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Install Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit with either a "Refurbished" disk or "OEM"

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April 9, 2013 7:20:12 PM

Other than the way Microsoft defines their user agreements regarding the use of either a "Refurbished" disk or an "OEM" disk, is there really any actual difference in the product itself? (ie ease of install, no conflicts, etc)

I'm not concerned about Microsoft support. I've only tried to talk to a rep once years ago and they were totally useless. ... So my question is just about the function of the product itself....meaning that when you install the disk into your drive, it will install the same OS, without jumping through hoops or having to make telephone calls.

All the legalities and confusing Microsoft rules aside.... if you utilize a legitimate Windows 7 computer "refurbisher" disk, is is going to work just the same as using an OEM disk, to do a clean instal on a computer with no OS installed?

Secondly, you can often find OEM disks cheaper.... if they werebranded for a company, such as Dell for example.

I read the following about branded disks "Branded software will have a HP or Dell logo on the disc, but you can install it on any Windows based computer. It is the same as the regular OEM as far as packaging and functionality."

Does anyone have experience with branded disks? I dont think I would go that route but have to wonder if the lower cost makes them a good value for the money to get the OS.

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WORTH READING----- Interesting enough, Microsoft shows that an OEM disk is alright, if you are building the computer for yourself ...but only if your using Windows 8.


Personal Use License

If you are building a PC for your personal use or installing an additional operating system in a virtual machine, you can now purchase OEM System Builder software using the Personal Use License.

How the Personal Use License works

Use of OEM System Builder software for Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro is subject to the following licensing terms:

System Builder product may be used:

As the operating system on a PC you build for personal use.
As an operating system running either on a local virtual machine or as an additional operating system in a separate partition.


System Builder product may not be used:

As an upgrade license for an existing underlying Windows operating system.
To legalize a non-genuine Windows operating system.
To license more than five copies of the software (in total) for commercial use.

In order to use OEM System Builder software for personal use, you will need to read and accept the terms in the Personal Use License.

Building a PC for personal use licensing comparison by product:


Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro

OEM System builder product may be purchased.
Microsoft support is not included.
License terms are granted by Microsoft to the system builder.


Windows 7

Full packaged retail product is needed.
Microsoft provides support services.
License terms are granted by Microsoft to the end user.


This info was taken from the Microsoft link shown here

http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/P...

Remember at one time, wording for Windows 7 was similar to what they are now posting for Windows 8. But a few years back...Microsoft scrubbed all traces of how a regular person, could build their own PC, using an OEM disk for a Windows 7 build.

I'm wondering if Windows 8 might be a flop and not selling a well as they had hoped for.
a b $ Windows 7
April 9, 2013 7:33:59 PM

wow... lot of words...

Basically OEM OS disks are keyed to the MFG's hardware... So, I can take a Dell branded Win7 disk and go to almost any Dell computer and install that OS on that computer... typically not even needing to activate it. BUT if you try to install it on a home build PC it will be rejected.

At least that is my experience over the last 10+ years of doing this...
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a b $ Windows 7
April 9, 2013 7:41:04 PM

I don't even know what a "Refurbished" disk is. Usually its retail, OEM, or upgrade. If it has the companies logo on it it will be useless trying to use it on non/other logo computer. The bios won't match and it won't work. Common machines might work, meaning you can probably use an HP on a compaq machine.

As for Win8 only MS is finally allowing us to use it like we've been. They've just sorta turned a blind eye to it before.
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April 9, 2013 9:49:08 PM

corroded said:
wow... lot of words...

Basically OEM OS disks are keyed to the MFG's hardware... So, I can take a Dell branded Win7 disk and go to almost any Dell computer and install that OS on that computer... typically not even needing to activate it. BUT if you try to install it on a home build PC it will be rejected.

At least that is my experience over the last 10+ years of doing this...


Thanks for that reply. In researching utilizing a "Branded" OEM disk, I read that you could utilize a Dell disk for example (unlike a MAC disk or something that takes an extra bunch of work to try to get it to install to a PC)...way beyond my ability for sure. But as far as using a "branded" disk, the disk is set up to react differently when you use it as it was intended with a Dell motherboard.
According to what I read, if its a Dell motherboard, you will not have to enter an actual product key (COA) because there is something written into the Dell that it auto locates it and finds the Dell's COA code.
However, if you use a branded disk from a Dell or HP, etc, with a different motherboard...say an ASUS motherboard (like I have), then you physically have to enter the COA when prompted to do so.
In my opinion, although its a little cheaper ...about $65 (all be it a gamble) with a Dell or other "branded" disk, it might not be worth the aggravation (in the possible event that the non branded motherboard and the branded software have issues.
I did a lot of reading and according to my research, all points to it just installing as long as you have a valid and unused COA from Microsoft.

