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Windows 7 OEM or retail version?

Last response: in Windows 7
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April 3, 2012 9:02:10 AM

hey everyone
I have finished building my computer but I dont know what version of windows 7 I should get. im am tempted towards the OEM version of the 64bit as it is alot cheaper than the retail version.

can someone point me in the right direction as to which version I should be using :) 
April 3, 2012 9:15:28 AM

If you get the OEM you'll just get a key, no DVD, box, anything. The OEM is also tied to the motherboard, so once you've activated the key you can't use it on any other motherboard (i.e. if you upgrade your mobo you'd have to get a new copy of Windows).
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April 3, 2012 9:19:45 AM

what if I were to upgrade to a new operating system in the future like windows 8 (god forbid) couldnt I just format the hard disk that OEM is installed on? or does it created some sort of "footprint" that is attached to my mobo perminently
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April 3, 2012 9:21:12 AM

OEM every time, you save about £50 or something. Also you do get a DVD, just no customer support. And the motherboard thing, it's like that for all versions, OEM or otherwise so people can't install it on every pc they own and give it out to friend etc...
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April 3, 2012 9:23:18 AM

ah interesting :)  well I can safely say that I wont be handing it out to my friends. its purely for my new gaming PC. my mobo is very recent so I cant see myself upgrading it anytime in the near future
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April 3, 2012 9:23:43 AM

The hard drive isn't tied forever, just while the OS is on it, a reformat would fix that when ugrading. Windows 8 consumer preview is pretty sexy on my desktop atm.
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April 3, 2012 9:23:57 AM

The retail version is double the price, so it's only worth it if you are going to install that version of Windows on 3 different machines.
Not worth it for most people, especially since Windows 8 is coming soon.
Don't give Microsoft even more money.

btw: Are you a student? Students can usually get Windows licenses pretty cheap or even for free.
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April 3, 2012 9:30:01 AM

no I am not a student. just a 7 to 4 employee :)  spend my spare time playing games among other things. just discovered the joy and satisfaction of building my own pc, but thats getting a little off topic.

thanks for your help guys much appreciated

:hello: 
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April 3, 2012 6:18:44 PM

You are perfectly fine getting the OEM version, however you generally have to buy qualifying hardware along with it through the retailer.

OEM version are not supported by MS they are suppose to be supported by the OEM that installed it (you in this case). Which is one of the reasons they are much cheaper.

Another difference is that you can't transfer the OEM version to a new person/machine. It has to stay with the machine originally installed on. So if the machine is sold or discarded, the license goes with it.

Retail version can be transferred to another person/machine as long as all items (license/DVD/etc) go with it and it is completely removed from the machine it was on. This is allowed 1 time so if you purchase a "used" version from someone, you cant turn around and sell it again.

Another thread with exact licensing information and more detail is here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/39966-63-branded-tran...
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April 3, 2012 6:32:41 PM

Skippy27 said:
You are perfectly fine getting the OEM version, however you generally have to buy qualifying hardware along with it through the retailer.

OEM version are not supported by MS they are suppose to be supported by the OEM that installed it (you in this case). Which is one of the reasons they are much cheaper.

Another difference is that you can't transfer the OEM version to a new person/machine. It has to stay with the machine originally installed on. So if the machine is sold or discarded, the license goes with it.

Retail version can be transferred to another person/machine as long as all items (license/DVD/etc) go with it and it is completely removed from the machine it was on. This is allowed 1 time so if you purchase a "used" version from someone, you cant turn around and sell it again.

Another thread with exact licensing information and more detail is here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/39966-63-branded-tran...


+1 solid facts!
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a b $ Windows 7
April 3, 2012 6:42:13 PM

THANKs Skippy27 for correcting the Miss information supplied by previous post.

To correct a minor, but important, comment.
Quote: So if the machine is sold or discarded, the license goes with it.

With the OEM version, say you install on your system. If the MB "dies" and you build a new system, you MAY REUSE that OEM version. The key is "dies" vs Upgrade the MB. If you opt to upgrade the "WORKING" MB, then you can NOT legally reuse the OEM copy.
Kind of a soft peddle, as if you remove the MB and "accidently" step on it - It's dead. Vs removing the MB and giving it to a frend.
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a b $ Windows 7
April 3, 2012 6:43:31 PM

I always go with the OEM version anymore. I used to buy retail, but honestly, by the time I do a complete platform upgrade, there is usually a new OS, or a least a newer version I would just as soon have anyway. Even if its the same OS, you don't have to sit through hours of downloading and updating after a fresh install with the most current version!
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!