I understand the rough principal, i.e. that an OEM licensed copy of Windows can only be bought with hardware and that it should "follow" that hardware. But once it has been bought, is there any practical differences between it and a standard copy? Any difference in installation, activation or functionality?
If you buy a computer with Windows pre-installed you may not get a restore disc or be charged extra for one. Without this you would be unable to reinstall Windows in the event of a major crash. If you have a hard disk copying program such as Norton Ghost or Trueimage make a copy of your Windows installation so you can reload if necessary. Regards Andrew
I'm not really thinking of Windows pre-installed, although I'm aware of that problem, hence the enquiry.
I'm really thinking of the OEM copies of Windows that you can only buy with a PC component such as a hard drive. It's not obvious to me how that would be different to a standard copy in any way but I wanted to make sure.
OEM copies of windows should follow pc on which it is installed, the only other major difference from a retail pack is that you will not get any support from Microsoft. If you call them for help they will refer you back to your pc supplier.
PaulCrane, an OEM version of windows is exactly the same as a full retail version, the major difference being you can only install it on one machine. In saying that, you can upgrade the computer it's on, i.e.change cpu, h/d etc.
I have just installed an OEM copy of Windows XP.(came with a piece of hardware). During the install you have to input the key code that comes with the CD and on completion of the install you have to register the software with Microsoft (automatically via your modem/BB connection). No problems, until the motherboard started to show some problems and had to be renewed. Then of course the drive on which XP had been installed could not be configured with the new motherboard! So I needed to install XP again.
Of course the new install failed as Windows XP is 'Tagged' to the old motherboard. However those nice people at Microsoft Registration call centre understand these problems and gave me a new registration code which when input online immediately registers.
Other than that the OEM copy of XP does exactly what is says on the tin! Exactly the same and much better than Windows 2000
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