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Question about Retail vs OEM, discs and keys RRS feed

  • Question

  • So if I am understanding this correctly, a Retail Disc can use a Retail Key AND a OEM Key. However a OEM Disc can only use a OEM Key.
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:03 AM

Answers

  • "coolxal" wrote in message news:caf59ce9-3462-40ac-b4b0-75fd07ebfb04...
    So if I am understanding this correctly, a Retail Disc can use a Retail Key AND a OEM Key. However a OEM Disc can only use a OEM Key.
     
    Retail Disks can certainly use either Retail or OEM (System Builder or OEM_COA) Keys
    OEM System Builder disks can also use either OEM or Retail Keys, I believe
    Recovery Disks can only use OEM_SLP or OEM_COA Keys – they may also be clocked from installing on machines of any other make.
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    • Marked as answer by coolxal Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:44 AM
    Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:17 AM
    Moderator
  • You need to use the product key on the retail dvd case and not the COA OEM key if you reinstall Windows with the retail dvd.  In any case, have you checked on the manufacturer's website for a tool to uninstall the "bloatware"?  Most manufacturers have such a tool on their websites.  The tool is designed for just what you want to do.  It should not be necessary to reinstall Windows.  Anyway, that would involve more than just installing from the dvd.  With laptops you also have to install proprietary drivers and utilities. 

    Even if you just uninstall the software you don't want, reinstalling Windows just to get rid of some software is unwise and unneccessary because you will need to restore the original Windows before the manufacturer will honor your warranty or give support for the hardware or Windows should you need it.  If there are things you don't want on your computer just remove them.  It should only take about 30 minutes. 


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 1:30 PM
    Answerer
  • The bottom line is that if you are going to use the retail dvd you also need a retail product key. 

    Legitimate product keys cannot be purchased separately but if you own a retail product key not in use on another computer you can use it.  Doing so, however, will usually end OEM software support so purchase the recovery media from the manufacturer if you don't already have it just in case you have to restore the computer to factory condition for warranty purposes.

    An OEM SLP product key is embeded and cannot be used to activate Windows manually.  There is no way to use such a product key with ANY dvd.  That is because the product key in use in a preinstalled copy of Windows is not unique.  All copies of the same make and model computer are using the same key so that key is blocked on the activation servers by Microsoft.  OEM SLP product keys either self activate upon installation of the software or they don't work at all.  OEM SLP keys can only be installed with a recovery dvd from the manufacturer.  The user is never offered an opportunity to enter it.

    The manufacturer provides a COA SLP product key printed on the label affixed to the computer so that if an OEM SLP product key fails for some reason and the software requires reactivation the COA key can be used for manual activation.  That key is unique but is not transferrable to any other computer.  There is no dvd provided for this either.  If the user later reinstalls Windows using the manufacturer's recovery media the OEM SLP key is the one installed and the COA SLP key is once again available for emergency use. 

    To my knowledge the COA SLP key is not valid when used with a retail dvd.  This is to prevent COA SLP stickers from being removed from a computer being decommissioned and used to activate Windows on a different computer after installing with a retail dvd.  The purpose of the product key on the sticker on your computer is to re-activate the OEM copy of Windows already installed.  It is not intended to be used when installing Windows.  The manufacturer's recovery media is intended for that.

    An OEM System Builder product key can be used to activate Windows installed from a retail dvd. 

    OEM System Builder licenses are only valid for use on computers being built or refurbished for customers but the dvd from the SB pack is just as capable of installing a copy of Windows using a retail product key.  However, to my knowledge a COA SLP product key will not work with an SB dvd any more than it will with a retail one. 

    If this has changed since Windows 7 released, Darin Smith will most likely show up and set me straight.  Another way is to test by trying the installation using the COA SLP key.  However, you need to do a full image backup first or have the recovery media onhand just in case.  This assumes of course that the copy of Windows on the new computer is also Windows Home Premium. 

     

     


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.


    • Edited by CbarnhorstEditor Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:24 AM
    • Marked as answer by coolxal Thursday, September 29, 2011 5:52 AM
    Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:11 AM
    Answerer

All replies

  • The major computer makers do not ship a Windows installation dvd with the computer and do not provide one if requested.  They do provide a recovery dvd set for a fee.  Such dvds do not need a product key since they are self activating copies of the system image that shipped on the hard drive.  The only kind of OEM Windows installation dvd is an OEM System Builder dvd.  Windows 7 OEM System Builder dvds are indistinguishible from standard Windows dvds.  What problem are you having with your product key?  If you are trying to solve a problem with activating a copy of Windows, please observe announcement 1 above.

      In order to receive the best support, we request all users initially download and run the Genuine Diagnostics tool (MGADiag.exe) at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012. Click "Continue", click the "Copy" button then “Paste” the report into a reply message in this thread.