At the same time hearing from someone who has knowledge on this now contradicts what I have read.

To me ....its not that much of a savings, if you end up having to spend time on a telephone with Microsoft justifying how your disk is legit because I imagine your on some rocky ground, in doing so.

So if your aware that there are clearly issues and home build PC it will be rejected using "branded OEM disks it just not worth the hassle....but its nice to understand how they work and if you can actually use them on a build, other than what the disk was branded for.
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April 9, 2013 10:14:56 PM

4745454b said:
I don't even know what a "Refurbished" disk is. Usually its retail, OEM, or upgrade. If it has the companies logo on it it will be useless trying to use it on non/other logo computer. The bios won't match and it won't work. Common machines might work, meaning you can probably use an HP on a compaq machine.

As for Win8 only MS is finally allowing us to use it like we've been. They've just sorta turned a blind eye to it before.


Its interesting because a while back Microsoft was allowing Windows 7 users to do their personal build, with an OEM disk...then they physically removed all references to this option (In what comes down to outright terrible business practices) and made it that you would not be considered a builder if you then kept your pc and didn't sell it as they now still require in Win 7.

Here is a good 2009 article that points this out.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/is-it-ok-to-use-oem-wind...

Anyway...regarding "Refurbished" disks ...they are new produced disks that are utilized under the Microsoft Refurbisher Programs shown here:

http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/p...

The disks are physically marked with the wording that states "Intended for distribution with refurbished PC"

These OS install disks are designed for the computer refurbishing market. They sell for about the same price as an OEM disk but are designed to be placed onto a computer that at some point already had an OS system installed. This is not the same as an upgrade disk. These are more for someone who has a bunch of old computers, cleans them out and formats the HD and wants to install a new OS on it to sell them to end users.... not considered the same this as a "builder" (to qualify for OEM builder status) in the eyes of Microsoft, because the motherboard etc, previously had an OS installed but then wiped clean...maybe even had an OEM installation prior to being wiped.

Good old Microsoft is notorious for talking in circles and changing the rules as they go along...but not making them clear so the average guy can understand them.
The more complicated they make it the better for everyone... Yea...that it... kinda like politicians.

Shame on Microsoft for being so darn greedy and money hungry.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 10, 2013 1:46:35 AM

I'm not sure why they would bother with "refurbished" disks.... If there was already a COA on the side of the box, I'd just use that. I should also be able to use an "upgrade" disk because the COA on the side shows me I had the rights to windows already. I really fail to see the point of a "refurb" option here...

That said for most of us we look at retail or OEM. (upgrade or other.) Nothing wrong with going OEM seeing as its cheaper.
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April 10, 2013 12:29:57 PM

I'm not really sure why they would use a REFURBISH disk either. The best I can figure is that they might cost less than an OEM disk. They are only supposed to be sold to someone who signs up and participates in Microsoft's refurbished program (seen by clicking the link I added earlier in the thread...its there but just didn't fully show up for some reason).

I think the reasoning would be that this encourages refurbishing old computers rather than just recycling them for the precious metals, if they are still hardware capable to work on that particular newer REFURBISH OS.

I think Microsoft seemingly "bought into" the whole recycling thing.... but their approach is not to recycle the parts of a computer in the tradition sense. They recognized that there was yet another a profit market for them, by selling cheap REFURBISH disk OS's for old computers, they can now make money off those who refurbish computers, that would otherwise be thrown out or taken apart for their parts.

It seems like a good explanation, since Microsoft makes you bellow to this program to get the software from them.

I'm not sure whats going on but some of my earlier links have now vanished but I didn't edit them out. I just fixed all of them.
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
April 10, 2013 2:59:49 PM




OEM versions of Windows 7 are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system


Microsoft.com ^


OEM vs. Retail

OEM Windows 7 comes preinstalled on computers. This is the cheapest way to buy windows. Large PC manufacturers like Dell, HP etc. (collectively called royalty OEMs) install windows on millions of such PCs. The main characteristics of such systems are:

The license agreement and support agreement is between you and the PC maker, not MS.

Activation by the end user is not required. Windows is preactivated at the factory by the OEM using images and standard SLP keys.

Your copy of windows is locked to that PC. The license is not transferable.

OEM system builder is what you get when you buy from say Newegg or from a local "white box" vendor. It too has the characteristics of Royalty OEM windows. Although it is possible for an individual to buy a System Builder copy, the license requires that the software be installed using the OPK (OEM preinstall kit) and then resold.

