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Installing new HD with new XP home edition, what is OEM?

by Archangeldawn / January 30, 2007 12:24 PM PST

Hey guys I need help in making a good purchase decision.
I'm running windows 98 SE, and I plan on installing a new 160GB Hard drive with a new copy of Windows XP home edition full edition and not the upgrade edition. I'm a college student and looking for a good deal online, but I don't know what Microsoft's XP Home OEM is. Should I purchases the cheaper OEM version or the full retail one? Also I've read on the forums that I need XP SP2 edition to fully recognize the 160GB hard drive, any further tips appreciated. Thanks

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OEM = Original Equipment Manufacture
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 30, 2007 7:33 PM PST

OEM versions of Microsoft Operating Systems, (OS), are what you get if you purchase a PC, either from a computer shop or directly from a manufacturer like Dell, and it has the OS already installed. You usually get some free programs and some trial period programs, typically McAfee or Norton's firewall and anti-virus suites.

OEM systems are usually "locked" into the computer hardware and software configuration you have obtained. This means you cannot transfer the OS to another computer. Manufacturers and shops rarely supply the original OS CD's now, but instead create backup partitions on the hard disk in case you have to re-install the operating system. However if you insist, (and everyone should), they will supply the OS CD's, but often for a small fee.

With OEM systems your contract is with the shop/manufacturer, and not with Microsoft. So any problems with the system, hardware or software related, it is up to you to contact the supplier. Microsoft will turn away any requests for support and tell you to contact the supplier.

OEM CD's can be obtained on their own, but the legality of such purchases is often questioned. This is because the OEM OS needs to be supplied with "hardware". So you could, in theory, purchase a computer lead, say, and the OEM CD, and the legality is solved. However, purchasing the OEM CD itself means you have no support, either from a retailer/manufacturer, or from Microsoft. You're on your own. Some, (but not all), OEM disks purchased on their own will be pirate copies and eventually you will run across problems with validation and activation.

You're right that XP Home without SP2 will not recognise a hard disk's capacity greater than 137GB's, but all new XP CD's will come shipped with SP2 already incorporated. Personally I would go with XP Pro. But as you are a student, you may be able to get a student discount on XP. I'm not sure if that would be XP Home or XP Pro.

Googling "Windows XP - Student discounts", I found this;
offering Windows XP Pro as an upgrade at $79.99

If you still have the Windows 98 setup CD, it would be easy enough to upgrade to XP Pro, even by installing on a new hard disk. You just insert the 98 CD when required to prove it is an upgrade.

I hope this helps.


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Upgrading from a pre-installed OS on a PC
by Archangeldawn / January 31, 2007 7:38 AM PST

thanks for the help and for recommending XP Pro.

I however do not have a Windows 98 Cd as it came pre-installed on my PC. I do have the system restore cd's, and with a Windows 98 certificate and such so I don't know if that would be compatible with an upgrade version. Also wouldn't a clean full install of windows XP be better? I'm worried there could be conflict upgrading from windows 98 SE.

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Xp Pro labeled with Student Media" or "Work at Home
by Archangeldawn / January 31, 2007 9:20 AM PST

Online vendors state they sell Full versions of Xp Pro but also clearly state the cd's have "student media" or "work at home" printed on the cd's. I'm guessing these are the academic student versions, right? I am also aware that the academic versions do not include a COA (certificate of Authenticity. My question is, how is the COA used and will I run into any problems if I do not have the COA?

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What I did. . .
by Coryphaeus / January 30, 2007 8:45 PM PST

When I built my last PC I bought an OEM copy of XP Home (SP-1) from I believe. I found out that an OEM copy is fully legal with two caveats.

1.) It cannot be used as an "upgrade", it is a fully operational copy that must be installed as a stand alone. In other words, you start from scratch as in format and install.

2.) There is no Microsoft support.

After it's installed it works just like a full copy from MS. In my case I had to install all drivers for audio, video, motherboard, etc. But since I built the PC I had all that and it was painless. Installing SP-2 was easy as I had downloaded it and burned it to CD. After it was all done I connected the PC to my home network and got all 58 updates.

All in all it was quite painless although time consuming. If I build another PC I will get another OEM copy.


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