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    Hi guys , is it possible to buy a Windows O/S on disc rather than the downloadable versions available. I am thinking of buying windows 7 ordinary edition , any version. If anyone knows of a reputable seller , and current prices ( rough guide) please post . Also info on the current state of the market in this area to bring me up to speed , how it all works now, thank you

    Is ,the downloadable way, working like this? Download O/S ,burn ISO to disc , reuse disc to reinstall O/S. whenever its needed?
    Last edited by Baldrick; 29th Aug 2013 at 15:24. Reason: New title
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    Or Amazon UK
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  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    And I did not think you can download Windows 7 anymore
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  4. Originally Posted by visionman View Post
    Is ,the downloadable way, working like this? Download O/S ,burn ISO to disc , reuse disc to reinstall O/S. whenever its needed?
    Depends on what you download; for example the windows 8 you get from microsoft's online store has the serial number embedded in the ISO and in theory is locked to one PC. I don't know if the same would apply to windows 7, but I would be surprised otherwise.

    You can download ISO's from Digital River (that's the microsoft technet server), those are just like the retail disks, they will work with any valid serial and can be used to re-install or repair any windows 7 installation. If you don't have a serial you will be offered to buy one when you register, that gives you 30 days to test your hardware and software with windows 7.
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    As you are in the UK for all I know this may not be an option for you, but US and Canadian customers can buy Windows on disc from a company like newegg.com. Note that resellers like Newegg usually sell OEM copies, which saves you money but means you can't call Microsoft for free if you have problems. If you're an IT person or a skilled user that may be fine. I'm sure there are similar resellers in the UK like Newegg. Licensing is restrictive so I mention the possibility that Newegg and similar companies are only allowed to sell Windows to a small number of countries.
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  6. Don't know if you have a 'BestBuy' in UK but they are still selling it on line. All OEM however.
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  7. Not sure if you have one in the UK, but Staples.com (who might ship overseas) is selling the NON OEM versions for windows 7 (or they were a while back). It was the only retailer I found (I am in the US) that was selling the NON OEM version. Cost you a pretty penny but at least you know what you are getting
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    Thanks to all who contributed, I am a bit wiser, although, I think everyone needs to run a forensic eye over the terms and conditions of what you buy and what its put onto. Apparently Win 7 needs to be a full version when it a new system build. Not to sure regarding volume licensing, however. Im not concerned with loads of O/S. Still trying to figure out what constitutes a new build? Is an assortment of very usable but 2nd hand components considered acceptable in a new system build. I was thinking of getting a Dell 755 without a O/S or HDD and buying a full Win 7 and a good 2nd hand , or new 120/160 Gig HDD? am I on the right course or do I need to change more components? cheers
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  9. Member DB83's Avatar
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    In my book a 'new build' is when you build a new computer. The parts that you use do not have to be new.

    Now I realise that M$ have changed the text on their OEM products but, surely, you can still buy these and install them in your 'new build'. Of course, having installled the OS it should then be 'locked' to that build. Maybe that now happens but I have installed my one OEM copy of XP on my last three, or is it four, 'new builds'

    Don't confuse an OEM product with an upgrade. An OEM is the full product. It is just the licensing that is different. If you already have an OEM OS installed then I do believe you can not upgrade that.
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    Originally Posted by visionman View Post
    Thanks to all who contributed, I am a bit wiser, although, I think everyone needs to run a forensic eye over the terms and conditions of what you buy and what its put onto. Apparently Win 7 needs to be a full version when it a new system build. Not to sure regarding volume licensing, however. Im not concerned with loads of O/S. Still trying to figure out what constitutes a new build? Is an assortment of very usable but 2nd hand components considered acceptable in a new system build. I was thinking of getting a Dell 755 without a O/S or HDD and buying a full Win 7 and a good 2nd hand , or new 120/160 Gig HDD? am I on the right course or do I need to change more components? cheers
    OEM versions of Windows provided with a Dell, HP, Compaq or other big-name pre-built PC can only be used with one of that company's machines. An OEM Windows license that was not previously purchased by a big-name manufacturer of pre-built PC will be perfectly fine to use for upgrading a used machine, or for a new PC built by you from scratch.