     


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, September 28, 2011 10:51 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by coolxal Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:45 AM
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:24 PM
    Answerer
  • I don't have any problems with my product key. I just got a new laptop and wanted to install a stock copy of Windows 7 without all the bloatware the laptop manufacturer installed. I have a retail disc (bought for my PC) of Windows 7 and the laptop comes with a OEM key so I wanted to know if I was right in my assumption that retail disc works for retail key AND OEM key while OEM disc only works for OEM key.
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 1:03 PM
  • You need to use the product key on the retail dvd case and not the COA OEM key if you reinstall Windows with the retail dvd.  In any case, have you checked on the manufacturer's website for a tool to uninstall the "bloatware"?  Most manufacturers have such a tool on their websites.  The tool is designed for just what you want to do.  It should not be necessary to reinstall Windows.  Anyway, that would involve more than just installing from the dvd.  With laptops you also have to install proprietary drivers and utilities. 

    Even if you just uninstall the software you don't want, reinstalling Windows just to get rid of some software is unwise and unneccessary because you will need to restore the original Windows before the manufacturer will honor your warranty or give support for the hardware or Windows should you need it.  If there are things you don't want on your computer just remove them.  It should only take about 30 minutes. 


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 1:30 PM
    Answerer
  • I don't think you're actually understanding my question. I bought Windows 7 Home Premium for a PC that I built. I used the product key for my PC. I have the Windows 7 DVD Retail. I have a new laptop. It comes with Windows 7 OEM installed. It comes with the manufacturer's restore disk. I know that there are utilities such as PC Decrapifier to "remove" the bloatware. I want to do a fresh install. I know how to do that. I know where to get the drivers and utilities. I don't care if it takes me an hour or longer to reinstall. That is not my question. My question is whether Windows 7 Retail Disc is compatible with OEM Product Keys and if a Windows 7 OEM Disc is only compatible with OEM Product Keys.
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 11:03 PM
  • The bottom line is that if you are going to use the retail dvd you also need a retail product key. 

    Legitimate product keys cannot be purchased separately but if you own a retail product key not in use on another computer you can use it.  Doing so, however, will usually end OEM software support so purchase the recovery media from the manufacturer if you don't already have it just in case you have to restore the computer to factory condition for warranty purposes.

    An OEM SLP product key is embeded and cannot be used to activate Windows manually.  There is no way to use such a product key with ANY dvd.  That is because the product key in use in a preinstalled copy of Windows is not unique.  All copies of the same make and model computer are using the same key so that key is blocked on the activation servers by Microsoft.  OEM SLP product keys either self activate upon installation of the software or they don't work at all.  OEM SLP keys can only be installed with a recovery dvd from the manufacturer.  The user is never offered an opportunity to enter it.

    The manufacturer provides a COA SLP product key printed on the label affixed to the computer so that if an OEM SLP product key fails for some reason and the software requires reactivation the COA key can be used for manual activation.  That key is unique but is not transferrable to any other computer.  There is no dvd provided for this either.  If the user later reinstalls Windows using the manufacturer's recovery media the OEM SLP key is the one installed and the COA SLP key is once again available for emergency use. 

    To my knowledge the COA SLP key is not valid when used with a retail dvd.  This is to prevent COA SLP stickers from being removed from a computer being decommissioned and used to activate Windows on a different computer after installing with a retail dvd.  The purpose of the product key on the sticker on your computer is to re-activate the OEM copy of Windows already installed.  It is not intended to be used when installing Windows.  The manufacturer's recovery media is intended for that.

    An OEM System Builder product key can be used to activate Windows installed from a retail dvd. 

    OEM System Builder licenses are only valid for use on computers being built or refurbished for customers but the dvd from the SB pack is just as capable of installing a copy of Windows using a retail product key.  However, to my knowledge a COA SLP product key will not work with an SB dvd any more than it will with a retail one. 

    If this has changed since Windows 7 released, Darin Smith will most likely show up and set me straight.  Another way is to test by trying the installation using the COA SLP key.  However, you need to do a full image backup first or have the recovery media onhand just in case.  This assumes of course that the copy of Windows on the new computer is also Windows Home Premium. 

     

     


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.


    • Edited by CbarnhorstEditor Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:24 AM
    • Marked as answer by coolxal Thursday, September 29, 2011 5:52 AM
    Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:11 AM
    Answerer
  • Well, I had a OEM Vista Disc before and I reinstalled using the Laptop Product Key sticker so I'm pretty sure that worked... but wasn't sure if it will work with a retail disc. I guess I'll just try it out and restore if necessary. Thanks for the help.
    Thursday, September 29, 2011 5:56 AM
  • "coolxal" wrote in message news:caf59ce9-3462-40ac-b4b0-75fd07ebfb04...
    So if I am understanding this correctly, a Retail Disc can use a Retail Key AND a OEM Key. However a OEM Disc can only use a OEM Key.
     
    Retail Disks can certainly use either Retail or OEM (System Builder or OEM_COA) Keys
    OEM System Builder disks can also use either OEM or Retail Keys, I believe
    Recovery Disks can only use OEM_SLP or OEM_COA Keys – they may also be clocked from installing on machines of any other make.
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    • Marked as answer by coolxal Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:44 AM
    Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:17 AM
    Moderator