Retail version is what you buy from a retailer like Amazon or Bestbuy. Its a full price version that comes packaged in a retail box with a retail product key. It has to be activated online via MS servers using the key on the box, it is not tied to the PC it was first installed on, though it can only be used on a single computer at a time. And, MS directly provides the support for it. It is also more expensive than OEM copies.

As far as functionality is concerned, theres no difference between any of the versions above, given any specific edition (i.e. between OEM pro and retail pro, or between OEM ultimate and retail ultimate).

sevenforums.com





Windows 8 OEM is a whole different ballgame.

License agreement for the transfer of a Windows 8 license
http://personaluselicense.windows.com/en-US/default.asp...
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April 10, 2013 6:13:55 PM

Good post of differences there.

Why do you suppose that Microsoft has changed the way they are handling Windows 8, as opposed to the tough stand they took on Windows 7?

I mean at one point Microsoft stated that an OEM builder, included a person building their own PC as an end user. It doesn't seem right that they changed their mind regarding Windows 7 OEM... after the fact... and said a home builder is now not the same as a builder, that intends to sell it.

Another thing about Mircosoft changing their mind is in regard to the Windows XP OS retail box. From what I read, you were allowed to install it on 3 of your personal computer at once... but Windows 7 only permits 1 PC, even if it is a retail box (not counting the 3 computer family packed retail box) that they came up with.

I guess its all about money for Microsoft and we have little choice if we want to use software that runs via Windows OS. It's not like we have a whole lot of choices outside of the Microsoft monopoly. I don't say that to bash them, its just my thoughts on how they must see it.

However getting back to Win 8...I'm not up on Windows 8 at all but from the little bit I have now read, it seems as if they are being a little more friendly, about Win 8 as opposed to how they handled usage of Windows 7.
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
April 10, 2013 6:16:58 PM

However getting back to Win 8...I'm not up on Windows 8 at all but from the little bit I have now read, it seems as if they are being a little more friendly, about Win 8 as opposed to how they handled usage of Windows 7. < Yes they are , you can now transfer the 8 license to another computer even if it's an OEM copy.Only installed on 1 machine at a time but it's a step in the right direction.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 10, 2013 7:19:54 PM

I've never known XP to allow more then one active install. The Family Pack for win7 was the first that I know of that did that.

I think its funny that you mention the OEM stuff with win7. MS said you couldn't, but they sure turned a blind eye towards all those people buying OEM disks from newegg, etc. I'd even be willing to bet you could buy it without buying any hardware which was supposed to be a no no as well. My guess is MS doesn't really care, they just want money.
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April 11, 2013 12:09:14 PM

4745454b said:
I've never known XP to allow more then one active install. The Family Pack for win7 was the first that I know of that did that.

I think its funny that you mention the OEM stuff with win7. MS said you couldn't, but they sure turned a blind eye towards all those people buying OEM disks from newegg, etc. I'd even be willing to bet you could buy it without buying any hardware which was supposed to be a no no as well. My guess is MS doesn't really care, they just want money.



Well....just look at how some of the sellers get around selling an OEM disk to just anyone. They sometimes include a DOA hard drive or perhaps a $2.00 SATA cable (sometimes nothing at all) which somehow allows the sale to fall into the parameters of keeping it legal/within the bounds of Microsoft's policy. ....strange indeed.
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April 13, 2013 9:50:29 PM

I guess we really didn't address my question as to the physical differences between the REURBISHER disk and an OEM disk....but I'm gathering through further reading I've done, that they are essentially the same and both linked to one install/motherboard.

It seems the only difference(s) comes down to the user agreement, which Microsoft established as to allowing use of those 2 types of install. And OEM is is a little easier to obtain then a REFURBISHER disk. Both are about the same in price however REFURBISHER generally runs just a little less since they are typically not purchased through the same channels as OEM disks, which are much more readily available.

In the end, I bought a full retail box version of Windows 7 Home Premium. I got a good deal on it shipped for under $97, so for about $10 more than OEM, it was a good way to go. I can now move it around if I ever decide to in the future or swap my motherboard, etc.


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a c 395 $ Windows 7
April 14, 2013 5:12:05 AM

Good choice.
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April 15, 2014 2:28:34 PM

Now I have a refurbished computer that has the refurbished OS windows 7 on it. Am I able to install that on another computer such as upgrading another computer from XP to win7? I don't have the refurb disk though. Is that something I can download and burn to a CD?
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a b $ Windows 7
April 15, 2014 8:02:55 PM

If you have two keys...
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