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Difference Between Windows XP OEM and Retail

by lilShortZaznXboi / July 15, 2005 3:24 PM PDT

Whats The Difference Between it and Why is The OEM Version Cheaper? What Advantages and Disadvantages does this have?

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OEM Vs Retail
by Papa Echo / July 15, 2005 5:21 PM PDT

OEM version is licenced to a manufacturer to install on a computer sold to a customer. The manufacturer can customize the OS - e.g. adding its own logo. However, the OS itself is unchanged. Since it is licenced to the manufacturer, the OS reaches you pre activated, so you do not have to activated it again, the licence being passed on to you. Microsoft offers no support - you have to contact the manufacturer. You may not receive an original Windows CD, but a CD from the manufacturer containing the customized OS, together will some full version or promotional application programs. Usually, what is on the CD is only a ghost image to reovver your computer to the factory condition. AS such, you may not be able to run repair utilities like sfc, Recovery console, etc. OEM versions are also manufacturer/model specific. Some shops also sell OEM versions on its own, but you have to buy some hardware. I have no experience of this type.

Retail version - you are on your own. You only can install it on one computer at any one time, activate it, and reactivat if need be. Microsoft offers full support.

Further discussion HERE

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RE: OEM Vs Retail
by lilShortZaznXboi / July 16, 2005 2:49 AM PDT
In reply to: OEM Vs Retail

THX*, But what if I bought a OEM Version of Windows XP and installed it on a computer. Then a few months later i replace the Master Hard drive (the one with Windows xp on it), Can I still install the Oem version to my new HD?

BTW, I found many OEM versions of Windows(CD) on NEWEGG.

OEM Versions get Preconfigured Software. Do they Come with Drivers to run Windows?

IS THIS all Legal?

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OEM vs Retail...
by John.Wilkinson / July 16, 2005 5:35 AM PDT
In reply to: RE: OEM Vs Retail

Yes, you would be able to install the OEM of Windows on your new hard drive. However, you must watch how much you change your computer's confirguration. Often when you register it, your computer configuration will be recorded, and if it changes too much, they will think you are installing it on a different PC. At that time, you'll have to make the toll-free phone call and explain what is going on...that you're not just installing it on all of the computers in your neighborhood. It's not a problem, but can be an inconvenience.

Yes, they come with all of the drivers. On the OEM disk is the FULL version of Windows XP, with everything that the retail disk contains. However, things like icons, the Help center, etc are customized, and extra programs (free or trial) are added to the mix.

Legally, there is some debate. This is copied from the Microsoft OEM System Builder license (which Newegg linked to):

''If the individual software license is a desktop operating system (including Windows XP Media Center Edition),we grant you a nonexclusive right to distribute individual software licenses; provided that each one is distributedwith either (a) a fully assembled computer system or (b) a nonperipheral computer hardware component. A ?fully assembled computer system? means a computer system consisting of at least a central processingunit, a motherboard, a hard drive, a power supply, and a case. A ?nonperipheral computer hardware component? means a component that will be an integral part of the fully assembled computer system on which the individual software license will be installed.''

This means that it can be included with a a complete computer or a major piece of equipment, such as a motherboard, but not by itself or with something as simple as a power cord. Thus, the OEM version of Windows XP being sold by Newegg is probably not completely legit. However, Newegg may have an agreement with Microsoft...something you'll definately want to check into. (Usually I'd say it's illegal and pirated, but Newegg is a fairly respectably company, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.)

Also, note that by accepting the OEM system builder license, you are responsible for all tech support...not Microsoft or a PC manufacturer. Also, sometimes OEM software won't work with your computer...such failure isn't's a risk you'd have to take. (This is all stated in Newegg's Software return Policy.)

Considering all of this, you would probably be better off just purchasing an upgrade to Windows XP from Microsoft...Windows XP Home upgrade is just $99 for those with Windows 98/98SE or Windows ME. You can also get the Windows XP pro. upgrade for $199 if you have Windows 98/98SE, Windows ME, or Windows 2000. (Those who own previous versions of Windows, and those who don't currently own legitimate versions, are not eligible for the upgrade and must pay an extra $100 for the full version.)

Hope this helps,

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by lilShortZaznXboi / July 17, 2005 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: OEM vs Retail...

If I Reformat my hard drive alot; I have to call them in order to sort this out? Or The computer will know that I Reformatted and don't have to activate.

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Reformat my hard drive alot
by Themisive / July 17, 2005 3:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Then....

You'll still have to re-activate it every time you re-format but that's all, it will automatically detect the hardware you already have. Apart from that though, there's no problem

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