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Windows 7 OEM Pack for System Builders license question

By mcmurphy12 ยท 7 replies
Jan 25, 2011
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  1. I successfully built my first computer and used a System Builders version of Windows 7 to use as my OS. My question is, should I be able to install Windows 7 using the same product key on two computers? Because I did. I am just curious to see why this worked.

    Also, what is the difference between Windows 7 Full Version and the Pack for System Builder?
  2. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    if you paid for multiple licenses, you can load it on multiple computers.
    if you paid for one license, you can load it on one computer
    (this is a legal standpoint)

    IIRC Full Version you're able to install multiple times, the OEM system version is supposed to be loaded once onto a computer and that's it. (Again this is the legal standpoint)

    Practically speaking you can install the same OS (from a single licensed disk) on multiple computers, but you'll probably get activation issues if you only have one license.
  3. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    My understanding is the same as gwailo247 for the OEM version, it's basically tied to the motherboard. In fact, even with the full retail version you can encounter some activation problems after a number of operating system reloads, but in this situation you can call Microsoft and complete the activation over the phone ... that has always worked for me.
  4. mcmurphy12

    mcmurphy12 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82

    That is what I thought too. I bought the OEM version from Newegg. It was the 1 pack, but I have activated it on two computers. I didn't think it would work and I was just wondering if I purchased more than one license. I payed $100 for it.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    Probably just got lucky, I wouldn't complain :) But I wouldn't be too surprised if at some point one of those fails some authentication thing.

    The above comments are also correct to the best of my knowledge. I bought an OEM of Vista back in the day and installed it on a system, then a few months later I got a new system. I used the same copy (and DID retire the old one, recycled parts for the new one) and the new system would not activate. But I just called the Microsoft number that they give you when it fails, I got a number to type in and then my new system was activated. So, even though you probably aren't supposed to shift motherboards with an OEM copy, in reality you can.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    I cooked a BIOS and had to replace a mobo. There was an OEM copy of XP Media Center installed.

    Upon replacing the board, and firing up the machine, I received this message, "the BIOS update was not successful". No s***, I muttered to myself ,as Windows then told me I had 3 days to reactivate.

    At any rate, Windows assigns points to hardware, and measures those points against time. Replace too many points, in too short a time, and it deactivates. As you might suspect, a motherboard is a lot of points, but so is the LAN card. Since they both go when you change the board, it makes sense that the current activation would fail.

    But, it also debunks the urban legend, that you can't change the board with an OEM copy of Windows.

    It has to be said, very much in M$'s favor, that they hold to a very liberal interpretation of their own builder's license, which is very much in our favor.

    Early manufacturer installed OEM XP copies, such as the copy in my 6 year old Emachine however, were held to a more stringent standard. I'm pretty sure that if the mobo decides to call it quits, then that copy of XP dies right along with it.

    This mostly is because that the "copy of Windows", is in reality, only a disc image, plus the board BIOS is bound to it.

    Raybay claims that later Emachine restore discs have been used to successfully install Windows to machines with different boards. He called this a "mistake". (Yet he apparently will do it nonetheless).
  7. mcmurphy12

    mcmurphy12 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82

    I won't complain, haha. It's nice to get lucky sometimes. Anyway, the whole licensing thing still confuses me. As long as my Windows 7 OS works and is authentic, I will be happy.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    As well you should be.

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