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Windows 7: Re-using Genuine Windows 7 Product Key (OEM)

18 Dec 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (OEM)
Re-using Genuine Windows 7 Product Key (OEM)

Hi guys,

My ASUS N45SF originally came pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Basic (no physical disc). If I understood correct, this is the OEM version, since it came with the Notebook.

I wanted a Professional version, so I bought a Windows 7 Professional w/ SP1 (single license) separately from the retail store. Here it is:

As you can see, it appears I have bought an OEM version ("For distribution only with a PC") as well from the retail store. I have reformatted my ASUS N45SF once to install this, so right now, I am using the genuine license of the Professional version I have separately bought.

1) If I understood correct, aren't OEMs supposed to be sold only to manufacturers? Why was I able to buy one from the retail store?

2) Now that I am using an OEM Professional (apparently not a "full retail" disc), will I still be able to reuse/activate its product key on the same machine should I have the need to reformat it in the future?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Welcome to the forum,

A lot of people buy OEM versions because they are cheaper.

Basically you don't get Microsoft support that would come with a retail license and it it only good on that first machine you installed it on.

So Yes you can reinstall on that same machine again if you need to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #3


Welcome to the forums kathy025!

As to your first question, honestly I don't know right off hand. As to your second question, yes.

(derekimo - we have to stop meeting like this!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Dec 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

1) Anyone can purchase OEM ( as stated you don`t get Microsoft support with it )

2) You can use the key again and again on the same machine. ( same motherboard )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #5


Tips to get and keep a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
which are same for retail OEM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (OEM)

Oh shoot guys, I was half-scammed.

I bought it, thinking I was buying the Retail License. So that's why it didn't come in the fancy blue packaging. Still, glad to know I can re-use the product key on the same machine.

3) Upon re-installation, do I have to undergo through online activation or phone activation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Nope, just activate it as normal, don`t enter your key right away, always wait til you have windows how you want it, you have 30 days, so there`s no rush.

Retail costs a lot more then oem, as long as you got what you paid for, you weren`t scammed.

Didn`t you ask when you bought it ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #8

Dual Boot: Windows 8.1 & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1

Don't worry about no tech support from Microsoft. There is a better help desk team right here on seven forums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mhansen1 View Post
Don't worry about no tech support from Microsoft. There is a better help desk team right here on seven forums.
I couldn`t have said it any better myself
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2013   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64 (OEM)

Oh, I see. Thank you.

I'm just sad my OEM Professional is stuck to the machine I first activated it on and I won't be able to re-use it, should I upgrade to a new Notebook. Should have done my research first. If ever there's a next time, I'll make sure it's a Retail License. Hope someone else will learn from my experience.

Still thank you for the timely response and clarifications guys. It's still a relief to know the key is re-usable (on the same machine). I will post more should I have further questions.

Nice people here indeed.

- Can only be re-installed on the SAME machine it was first activated on
- Usually comes pre-installed on the machine (but can also be bought separately)
- No official MS support
- Cheaper

Retail (single license)
- Can be re-installed on ANY ONE computer, as long as it is not activated on another machine
- Usually bought separately
- Full official MS support
- Expensive
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Re-using Genuine Windows 7 Product Key (OEM)

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