Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Vista retail or OEM?

by Guerito / March 25, 2009 2:09 AM PDT

I am building a new system and decided it's time to give Vista a shot. I've always built my own systems right from Win 95 days, so installing an OS is not a problem for me but Vista has me confused. I have read some posts on various sites that contradict what I thought was a commonly understood fact. Fact being OEM means you can install the OS as many times as you want as long as you have the key. I understand that the key does expire after X number of installs and hardware changes, I have been on the phone with Microsoft a couple of times asking for new keys to activate XP. I read a post that said once the OEM Vista is installed it is "tied" to that PC and its config. Is that true?
Getting to the point, I would like to buy Vista Home Premium 64 bit. Not an upgrade (in case all my other Windows OS discs dissapear) the full version. I will in the future change hardware and format my hard drives or buy new ones will I have problems? Finally what is the difference between the OEM version and the retail, full, off the shelf, never had an OS in my life version? Just a quick thought, does anyone know a good place (web or shop), in UK, to buy it?
Thanks for your time.

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Retail versus OEM...
by John.Wilkinson / March 25, 2009 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista retail or OEM?

"Fact being OEM means you can install the OS as many times as you want as long as you have the key. "
-> True. After XX installs you may have to contact Microsoft to request an authorization code, but the key is good for life unless it winds up on the list of known pirated keys.


"I read a post that said once the OEM Vista is installed it is "tied" to that PC and its config. Is that true?"
-> Yes, that is true, specifically regarding the motherboard. That is one of the primary differences between retail and OEM licenses.


"Finally what is the difference between the OEM version and the retail, full, off the shelf, never had an OS in my life version?"
-> Software-wise, none. It is just forever locked to the motherboard and you receive no free support from Microsoft, except for Windows Updates.


"Just a quick thought, does anyone know a good place (web or shop), in UK, to buy it?"
-> Sorry, no, but you may want to ask Mark Flax, our resident UK Mod, in the Computer Help forum.


Hope this helps,
John

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Helpful but a couple more questions.
by Guerito / March 26, 2009 1:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Retail versus OEM...

I have been checking the Vista upgrade vs the full package and I think I have my info. correct.
If I choose the upgrade I need to have either XP or W2K installed on my hard disc?
Vista upgrades cannot do a clean install on a formatted or new disc?
I have read about a workaround to make Vista upgrades do a clean install (install Vista twice), does this work? Will I violate the EULA if I do this?
Thanks.

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Answers...
by John.Wilkinson / March 26, 2009 3:40 AM PDT

"If I choose the upgrade I need to have either XP or W2K installed on my hard disc?"
-> Technically, no. However, you would have to clean install Windows Vista normally without entering your product key, then perform an upgrade of that installation to Windows Vista (confusing, but accurate) using your product key.


"Vista upgrades cannot do a clean install on a formatted or new disc?"
-> They can using the above procedure.


"I have read about a workaround to make Vista upgrades do a clean install (install Vista twice), does this work?"
-> Same workaround I have referred to.


"Will I violate the EULA if I do this?"
-> Not as long as you have a licensed copy of Windows 2000 or Windows XP for that system which you will not use for as long as you are using that upgrader's copy of Windows Vista.


Hope this helps,
John

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Uselfull advice but....
by Guerito / March 26, 2009 3:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Answers...

Thanks for your advice, I just have one last query. I am considering buying a new mobo in the next few months. If I install Vista, any version upgrade or full, I believe it will be tied to my exisitng mobo and I won't be able to transfer it to my new mobo. Am I correct? Should I wait until I get my new mobo. Does Vista have problems with other hardware changes such as processor, hard discs, memory, etc?
Thanks.

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Only if it is an OEM copy...
by John.Wilkinson / March 26, 2009 5:35 AM PDT

Retail licenses, both upgrade and full, can be moved at will, though you may have to call Microsoft's toll-free number to receive a confirmation code for activation. OEM licenses are the only ones permanently locked to the motherboard or other component.

John

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Last post.
by Guerito / March 26, 2009 5:38 AM PDT

Is the install workaround still working because I am buying Home Premium Upgrade SP1?

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Yes...
by John.Wilkinson / March 26, 2009 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Last post.

There are no guarantees Microsoft will make it available in Windows 7, but it is still an option throughout the latest Windows Vista releases, including SP1.

John

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No more questions thanks for advice.
by Guerito / March 27, 2009 4:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes...

MS should pay you commission cos you've just made a sale for them.
Thamks.

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(NT) Good idea. ;~) Glad I could help. Good luck.
by John.Wilkinson / March 27, 2009 6:55 AM PDT
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Here are my thoughts:
by Paul C / March 25, 2009 3:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista retail or OEM?

I have used OEM software in the past, and have found it to work just fine - as long as you're VERY careful about where you purchase it. Generally, I'd be very leery of a place that advertises Vista Home Premium for $25 U.S., for example; I'd suspect that you might be getting a pirated copy which cannot be updated. True OEM software will come with proper ID; for example, a Microsoft OS will have the hologram on the disk and a Microsoft-issued Certificate of Authenticity.

http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/01/8730.ars gives a good overview of all this. Please note that OEM Vista is NOT transferable without permission from (and maybe a fee paid to) Microsoft. When you activate the OS with Microsoft, MS will know the hardware ID of the motherboard that will run the software, and will not allow it to be activated on another mobo - which might be an issue should your mobo die for whatever reason.

Other links I found:

http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/glossary/f/oemsoftware.htm

http://computersoftware.suite101.com/article.cfm/why_buy_oem_software

I obviously know of no shop in the U.K., being in the U.S. But a reputable online seller should be able to fix you up. I found this page at Newegg.com for example:

http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=368&name=Operating-Systems

Good luck, and I hope this helps.

Paul

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