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  • Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

    I want to buy a new version of 64-bit Vista..

    In reading though, if I understand this correctly, If I buy the MUCH cheaper OEM of Vista for like $99 at newegg for instance, I install that, and if the machine dies, something explodes, etc, I have to buy a whole other Vista..?

    Or if I "upgrade" later, I have to buy it again..?

    That seems insane..surely I am misunderstanding this?



  • #2
    Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

    Legally, you can only buy an OEM version to be bundled with a new computer. So, unless you are selling the OEM version with a new computer, you legally can't sell it. At least as far as I understand it. You will need to buy the retail version.

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    • #3
      Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

      I purchased an oem version of XP about 3 years ago. I've installed and reinstalled on various hard drives and computers--all mine--without a hassle. After 4 or 5 installs I had to get a new code to validate it was a legal copy. you call a toll free line and answer a couple of questions and they give you the key. The key questions are "how many com[uters is this software installed on and do they belong to you?"

      That's my experience with OEM. I think I saved 20 or 30 bucks doing it this way. You receive only a sleeve with the disk and the license key is affixed to a label on the sleeve.

      Works for me.
      sigpic
      |TG-1st|Grunt
      ARMA Admin (retired)
      Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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      • #4
        Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

        If your machine crashes or whatever and you need to build a new one, you can take your old OEM copy of Vista and install it on the new machine.

        You just can't use the same CD key of Windows Vista on two working machines. That's really the only time you need to purchase another copy of Vista.

        As for buying the OEM copy, you'll probably need to buy it with a cable or something just so NewEgg can sell it to you at that price.
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules

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        • #5
          Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

          The OEM version is basically the retail version without all the flashy packaging and pointless paperwork. The presumption is that you're technically savvy enough to figure out how to put the disk in the machine and read the instructions there without needing a lot of hand-holding.

          BTW, is a media-less version of the OS available? Can you buy just the license code and download the image or use one from a previous install? This is common practice in Linux-land, but then no license is needed for that. And for games, we have Steam. I figure corporate IT departments buy the OS this way, but can end users get single licenses like this?
          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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          • #6
            Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

            The SKUs involved with Vista are ridiculous in number...

            I had an OEM version of Vista Ultimate 32 installed on my computer, and bought a key for it for $199 just right off the OS itself. The key is good for either 32 or 64 bit Vista Ultimate. (my computer gets cranky with x64 and for my main rig it's too much of a pain in the butt with signed drivers, but the DVR sits pretty with x64. I'll worry about x64 when I upgrade in 6 months to year with more than 4Gb of RAM)

            OEM copies typically have a purchase stipulation of some kind, and are meant for "new systems only". So if they're somehow under the impression that you're building a new computer, then I believe that technically fulfills the EULA requirement.

            If you can get the OEM copy, then get it. You buy it and it's yours, legal and binding either way.
            "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
            Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division

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            • #7
              Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

              I believe you have to purchase OEM OS disks from NewEgg some piece of hardware, whether it is a short USB cable, a flash drive, or what not.

              At least that was my experience with it a few years ago when I needed to buy 2 copies of OEM XP.
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

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              • #8
                Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                oem disks require a NEEDED computer part to install.

                power cord, cd rom, ram, floppy drive, molex splitter, etc all quality. usb cord, headphones, etc. do not.

                an oem version is MEANT for system builders, and as such is supported by the system builder - i.e. YOU!. no calling Microsoft.

                Also, the license is basically part of the motherboard, so legally, you cannot upgrade your motherboard without buying a new license.

                If your motherboard fries, then your license can transfer to a new machine.

