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Newegg today became the first retailer to announce Windows 7's OEM pricing. An OEM upgrade is slightly cheaper than a traditional upgrade, and a good option for users who didn't preorder and can't get a student discount.
Users can use the OEM edition to get a big discount on Windows 7

Things were looking good when Microsoft announced its default Windows 7 pricing, which was lower than the prices of the previous Windows edition, Vista.  With that announcement came news of a pre-order program which sold Home Premium upgrade licenses for only $49.99, less than normal price of $119.99 (a pre-order of Windows 7 Professional, upgrade, similar dropped the price from $199.99 to $99.99).  For some of those eager to get their hands on Windows 7 the news got even better when Microsoft announced it would be offering a single Home Premium or Professional license to college students for $29.99, nearly the same price as Apple's Snow Leopard OS.

Now OEM prices have been unveiled by online retailer  Newegg says it will be offering Windows 7 Home Premium for $99.99, less than the suggested full (not upgrade) Home Premium license price of $199.99, and less than even the $119.99 suggested upgrade license price.  OEM Professional and Ultimate licenses will be priced at $134.99 and $174.99, respectively.

Typically, Microsoft has offered OEM licenses as a means for computer builders to upgrade to the latest version of Windows.  With the advent of online retailers, though, its been increasingly easy for everyday users to purchase OEM licenses -- and there's nothing technically preventing them from doing so.

Those looking to take the OEM route for a cheap upgrade must consider a handful of downsides.  First, the install will wipe out any data on your hard drive, unlike the Upgrade edition, so its important you back your data up beforehand.  Also, you are not permitted to transfer the license from one machine to another.  Microsoft also offers no support for its OEM licenses, so be prepared to be scouring online resources if you have problems.

In comparison to Windows Vista OEM, Windows 7's OEM prices are ever-so-slightly cheaper, with Home Premium being identical to Vista, and the Professional and Ultimate editions coming in at $5 cheaper than their Vista counterparts.

Newegg says that it is currently taking pre-orders on the OS.  The pre-order program will run until October 20.  Two days later, on October 22, Windows 7 will be officially released and start shipping.

For those looking to upgrade their computers, the student discount program remains the cheapest option.  The expired pre-order program was the second cheapest option, and now a third option -- an OEM edition -- provides a slightly more expensive alternative to those who missed the pre-order and can't get a student discount.

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Data wipe
By S3anister on 9/29/2009 1:03:46 PM , Rating: 5
First, the install will wipe out any data on your hard drive

I don't see that as a downside, most users should reformat their hard drives every so often anyway.

RE: Data wipe
By Yawgm0th on 9/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: Data wipe
By TomZ on 9/29/2009 1:33:52 PM , Rating: 5
The vast majority of problems can be fixed without reinstalling the operating system and in much less time.
You sure about that? I can re-load Win7 plus all my apps and data in ~2 hours. IMO, there's no faster or more effective way to clean a system than a new OS install.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 1:40:19 PM , Rating: 5
Installing an OS, plus patching it, rebooting over and over, then installing applications (games, etc), patching them...

Depending on how many applications you use it can take MUCH longer than 2 hours.

That's why I prefer to get everything installed and running then use Acronis TrueImage to make an image of my computer. That way, the next time something screws up (rare but it can happen) it takes 15-20 minutes to image and then it's just a matter of a few MS updates.

RE: Data wipe
By imaheadcase on 9/29/2009 3:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it does not even take that long.

Windows 7 final took me about 20min to install. I had all my apps already on Windows Home server so was all set.

I've never used a upgrade option.

RE: Data wipe
By feraltoad on 9/29/2009 8:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
I had all my apps already on Windows Home server

Could you explain this a bit?

RE: Data wipe
By Totally on 9/29/2009 11:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
He probably has copies of his program install.exe's saved on his WHS. I have my must have, frequently used apps, drivers, and .iso files in a folder labeled F_Aid_Kit on my network accessible hard drive.

RE: Data wipe
By jtesoro on 10/2/2009 8:22:32 AM , Rating: 2
Depending on what software he has and how many, it could still add an hour or so to the install anyway. Installing your office apps, security software, multimedia tools, and other favorite accessories quickly adds up.