    However, I would look for a newer model PC. The Dell model you are looking at probably does not have Windows 7 drivers for all components on the motherboard. You will have to install Vista drivers. Also, you either need a bigger hard drive or a second hard drive. 120/160GB will easily hold the OS, but won't give you much room to store video, music and photos.
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  11. Originally Posted by visionman View Post
    Apparently Win 7 needs to be a full version when it a new system build. Not to sure regarding volume licensing, however. Im not concerned with loads of O/S. Still trying to figure out what constitutes a new build?
    A computer that doesn't already have Windows XP or Vista on it.
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    Do UK versions of Windows come without IE ? Wasn't there a lawsuit forcing MS to remove IE in Europe.
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    Originally Posted by wulf109 View Post
    Do UK versions of Windows come without IE ? Wasn't there a lawsuit forcing MS to remove IE in Europe.
    Well my XP came with IE (v6 IIRC). But that probably predates any lawsuit.
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    Microsoft just announced that Windows 8.1 will be available in full retail versions, on discs if that is what you prefer or as a download. Looks like the upgrade versions and System Builder versions are not going to be offered for 8.1.

    (of course, for those who are already running Windows 8, the 8.1 version is just an update, free to download)
    Last edited by Kerry56; 20th Sep 2013 at 21:37.
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    Hi jagabo, thanks, very clear.
    However, I would like your opinion on this circumstance, suppose I buy a 2nd hand computer with an evaluation install, that prompts after 30 days to activate, or an imaged (volume lic) install, the type ( in UK) that comes with some 2nd hand computers preinstalled.
    Both have O/S installed , right, One registered with MS, one not.
    Now , if I remove the HDD , Install my own HDD install a full version of Win 7, is the machine still registered as having the imaged install with MS, activation centre, or can I install and register my own O/S? The reason I say this is because a local dealer is selling Dell 745 with preinstalled Win 7 (volume lic) with 3 month warranty, ( I do not think the Win 7 image lasts much longer than the 3 months), cheers

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    However, I would look for a newer model PC. The Dell model you are looking at probably does not have Windows 7 drivers for all components on the motherboard. You will have to install Vista drivers. Also, you either need a bigger hard drive or a second hard drive. 120/160GB will easily hold the OS, but won't give you much room to store video, music and photos.


    Hi ,usually_quiet, do you have any particular PC models in mind? At least 2.3 Ghz dual core, that will have Win 7 drivers installed? As I will probably have to buy off ebay UK, the only reason I mentioned the Dell 755 is because there is a plethora of them on ebay uk at the moment, some without O/S installed (I imagine Dell has a yearly upgrade of the local colleges)

    Can I not download Win 7 drivers and install them onto the Dell 755? The local college are still using this model with Win 8 installed?
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    If you remove the hard drive in a used computer and install an OEM or a full license you purchased new on a clean hard drive, you can register your own copy.

    You have another problem that is far more serious. Dell 745 PCs were released in 2006 and and almost any pre-built PC that is 7 years old will be barely capable of running Windows 7. I don't care how little they are charging for it, it is still a waste of money if you intend to run Windows 7. Look for a model that dates from 2009. That is 4 years ago, which is still a long time in computer years.
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    Surely the 3 mnth warranty covers the PC's parts and not the OS. That will work ad-infinitum but since it is classed as OEM it can not be upgraded.

    Take out the HDD and install a new version of Win7. If that new version is a 'FULL RETAIL' version then you can register it and move it to another PC. But if it is an OEM version then the PC will, for all intents and purposes, be the same as the S/H one you are buying. The licence covers just that machine.

    M$ notes the serial number of the OS and codes generated from critical parts - MB,HDD etc. Some can be changed without invoking a licence invalidation on a OEM system.
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  19. [QUOTE=visionman;2268583]if I remove the HDD , Install my own HDD install a full version of Win 7, is the machine still registered as having the imaged install with MS, activation centre, or can I install and register my own O/S? [/QUOTE]
    The new Win7 install is valid once activated. If you put the old drive back in, if it was activated it is still activated, if it was not activated it is still not activated.
    You can swap the discs around as much as you want. Microsoft doesn't care if the same hardware is running two versions of Windows. All they care about is if you paid for both.
    Last edited by jagabo; 21st Sep 2013 at 10:30.
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    Originally Posted by visionman View Post
    Hi ,usually_quiet, do you have any particular PC models in mind? At least 2.3 Ghz dual core, that will have Win 7 drivers installed? As I will probably have to buy off ebay UK, the only reason I mentioned the Dell 755 is because there is a plethora of them on ebay uk at the moment, some without O/S installed (I imagine Dell has a yearly upgrade of the local colleges)

