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Windows XP---OEM vs Retail

By craigdexter1 ยท 6 replies
Nov 16, 2007
  1. Can OEM XP be swapped from one computer to another as long as only one is operating?
    I am Fixing a friends computer( New HDD and he can't find his XP full version disk)and after Tax time he wants me to build him a All new one.
    Should a retail version be used instead
  2. tweaks_sav

    tweaks_sav TS Rookie Posts: 186

    OEM and Retail are the exact same feature set.
    OEM is bought from a distributor or an OEM site like Newegg.
    Retail is bought from a retail store. BestBuy, Circuit City, Office Depot, etc.

    Retail and OEM keys and CD's cannot be used interchangeably. XP will install but it will not activate.
  3. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    Your not entirely correct there tweaks, you can buy OEM and Retail from newegg. You don't have to go to a bestbuy or circiut city to get a retail version.
  4. craigdexter1

    craigdexter1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    If I put the XP OS in one System can I use it in the new rebuild 3 months from now.

    What if I swap the HDD to the new system?
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    You can only use XP on one computer at a time. If you re-install your OEM version on another computer, it will not activate over the Internet. You'll have to call Microsoft & they will ask you if that XP is currently installed on another computer. If you reply no then they should give you a code to activate it on the new computer.
  6. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Sorry Didou - going to have to take issue with you again!
    Legally, an OEM version dies with the machine onto which it is first installed. However....you can reactivate the OEM products over the internet 4 times before you have to phone for a new activation code. This is so you can replaceme key components such as hard drives, processors and motherboards (which windows will detect have changed).
  7. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    A windows disc will install the exact information be it OEM or full product9except the evaluation offers). I have used many keys of OEM and retail variety. They all work if you haven't abused that key. And when you go to activate over the internet, if you get the message that it's no longer any good, activate it over the phone. They give you 8 groups of 6 digits each and ask you if this "is being used on one machine only". Tell them yes (be truthful) and that's it. They will ask you if this product has been activated before and be honest if it has. They will still activate it for you. I have used product keys as many as 8 or 9 times and never been refused, as long as I am honest with them. A few years ago, a friend who works for Dell sent me XP Pro with a 'volume license'. At that time I loaded it on several PC's and they (#1). Did not require activation. (#2). Passed the "genuine" validation. Now there are copies of "corporate edition" being sold on Craig's list etc. but I'm staying away from software being used illegally. You can swap any components and reactivate. Usually after a major hardware change, you need to use the phone activation and answer some questions regarding those changes. You can use one copy of each different program, it's the product key that identifies the activation part.The product I.D. number will not interfere.
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