RE: Data wipe
By tenchymuyo2 on 9/29/2009 7:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Imaging is the way to go, if you're into reformatting as a means of clean-slate operating.

RE: Data wipe
By Bateluer on 9/29/2009 1:52:52 PM , Rating: 5
You must not have a lot of applications and programs. A reformat for me will consume most of a weekend, and there will still likely be some Steam games that weren't downloaded.

I prefer clean installs, though, and I know what I need to do to get system fully back. I intend to reformat both my laptop and my desktop when 7 is released in October.

RE: Data wipe
By TomZ on 9/29/2009 1:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
You must not have a lot of applications and programs
I install a few utilities (Acrobat, WinZip, etc.), and probably 12-15 apps. That's probably average compared to most other users, right?

Win7 installs in 30 minutes, leaving me an hour or more of app loading. Completely doable in 2 hours.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 2:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
12-15 small apps? Why use WinZip? Windows has had native ZIP support since Windows XP.

Small applications are nothing. Try installing large applications from DVD or even multiple DVDs. Games are the big one although there is plenty of software out there that takes some time to install from CD/DVD.

You can technically be up and running in well under 2 hours but to get EVERYTHING can sometimes take a lot longer. It depends on the person. I sure hate installing all my games so that is why I just use Acronis TrueImage and do it that way.

RE: Data wipe
By TomZ on 9/29/2009 3:37:28 PM , Rating: 3
I didn't say small apps. Visual Studio is one of the apps I load, and that is by no means small. I also use Office and a bunch of CAD and engineering apps.

WinZip's capabilities exceed the built-in ZIP support by an order of magnitude. Paying a few dollars a year for that app is a no-brainer. I use it all the time.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 3:57:42 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, then that would be about 2 hours IMO. What about any games? What about patching applications?

Windows 7 is new so it won't have any Service Packs.

RE: Data wipe
By mindless1 on 9/29/2009 5:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
Short version:

What about it being nonsense? Any power user has several, TONS of OS settings, application settings, tweaks, etc.

Longer version:

That's also a good time to collect and start using newer driver versions. Someone might've done that ahead of time but then it still took up their time and can't be discounted.

Maybe in the past they've slipstreamed service packs, to have a more modern OS installation ready but that too has to be considered as time put towards reinstallation procedures.

If someone tells me that after a grand total of two hours they have 100% of what they do on a computer ready to use, 100% ready like it was, I know that user isn't very productive unless it's a single purpose system with very little added. Just setting up the audio/video including players, encoders, codecs, DXVA, playback tests, can take a good chunk of an hour.

Just doing a few gaming stress tests to be sure the system is stable fully loaded can take over an hour.

Further, if someone ONLY does the amount of installation and configuration that takes 2 hours, then how was the OS needing to be reinstalled?

There's the load of nonsense. If you're not spending time later changing things there was no need to reinstall because you would've had the exact same configuration either way, should have then suspected hardware faults that have no need for software redone.

There is only one sane way to maintain a system for power users. Image the hard drive after you get it fully set up the way you want it. Image it again periodically and manage data on a fileserver or at least a separate partition that's independently backed up.

However, I'm not necessarily arguing against formatting a partition and doing a clean install, particularly if you want to experiment with something or have questions about file integrity like if memory instability is suspected, or sometimes it really does take longer to fix a problem like some nasty malware... but that's where making the partition back to restore comes in.

RE: Data wipe
By TomZ on 9/29/2009 9:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
What about it being nonsense? Any power user has several, TONS of OS settings, application settings, tweaks, etc.
IMO that depth of configuration is a waste of time. I only tweak a few settings away from their defaults in Explorer and IE. Everything else in Win7 works for me as-is.

And Win7 also carries with it very up-to-date drivers for my hardware. The ones it doesn't have are solved by the built-in Update. Quick and simple.

To me the computer is a tool - a means to an end - and so I tend to focus more on what the computer can be used for (apps) instead of the OS configuration and in wringing out that last 1% of performance. But I'm also not a gamer and I'm not running on older hardware. I use my computers for business purposes and some web browsing.

RE: Data wipe
By mindless1 on 10/1/2009 12:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
What about applications? You actually use the defaults in your apps? Setting all that up does take me longer than windows tweaks.

