WIN 7 OEM vs. RETAIL version

inquiring

Member
Jan 27, 2003
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Whats the difference between a WIN 7 OEM software disk and a WIN 7 RETAIL software disk other than price? What features/tools are lacking in the OEM version and what CAN'T I do with the WIN 7 OEM disk?

Thank you.
 

Mushkins

Golden Member
Feb 11, 2013
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The OS software is the same, the difference is strictly in the licensing.

An OEM license is a "system builders" license. That copy of Windows is legally tied to the first PC you install it on and can *never* be transferred to and activated on another PC. For legal purposes, the "PC" is considered the motherboard, so you can change out or replace any parts but the motheboard and still be legally OK to use the same license.

A Retail license does not have that restriction and is legally transferable, provided when you move it to a new PC you uninstall it from the old PC.
 
Nov 20, 2009
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I had absolutely no problem migrating a Win 7 Pro OEM license from an old Gigabyte motherboard to a much more modern Gigabyte product--at least 4 years apart.
 

Dahak

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2000
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I had absolutely no problem migrating a Win 7 Pro OEM license from an old Gigabyte motherboard to a much more modern Gigabyte product--at least 4 years apart.

While there is no Technical limitation in doing so, per the license you are NOT suppose to, but pretty sure everyone at one point or another has done so
 

Mushkins

Golden Member
Feb 11, 2013
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I had absolutely no problem migrating a Win 7 Pro OEM license from an old Gigabyte motherboard to a much more modern Gigabyte product--at least 4 years apart.

It will technically work and let you activate (you might have to use the telephone activation tool), but it is also a violation of the license and legally software piracy.

From the technical end, it works on the honor system. The cost of people moving around OEM licenses illegally is much, much less than the cost of activation infrastructure to strictly enforce the licensing.