                Also, in vista, there are not keycode differences between oem and retail like in XP. there are just the four versions. (even 32 and 64 bit versions use the same keycode.)


                so, to answer the question. OEM vista is a great way to save 20bucks.
                Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                • #9
                  Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                  I deal with transferring OEM copies all the time. Worst case scenario is a phone call to MS, where you get an automated system. Takes about 6 minutes. If that doesn't work for whatever reason then it's a 10 minute call to somebody from Malaysia who is reading off a script anyway. They'll ask a series of questions. How many computers is this copy installed on, did you replace any components, what happened to prompt the install etc. and you say something along the lines of severe virus infection, had to reinstall OS. Don't fall into the trap of "I replaced X component" or they'll hassle you.
                  a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
                  Celibacy is not Hereditary.
                  Everybody should believe in something - I believe I'll have another drink.
                  Happiness is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
                  Flying is easy, Just throw yourself at the ground and miss!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                    What it comes down to is this. If you buy an OEM license of Vista, you are the End User support channel. If you were to sell off the HDD with that OS still on it, the purchaser is supposed to come to you and not the company that you bought the license from.

                    If you retain the system in which the OS was installed and you change a large amount of the hardware (I phrase it that way, because its uncertain as to how much or what clicks in the software to make it necessary to reactivate) you will need to call or email Microsoft to reactivate the license. I have been using a XP Home OEM version for almost 5 years. I have had to reactivate it only a few times. I tell you this because Microsoft claims that Vista is even more tolerant of hardware changes then XP was. I change out parts almost yearly and have had to call Microsoft only a maybe once every year and a half. Which isnt too bad.

                    Given this information, do you have a previous version of XP that you can install? If so, I would go with that and hold on to the extra cash. Microsoft will be releasing Windows 7 in 2010. If not, go with Vista and try to get an SP1 version. Most of the issues that people have with Vista have been fixed as of SP1. The other issues with Vista were due to poor driver support from hardware manufacturers.

                    As for x32 or x64 flavor, the issues your are going to run into are mostly whether or not the hardware you are going to install have drivers designed for x64 and whether or not the software you plan to use support x64. Contact your hardware and software manufacturers before you buy. I would even recommend downloading drivers to an external HDD or thumbdrive to assist in the build, before getting the OS just to be on the safe side and assuring there are x64 drivers. Also it is recommended to use the x64 OS if you plan on using more then 3 GB of RAM as the x32 bit flavor of Vista can not use more then this, due to memory addressing limitations. I have seen friends use 4 GB of memory, but Vistas x32 will only recognize and use 3 GB.
                    Last edited by Beinseth; 09-16-2008, 11:22 AM. Reason: clearification and spelling.

                    |TG-IRR|

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                    • #11
                      Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                      There is a huge difference in pricing on this. OEM Vista Ultimate (64-bit only) is $169 and the "full" version which included the 32-bit and 64-bit version is $277..

                      I do not want to spend an extra $100 or so just to have a pretty box or whatever..also, I do not want 32-bit, as I already run XP pro on 4 or 5 other boxes..

                      I would not mess with windows at all if I could use some flavor of Linux as all I am trying to do is build a very fast game player. I play CoD4, PR, Titans Quest, Insurgency etc..

                      I sure wish Unbuntu or Mandrake or something had a WINE that would let me play games, I would NEVER go back to windows..


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                      • #12
                        Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                        And then there is the question of the "upgrade" edition..it is $185 but is supposed to be the "full" version..but how can that be if it is only an "upgrade" disk..?

                        My confusion knows no bounds...


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                        • #13
                          Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                          Originally posted by birdie_in_Texas View Post
                          I sure wish Unbuntu or Mandrake or something had a WINE that would let me play games, I would NEVER go back to windows..
                          Have you tried Cedega? (No personal experience, just a possible way to do that. Cedega is essentially commercially-supported Wine.)
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                            I use the OEM version of Home Premium and have been really happy with it. I even transferred it to a new build and although I had to spend 5 minutes on the phone with Microsoft to reactivate it, it wasn't difficult at all.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Trying to understand "OEM" and Vista

                              Originally posted by =DdogG= View Post
                              an oem version is MEANT for system builders, and as such is supported by the system builder - i.e. YOU!. no calling Microsoft.
                              Not true. If there's a problem with Windows, you can still call up Microsoft and ask for help. When they ask about your computer, you just tell them you built it yourself.

                              I've done this on two older XP machines back when XP incident support was still free.
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

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