Windows 7 forum


Help! Which Windows 7 package do I need?

by alluraofarus / February 26, 2014 3:39 AM PST

I recently had to buy a new computer for my home office, basically for data entry and word processing. When I bought a new desktop PC, they all had Windows 8 pre-installed on them at the local shops here. I've been using it for a while, and it is completely non-functional with the software I need to use for my work. Constant crashes, windows explorer freezes EVERY time I open it (I can't browse for files in explorer at all, have to go to a program and browse using the "open" command), copy and paste does not work, ETC ETC ETC. I see that these are problems for many people using 8. It's been an absolute nightmare to work with. I need to go back to something more stable (and it looks like 8.1 has not cured the incompatibility problems I'm dealing with, so PLEASE take this seriously and don't suggest that - thanks!).

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I'd like to just wipe everything off my computer and install Windows 7, which works fine for my business partner running the same programs. But I have no idea which version to get. I know I need 64-bit, but the available version on Amazon is called "Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)."

1) What is the difference between this "OEM system builder" and a "full version" package?

2) How do I go about getting a re-installation disc for Windows 8 for when Windows 7 is no longer supported at all and I absolutely have to upgrade (assuming hopefully that the bugs are worked out by 2020)? The manufacturer of my PC is HP, and I bought it at Staples. It did not come with an install disc, which I guess is standard now? UGH.

Thanks for any serious suggestions from people who do not work for microsoft. Sad

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All Answers

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2014 3:59 AM PST

At the office we moved from a ban to acceptance of Windows 8 and we are seeing none of the crashes you are reporting. Very very strange and tells me that you do not want any of the machines you tried out!

In parting we found CLASSIC SHELL to put the start menu back along with what we wanted.

Item 2. That varies with each machine but I would not buy ANY of the machines you tried. Really really sad to see your choices were so bad today.

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1. The OEM ship has sailed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2014 4:14 AM PST

After a decade I'm going to write that OEM agreements are too well discussed. I think that rather than write one more word about OEM or Retail (millions of words to date!) why not vote with your wallet? No one has ever been fined or indicted or jailed for using OEM versions so vote!

2. Varies with the machine. Some make restore DVDs, some use an USB stick but frankly I'd yank the HDD and put it away for another day.

And even then I would not do that. At the office we use Windows 8 daily and it does not do what you noted. In fact it's been more stable than 7. A real blessing and with Classic Shell we got back to work in minutes.

Classic Shell would have made Windows 8 a non-event. Choice is good.

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using classic shell already
by alluraofarus / February 26, 2014 6:21 AM PST

Thanks for trying, Bob. I've been using Classic Shell for months. I thought maybe it was responsible for the crashes. I haven't installed anything else other than latest versions of OpenOffice, Firefox, and AdobeReaderXI, which I need to tab back and forth through pdfs and spreadsheets to copy-paste. And I'm suprised that you're surprised by my problems, because there are thousands of posts all over internet forums about people having trouble w/ explorer crashing often and copy-paste commands not working in Windows 8. I didn't have any of these issues in Windows 7. I don't really need any of the new "functionality" in Windows 8. Just using a desktop computer w/ a keyboard, no touchscreen, and don't plan to EVER do data entry w/ a touchscreen (can you imagine how utterly annoying that would be? YIKES).

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about OEMs vs "full versions." It looks like OEM is the only version available for Windows 7? I'm still not sure what the difference is, sorry. I'm planning to use Windows 7 on one machine only, if that helps. Interesting idea about yanking out the HDD with 8 on it and replacing it with one with 7, I hadn't thought of that. Then I could just save the HDD with 8 on it for a rainy day? (or when I'm certain that 8 has fixed all the issues I'm having, maybe in a few years).

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OpenOffice? I went to LibreOffice.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2014 6:37 AM PST

And banished Adobe's Reader in favor of Foxit.

Something is horribly wrong with this PC if it's doing as you indicated. There are now a dozen or more W8 machines and these have less issues than W7 machines. A testament to well, managed code which is outside the scope of this discussion.

I truly doubt Windows 7 will be any better on this hardware.

As to OEM versus full versions that topic has some million words in so many discussions that I don't see how I can add yet another tome. Try it this way. Go cheap.

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I too am surprised
by wpgwpg / February 26, 2014 6:40 AM PST

I've been running Windows 8 on 6 machines, some for two years, and I'm not seeing any of the problems you report either. Since there're many millions of folks using Windows, you can always do a search and find thousands of folks reporting one problem or another, but understand that this is really a small minority percentage wise.
Very few people like the Metro/Modern new user interface in Windows 8, which is why those in the know use Classic Shell as you seem to know.
Re OEM vs retail versions, the OEM versions come with no support from MS and are good on the first PC you install them on ONLY. They are cheaper than the retail versions which do come with support and can be uninstalled and put on a different PC. The OEM versions are cheaper, that's why Bob said vote with your pocket book.
Again, while there's a lot not to like about that new user interface, the vast majority of folks have found Windows 8 to be as stable as or more stable than Windows 7. I'm running 8.1 on 4 Dell Optiplex desktops, one HP desktop, and one desktop I put together from components, and all have been rock solid stable.

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OEM means the Windows
by orlbuckeye / February 26, 2014 11:31 PM PST

version sold for system builders. The licensing is different from the retail version. The basic difference is the OEM once installed can't be install on another pc and your own your own with support. The retail license is the once you buy in the pretty packaging. The license isn't tied to the first computer you install it on. Also you can get better support from MS with the retain version.

When you buy a pc from HP, Dell, Lenova or any other vendor they install the OEM version. Typically most companies don't give you restore disk but they prompt you to make a start DVD or jump drive when you first set up Windows. Google creating restore disks on a "vendor name " pc.

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Given what you describe
by Jimmy Greystone / February 26, 2014 8:54 AM PST

Given what you describe, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you had a bad stick of RAM or something in that system.

I'd grab a copy of memtest86+ and let that run overnight sometime. My guess is you'll quickly find a screen full of errors. If not, move onto the other parts of the hardware you can get some kind of diagnostic for. Considering you bought it at Staples and it's an HP, it's likely to be some bargain bin sort of thing where it's essentially a loss leader and every corner that could possibly be cut was. Not to mention the amount of useless add-on garbage that likely came along for the ride as part of the standard image.

But unless HP has Windows 7 drivers for that specific model, the whole Windows 7 idea might be a non-starter even if you wanted to ignore the OEM license issues. People are quickly disabused of the notion that these drivers are just part of Windows when they attempt to install an OS other than what came with the system. For a lot of people, installing Windows is essentially beyond their abilities, though it's at least significantly easier now that the Windows installer natively supports SATA and drives over 127GB.

I'd give the hardware a good going over, because I'm betting you've got some dodgy kit in that thing. Even a low end HP, not exactly known for quality since the Fiorina days, shouldn't be THAT bad.

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