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Which to buy

Last response: in Windows 7
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March 21, 2011 6:55:09 PM

I am sure this question has been asked a trillion times, but, what are the differences between the OEM version of Windows 7, and the Windows 7 in the full package?

Here is a link of what I am talking about if you do not understand what I am saying:

OEM - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

Full - http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/windows-7-home-prem...

More about : buy

a b $ Windows 7
March 21, 2011 7:01:44 PM

The OEM version is designed to be installed on a build, and never transferred. Once activated, it's tied to the original hardware (namely, the motherboard/CPU).

It also means that Microsoft isn't responsible for the end user support.

Those are the main differences, and why an OEM version is cheaper.
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March 21, 2011 10:30:26 PM

So I assume that the full cannot be used on more than one computer, but lets say if I reformat and wish to complete a clean install, I can use the full version to do so?
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March 21, 2011 10:46:51 PM

You can install your oem on more than one computer but its not legal.
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March 21, 2011 11:12:14 PM

But doesn't OEM ask for an activation key, and it's only one use, whereas the 'full' version can be done with more?
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a b $ Windows 7
March 21, 2011 11:48:31 PM

You can use the full retail, and OEM versions to reinstall on your original hardware.

However, if you were going to overhaul your system, or build a whole new one, the EULA states that the OEM version cannot be used.
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March 22, 2011 8:02:56 PM

I know I'm sounding quite stupid with the easy to understand information you are providing me, so to clarify, buying the full retail version from Best Buy or wherever is a better investment, because I can reformat and reuse it on this computer, on my new computer and somewhere else whereas OEM is exclusively for one PC?
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a b $ Windows 7
March 22, 2011 9:24:43 PM

Yes, that's mostly correct. However, according to the license, unless you have a volume license, it can only be active on one of the computers at a time.
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March 22, 2011 10:10:22 PM

Ah... So I assume that it's near impossible to have it running on more than one computer since the license is locked into one computer?
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a b $ Windows 7
March 22, 2011 10:26:11 PM

It's not impossible. It's just not allowed by the license agreement, unless you have a volume license copy.
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March 22, 2011 10:49:51 PM

So it's all about ethics, as I can be unethical by installing Window 7 with my 'full' version without any key rejection stopping me?
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March 22, 2011 11:20:17 PM

You have to activate your Windows install so Microsoft knows if you installed it on more then one computer.
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March 23, 2011 1:40:48 AM

i suppose the first is better
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a b $ Windows 7
March 23, 2011 2:00:21 AM

With windows 7 being relatively new, I would buy the retail copy. It will likely outlast at least 1 build. By being able to legally use it again on a new build, or upgraded build, it's worth the extra $$.
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March 23, 2011 4:07:11 AM

Alright, thank you, but the only one question I want to clarify is can I use it on more than one computer simultaneously? I do not clearly understand what you mean by "being able to legally use it again." Do you mean I can install it in multiple computers (all of them functioning simultaneously) whereas OEM is exclusively locked by one computer? I'm clearly sounding stupid now, so I apologize for that.
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March 23, 2011 4:39:09 AM

If you want to install Windows 7 on multiple PCs, you will need to buy the Windows 7 Family Pack. It allows you to install it in up to 3 computers.

Let me try to make this as simple as possible. When you install Windows on a computer, it will ask you to enter the code that came with your Windows install disk. After installing, your computer will connect to a Microsoft server to look for updates. At the same time, it will send info about your computer to their server. This will identify your computer and attach it to the activation code you had entered.

If you install it on a different computer and use the same code, it will say that the code is invalid since it is already linked to your other computer. If you want to use it on the second computer, you will have to contact Microsoft and have them deactivate it from your old computer. So the answer is NO. You can NOT use it on 2 different computers simultaneously.

Buy the family pack and it will allow you to install it on 3 different computers.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 23, 2011 11:41:14 AM

Microsoft allows you to install and activate it a few times, before you have to call their support line. The reason isn't to allow people to break the license agreement. It's because they recognize that fresh installs are usually needed, and people don't want to be hassled with having to call every time.

So I'll put it this way. It is possible to install on multiple computers at once, with a single license copy. However, it's a violation of the EULA.
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March 23, 2011 11:23:46 PM

Alright, thank you very much :)  That sums up what I want to know.
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March 23, 2011 11:23:54 PM

Best answer selected by reprotected.
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a b $ Windows 7
March 24, 2011 12:39:50 AM

You're welcome, thanks for the vote. :) 
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