FULL, OEM and UPDATE versions of Windows XP SP2


T

Tinkers

I want to buy a Microsoft Windows XP SP2 disc, but there are several
versions to choose from. Thus far, at various (reputable) online retailers,
I find a FULL version, an OEM version, and an UPDATE version.

I want to buy another PC from Dell's outlet, but today most of these PCs
come with VISTA. My current PC is also a DELL and it runs the DELL OEM
version of Windows XP SP2 - with all available MS updates (except for a few,
like IE7, WMP11, etc).

My plan includes purchasing a scratch 'n dent PC with (sadly) VISTA loaded,
partition the HDD (adding 2 or 3 additional logical drives), and then
install a fresh copy of Windows XP SP2. Since DELL generally includes a
separate drivers disc, I am not concerned about XP device drivers. Perhaps
I should be, but I don't know what to expect at this time and that's why I
am posting this topic.

At tigerdirect, an authorized MS online retailer, I reviewed a few of the
comments associated with both the OEM and UPDATE versions. If true, it
appears that the UPDATE version may work if the user had a previous FULL
version CD - like WINDOWS 95 (which I have) - to fool the UPDATE version
into thinking it is actually updating an existing Windows O/S. The OEM
version concerns me, but I don't really know what I missing by not buying
the FULL version. One thing I know I won't miss is MS support, and if
that's what an extra $100 gets me, then screw MS.

- FULL at $180-200, I prefer not.
- OEM at $90-100, preferred, if workable
- UPDATE at $80-90, possible, if workable

Does anyone have a comprehensive perspective on the differences, pros and
cons, associated with the FULL, OEM and UPDATE versions of Windows XP SP2?

Thanks in advance,

Tinkers
 
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A

Alias

Tinkers said:
I want to buy a Microsoft Windows XP SP2 disc, but there are several
versions to choose from. Thus far, at various (reputable) online retailers,
I find a FULL version, an OEM version, and an UPDATE version.

I want to buy another PC from Dell's outlet, but today most of these PCs
come with VISTA. My current PC is also a DELL and it runs the DELL OEM
version of Windows XP SP2 - with all available MS updates (except for a few,
like IE7, WMP11, etc).

My plan includes purchasing a scratch 'n dent PC with (sadly) VISTA loaded,
partition the HDD (adding 2 or 3 additional logical drives), and then
install a fresh copy of Windows XP SP2. Since DELL generally includes a
separate drivers disc, I am not concerned about XP device drivers. Perhaps
I should be, but I don't know what to expect at this time and that's why I
am posting this topic.

At tigerdirect, an authorized MS online retailer, I reviewed a few of the
comments associated with both the OEM and UPDATE versions. If true, it
appears that the UPDATE version may work if the user had a previous FULL
version CD - like WINDOWS 95 (which I have) - to fool the UPDATE version
into thinking it is actually updating an existing Windows O/S. The OEM
version concerns me, but I don't really know what I missing by not buying
the FULL version. One thing I know I won't miss is MS support, and if
that's what an extra $100 gets me, then screw MS.

- FULL at $180-200, I prefer not.
- OEM at $90-100, preferred, if workable
- UPDATE at $80-90, possible, if workable

Does anyone have a comprehensive perspective on the differences, pros and
cons, associated with the FULL, OEM and UPDATE versions of Windows XP SP2?

Thanks in advance,

Tinkers

The EULA allows retail versions to be moved to another computer. Generic
OEM versions do not, although if 120 days have passed since activation,
you can technically move it. Update versions can be moved along with the
qualifying version.

Make sure the Dell you buy will have XP drivers. Personally, I think
you'd be better off find a small, local computer shop that will build
you a computer to suit or build one yourself (it's not much more
complicated than an erector set).

Alias
 
T

Tinkers

Thank you for your reply, Alias.

After posting, I found this link . . .
http://www.infocellar.com/WinXP/oem-recover-retail.htm . . . where they
highly recommend buying the UPGRADE version, supposing you had an existing
Windows 98/98SE disc. I do have a 98SE disc, but its another Dell OEM disc
(which may or may not work - I don't know).

Your comments are easily understood, including the local shop.

In contrast to your local shop suggestion, at Dell, I have seen PCs with
Intel Pentium dual-core processor 2.2GHz, Windows Vista Home Basic, 2 GB
DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM 800MHz, 250 GB SATA II Hard Drive, 16X DVD ROM Drive, 16X
DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability, Microsoft Works 9.0, USB Keyboard,
and Dell Optical USB 2-button Mouse for $330 including shipping, sales tax
and one (1) year warranty. This may be a tough price to beat, locally.

Thanks again, Alias.

Regards,

Tinkers

= = =
 
T

Tinkers

Course, I did not add that additional $100 (or so) for the O/S to the $330.
So I suppose, given a $430 budget, a local shop may compete nicely. :blush:)

Thanks again!

