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23 posts

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# 100422 11-Apr-2012 12:58
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Please indulge an idiot for a moment. 

My family has been using Linux/Mac for many years, but the time has come when the kids are clamouring for Steam accounts/games - and that means Windows. Now, $350 is never going to happen, but $150 - I can wear that if it gets me a *legit* copy of Windows 7. I - being a numpty - thought the 'OEM' version was just a no-frills version of the retail box. On closer inspection, I found it could only be installed on one machine (ever). "Oh well", I thought, and clicked 'Buy'. The site was more than happy to sell it to me.

So the plain-pack arrives, and it turns out that I have to 'on-sell' the machine for the license to be valid. And I have to use an "OPK" or whatever to install it. 

My question is, if I am going to be falling foul of the EULA regardless, why would I not just pirate it? I feel like I've wasted $150. I realise I am sailing quite close to the FUG here, but what do 'normal' people do? I'm just a law-abiding dude with kids that wanna play Skyrim..

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  # 607806 11-Apr-2012 13:02
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I use OEM editions, basically they are the cheap versions MS sell to manufacturers to install on machines. They are supposed to only be installed by manufacturers




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  # 607810 11-Apr-2012 13:13
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OEM versions are usually available with a 'hardware' purchase doesn't have to be a full PC, as long as you have the key you can install from windows 7 media - if you don't have the correct version eg. you have professional and you need to install home premium you'll need to remove the ei.cfg file from the disk

 
 
 
 


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  # 607818 11-Apr-2012 13:31
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Should they even sell it to you, if you don't buy some hardware? I recall that you had to buy something like a DVD drive, for them even to sell it.

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  # 607823 11-Apr-2012 13:43
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hagfish: Please indulge an idiot for a moment. 

My family has been using Linux/Mac for many years, but the time has come when the kids are clamouring for Steam accounts/games - and that means Windows. Now, $350 is never going to happen, but $150 - I can wear that if it gets me a *legit* copy of Windows 7. I - being a numpty - thought the 'OEM' version was just a no-frills version of the retail box. On closer inspection, I found it could only be installed on one machine (ever). "Oh well", I thought, and clicked 'Buy'. The site was more than happy to sell it to me.

So the plain-pack arrives, and it turns out that I have to 'on-sell' the machine for the license to be valid. And I have to use an "OPK" or whatever to install it. 

My question is, if I am going to be falling foul of the EULA regardless, why would I not just pirate it? I feel like I've wasted $150. I realise I am sailing quite close to the FUG here, but what do 'normal' people do? I'm just a law-abiding dude with kids that wanna play Skyrim..


OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer, and in this usage basically means "a company that build's PC's".  In theory OEM copies of Windows should only be sold with a computer, or certain specified hardware items (such as a motherboard). Whichever company sold it to you without qualifying hardware is likely to get a large bitchslap from Microsoft if caught. The license to use the software vests in the hardware that it's sold with, which is why it's a heavily discounted price compared to a full retail copy, which can be transferred from PC to PC.

As to whether to pirate or not, it's really a personal decision and different people have different (and often strongly held) views. Personally I distrust warez releases of operating systems, so I shy well away from them from that point of view. The safer (and much geekier!) option is using OEM Media with SLIC modded bioses, but I strongly suspect discussion of that comes perilously close to crossing the FUG. I'm lucky enough to have access to Technet/MSDN licenses which easily handle all my personal needs with regards to OS licensing, which is a safe and legalish option for many geeks.








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23 posts

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# 607825 11-Apr-2012 13:43
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According to the box, I have to on-sell the system for the license to be valid. If only system integrators can legitimately use it, it seems odd that the OEM version is available to the public *at all*. Is this just MS's way of avoiding providing support for their OS? Does everyone just hold their noses and break the EULA? Or did you guys all shell out $350 for licenses for each of your home PCs? I think I'll return it. $150 is a lot to spend and *still* be falling foul of the EULA, and the lads' nagging is not (yet) worth $350 to me. They can just start saving up the extra $200 :p

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  # 607827 11-Apr-2012 13:51
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Pay yourself a dollar and move on - yep they shouldn't have sold it to you without a hardware purchase but they have and that's their problem - just install it with the key you've purchased and all will be good. I'm sure there won't be a MS rep at your door on Friday asking for a please explain.

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  # 607828 11-Apr-2012 13:52
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I think you will find a lot of people use the OEM software on their own PCs a lot, including those that build it themselves.