Win7 does not contain up to date drivers, it contains up to date MINI-drivers that are stripped of functionality.

You are far far better off to not have a driver included with windows, for it to never associate a built in driver, with the exception of an ethernet driver so you at least have connectivity to the lan, wan/internet to import files without the tedious task of moving them by removable media.

I feel the computer is a tool too, but I am picky about my tools and can appreciate some differences in them including OS and application settings. This isn't just a choice, nor a way to feel more in control, it relates to productivity just as some feel certain GUI features present or disabled help them get more done.

Some have no appreciation for things as simple as only caching browser files in memory, or that for business purposes it may take more than just a minute to set up security.

RE: Data wipe
By MindParadox on 10/2/2009 2:34:11 AM , Rating: 2
in a little over half of the programs i use, i use the defaults, as i am a big proponent of "if it aint broke, dont fix it" as for windows tweaks, i usually write batch files(in some cases like Vista, .exe files) to perform the entire set of tweaks to the OS that i want in seconds, so only the first time takes time. also, formatting a hard drive, if you perform a full depp format takes a set amount of time dependant on what size the drive itself is, however, assuming no major virus/worm, a simple format (tells the drive its empty) takes only a couple of minutes on my hard drive (its a 500GB WD 7200 RPM drive)

quite simply, i have found that it really isnt productive to customize everything to a ridiculous degree, because invariably i will end up at a computer that isnt my own, and have to use the defaults anyway, whether thats at work or a friends, so why bother? learn the defaults, and you never have a problem :)

also, the "up to date MINI drivers" in alot of cases do exactly what is required of them and nothing more, in the case of an ethernet card, or CD/DVD drive. for video card, sound or motherboard at this point, unless you are buying something that is completely bleeding edge or psychotically purpose built(like the overpriced "Gaming" motherboards), the OS should have all the drivers to get it working, or there is something wrong with your hardware

RE: Data wipe
By mindless1 on 10/3/2009 9:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the time people don't pay for a decent product only to have it castrated by a "mini-driver".

I can appreciate time savings in writing batch files/etc, so there is limited redundancy, but you have to still count the time to research, decide, write the batch files... it has to be considered part of the total setup time and we were talking about individual PCs, and considering the average person doesn't come near upgrading every two years, such more efficient methods are still, per installation, a significant amount of time.

If you use the defaults in many applications what ends up happening is your use of the application takes longer, so once again the total time spent increases.

I haven't even mentioned all the time to apply patches, or perpetually slipstream an OS, it really isn't true at all that a serious power user can be done in a couple hours, unless all they are doing is restoring a backup image of the partition. Perhaps 3 to 4 hours for some people is enough, but if you really get serious and start using a stopwatch, it takes a heck of a long time to wait for today's bloated apps to install and update from slow data sources like a CD/DVD, internet. We could say it's a lot faster if you don't care about being patched up, but then someone comes along and reminds that this isn't optimal either, or we could say having the files on a local or network share speeds things up but then we also have to add the time spent creating and maintaining that separate store of files... it all adds up pretty quickly in a home versus corporate environment were the eliminated redundancy isn't as much time.

RE: Data wipe
By jtesoro on 10/2/2009 8:29:52 AM , Rating: 2
Everything else in Win7 works for me as-is.

Including the built-in zip functionality, right? ;)

RE: Data wipe
By Staples on 9/29/2009 9:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
Visual Studio by itself takes 30 minutes to install. I call bs.

As for me, a reinstall plus configuring everything can take upwards of 6-10 hours.

RE: Data wipe
By oTAL on 9/30/2009 5:35:13 AM , Rating: 3

It's better and it's free.

RE: Data wipe
By Jonesd on 9/29/2009 6:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Use 7-zip if you can as it also opens rar files without the 30 whatever day trial Winzip offers

RE: Data wipe
By FITCamaro on 9/29/2009 4:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
Get the pro version then that comes with a built in backup tool. Do a clean install, install all your drivers and programs, and do a backup. Then you can restore that backup whenever you like. You just have to copy your documents, pictures, etc. If you want to update it, restore it, install whatever new programs you want, and do another backup to make it your default.

