommendation is Windows 7 Home Premium.

64-bit version if your hardware will support it. Most recent hardware will. If not, get the 32-bit version.

You need to also to choose between "Retail" and "OEM" versions. The standard advice is to go with Retail, since it will allow to you change motherboards and still use the same version. If you had OEM and your motherboard died, you would have to pay for a new copy of Windows.

You probably don't need "full" versions. "Upgrade" versions are fine IF you already own Vista or XP. Vista or XP does NOT have to be installed. You just have to own a disc.

So, ideally: Home Premium 64-bit Upgrade, retail version. If that is not in your budget, OEM is cheaper.

Retail versions include both 32-bit and 64-bit discs. I'm not sure if OEM versions do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7

Thanks for the quick reply. I don't have any previous versions, so I've done a search for a full retail version and I can't seem to find any lower than 100, which is a little out of my budget.

I presume that means I'll have to stick to the OEM and hope that my Motherboard doesn't die.

For reference, here is the computer I intend to buy and the OEM version of Windows 7 I will settle with if all else fails.


Windows 7 OEM

I'm really weary of making mistakes as I'm selling my computer to help pay for my new one, and if anything goes wrong, that means a week or more without Google, forums or any other type of tech support to help me make the right choice once again.

Again, thanks for the quick reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Feb 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I don't know much about UK sources, but you should at least check buying a retail version from Microsoft directly.

They may be as cheap as anyone for a retail copy and at least you could have them help you to confirm you are getting exactly the version you want.

I have noticed that retail copies aren't easy to find in the US either online.

New PCs are typically sold with an OS, so you might be able to get a comparable PC with an OS within your budget---unless you are wedded to that particular PC without an OS.

Try to get a version with SP 1 included. The disc should be marked to indicate SP 1 is included, but sometimes the ads are not clear on that point. SP 1 can be downloaded separately if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
New PCs are typically sold with an OS, so you might be able to get a comparable PC with an OS within your budget---unless you are wedded to that particular PC without an OS.
I've spent the last two weeks looking for a new computer, and as far as I can tell, a similar set-up in most cases would cost near 600, without an OS. I can only spend around 450 altogether.
I know that computers in the UK are much more expensive, for some reason, than in the US. I personally know a guy that created a set-up far superior to this one for around $500.

I checked the Microsoft website and it would cost me 150 for a full retail version of Windows Home Premium, so I'll have to find other sources, unfortunately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1

For your budget, a Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit System Builder (generic OEM) copy may be the best choice.

Such a copy is tied to the first system on which it's installed. The system is basically defined by the motherboard. See here:

Licensing FAQ

"If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty."

From online reports, Microsoft is fairly liberal about this. They have activated OEM copies on repaired PCs, where the "repair" was a 100% hardware replacement.

A minor consideration is that a system builder copy only includes one bit depth (32 or 64). I have read claims that a license key can be used with either, but the box only contains one DVD.

There's one oddity of the current "system builder" license. Supposedly, it is for use only on systems intended for resale:

Is it OK to use OEM Windows on your own PC? Don't ask Microsoft | ZDNet

Putting a system builder copy on a system for your own use is apparently a violation of the license agreement. As far as I know, there is no enforcement of the resale requirement. I recently purchased an OEM copy from a major US online seller, and they didn't even bother requiring a token hardware item to be purchased with the copy. I think it must still be regarded as a gray market copy. (Grey, in the UK.)

It's also possible to install and activate an upgrade copy on a new system without having a qualifying OS installed. That would be an explicit breaking of the license agreement, but you'll find a sticky in this forum that tells you all that you need to know about how to do it. At least one method (double install) requires no hacking. It's easy, and I doubt that the result would be distinguishable from a legitimately installed upgrade copy, but I still regard it as piracy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


As most new MOBO's now have a uEFI BIOS.
How to install Windows 64 bit on a uEFI BIOS:
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Clean install best novice action.

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