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Difference between OEM and retail versions of Operating systems?

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August 14, 2007 9:37:07 PM

Hi,

I'm going to be building a computer with these components:

Intel q6600
Corsair 520HX
eVGA 8800GTS 320Mb
G.Skill 1024 x2 sticks CAS4
Antec 182 (case)
WD SE 160Gb Hard Disk

and I was wondering what the difference between the retail Operating System and the Original Equipment Manufacturer Operating system is? This will be my first "true" built system (I did switch some parts into a new case a while back, and added some to those a while back, but I've never really built my own) so I'm just wondering if I were to buy the OEM Windows Vista Home Premium, would I need to buy anything else (that would come in the retail version?) in order to get my system running?

Thanks in advance.
August 14, 2007 9:47:16 PM

Valtiel said:
Hi,

I'm going to be building a computer with these components:

Intel q6600
Corsair 520HX
eVGA 8800GTS 320Mb
G.Skill 1024 x2 sticks CAS4
Antec 182 (case)
WD SE 160Gb Hard Disk

and I was wondering what the difference between the retail Operating System and the Original Equipment Manufacturer Operating system is? This will be my first "true" built system (I did switch some parts into a new case a while back, and added some to those a while back, but I've never really built my own) so I'm just wondering if I were to buy the OEM Windows Vista Home Premium, would I need to buy anything else (that would come in the retail version?) in order to get my system running?

Thanks in advance.


Basically, OEM version does not come with Microsoft support options. You are on your own. Search Microsoft for End User Agreement regarding their OS.
August 14, 2007 9:55:38 PM

Is that bad? I'll be using this system primarily for gaming, and I'll have a prebuilt laptop, will I need the support options? Your reply wasn't very clear to me, please elaborate!
Related resources
August 14, 2007 10:02:26 PM

Retail version of MS OS allow you to have online or phone technical support. OEM versions do not. Search MS website for end user agreements to get a full explanation.
August 14, 2007 10:18:54 PM

Does anyone actually call microsoft for support? Just get the OEM and save some pennies. I havent used their support ever...
August 14, 2007 10:28:39 PM

Valtiel said:
would I need to buy anything else (that would come in the retail version?) in order to get my system running?
No you would not.
For OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) versions the first line of OS support would be the OEM (think Dell, Gatewy or HP) but in this case the OEM will be you. You'll be able to get tech support from the MS website FAQs & Knowledgebase just as anyone would but you'll have to pay (a lot!) for phone support. Retail version has free phone support for the first 90 days.
OEM versions don't come with the handy OS manual that the retail versions include.
And the OEM version is tied to the system it's first installed on. The Retail version can be moved to any future new system(s) you buy.
You should be safe with the OEM version.
August 14, 2007 10:34:48 PM

But what if you buy the OEM version, and your hard drive fails, can you reinstall?
August 14, 2007 10:38:52 PM

pesh said:
But what if you buy the OEM version, and your hard drive fails, can you reinstall?


Depending on what and how much you 'replace' you can reinstall the os without having to call the 800 number and verify with MS you are using the OS CD on one system exclusively. Yes, you can reinstall the OEM OS on a new HD. I do it all the time.
August 14, 2007 10:43:44 PM

I have MS windows (all versions 95 to Vista) installed on 16 hard drives total. I have (blank) number of OS CD's.
August 14, 2007 10:55:46 PM

I think they only consider swapping the motherboard as a "new pc".
August 14, 2007 10:57:04 PM

I have told MS I swapped my MB at least a dozen times. I always got a new 'temporay' activation key.
August 14, 2007 10:59:08 PM

Microsoft asks the key question, "Is this the only computer this OS is installed on?"
August 14, 2007 11:45:30 PM

I actually had to chat with them and get some help with my email using outlook - ended up being something on Timewarners side, but very helpful service and they will even drive the mouse and do it via remote if they have to help you fix something. So if you think you will have a problem down the road its worth getting retail.
August 15, 2007 12:23:32 AM

The one problem with the buying the retail version though is the increased price. It's not a few dollars its around 40 to 70 bucks more for the retail version. As everyone said with the retail you get support for a limited time and after that you get to do it like everyone else the FAQ's and knowledge base. I have always oem versions of windows and never really had any problems that couldn't be solved by either some research of worst case a trip to the repair guy and more often than not they tend to just back up and to a fresh install as that will tend to fix alot of problems.
August 15, 2007 1:04:24 AM

when vista was released it was also floated that the OEM versions were going to only have limited # of installs, not sure if that is really the case or not. I have the retaiol just to save the potential headache....

GL
August 15, 2007 2:36:05 AM

fletch420 said:
when vista was released it was also floated that the OEM versions were going to only have limited # of installs, not sure if that is really the case or not. I have the retaiol just to save the potential headache....

GL


http://pcper.com/article.php?aid=352&type=expert&pid=4
August 15, 2007 3:45:47 AM

Yeah with OEM you have to call to activate but its no big deal. and they always do ask. why are you reactivating and is this the only machine you have it on....then they give you a key and your good to go.

They are not as evil as some think.
August 15, 2007 4:47:38 AM

If you are building your own system ...... buy OEM.

If you can't find the automatic coffee cup holder (i.e. the CD drive) without assistance ...... buy Retail.

In between is everybody else. For most people if you are comfortable doing a reformat ....... buy OEM. The support from MS is going to encourage a reformat whenever shitsky happens, so learn to do a reformat and safe a buck.

Personally I have had good support with MS regarding high level issues with non-OS software, but for OS issues Bob from Dallasznsndndy will usually read the script and tell ya to reformat rather than sending you to 9th level tech support that will tell you the specific driver that needs to be deleted and re-installed.
!