That's why I run Vista Business on my gaming computer.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 5:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why Microsoft didn't put those backup features on all of their operating system versions. It's great to compete with Time Machine from OS X. Every file/folder has it's own "Previous Versions" tab you can restore from.

RE: Data wipe
By Jonesd on 9/29/2009 6:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
MS DOes have the previous version option.. look it up :)

I've been tempted to setup the very facility in work but thankfully the users there don't delete files at random moments 'or' make that many mistakes when saving.

Odd really?

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/30/2009 2:25:54 PM , Rating: 2

Not available in ALL versions of Windows Vista, etc.

RE: Data wipe
By Alpha4 on 10/2/2009 5:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you there. I never fully recover from a reformat for weeks because I simply never get around to reinstalling an application until I need it. I also spend a lot of time scouring and removing unnecessary services or tweaking the OS for performance or aesthetic purposes. Plus I kind of obsessively follow a specific file sorting system, as opposed to flooding my Program Files folder, and that adds to install times a bit.

It helps to have a network resource, external disk drive or clean partition for backups, however. Steam games are the easiest to recover as you need only drag & drop the contents of the Steamapps folder to another drive and then paste it back after reinstalling steam.

On the plus side, having reformatting so many times in the past, I've actually gotten a sense of what games or applications don't require installation to run properly. Some will operate straight from the folder while others simply need a quick registry hack to get working.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 1:36:14 PM , Rating: 3
I would agree that a reformat is not the ideal solution, in fact it is a rather uneducated and quick fix for those unable to figure out how to fix actual problems.

But for those that have an improperly maintained computer it is better to do a clean install as opposed to an upgrade. It's much easier to do for those of us (power users, IT professionals, etc) to do because we know where people put their crap and what needs to be backed up.

People upgrading on their own on an already spyware/malware infected computer is just a disaster waiting to happen.

RE: Data wipe
By BigMick on 9/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 2:28:37 PM , Rating: 4
I speak from experience...not from a superiority complex. Bad assumption from someone with the name "BigMike".

I can't tell you how many low-level IT techs I have seen just reformat/re-image to resolve a problem. The ratio against those that actually try repairs, system restore, patches, etc are alarming. That is why I call it an uneducated quick fix. They don't take the time to learn the ins and outs of the OS that are available to them.

You must take such an offense because this applies to you, right?

RE: Data wipe
By Etern205 on 9/29/2009 4:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
While some problems can be solved without the need to reformat, there are certain cases where reformat is necessary.
e.g. Cannot install XP SP3, access is denied
solution: MS has provided a patch for it, download patch and run it.

I've worked on a machine that was infected with malware, viruses, you name it.
It took me 2 whole days to get the thing back up and running by using free/paid AV programs like MalwareBytes, SuperAntispyware, GMER, Hijackthis, Kapersky, and so forth.

On the day the client picked it up, I've showed it to him and it works great. A few days later he called and said it's still the same problem and want his refund because the problem wasn't fixed.

It's these idiotic customers who has no common sense that drives IT technicans to the point of almost giving up and go with the simplest solution (and to avoid the hassle): reformat.

Customers has to use their common sense when using a computer and cannot put the responsibilty on a IT technican for their own stupid actions.

RE: Data wipe
By Meinolf on 9/29/2009 4:50:48 PM , Rating: 3
I have to say if you work on fixing computers for a living with the new viruses and spyware out there it is much faster to reformat. You can do all the fixing you want and know all there is to know about the OS but I would rather have a computer I know is clean of virus/spyware. Time is Money Not sure what company you work for but in Insurance users need a computer fast.

RE: Data wipe
By Etern205 on 9/30/2009 12:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
Formatting is the best and fastest option (it uses the least amount of energy and time), but when a customer request that you don't (I have lots of important programs, don't have the original CDs and lots of files, blah, blah, blah) while you strongly recommend it's better off.

RE: Data wipe
By SavagePotato on 10/4/2009 10:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say it's always the best option, but that's what cleaning up computers is about.

Evaluating whether it is less work to reload than it is to clean it up. Doing a reload can be a chaotic thing for the average computer user much of the time. People who can't even find the start menu getting their machine back with anything at all not where they remember it usually leads to call backs and a million questions.