Tinkers
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

At tigerdirect, an authorized MS online retailer, I reviewed a few of the
comments associated with both the OEM and UPDATE versions. If true, it
appears that the UPDATE version may work if the user had a previous FULL
version CD - like WINDOWS 95 (which I have) - to fool the UPDATE version
into thinking it is actually updating an existing Windows O/S.


No, it's not a matter of fooling it at all. The requirement to use an
upgrade version is to *own* a previous qualifying version's
installation CD, not to have it installed. When setup doesn't find a
previous qualifying version installed, it will prompt you to insert
its CD as proof of ownership. Just insert the previous version's CD,
and follow the prompts. Everything proceeds quite normally and quite
legitimately.


The OEM
version concerns me, but I don't really know what I missing by not buying
the FULL version. One thing I know I won't miss is MS support, and if
that's what an extra $100 gets me, then screw MS.

- FULL at $180-200, I prefer not.
- OEM at $90-100, preferred, if workable
- UPDATE at $80-90, possible, if workable

Does anyone have a comprehensive perspective on the differences, pros and
cons, associated with the FULL, OEM and UPDATE versions of Windows XP SP2?


Yes.

1. The software they all contain is identical.

2. The Full version can do a clean installation or an upgrade.

3. The Upgrade version can also do a clean installation or an upgrade,
but it can only do a clean installation if you have a qualifying
previous version's CD.

4. The OEM version comes with three disadvantages:

a. Its license ties it permanently to the first computer it's
installed on. It can never legally be moved to another computer, sold,
or given away (except with the original computer).

b. It can only do a clean installation, not an upgrade.

c. Microsoft provides no support for OEM versions. You can't call them
with a problem, but instead have to get any needed support from your
OEM; that support may range anywhere between good and non-existent. Or
you can get support elsewhere, such as in these newsgroups.

The first of those three disadvantages (a,) is by far the worst one,
and is the deal-breaker, as far as I'm concerned. Since the Upgrade
version costs only very slightly more, it's the one that I normally
recommend to almost everyone.
 
T

Tinkers

Thank you for your reply, Ken.

Since I *own* my Dell OEM Windows 98SE disc, cirqa 1999, I trust that it
would qualify (and work) when the XP Upgrade version requests it - presuming
that the HDD was previously wiped clean of VISTA. True?

Given your perspective on the OEM version(s) - as well as those found here
www.infocellar.com/WinXP/oem-recover-retail.htm - it seems abundantly clear
that the UPGRADE is an excellent choice, if saving $80-100 is an issue.
Else, spending $180-200 for the FULL version provides the best solution.

Thanks again, Ken!

Tinkers

= = =
 
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K

Ken Blake, MVP

Thank you for your reply, Ken.


You're welcome. Glad to help.

Since I *own* my Dell OEM Windows 98SE disc, cirqa 1999, I trust that it
would qualify (and work) when the XP Upgrade version requests it - presuming
that the HDD was previously wiped clean of VISTA. True?


Yes, it's true, but previously wiping it clean of Vista isn't
necessary. The first step of a clean installation (which is what you
want to do) is to format the drive.

Given your perspective on the OEM version(s) - as well as those found here
www.infocellar.com/WinXP/oem-recover-retail.htm - it seems abundantly clear
that the UPGRADE is an excellent choice, if saving $80-100 is an issue.
Else, spending $180-200 for the FULL version provides the best solution.


Yes, but my view is that it almost never makes sense to spend the
substantial extra money for the Full version. The Upgrade has exactly
the same software and both can do exactly the same things (Clean
install or upgrade) if you own a previous qualifying version's CD.
Almost everyone owns a previous version's CD, but worst case, you can
buy one very inexpensively someplace like eBay.


I'll add just one more point. You apparently have had little or no
experience with Vista, but you've already made the decision to replace
it with XP. If I were you, I wouldn't do that. Give Vista a chance,
first of all; try it for a few months--not just a few days--so you get
to learn and understand it, and then make the decision as to which you
prefer. I use Vista here on all my machines except the laptop and the
server, and I'm happy with it.


Thanks again, Ken!

Tinkers

= = =
 
T

Tinkers

*** No need to wipe the HDD if formatting it. Understood.

*** Good to hear my OEM Dell 98SE disc will work when using a new XP SP2
Upgrade disc.

Thank you for your perspective on VISTA, but I prefer not - far too much
overhead - and I have some experience with it already and found it
exceedingly slow compared to XP SP2 and I find no value in 3D or excessive
graphics - I'm more interested in system performance, ease of
troubleshooting and maintenance, etc.

Thanks again, Ken!

Best regards,

Tinkers

= = =

Ken Blake said:
You're welcome. Glad to help.


Yes, it's true, but previously wiping it clean of Vista isn't
necessary. The first step of a clean installation (which is what you
want to do) is to format the drive.


Yes, but my view is that it almost never makes sense to spend the
substantial extra money for the Full version. The Upgrade has exactly
the same software and both can do exactly the same things (Clean
install or upgrade) if you own a previous qualifying version's CD.
Almost everyone owns a previous version's CD, but worst case, you can
buy one very inexpensively someplace like eBay.