    Can I not download Win 7 drivers and install them onto the Dell 755? The local college are still using this model with Win 8 installed?
    I looked on Dell's website and the drivers available there for the the Dell 755 are for Vista. I looked on the Internet for reports of problems installing Windows 7 on the Dell 755, and found that while Windows 7 located and installed some drivers for motherboard components automatically, others had to be installed manually by the owner.

    The IT department at the local college knows what they are doing. To put it bluntly, you don't.

    [Edit]To add to my post, many of these older Dell machines can only accept 2GB of RAM, and came with 512MB standard. Windows 7 32-bit Home Premium will run with only 2GB, but really needs a bit more to run well. I eventually upgraded from 2GB to 4GB because I found I needed more memory to be able to web surf while running Windows Media Center or some other programs in the background without slowing my system down to a crawl. (32-bit Windows can only address up to 4GB. Because some of the 4GB is taken up by various devices, in a 32-bit Windows system, at best only a bit more than 3GB of RAM is going to be available for use. I bought two 1GB sticks to be able to use dual channel mode and to get the extra fraction of a GB that would be available beyond 3GB.)
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 21st Sep 2013 at 13:08.
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    Hi Guys, thanks, I think I am up to speed with this issue
    (1) Get full version O/S or try OEM, wear asbestos gloves!
    (2) One activated O/S per machine, they check your components!
    (3) HDDs with activated O/S interchangeable, no problems, show em the money!
    (4) Buy 2nd hand machine that originally had motherboard designed to accept same drivers as O/S to be installed, or you may need an IT degree to work out the drivers, details.
    (5) ask all and sundry the stupid questions no one has told you about before, they are the easiest to answer!
    (6) On this forum, if in doubt, keep posting and day by day you will start getting better, and better!

    Thanks all, all the posts had something to say, enlightening, without the forum I would still be wondering about some of the issues you have clarified, thanks for taking the time

    Finally, here is my two penny worth, as I think I am reasonably up to speed on some software issues
    The Win 7 O/S was introduced late 2009, Most major retail stores in USA and UK sold new computers from late 2009, with Win 7 preinstalled. Careful!!! a 2nd hand machine from 2009/10/11/12 with Win 7 installed does not mean that it is the original O/S!
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  22. Originally Posted by visionman View Post
    Hi Guys, thanks, I think I am up to speed with this issue
    (1) Get full version O/S or try OEM, wear asbestos gloves!
    The full version can be activated on as many machines as you want -- but only one at a time. The OEM version can only be activated on one machine, ever. Though microsoft is pretty lenient with OEM licenses if you tell them your motherboard or hard drive died and you had to replace it (and hence require another activation).

    Originally Posted by visionman View Post
    (2) One activated O/S per machine, they check your components!

    No, you can have as many different Microsoft operating systems as you want on a single computer. What Microsoft will not let you do is install a single Windows license on multiple computers simultaneously.
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    Originally Posted by visionman View Post
    Finally, here is my two penny worth, as I think I am reasonably up to speed on some software issues The Win 7 O/S was introduced late 2009, Most major retail stores in USA and UK sold new computers from late 2009, with Win 7 preinstalled. Careful!!! a 2nd hand machine from 2009/10/11/12 with Win 7 installed does not mean that it is the original O/S!
    Most PCs made in 2009 will have hardware with Windows 7 drivers available. Microsoft had a policy where any new computer purchased with Windows Vista installed between late June 2009 and the October release of Windows 7 could be upgraded to Windows 7 free of charge, if the upgrade was performed by January 31, 2010. Manufacturers built their 2009 product offerings with future Windows 7 compatibility in mind and in most cases were providing support for customers wanting to take advantage of the upgrade offer.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 30th Sep 2013 at 12:10.
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