OEM versions and Full Versions of Vista

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by Robert Katz, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Robert Katz

    Robert Katz Guest

    I see OEM versions advertised. If I build my own PC and install an
    OEM version, will I have a valid activated system? What does the Full
    Version allow me to do that the OEM won't?
     
    Robert Katz, Aug 16, 2007
    #1
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  2. Robert Katz

    David B. Guest

    They are the same except for the license and support, basically the OEM
    version is tied to the PC it was first installed on, and can't be installed
    on another PC, ever, and there is no support from Microsoft, you are the
    support contact.
     
    David B., Aug 16, 2007
    #2
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  3. OEM versions of Windows Vista are tied to the very first
    computer you install and activate it on and are non-transferrable
    to a different PC in the future. Retail versions are transferrable
    and include free Microsoft technical support for installation and/or
    troubleshooting incidents. OEM versions offer no free Microsoft
    technical support.

    --
    Carey Frisch
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Shell/User

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    :

    I see OEM versions advertised. If I build my own PC and install an
    OEM version, will I have a valid activated system? What does the Full
    Version allow me to do that the OEM won't?
     
    Carey Frisch [MVP], Aug 16, 2007
    #3
  4. Robert Katz

    Mark Guest

    It's not just tied to the PC you install it on. It is tied to the
    configuration. If you change something, like update your BIOS, you may no
    longer be able to activate it.

    For most user's with OEM, this is not a big deal, but you are building your
    own PC. You probably change things on occassion.
     
    Mark, Aug 17, 2007
    #4
  5. There are some very important reasons that an OEM license costs so
    much less than a retail license. OEM licenses are very limited:

    1) OEM versions must be sold with a piece of non-peripheral
    hardware (normally a motherboard or hard drive, if not an entire PC) and
    are _permanently_ bound to the first PC on which they are installed. An
    OEM license, once installed, is not legally transferable to another
    computer under any circumstances. This is the main reason some people
    avoid OEM versions; if the PC dies or is otherwise disposed of (even
    stolen), you cannot re-use your OEM license on a new PC. The only
    legitimate way to transfer the ownership of an OEM license is to
    transfer ownership of the entire PC.

    2) Microsoft provides no free support for OEM versions. If you
    have any problems that require outside assistance, your only recourse is
    to contact the manufacturer/builder of the PC or the vendor of the OEM
    license. This would include such issues as lost a Product Key or
    replacing damaged installation media. (Microsoft does make allowances
    for those instances when you can prove that the OEM has gone out of
    business.) This doesn't mean that you can't download patches and
    service packs from Microsoft -- just no free telephone or email support
    for problems with the OS.

    3) An OEM DVD cannot be used to perform an upgrade of an earlier
    OS, as it was designed to be installed _only_ upon an empty hard drive.
    It can still be used to perform a repair installation (a.k.a. an
    in-place upgrade) of an existing WinXP installation.

    4) If the OEM DVD was designed by a specific manufacturer, such as
    eMachines, Sony, Dell, Gateway, etc., it will most likely only install
    on the same brand of PC, as an additional anti-piracy feature. Further,
    such DVDs are severely customized to contain only the minimum of device
    drivers, and a lot of extra nonsense, that the manufacturer feels
    necessary for the specific model of PC for which the DVD was designed.
    To be honest, such DVDs should _not_ be available on the open market;
    but, if you're shopping someplace on-line like eBay, swap meets, or
    computer fairs, there's often no telling what you're buying until it's
    too late. The "generic" OEM DVDs, such as are manufactured by Microsoft
    and sold to small systems builders, don't have this particular problem,
    though, and are pretty much the same as their retail counterparts, apart
    from the licensing, support, and upgrading restrictions.