I'll add just one more point. You apparently have had little or no
experience with Vista, but you've already made the decision to replace
it with XP. If I were you, I wouldn't do that. Give Vista a chance,
first of all; try it for a few months--not just a few days--so you get
to learn and understand it, and then make the decision as to which you
prefer. I use Vista here on all my machines except the laptop and the
server, and I'm happy with it.

SNIP = SNIP = SNIP
 
A

Anna

Tinkers said:
*** No need to wipe the HDD if formatting it. Understood.

*** Good to hear my OEM Dell 98SE disc will work when using a new XP SP2
Upgrade disc.

Thank you for your perspective on VISTA, but I prefer not - far too much
overhead - and I have some experience with it already and found it
exceedingly slow compared to XP SP2 and I find no value in 3D or excessive
graphics - I'm more interested in system performance, ease of
troubleshooting and maintenance, etc.

Thanks again, Ken!

Best regards,

Tinkers


Tinkers:
Well, your OEM Dell version of the XP installation CD may *not* qualify for
the upgrade. Sometimes those OEM-branded CDs meet the qualifying prior OS
requirement and sometimes they don't.

But your Win95 OS CD may very well work as a "qualifier".
Anna
 
D

Daave

Technically, you would be violating the EULA, which states that your OEM
98SE license may not be moved to another PC, even in the context of
upgrading. However, Ken's method will still work.
 
T

Tinkers

Supposedly, the XP Upgrade CD works for 98/98SE and ME only. Therefore, it
seems reasonable to conclude that my 95 disk is superfluous.

Thanks for your reply, Anna.

Tinkers
 
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A

Alias

Tinkers said:
Course, I did not add that additional $100 (or so) for the O/S to the $330.
So I suppose, given a $430 budget, a local shop may compete nicely. :blush:)

Thanks again!

Tinkers

If you install Ubuntu, you don't need to spend that either.
www.ubuntu.com. It's free.

Alias
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

*** No need to wipe the HDD if formatting it. Understood.


Good, but let me make it clearer in case I didn't before. Formatting
it is what you *should* do when you do a clean installation. It's the
first step of the installation

*** Good to hear my OEM Dell 98SE disc will work when using a new XP SP2
Upgrade disc.

Thank you for your perspective on VISTA, but I prefer not - far too much
overhead - and I have some experience with it already and found it
exceedingly slow compared to XP SP2


In my view, it depends entirely on your hardware. If your hardware is
adequate for XP, it very well might *not* be adequate for Vista, and
yes it will then be very slow. But if you have adequate hardware (2GB
of RAM or more), for most people Vista will be no slower than XP.

But your choice, of course.

and I find no value in 3D or excessive
graphics - I'm more interested in system performance, ease of
troubleshooting and maintenance, etc.

Thanks again, Ken!


You're welcome.
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

Anna said:
But your Win95 OS CD may very well work as a "qualifier".

According to this page

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/292607

there are "[n]o supported upgrade paths" from Windows 95 to Windows XP.
What exactly does that mean? I know that it is possible to do so. I
don't have any Upgrade CDs, so I can't read the EULA.



You can *not* upgrade from 95 to XP. However you can use a Windows 95
CD as proof of ownership of a previous qualifying version when doing a
clean installation with an XP Upgrade CD.
 
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T

Tinkers

Interesting suggestion, Alias.

At this time, I'm not certain that I want to spend time getting to know
another O/S. However, I have hear nothing but good things about LINUX and
someday I will give it a whirl.

Thanks again!

Tinkers
 
T

Tinkers

EXCELLENT!!!

Therefore, I have two (2) options: a Dell OEM 98SE disc and a Windows95
disc - SHAAAZA!!!

Thanks again, Ken!!!

Best regards,

Tinkers
 
T

Tinkers

*** No need to wipe the HDD if formatting it. Understood.
Good, but let me make it clearer in case I didn't before. Formatting
it is what you *should* do when you do a clean installation. It's the
first step of the installation

Of course. Clearly understood, Ken.
In my view, it depends entirely on your hardware. If your hardware is
adequate for XP, it very well might *not* be adequate for Vista, and
yes it will then be very slow. But if you have adequate hardware (2GB
of RAM or more), for most people Vista will be no slower than XP.

But your choice, of course.

Understood.

My current PC includes a 2.8 GHz Pentium D 915 with 2 GB 667 MHz RAM.
At minimum, I'd buy a a 2.2 GHz Pentium dual-core with 2 GB 800MHz RAM.
I suspect that either would handle VISTA. Since I prefer system
performance,
and ease of troubleshooting and maintenance, I think that its far simpler to
stay
with Windows XP SP2 at this time - and someday, I shall update to SP3 once
all of the problems are resolved with it.
You're welcome.

Many thanks, Ken!!!

Best regards,

Tinkers
 
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