Windows 7 OEM or Full version

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Chris64tx, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Chris64tx macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2012
    Houston, Tx.
    Hello everyone, I am waiting on my NEW iMac i7 27". I will be running windows through Bootcamp. My question is do I buy a full version of windows or could I use an OEM version? :rolleyes: There is a huge price difference between the two. I want the best for my new iMac. I do not want to screw up anything with the system.
  2. BleepToBleep macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Hi Chris,
    first, what is the size of the hard drive in your new iMac? If it's more than 2 TB then you won't be able to install Windows on your iMac HDD without doing fancy things. But you can install Windows on an external hard drive without issues.

    Then regarding OEM versus "full" version, there is no difference to my knowledge. OEM versions are just supposed to be bundled with some hardware, but the Windows system has the same functionalities.
  3. Chris64tx thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2012
    Houston, Tx.
    My hard drive is 1tb internal. That is enough to partition, right? Well the OEM versions are for one computer only. I have read that some people are having issues installing OEM versions. Also, You can not reinstall it if there are issues. The OEM versions attach-themselves to the motherboard and other hardware. Which means you will have buy another copy to install.

  4. Ladybug macrumors 65832


    Apr 13, 2006
    The difference in OEM vs Retail versions are that with OEM you can only ever install it to your current PC or Mac in this case. With the Retail version, if you later decide to get a new computer you can install it to the new computer as long as its no longer installed on the older computer. Another words the retail version is able to be transferred. The OEM version while the same file wise to the retail is locked to the computer you first install it to. However, you are able to reinstall as many times as you like as long as it stays on the same computer. If you were to upgrade too much hardware on the original computer, it would likely think you have a new computer and refuse to activate. At which time you would have to call Microsoft to possibly activating it. Retail versions can sometimes think you're on new hardware to, but you should be able to activate it. I'd recommend retail because you can move it to a new computer later on rather than having to repurchase.
  5. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I have successfully used an OEM Windows 7 DVD to install on 2 "different" computers. I replaced the system board in my self-built gaming desktop and installed Windows 7 on that machine after it had been installed with the old system board (also installed an SSD so it was a complete clean install).
  6. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    The little known tidbit is that activation data isn't stored on MS's activation servers indefinitely. I don't know what the time for Win 7 is, but it used to be 120 days for XP Pro, and I have successfully activated Vista Ultimate with the same product key on another machine after a period of six months.

    Also, you don't need the full version to install Win 7 Pro. The upgrade version will work just fine, but takes a bit of extra time to install. There's a loophole that was first discovered in Vista, that Microsoft allowed to continue in Win 7, so it appears that they condone it, otherwise they would have killed it in Win 7.
  7. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    If you watch closely offers full retail (not upgrade) versions of Windows 7 on sale for a very low price. Less than the OEM version. The 2 TB size mentioned above makes no difference since you're going to partition the drive at less that amount anyway.

    If you read closely the MS EULA allows retail versions to be installed on three different computers owned by the original buyer. Finally they allow up to ten re-installs per computer. (total 30)
  8. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    The legal aspect is that OEM is for system builders who make a system and sell it on to someone else. Anything else you do with OEM is illegal.
  9. Chris64tx thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2012
    Houston, Tx.
    Thanks for the heads up.:)

  10. mlamb64150 macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2012
    Isle of Man
    OEM is fine, I use it for my bootcamp, the license key is not transferable once registered to that machine however, but for the relatively cheap price you should be happy.

    Remember to do some research on what version you need (32/64 bit) before you buy, this should be easy to find here or on Apple Support pages.


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