TechSpot

What is the difference from Win7 OEM to Win7 Retail?

By TeamworkGuy2
Nov 10, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. I am considering purchasing a 3 pack of Windows 7 license from the Windows store,
    before the $150 deal ends.
    However, I was wondering of there are any major differences between a set of
    retail disks from the Windows store, and a set of OEM disks from newegg.com?
    Thank You
  2. superty12

    superty12 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 432

    OEM will only install on the system its discs were built for. So if you had a Dell disc, it would only install on a Dell system. Get it?
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,745

    Taken from Newegg Details tab relating to OEM Win 7 disc.

  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,592   +864

    This is completely incorrect! What you're actually referring to, is system "restore discs". These are disc images created from a factory installation of Windows. What they are not, is an actual Windows disc. The builders license provides that the HDD should be imaged after OEM Windows is installed, and support for the installation goes then to the system builder, not M$. With "restore discs", the required hardware drivers, and arguably the "junkware", are included in the image. So that all the customer need do, is pop in these discs for a complete system restoration. Now, do you get it?

    The drive imaging provision is written into the builder's license, but do it yourself PC builders overlook this. M$ actually overlooks this as well, but stands firm on the non-transferability provision.

    An OEM copy of Windows is the same as a retail version of Windows, (physically), save for this; you cannot transfer an OEM copy of Windows to another PC. A retail copy of Windows can be used in a many PCs as you like. However, it can only be used in one PC at at time. Don't think they'll let you reactivate it every two weeks, that would be well above and beyond the spirit of "transferable".

    This special deal on the Win 7 family pack is neither OEM nor Retail. It's an "upgrade" edition, and requires Windows Vista be installed of the PC(s) in question. before in can be installed.
  5. TeamworkGuy2

    TeamworkGuy2 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 195

    Am I correct in understanding that:
    -If I buy a set of OEM disks I can install them on one (1) computer, I could not uninstall that copy and reinstall it on another computer.
    -If I buy the $200 (newegg $180) retail version I could transfer the license to another computer.

    So, I guess OEM is the way to go if I am building a computer.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,592   +864

    Yes, you are completely correct. Since you pay double upfront for retail copy, they better damned well let you transfer it, right?

    OEM is pretty much the way we all go when building computers.Technically, an OEM copy of Windows must be purchased in association with permanent hardware, a board, a CPU, memory. If you were to walk into Microcenter, you would be required to have made these hardware purchases within the past 30 days, or you wouldn't be allowed to purchase OEM Windows. I'm not exactly sure what Newegg's policy is, since I'm constantly buying hardware from them.

    The best way to keep everybody happy, is to simply order the OEM copy of Windows with the motherboard, and done!

    Also keep in mind that with OEM Windows, you must choose 32 or 64 bit. Retail copies have both versions. I suggest 64 bit with Windows 7. If you're building a machine from current parts, you won't have any trouble finding drivers for it.

    OEM, (and retail), Windows, allow the replacement of hardware over time, in this sense they are very similar. Points are assigned to different devices, and allowances are made for attrition and upgrading.

    You can even change the motherboard with an OEM copy of Windows. (This applies to a you-bought OEM copy, not an OEM copy that comes with a pre-built computer).

    However, in the instance of a motherboard replacement, Windows would require reactivation, and I would absolutely avoid changing any other parts at the same time
  7. TeamworkGuy2

    TeamworkGuy2 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 195

    Ok, thanks for the info.
    I will definitely keep this in mind when I build.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.