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Dell OEM disk and retail product key compability

Last response: in Windows 7
December 30, 2009 10:44:39 AM


From my workplace I have been literally given stacks of Dell OEM (re installation DVDs) Windows 7 Professional disks. I have installed a couple of them on test machines and, naturally, do not pass the WGA. So I'm planning to buy a few 'retail product keys' from eBay to use on my home machines.

I was wondering if the retail product keys (Win 7 Pro) will work with the Dell OEM disks. I have done the same thing with a Dell OEM Windows Vista Business re-installation disk and a retail product key bought from online used with a non-Dell computer with no issues (except the Dell logo is embedded in the Control Panel).

Has anyone tried this before? Because I don't know if Dell has modified the disks to accept only Dell systems and OEM product keys?

Thank you.
a b $ Windows 7
December 30, 2009 11:31:06 AM

I doubt it as they will need OEM keys :) 

But i could be wrong!

Best solution

a c 215 $ Windows 7
December 30, 2009 12:23:03 PM

Those Dell OEM disks may only accept a certain range of keys. Typically, a disk provided by an OEM (say Toshiba, or Asus) will have no problem accepting OEM or Retail keys, but with Dell disks that may not be the case.
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December 30, 2009 10:32:28 PM

Thanks for your replies guys, anyone else want to contribute?

@ The Prophecy
It wasn't the case with Dell's OEM Vista disk, but I'm not too sure if they have modified their policy on it though.

So has anyone actually tried it?
a c 215 $ Windows 7
December 30, 2009 10:55:22 PM

I've heard some people say that is the case with Windows 7 disks (can't recall if it was on these forums though).
a b $ Windows 7
January 1, 2010 3:53:01 PM

OEM discs normally still require OEM keys... it usually doesn't matter what OEM key you use... but it does have to be an OEM key. If you were installing these on Dell computers, you likely wouldn't have any issues with WGA at all.
January 1, 2010 7:05:04 PM

I see. Considering there's no definite answer, I might as well try it out, and if it doesn't work, bad luck, but at least when other people are curious they can google search this thread.

Thanks a lot for your answers guys, especially The Prophecy.