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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of gathering all componve for my HTPC build. Hardware I am not having issues, but the one I can't seem to settle on is operating system, right now I'm between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Based on my research Windows 7 is the recommended system to use but all I keep finding online is the OEM version. If I understand correctly there are issues with this version, if indeed are issues. Issue 1) the OEM version only supports up to 16GB of ram and issue 2) Microsoft won't support the OEM versions. So with these two issues I am wondering, how can one bypass the 16GB Limit and who does one turn to if one needs assistance with problems that may arise.


Don't get me wrong I know for an HTPC 16GB is overkill but I am wondering if there is a workaround. I could get the windows 7 retail but those are close to $500 and not willing to spend that much, or I could Go with 8.1 at about $140 for full retail version but as I stated earlier 7 is the preferred OS. Any thoughts Or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adinis  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24409010


I'm in the process of gathering all componve for my HTPC build. Hardware I am not having issues, but the one I can't seem to settle on is operating system, right now I'm between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Based on my research Windows 7 is the recommended system to use but all I keep finding online is the OEM version. If I understand correctly there are issues with this version, if indeed are issues. Issue 1) the OEM version only supports up to 16GB of ram and issue 2) Microsoft won't support the OEM versions. So with these two issues I am wondering, how can one bypass the 16GB Limit and who does one turn to if one needs assistance with problems that may arise.


Don't get me wrong I know for an HTPC 16GB is overkill but I am wondering if there is a workaround. I could get the windows 7 retail but those are close to $500 and not willing to spend that much, or I could Go with 8.1 at about $140 for full retail version but as I stated earlier 7 is the preferred OS. Any thoughts Or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.

In the case of the first question, the answer is... it depends. If you go with Windows 7 Professional x64 (64-bit) OEM, then there is no 16GB limit for installed RAM. If you go with Windows 7 Home Premium OEM, then you are stuck with the 16GB capacity limit for system RAM.


In the case of the second question, I'll just run down some points to consider.


- OEM installs are not supported by Microsoft Technical Support, AFAIK (someone please correct me if I am wrong about this). But the OEM version will be supported by MS as far as receiving all the critical patches/updates/hotfixes released by MS for the life of the product.


- The OEM license can be activated only once, and once it is activated, the Windows 7 installation is bound to the hardware base it has been installed to. Meaning: MS's EULA stipulates that you cannot transfer your Windows 7 to any other hardware set. So upgrading your motherboard is definitely out. Upgrading your CPU is probably out as well. You can very likely make smaller upgrades like adding RAM or upgrading to a higher capacity hard disk drive or solid state drive, however. If you think you will ever need to move your Windows 7 installation to another system (say, for example, if your current system should experience a catastrophic hardware failure), then you should consider purchasing a Windows 7 Retail license, rather than the OEM license.


I hope this helps. Once again, if I am incorrect on any of this please speak up
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Theimpaler  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24409139


In the case of the first question, the answer is... it depends. If you go with Windows 7 Professional x64 (64-bit) OEM, then there is no 16GB limit for installed RAM. If you go with Windows 7 Home Premium OEM, then you are stuck with the 16GB capacity limit for system RAM.


In the case of the second question, I'll just run down some points to consider.


- OEM installs are not supported by Microsoft Technical Support, AFAIK (someone please correct me if I am wrong about this). But the OEM version will be supported by MS as far as receiving all the critical patches/updates/hotfixes released by MS for the life of the product.


- The OEM license can be activated only once, and once it is activated, the Windows 7 installation is bound to the hardware base it has been installed to. Meaning: MS's EULA stipulates that you cannot transfer your Windows 7 to any other hardware set. So upgrading your motherboard is definitely out. Upgrading your CPU is probably out as well. You can very likely make smaller upgrades like adding RAM or upgrading to a higher capacity hard disk drive or solid state drive, however. If you think you will ever need to move your Windows 7 installation to another system (say, for example, if your current system should experience a catastrophic hardware failure), then you should consider purchasing a Windows 7 Retail license, rather than the OEM license.


