Got a question on Windows OEM versions...

CraigB

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2005
40
0
I understand that OEM versions are really restrictive (no multiple installs). I was just wondering how this gets applied? I just installed Windows XP on my Mac. If I wanted to install it again on a different Mac, what would the restrictions be? No access to Windows Updates? Completely deny my install? Or would I simply be "breaking the license" but without limitations (much like how one can backup their Office install disk and whatnot). And what happens if I choose to uninstall my Windows on my current Mac? Can I reinstall it later?

I might have to go out and get another OEM disk...

Thanks for replies
 

reh

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2003
639
1
Arkansas
If you buy an OEM version of Windows, you can technically only install it on one computer and NEVER on any other computer. Even if that first one gets hit by a meteorite (pretty dumb restriction, IMO). A retail version can be installed on only one computer at a time. You can reinstall on another computer if you remove it from the first.

Very few operating systems or applications will allow you to install multiple instances under one license.
 

CraigB

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 15, 2005
40
0
How about reinstalling on the same computer though? Say I wanted to get a fresh start on the same computer....
 

reh

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2003
639
1
Arkansas
CraigB said:
How about reinstalling on the same computer though? Say I wanted to get a fresh start on the same computer....
Both OEM and Retail allow reinstalls on the same computer.
 

Wes Jordan

macrumors regular
Jan 4, 2006
143
0
Speaking of OEM versions, Newegg.com has the Media Center Edition for just $100, only $20 more than the Home Edition, so will this version work with Boot Camp, I know it is picky. I am hoping my work will purchase XP for my computer because the Website I use to administrate our website doesnt display properly (and neither does our website), so I have to find work arounds that waste my time and thus their money.
 

Wes Jordan

macrumors regular
Jan 4, 2006
143
0
Thanks thats exactly what i was looking for, but not what i want to do, I guess I will stick with Home and save the money too
 

AnotherScott

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2006
18
0
Can two copies of the OEM version be installed on the same machine? Specifically, could you use an OEM copy to configure both Boot Camp and Parallels? Or would you need a non-OEM version for this?
 

c-Row

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,194
1
Germany
CanadaRAM said:
Yes, that's OK, as long as it is the same computer the software was originally bought for and installed on.
Question is, when does the "same" computer start to count as another one? As soon as I change a component? The mainboard? The CPU? A harddisc? It's not the same computer it was bought for.
 

7on

macrumors 601
Nov 9, 2003
4,940
0
Dress Rosa
It would mean after 30 days your 2nd machine wouldn't be able to run windows I believe. Because you won't be able to activate it.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,638
61
Harrogate
AnotherScott said:
Can two copies of the OEM version be installed on the same machine? Specifically, could you use an OEM copy to configure both Boot Camp and Parallels? Or would you need a non-OEM version for this?
Neither OEM or Retail will allow this. The activiation process creates a kind of checksum on your hardware. Parallels looks different at a hardware level to the real machine (different graphics cards, BIOS etc). So the checksums will be different. When re-installing the activation checks the checksum. If it's the same it allows a reinstall (to a certain limit).

You can get MS to allow a reinstall on another machine (or the same machine with a changed config) which I have done with an OEM version of XP x64, but this will probably lock the original machine out from updates that require Windows Genuine Advantage.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,050
683
Pennsylvania
robbieduncan said:
Neither OEM or Retail will allow this. The activiation process creates a kind of checksum on your hardware. Parallels looks different at a hardware level to the real machine (different graphics cards, BIOS etc). So the checksums will be different. When re-installing the activation checks the checksum. If it's the same it allows a reinstall (to a certain limit).

You can get MS to allow a reinstall on another machine (or the same machine with a changed config) which I have done with an OEM version of XP x64, but this will probably lock the original machine out from updates that require Windows Genuine Advantage.
But technically, it is the same computer (all the same hardware) so if you call M$ up and tell them to activate it, they probably would... Otherwise they're opening themselves up to a lawsuit for refusing to allow a re-install.
 

dalvin200

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2006
3,434
24
Nottingham, UK
i've got a win xp laptop, and wanted to try parallels on my imac.

the laptop has an oem version of xp sp2, so before i went out and bought a separate copy of xp for parallels, i thought i would try using the oem laptop disc.

and it worked.. it also activated too..

does this mean i won't be able to receive any windows updates on my laptop anymore?!

hmm... any info appreciated

thanks

ps: parallels is great! i only need to use 1 or 2 windows apps so its very nifty!
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
dalvin200 said:
i've got a win xp laptop, and wanted to try parallels on my imac.

