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Trying to decide on OEM vs Retail

Aeyix

10 days ago

I was originally thinking of trying to see if I could transfer my laptop's license. It started as a Windows 7 Home OEM license. Then I upgraded it to Windows 8.1 Pro with a University Upgrade license. Then finally upgraded to Windows 10 Pro through the free upgrade. I'm assuming though I cannot transfer it. I'm not sure if the 8.1 Upgrade license could have changed it to a form of retail or not that makes it transferable. Of course I have a key for 7 and 8... but not 10 so I assume that means I can't really even check anyway unless it was somehow tied to my MSFT account. Back when I was on 8.1, my laptop's motherboard died and had to be replaced so I RMA'd it. I had no issues with windows in doing so, didn't need to reactivate or anything.

Anyway, given the fact I'm assuming I can't transfer the license. Just trying to decide whether to spend the $50 extra (150 vs 200) on OEM vs Retail for my first desktop build I'm putting together. My main concern on not going retail is if I build a new system 7 years down the road from now (that's how long I've been using this laptop) that I have a use for the older system, like a games server or something, then I'd have to buy a license for the new system. Though I'm assuming should I have an issue with the Mobo and have to RMA it, having a retail license still would lead to less of a headache, but I have no idea if I just got lucky with my laptop's mobo replacement years ago.

Just looking for advice at this point as I head off the microcenter to buy the cpu and potentially the OS, ordered all the other stuff on amazon last night.

Comments

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

You might be able to transfer that license; certain programs will sell retail copies, and when upgraded it should have used the license closest to what you had. So you very well might have a retail license. It would be worth checking.

I generally recommend Retail; worth noting though I do not recommend Pro for the vast majority of users. The big differences, such as remote desktop and domain joining, are likely useless to you. So you could save money getting a retail copy of Home versus an OEM copy of Pro.

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

Is there a way to check if I have an oem vs retail license? And if it is retail, how would I transfer it exactly, Microsoft account? I've reinstalled 10 a few times as a clean install and windows always activated no issue with me skipping the key part.

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

In the command prompt:

slmgr –dli

This will let you know if it's an OEM or retail license. It is likely an OEM license as it started out as an OEM copy.

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

Description: Windows(R) Operating System, RETAIL channel

is what the third line states

Edit: is there a way to find the product key? it only shows the last 5 digits, or is it tied to my microsoft account? I guess the next step is whether i'm willing to drop windows from my laptop.

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

It's a retail copy! Your license is likely tied to your Microsoft account.

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 point

Do I need to remove the license from my laptop or will it activate automatically on the new system and deactivate on the old one?

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

Wife's PC had an OEM Windows 7 that we upgraded to Windows 10. When I built her a new PC last year she wasn't able to transfer the Windows 10 license because it was still OEM. I was pretty sure that would be the outcome so I was prepared to buy a new license.

Back when I was on 8.1, my laptop's motherboard died and had to be replaced so I RMA'd it. I had no issues with windows in doing so, didn't need to reactivate or anything.

Well if it was the same model motherboard that may not cause an issue. I don't think it's tied to that specific motherboard serial number, but rather to the model as far as hardware change detection goes. Although this is just a guess based on the behavior I've experienced.

Just trying to decide whether to spend the $50 extra (150 vs 200) on OEM vs Retail for my first desktop build I'm putting together.

Well personally I'd go retail. And my reason is this. Back in 2009 I bought Windows 7 retail and ran it on a Core 2 Q6600, then an i5 3570k, then upgraded to Windows 10, and am now running it on a i7 8700k. So ten years and three systems later I bought Windows once. What's the cost of three OEM licenses compared to one retail license?

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