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Re: Limitations on OEM usage?

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      13th Aug 2011
It sounds like you are, indeed, out of luck if you
don't have a disk image or the original CD. That's
the hidden cost of Microsoft's Product Activation.
They've made a fortune by double/triple charging
people who have already paid for a Windows

If you decide to buy a new copy of XP then you probably
*do* want OEM, but not brand-name. What MS means by
OEM is any company except MS. If you buy a full version
CD then Microsoft allegedly provides support. If you buy
OEM the system builder is responsible for support. OEM is
legal to use yourself, but you get no support and you can't
move it later to another motherboard.

Paul's warning about branded OEM CDs is an important
point. If you buy via Craiglist or EBay you don't know what
you're getting. And the seller might not know either. People
might try to resell a disk for a system that's already been
activated. Or someone might have got a free upgrade
disk with a late-model WinME buy, and then they never
used it, so they try to make a buck on the disk. That
*might* work if the buyer has WinME. But in your case an
upgrade CD is useless unless you can find an old Win9x
CD to install first.

I'm currently building a new system for a friend and sent him
to buycheapsoftware.com. I was buying the parts via
Tigerdirect, but they don't sell XP. Buycheapsoftware.com
has an OEM CD for about $120. It's officially for "refurbished
PCs". That's the first time I've seen that term. As I said
yesterday, I think MS is trying to save face, while still cashing
in on XP, by pretending that the only current usage would
be for a 10-year-old PC with a new motherboard that can't
support the bloat of Vista/7.

The descriptions and prices for XP -- and for all Windows
versions -- is dizzying. If you look online you'll see every possible
combination of terms like full, pro, OEM, etc. -- at every possible
price. But buycheapsoftware's XP for refurbished PCs is a true,
usable OEM version. I didn't do a lot of looking around, as I've
used buycheapsoftware before and found them dependable.
But to the extent I did look I didn't find a copy of XP full. That
is, the real full version as opposed to "full OEM". (Are we confused
yet? The original pricing had a full version about $100 more
than an OEM version.

So... you get an OEM/refurbished CD for $120.... are you
going to put that onto an old PC? What if the motherboard
dies next year? You might want to consider upgrading the
box with a new power supply, motherboard, CPU, RAM. You
can keep the hard disk. Graphics/audio/ethernet are now
built into the board. You could upgrade the box for less than
$300. (I just got a board/CPU for about $85. It's crazy to
pay more unless you're a teenager who wants "power".
Computer hardware has become so advanced that the
speed of the cheapest CPU is still far more than is necessary
for most things. After all, if you get instant response with
a single core and 500 MB RAM, the instant response you get
by adding 3 more GB RAM and a quad-core CPU won't be any
faster. You can't beat instant.)

There is one big issue to be aware of with XP, though:
In most cases it won't install to an SATA disk. You can
install to IDE and copy over. Or, in many cases the motherboard
driver package provides an option to put the drivers on a
memory stick. (They seem to be part of the RAID drivers
rather than being called SATA drivers.) Note that many
motherboards now don't even have an IDE plug. (Which is
surprising given that there are still plenty of IDE disks in
use. Usually one only expects such behavior from Apple.
Remember a few yars ago when all the AppleSeeds bragged
about how Steve Jobs and his gang had transcended the
pitiful floppy disks that "wintel lusers" are stuck with? Then
they all went out and bought a $100 extrnal USB floppy drive.)
The removal of IDE plugs from the board means buying a
PCI card if you want to use an IDE hard disk or CD/dVD drive.
So that's something to consider in looking at boards.

I don't mean to scare you off with the above. You can get
XP onto an SATA disk. It's just that it can be tricky and you
need to be handy.

If you do install a new copy of XP again, one way or another,
you should really a) Copy the install CD and store that somewhere
safe. b) Write the 25-character key on both CDs. c) Spend
another $40 for something like BootIt and make a disk image
once the sytem is set up. Better yet, make two or more disk
images. Then copy them to CD and store them. You shouldn't
ever have to be in this situation, where you have to pay
Microsoft again for a license you already have, just because
you didn't back up or keep track of your software install

"David" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
| Thank you -- you all have certainly cleared up for me the limitations on
| OEM usage.
| You have also convinced me that this is not what I want. I would like a
| full authentic XP Pro SP3. My fault for not being aware that these are a
| disappearing resource!
| Does anyone know where I might obtain one?
| Daave, to respond to your question: My PC is/was literally an OEM build,
| so no make and model; but due to disk problems it has already been wiped
| and reloaded more than once (not by me), and I am sure that there is no
| recovery partition. What I suspect has happened, from what I am learning
| from you all, is that the last O/S reload may have been one of those
| tinkered versions. This why I would like to purchase the real thing, and
| do it myself. I would like to have an authentic CD anyway.
| I will post back re your Repair and Recovery Console questions after the
| dust settles on my above question -- thank you very much.

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