the laptop has an oem version of xp sp2, so before i went out and bought a separate copy of xp for parallels, i thought i would try using the oem laptop disc.

and it worked.. it also activated too..

does this mean i won't be able to receive any windows updates on my laptop anymore?!

hmm... any info appreciated

thanks

ps: parallels is great! i only need to use 1 or 2 windows apps so its very nifty!
Microsoft doesn't want a customer to buy a disk and not be able to use it because some pirate already activated using that serial key. So, each key is allowed a certain number of activations probably based on a number of factors. That said, it is illegal to install the same copy of Windows on different computers...
 

dalvin200

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2006
3,434
24
Nottingham, UK
Mechcozmo said:
Microsoft doesn't want a customer to buy a disk and not be able to use it because some pirate already activated using that serial key. So, each key is allowed a certain number of activations probably based on a number of factors. That said, it is illegal to install the same copy of Windows on different computers...
ahh ok.. well.. i aint no pirate and i'm waiting delivery of my extra copy of xp :)

thanks for the info Mechcozmo
 

mikes63737

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2005
1,133
246
I remember reading somewhere that Microsoft's servers delete the activation records after 6 months... but I'm not sure. So I think that means if you install it on a computer you can (illegally) install it on a second computer. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 

fredsampson

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2008
2
0
Warren, RI
Windows OEM on Mac using Boot Camp?

Can I load Windows XP Pro OEM version purchased from New Egg on my IMac using Boot Camp? I was told I had to use the retail version by an Apple person but I don't think they knew I was buying it new from New Egg. Does the OEM version work with only one install on the Mac?
 

aaronw1986

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2006
2,607
0
Can I load Windows XP Pro OEM version purchased from New Egg on my IMac using Boot Camp? I was told I had to use the retail version by an Apple person but I don't think they knew I was buying it new from New Egg. Does the OEM version work with only one install on the Mac?
As long as it's not the upgrade version.
 

The Flashing Fi

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
763
0
I've seen a few misconceptions.

One guy mentioned that he used the license on his laptop. Manufacturers actually have a volume license. Your laptop came pre-activated from the manufacturer using a volume license. This key is used on multiple laptops fromt he company to help accelerate the manufacturing process. Many manufacturers do this. So, that key on the bottom of your laptop is a fresh, never been used, key that's intended for re-installation purposes without the need of using the recovery partition on the hard drive (face it, if you get a bad virus that kills the recovery partition, you'll need a CD and a license). So, if something happens to that recovery partition, you'll need to get another key since the one on the bottom of the laptop is in use on another computer. No, you can't uninstall Windows off that computer and use the license on your laptop. It's an OEM key, so it's tied to that computer.

To the OP, Windows won't activate if you already used an OEM key on another computer.

I have never heard of this 6 month thing where MS only keeps a record for 6 months. It sounds like a myth from the internet. If MS was to do this, it would completely defeat the purpose of activation in the first place.

What the system basically uses for activation to determine if it's on another computer is the motherboard. Well, from various articles that I've read over the years, it's a point system. Certain components carry certain points. However, the motherboard will max out the points if changed and will fail activation. So, a different computer=different motherboard which means activation will fail.

You can reinstall the OS on the same computer as many times as you'd like.

If you buy an OEM copy, you don't need to worry about buying an upgrade version, since there is no OEM upgrade CD.
 

Nordichund

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2007
389
25
Oslo, Norway
I thought I would just chip in with my experience of OEM XP. Legally speaking an OEM version can only be installed on one machine. I believe if you replace the mother board that's it, you have to buy a new OS.

However Microsoft are well aware that people sometimes have virus or hard disk failures etc, and to get the computer to work again means that the original OS needs to be reinstalled. That is why after having installed OEM XP or Vista more than once a message comes up asking you to call Microsoft.

If you call them and explain that you are still using the same computer they will as a rule normally give you a new reactivation key. They will also give you a new reactivation key if you tell them that you are using the OS on a Mac in Bootcamp and need a new key to activate Windows in Parallels, because you are using the same machine. Though I must admit I am not sure if OEM Windows is technically legal on a Mac according to Microsoft rules.

Anyway for the record I have reinstalled my version of OEM XP 3 times and called up Microsoft 7 times to reactivate Windows because I use Parallels as well. Each time I have spoken to a person from Microsoft who just wanted to know that if wasn't for a different machine.