    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
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    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. -Bertrand Russell
     
    Bruce Chambers, Aug 17, 2007
    #5

  6. That's news! When did this happen? Can you provide a link to the
    Microsoft announcement of the new EULA?



    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. -Bertrand Russell
     
    Bruce Chambers, Aug 17, 2007
    #6
  7. Robert Katz

    Robert Katz Guest

    Thanks Bruce,

    Here's the precise scenario:

    I have a Hard Disk that has a legitimate installed version of Vista
    Ultimate 64. It was installed by a Vista Ultimate Upgrade. That
    version was activated. The machine on which it boots no longer exits,
    although the disk does. I'm going to build my own PC (different
    architecture), but I'd like to keep the disk as is. I want a
    legitimate version.

    a) Can I buy a Vista Upgrade and Upgrade Ultimate to Ultimate? and
    keep everything in place?
    b) If not, and I do a clean install, can I at least keep the data?
    c) If I buy my own OEM version from a software vendor on the Web, can
    I do an clean install and keep my data?
    d) Say I have a PC running an activated copy of Vista, and I want to
    get rid of that machine and build another. What mechanism allows me
    to use the full version DVD to install a new machine, but disallows
    the OEM DVD to to the same? That is how is the OEM version
    permanently bound? And what does it mean to "transfer ownership of the
    entire pc?"
     
    Robert Katz, Aug 17, 2007
    #7
  8. Robert Katz

    John Barnes Guest

    You are wrong. Except for changing the MOBO, you can change other equipment
    and do any updates you need. You may have to reactivate but your license is
    good. I should add, that in addition to the other mentioned items, the
    retail version allows you to switch to the 64-bit or 32-bit version, for at
    most a fee for the disk (comes with Ultimate), the OEM version is for one or
    the other. Make sure you buy the version you want to stick with.
     
    John Barnes, Aug 17, 2007
    #8
  9. Robert Katz

    Mark Guest

    :) You don't miss anything. Thanks for tying it together with the EULA...

    Okay, based on other posts and problems noted through Google and forums:

    "A preinstalled OEM copy, like HP or Dell, is generally BIOS-locked by the
    manufacturer. These can rarely be installed on anything other than the system
    they come with. This differs greatly from the generic OEM license which is
    basically a copy of the retail disk that is intended for a single machine
    without support from Microsoft."
    I was generic in my statement (making it incorrect) because the original
    post did state that they were looking to purchase the OEM version which means
    the above likely could not apply. But, keep in mind, OEM versions are not
    typically sold as "stand alone" disks.

    Additionally, activation is based on a hardware signature which also
    includes the BIOS string. Updates _may_ change this string making activation
    of OEM versions difficult since Microsoft will not typically support OEM
    versions. If you get the typical person on the end of phone activation, you
    _may_ succeed.

    Per my original statement, "may" is the key word.
     
    Mark, Aug 17, 2007
    #9
  10. If you already have the Vista Ultimate 64 Upgrade, why would you think
    you need to buy another license? Was this a special OEM Upgrade? At
    any rate, you would at least need to have or obtain an older, qualifying
    OS on the new computer so that it would qualify for the use of an
    Upgrade license.

    But, to answer your specific question, yes, you should be able to
    "upgrade" Ultimate with itself, and it should leave your applications
    and data intact. However, back up any important data first, just in case.


    Only if you first back up the data to another partition or media. By
    definition, a clean installation entails formatting the target partition
    or drive, erasing everything.


    Again, only if you first back up the data to another partition or
    media. By definition, a clean installation entails formatting the
    target partition or drive, erasing everything.


    The retail (to which you're inaccurately referring as "full") license
    is more expense, in large part, because it is legitimately transferable;
    it's EULA allows it to be moved from one computer to another, so long as
    it is only installed on one computer at a time. Not so for the much
    less expensive OEM license.

    As for a "mechanism," for a generic, unbranded OEM license Microsoft
    relies on Windows Product Activation (WPA) and - most heavily - on the
    integrity of the licensee. A dishonest individual could transfer a
    generic, unbranded OEM license to another computer, in violation of the
    EULA, and then lie to the telephone activation personnel to get it
    activated. For factory-installed OEM licenses, the manufacturers
    generally rely on BIOS-locking. These won't even install on any
    computer other than the one with which the license was purchased


    Again, it's bound by the terms of the OEM license, and the integrity of
    the licensee. A software product is a piece of copyrighted intellectual
    property. By law, the copyright holder sets the terms and conditions
    under which others may use his product. Software companies specify
    those terms in each product's license.

    Say you wanted to give someone your OEM copy of Windows. You would
    also have to give that person the computer to which that license is bound.


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. -Bertrand Russell
     
    Bruce Chambers, Aug 17, 2007
    #10
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