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Thread: OEM question

  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger miladytn's Avatar
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    OEM question

    I have a Dell Optiplex (not my main computer) that is still running WinXP and want to put Win7 on it. I'm not questioning the comp, it will handle Win7, just been lazy about updating the OS. Searching places like Amazon and TigerDirect, most of what I see are OEM versions of Win7. My question is how that works. My only experience with OEM versions are ones bought directly from the manufacturer. If one purchases a "stand alone" (for lack of better word) OEM version, I assume you would install as any other program, OS, etc. But once installed, it is then "tied" to the machine? No problem if it is, just curious about options and any other things I need to be concerned about purchasing the OEM version.

    Thanks in advance for help and advice. This board has solved many problems for me. You folks are the best! BTW, this is not a "have to know right now" question so I may be slow in response.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    OEM OS versions are tied to the computer you install them on.
    Once you sell or dispose of the computer, the OS goes with it.

    Other than the above, there will be little other issues.

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    I still have a hard time understanding the OEM factor
    My brother just bought a refurbished Win7 Pro computer and it runs fine but my question is on the OEM
    The product id has an OEM included; the product key doesn't
    --- Does that mean the OEM number is for the complete system build and maybe the product key is just for the Win7 Pro OS that's already installed?
    If he has to replace the hard drive some day, will an image restore work for him?
    --- He didn't get any system discs with it so I created an image for him onto an external hard drive using Win7's built in Create a system image utility
    --- I've recorded those numbers for him in case he has to include either one of them after restoring an image onto a new hard drive

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy View Post
    I still have a hard time understanding the OEM factor
    My brother just bought a refurbished Win7 Pro computer and it runs fine but my question is on the OEM
    The product id has an OEM included; the product key doesn't
    --- Does that mean the OEM number is for the complete system build and maybe the product key is just for the Win7 Pro OS that's already installed?
    If he has to replace the hard drive some day, will an image restore work for him?
    --- He didn't get any system discs with it so I created an image for him onto an external hard drive using Win7's built in Create a system image utility
    --- I've recorded those numbers for him in case he has to include either one of them after restoring an image onto a new hard drive
    Don't know about the first question, probably because I don't understand what you mean by the "product key doesn't", but an image restore should work fine for him, yes.
    Rui
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    R4

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    I don't understand the first part either. I have purchased several refirbs and usually the OS is restored to factory with the product (OEM) key on the case. If a DVD comes with the refurb, it is just a generic OS install disc that is labeled for distribution with a refurbished PC.
    If the refurbisher upgraded the PC, say from Vista to Win 7 Pro, then the install disc comes with material that includes the product key (which I'm unclear as to whether it is an OEM or not) and if any sticker remains on the case, it is invalid.

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    I’ll try to explain what I mean by the product id has an OEM included; the product key doesn't

    When I type System into the Search Programs and Files box down in the left corner the Control Panel > System and Security > System box shows up and further down the product id shows as 00371-OEM-8978012-64310 so this is the OEM reference I was going by

    Then the product key is YBFXB-FRXCB-T4KH3-FD6M4-MDHJV which is what I entered when booting up the computer the first time and which was automatically recognized I suppose by Microsoft

    And that got me wondering Does that mean the OEM number is for the complete system build and maybe the product key is just for the Win7 Pro OS that's already installed or maybe I should have asked why 2 different numbers?

    It is a refurbished computer. I did not boot up with any discs, just booted up normally and within seconds the computer was up and running

    Due to the upgrade comment I just double checked the labels on the tower and there are 3 of them
    --- One of them is a Windows 7 Pro OA label
    --- Another label is Windows 7 Pro Refurbished PC’s on which I got the product key from and I imagine this is the legal sticker for this computer now
    --- And then there is a white lable with some numbers but also includes OS: Win 7 downgraded to XP Pro
    ------ So maybe the previous owner had it downgraded to XP Pro but when my brother ordered the computer he had Windows 7 choices to select from and he chose Windows 7 Pro

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    Never handled a refurb but on a computer with its original OS installed by the computer vendor, Belarc Advisor will list an OEM number as you have illustrated as well as their corporate key and neither will match the one on the COA sticker and both the COA sticker and the corporate keys should be made a note of.

    The sticker key over time can become illegible which is why it should be copied and kept safe and should the only way to reinstall the same version of Win 7 from an ISO download should the Recovery Partition become corrupt or wiped, then the corporate one will be needed to activate as the COA may not be accepted.

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    The Product ID shown in the System dialog is never the same as the Product Key that you enter during installation. When you enter the product key and then activate Windows, Microsoft's activation server knows what the key is good for -- if it's for an OEM installation, that's all it's good for.

  10. #9
    2 Star Lounger miladytn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice and considerations. But I just had another thought. If that box gets fried or dies for some reason, I've lost an OS that can't be used again. Bummer. Perhaps I will reconsider an OEM version purchase.

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