I've recently purchased all the new components for a new PC, and am looking to use my Windows 7 with it. My question is, and apologies if this is a stupid question (looked around for an answer but nothing seems to), if it can only be activated on one PC at a time, do I need to un-install it from my current PC for it to work on my new one? If not, and it installs fine on my new one, what do I need to do with my old PC to not receive the wrath of Microsoft?
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
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).
How do I do that? The disk only prompts for install, which I'd assume just reinstalls it. clicking "format" on the HDD tells me I can't because it would remove windows 7 and make it stop working (which kinda sounds like what I want). Unless I just can't do that through windows and have to do it from BIOS or something...?
format the old one and use the key on the new one. it works just fine. I have a copy of OEM win7 i've put on about 6 PC's i've built over the years. Just don't use it on more than one PC at a time. If you reinstall more that twice in 6 months you'll have to call the MS support center and they'll unlock it for you.
Because being sick is making me incredibly dense or something: So I use the windows disk to reformat the old one, and decline to use the activation key when I reach that point? Then use the disk to install it on the new PC and use the activation key?
Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN automatically and completely deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.
Turn on computer and boot from the DBAN CD.
The DBAN application opens. DBAN is a simple, text-only application.
You will see a boot: prompt and a menu of options.
Press the Enter key to start DBAN in interactive mode.
DBAN continues to boot. This will take a few moments.
You will see a screen listing Options, Statistics, and Disks and Partitions.
Leave the defaults for Options.
From the Disks and Partitions list, select the hard drive you want deleted.
Move the cursor up and down using the J and K keys, and select the drive with the Spacebar.
When the drive you want to erase is selected, press F10 to start the wipe.
The time required to wipe your drive will depend on the size of the drive. DBAN offers an estimate on the Statistics pane.