I hope this helps. Once again, if I am incorrect on any of this please speak up

Thank you for the reply, one other reason why I brought this up is because I want to start building computers (basic, gaming, etc.) and with each build their will be several ram requirements. I think this has really helped me in choosing the OS, that being Windows 7
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adinis  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24409216


Thank you for the reply, one other reason why I brought this up is because I want to start building computers (basic, gaming, etc.) and with each build their will be several ram requirements. I think this has really helped me in choosing the OS, that being Windows 7

That's great that you are building multiple systems for various purposes. I think most of us who inhabit this HTPC subforum do or have done the same. I can't speak for the experience of using Windows 8 or 8.1, but Windows 7 is quite good for desktop-type uses.


Good luck with your new builds. Let us know how they turn out, or just give a holler if you have other questions or experience issues.
 

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On the OEM versions of Windows 7 (currently using Home Premium here), I had to replace my Motherboard because it croaked during a BIOS update. Intel sent me another Motherboard for replacement. After I put everything back together and powered up my Desktop, Microsoft asked for the Product Key - I typed it in and have been running ever since. I also have moved my OS from a mechanical drive to a SSD drive. Again, installed the OEM version of Home Premium, entered the Product Key and have been running ever since.


I think you can update/upgrade components - you can't just upgrade everything at the same time nor can you activate it multiple times in a certain timeframe (so I have been told).


I like the OEM versions, costs less and is practically the same as a Retail Version.


Toys
 

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Why the heck do you need more than 16 GB of Ram on a HTPC?
I know everybody has different requirements but I ran with only 2 GB on win 7 64 bit for two years just because I was being super cheap. I upgraded to 4 GB and didn't see much difference in performance and I've never noticed the machine using close to all the memory. I'm only playing single 1080P movies at a time though. Maybe you're planning to be recording 10 HD streams at the same time or something.
 

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Also, even if you do need to re-install the OS and it won't activate again a phone number comes up on the screen and you call it and read off the number and they read back another number to you and it activates and you're fine. As long as you don't try to do it a bunch of times on the same license it's fine. Just make sure you actually keep the original license certificate. The disk might as well be a coaster as far as Microsoft is concerned. All they care about is the license.


Has a regular user ever actually ever opened a ticket with Microsoft and got a response? It wouldn't even occur to me to try They're going to patch it through Windows Updates which is all you should care about. You have Google searches for your support for any other problems. No way I would pay hundreds more for a retail license.
 

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FWIW, I've changed out the CPU on OEM version of Windows without it needing to be reactivated.


PlayReady is a different story
 

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Am I going to Jail????


I have been known to “trash-pick” systems for the W7 key sticker. I will build a new system with an OEM disk (ISO download) and then activate with my trash-picked key. If the case is trash, I will cut the key off with snips and attach it to the new case. I will sometimes get a “Windows Genuine” prompt that requires a phone call to MS. Some people are real slobs; they subject systems to some crazy physical abuse (liquids, cigarette smoke, kids, pets, beer). My logic is; just because a system is beyond practical repair doesn’t mean the license has to go with it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdacat  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24410935


My logic is; just because a system is beyond practical repair doesn’t mean the license has to go with it.

When a person dies, can someone else use their driver's license? That's logical, right? It's not like the license says it's only valid for one specific driver and is non-transferrable.


You're wasting your time peeling off stickers. OEM licenses are only valid for original hardware. If you really just want to get past the key check and don't care about running a pirated copy, I imagine there are easier ways than dumpster diving with tin snips.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24411429


If you really just want to get past the key check and don't care about running a pirated copy, I imagine there are easier ways than dumpster diving with tin snips.

At least his method has less chance of getting a virus or root-kit on your system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24411429


When a person dies, can someone else use their driver's license? That's logical, right? It's not like the license says it's only valid for one specific driver and is non-transferrable.