MS are not going to bang down your door and demand you stop using it. The retailer that sold it to you broke their obligation to MS by not selling it as part of a 'system', but that really is not your issue.

 
 
 
 


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  # 607836 11-Apr-2012 13:58
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If I were you I would just install it - It should work fine and register itself perfectly fine.
You havent wasted your money at all.
You should have a valid key and an install disk - you are good to go.
Whether that business should have sold it to you or not is another issue.
You get just the same support for the OS - Pretty much a zillion patches and updates like everyone else.
On-sell it to your child for $1 if you are getting worried!

Pricespy shows any number of NZ vendors selling OEM versions of windows 7 - but yes - as mentioned above - you usually have to buy 'some' item(s) of hardware to qualify for OEM pricing.





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  # 607847 11-Apr-2012 14:22
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I don't believe that the reseller (I'm referring to the company/website that sold the software in the first place) is required to sell it alongside hardware. A legitimate OEM would want to buy "standalone" OEM copies of Windows in order to bundle them with its systems so it makes sense that such an option is available.

gzt

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  # 607856 11-Apr-2012 14:43
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hagfish: According to the box, I have to on-sell the system for the license to be valid. If only system integrators can legitimately use it, it seems odd that the OEM version is available to the public *at all*. Is this just MS's way of avoiding providing support for their OS? Does everyone just hold their noses and break the EULA? Or did you guys all shell out $350 for licenses for each of your home PCs? I think I'll return it. $150 is a lot to spend and *still* be falling foul of the EULA, and the lads' nagging is not (yet) worth $350 to me. They can just start saving up the extra $200 :p

This is very common. Last time I built a system I purchased the OEM DVD from a different company to where I purchased the system components. They didn't ask either.

From memory you get 3 free support calls to Microsoft with the retail version - that is the only difference from the OEM version (not counting the license terms).

If you need an activation reset due to hardware replacement in future I'm pretty sure it is provided free for all versions through an automated 0800 number but maybe someone here can confirm that for you.

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  # 607861 11-Apr-2012 14:48
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Just boot off the DVDand installand  it should be fine. Don't know what the problem is here.  I use OEM discs on ALL my New Systems.  As long as it has the licence sticker, install it and stick it on the case.  That copy is then licenced to ONLY that machine which is totally normal.   You have not wasted your money as long as the licence has not already been used on another machine, in which case then you should request your money back.




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  # 607864 11-Apr-2012 14:53
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Well I've done a bit more reading. I've no problem that the site sold me the OS - the deal they have worked out with MS is no business of mine. My problem is that I read the EULA before ripping in :)

Apparently I have to spin a sob-story about a fried motherboard if I want to use the OS on a different machine. If "everybody does it", then maybe it's time MS reviewed the OEM EULA. Or their pricing... If the retail Home Premium version was $150, I expect lots of people would 'come in from the cold' - MS might even give that fruit company a run for their money! This has soured my first experience of what I've heard is a very decent OS.

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  # 607872 11-Apr-2012 14:58
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if you purchased the OEM for a single machine, then you can install it on that machine with no worries, if the hard drive died and then you replaced said harddrive and reinstalled then you need to ring to get the activation going again. it is only if you purchased the OEM wanting to put it onto two seperate machines at the same time where you may run into issues. but even then i don't think microsoft will be sending in the heavy guns for that

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  # 607873 11-Apr-2012 14:58
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hagfish: Well I've done a bit more reading. I've no problem that the site sold me the OS - the deal they have worked out with MS is no business of mine. My problem is that I read the EULA before ripping in :)

Apparently I have to spin a sob-story about a fried motherboard if I want to use the OS on a different machine. If "everybody does it", then maybe it's time MS reviewed the OEM EULA. Or their pricing... If the retail Home Premium version was $150, I expect lots of people would 'come in from the cold' - MS might even give that fruit company a run for their money! This has soured my first experience of what I've heard is a very decent OS.


One of the difference between retail and OEM is that it is going to be fixed to that PC that you install it on. With the full retail one, I believe you can transfer the license between PCs, but it can only be installed on one PC at a time.

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  # 607905 11-Apr-2012 15:22
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hagfish: ...
MS might even give that fruit company a run for their money! This has soured my first experience of what I've heard is a very decent OS.


Why has it soured your experience? You chose to buy the OEM version and the company you bought it from chose to sell it to you; Can't really blame MS for either.  There is the option to buy the full version if you're uncomfortable with the OEM version. I know you say it's too expensive, but you can't even buy OSX as a standalone (AFAIK) - said fruit company has a completely different business model...

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