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  1. #1

    XP Pro- OEM vs. Retail vs. Upgrade

    First off, I have XP Home (OEM version) on my current computer, but I will be giving this computer to my son after the new one is up and running.

    So, can I buy a Pro upgrade, install my current XP Home on the new rig, then just do an upgrade with the new XP Pro upgrade? I don't know if I really want to do 2 installs just to save a couple of bucks, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

    Barring that, what is the difference between OEM and Retail?

    I intend to make one of those...I can't think what you call it. Slipstream I think? Where you copy the XP image, then integrate SP2 to make the install faster for future installs. My point is- with that being my intention, will the OEM version be OK? Or are there differences between OEM and Retail that make Retail better than OEM?
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  2. #2
    Unoriginal Macho Moderator nikhsub1's Avatar
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    Your best option is to just get an OEM pro version. OEM = tied to the machine it was originally installed on, legally can not be transferred to another machine. The ? always is what makes that particular machine that machine? The case? The HD? Retail gives you the most flexability, you can move it from machine to machine. OEM, retail and upgrade are the exact same OS, just different in terms of the EULA (license agreement).
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  3. #3
    Member tenchi86's Avatar
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    From what I have seen, an OEM disk is made for certain hardware and nothing else. So OEM(Original Equipment Manufacture) is the disk that usually comes with the pc, pre loaded with tons of apps. It's like their version of a slipstream. Retail is just the OS, nothing more.(besides MS programs). So from what I know, no you cannot use that OEM disk on another pc, usually they scan the hardware and will see its not the same pc and wont install. One thing you can do though, is install the XP pro upgrade disk, it will say it cannot detect any previous Windows that allow the upgrade, so then you put in the Windows Xp home disk and it should see that and except it. (Though I have never tried this with an OEM disk). Also yes it's called a Slipstream disk when you put the XP image on a disk, and also add things like drivers and app to install along with it.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member MRD's Avatar
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    XP has activation, so you have to follow the license exactly or it will not activate.

    You have an oem installed on one machine. OEM's are tied to one machine, you cannot reinstall it on the new machine. You can upgrade it, but XP is the most recent version, there is nothing to upgrade to.

    You need to purchase a new copy for your other PC. If you purchase an OEM, it will again be tied to the machine. If you purchase a full retail version, you can later transfer it to a new pc if you want to. It's up to you.

  5. #5
    The machine that I have the OEM version loaded on is home-built. You have to buy a piece of hardware with the OS. I think they sent me a floppy cable, or something like that, when I bought it.

    I was not going to activate the Home version, I was talking about just loading it, then loading the upgrade right over the top- you have 30 days to activate. The upgrade is for people who either have Home, or have Win98, 2000, or whatever. You can't load an upgrade version on a clean system, it has to see a prior MS OS load before it will let you install.

    BAH! I don't want to do that anyway because I don't want to do 2 installs just to save $20. My time is more valuable than that. I was just curious whether that would work- I have an inquistive mind.

    My REAL question was about OEM vs. Retail. I'll just get the retail version.

    Thanks for the responses, as always, your willingness to share your time and knowledge is appreciated.
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  6. #6
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    oem and retail version should be almost same?? is it?

  7. #7
    Senior Member MRD's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter that you bought it witha floppy cable and not a mb. M$ won't recognize the OS as being associated with the floppy cable. When you activated the oem version, M$ recorded certain information about the computer, like mb, ram, cpu, hard drive, etc. They won't let you reactivate on a whole new pc. M$ hates that floppy cable workaround, and they don't respect it.

    You can actually load an upgrade on a clean system, it just asks you for a disk I think. At least 2K does... it just has you insert a copy of 95/98 to show you have the install disc, then it installs on the clean system. I'm not quite sure XP does the same, but 2K does. XP likely asks for a CD for an earlier version though, I don't think it will accept a CD for an XP install of any kind, it probably wants 2K,ME,95, or 98, or something like that.

    Technically though, you don't have the *legal* right to upgrade the oem onto another machine. XP is a pain with activation and they go out of their way to make you spend more money. Earlier versions are much easier to deal with, like 2K.

  8. #8
    Not to be a smartass, but MS doesn't have the right to be a monopoly, however, they do it anyway. I really couldn't care less what MS thinks about my usage of product that I paid for. I find it hard to believe that their whole activation system and attitude that they control something that I paid for is even legal. But M$oney talks and BS walks. With $50B in cash, they have the money to buy lawmakers all day long.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRD
    You can actually load an upgrade on a clean system, it just asks you for a disk I think. At least 2K does... it just has you insert a copy of 95/98 to show you have the install disc, then it installs on the clean system. I'm not quite sure XP does the same, but 2K does. XP likely asks for a CD for an earlier version though, I don't think it will accept a CD for an XP install of any kind, it probably wants 2K,ME,95, or 98, or something like that.
    XP will also ask for a CD if you are trying to do a fresh install from an upgrade CD. It will accept any of the OS CDs that MS says are upgradable to XP. So basically if you want to go to XP Pro you would need a install CD for XP Home full install, 2000 full install, or 98 full install. I think, but am not positive, that you are not able to upgrade from an upgrade CD. So if you have an XP Home upgrade CD that won't do you any good.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MRD's Avatar
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    Even so, the activation can prevent you from installing XP against the license, whether or not it's legal or ethical. One reason I personally use 2K over XP is that there is little to no functional difference, but 2K doesn't require me to activate, so upgrading hardware or whatever else I do does not prevent me from being able to install windows. I don't purchase products requiring activation on principle.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MRD
    Even so, the activation can prevent you from installing XP against the license, whether or not it's legal or ethical. One reason I personally use 2K over XP is that there is little to no functional difference, but 2K doesn't require me to activate, so upgrading hardware or whatever else I do does not prevent me from being able to install windows. I don't purchase products requiring activation on principle.
    You are correct, and that's why I purchased a full version. I may not like MS, but sometimes you have to play by *some* of the rules that are set by the money people. I know there are ways to get around some of this stuff, but my understanding is that we can't discuss that kind of activity here, so I will say nothing more on that topic.

    Thanks for the input.
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