You're wasting your time peeling off stickers. OEM licenses are only valid for original hardware. If you really just want to get past the key check and don't care about running a pirated copy, I imagine there are easier ways than dumpster diving with tin snips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by billdacat  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24410935


Am I going to Jail????


I have been known to “trash-pick” systems for the W7 key sticker. I will build a new system with an OEM disk (ISO download) and then activate with my trash-picked key. If the case is trash, I will cut the key off with snips and attach it to the new case. I will sometimes get a “Windows Genuine” prompt that requires a phone call to MS. Some people are real slobs; they subject systems to some crazy physical abuse (liquids, cigarette smoke, kids, pets, beer). My logic is; just because a system is beyond practical repair doesn’t mean the license has to go with it.

We both may be going to jail. I have been re-using keys from decommissioned machines for new builds, as well.


I don't claim to know everything about Windows, but here is what worked for me in the past:


Bought an OEM Win 7 Professional x64 upgrade for $10 from the University computer store. (please don't ask me to buy you one, I can't)

Clean Install on a machine.

Activated it. (activation worked with upgrade licence using clean install)

Made an image of the system.

Installed image on multiple machines, it did not require activation, and the check says it is Genuine.


I don't know if it is intended to work like that, or not, but it works.


Got the idea from our IT folks at work. They set up one machine, and then image it to install on hundreds of machine for a 30,000 people company.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24411681



We both may be going to jail. I have been re-using keys from decommissioned machines for new builds, as well.


I don't claim to know everything about Windows, but here is what worked for me in the past:


Bought an OEM Win 7 Professional x64 upgrade for $10 from the University computer store. (please don't ask me to buy you one, I can't)

Clean Install on a machine.

Activated it. (activation worked with upgrade licence using clean install)

Made an image of the system.

Installed image on multiple machines, it did not require activation, and the check says it is Genuine.


I don't know if it is intended to work like that, or not, but it works.


Got the idea from our IT folks at work. They set up one machine, and then image it to install on hundreds of machine for a 30,000 people company.

Except the IT folks at work have a valid license agreement for the 30,000 PCs. You might as well just use a WinLoader and skip the part that gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling. The end result is the same, check says it is Genuine.
 

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I worked at Microsoft 10 years ago, and part of my job was to explain licensing to their sales people.

The way licensing worked with OEM XP was that it tracked the serial numbers of several components within the PC, (CPU motherboard, hard drive, etc.) It only needed to find one of the original serial numbers to be considered valid. If components broke and were replaced, no problem. You could pull out the hard drive containing Windows and drop it into an entirely different PC without a license problem.

It is only when none of the original serial numbers are found that you'll be prompted to make a phone call.
 

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I checked the Microsoft EULA on this. If you are replacing a defective motherboard with an identical series motherboard, you are good to go. I interpret this as; upgraded motherboards are a no-no. ( i.e Pentium 4 with and I5/I7.) The layman’s EULA language on this is not too specific on the interpretation of “board series”.

There is nothing prohibiting you from replacing a defective mother board and keeping the license. We are not in this to cheat MS out of a user license; that is wrong and illegal.

You are now free to dive about your dumpster.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dae3dae3  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24411629


At least his method has less chance of getting a virus or root-kit on your system.

Or more chance of needing a tetanus shot
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdacat  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24410935


I have been known to “trash-pick” systems for the W7 key sticker. I will build a new system with an OEM disk (ISO download) and then activate with my trash-picked key. If the case is trash, I will cut the key off with snips and attach it to the new case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by billdacat  /t/1519866/question-regarding-windows-7-oem#post_24412129


We are not in this to cheat MS out of a user license; that is wrong and illegal.

I think you are failing to understand the basic concept here. The license is not the actual physical sticker. Moving the sticker doesn't transfer the license. No many how many stickers you plaster onto your new computer, you're still just running a pirate copy on the new system.


If you don't like it, complain to your congresscritters. German law, for example, voids non-transferability clauses in software licenses, so if you own a German OEM PC, you can move the license.
 
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