Of course thats usually the first question to the customer, do you need it backed up or not, if not 99% of the time just reloading it without a back up being needed is the best. Backing up their crap on a virused to hell machine on the other hand not as pleasant.

Talking about all this makes me glad I don't do that anymore. I don't miss battling the latest vundo infections that would hit like a plague every so often. Theres a special place in my heart that still wants to beat the makers of virtumonde to death with a tire iron.

RE: Data wipe
By yxalitis on 9/29/2009 10:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
I call you up on this, I've worked in service desk support for 12 years, and am currently the helpdesk manager of an IT company.

It's true, that most serious OS problems CAN be fixed without a rebuild...but we are talking about timelines here, we can re-image a PC in 10 minutes, BAM!, problem solved, user can get back to being productive.
Doing all that mind-numbing patching, system restores, repairs etc all take TIME.

And for home users...COME ON! Seperate drive for OS and apps, sheesh, how hard was THAT! MOST games don't need to be installed, as they can be run directly from their folder. STEAM games can be left in a nice safe folder on you app drive, launch Steam app, hey presto, everything works.

As for system setting...has ANYONE heard of Windows built-in-since-XP Files and Settings Transfer Wizard? It actually WORKS you know...
OK, for system developers or people who use apps that don't play nice without a proper install, yeah, you're gonna have some serious down time, but for the rest of you...??

RE: Data wipe
By Parhel on 9/29/2009 2:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's much easier to do for those of us (power users, IT professionals, etc) to do because we know where people put their crap and what needs to be backed up.

No, we know where people are supposed to put their crap. Big difference.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 2:31:14 PM , Rating: 3
No. It's either in their Documents folder, Desktop or on the root of C:\. Heh heh!

RE: Data wipe
By Parhel on 9/29/2009 9:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
My grandfather brought his computer to me to help in removing a virus, and he had all his documents and pictures saved in the temp folder under his user profile. Since then, if I do a format or replace a failing hard drive, I always back up the entire drive to an external HDD and keep it for a few months.

RE: Data wipe
By KonradK on 9/30/2009 8:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. For me reinstalling is the last resort.
If I must reinstall this means I'm unable to determine of nature of the problem with my OS, or the problem was caused by external (to the system) things, like HDD failure.
Otherwise if the same problem will happen next time, I will be forced to reinstall again. There are no chance on progress with such approach.
Bluntly speaking: such approach is a sign of ignorance of the user. Personally I know many users that often reinstall their systems (no matter whether it is Win98, XP, Vista, Linux). Although there is a simple method of recovering the most settings in such casse (by copying appropriate directories from old account in Users/Documents and Settings) they never do it. For them system is just necesssary ballast, required for launching their favourite programs. Some of such users would be happy with MS-DOS and NC if it would launch their programs.

RE: Data wipe
By The0ne on 9/29/2009 1:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
Although Windows7 installation is easier than previous versions it isn't ideal to reformat unless you really can't resolve issues with your PC (viruses, spams, damn registry, etc.).

A new installation doesn't that too long but the updates to the OS, after it's aged, and the updates to your applications are tedious. As someone already stated below me, I also have many applications that MUST be installed if I have the OS reinstalled new. This takes a long time, something I hate to go through.

And thus, keep a good image every so often of your system backed up and just restore in less than 10min (5min for me using trueimage). And don't put documents and important data on the boot partition :)

RE: Data wipe
By Omega215D on 9/29/2009 9:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
CCleaner and Revo Uninstall are a couple of the best free programs I have ever used. I have not needed to reformat both my XP and Vista machines since installing the OS.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 10/1/2009 10:56:06 AM , Rating: 2
You have had a single Windows XP install since 2001? Amazing!

CCleaner is worthless as are any registry cleaning programs. They have nothing to do with why you would need to reformat and reinstall an OS.

RE: Data wipe
By ClownPuncher on 9/29/2009 2:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
I would venture to say that those that are behind the learning curve for installing an OS probably DON'T have a properly maintained system.


RE: Data wipe
By callmeroy on 9/29/2009 2:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
You sir, are just plain wrong.

Formatting a system (and yes my home system IS well maintained too) from time to time, mind you not every few months that would be overkill, but every once in a while particularly if you install tons of apps and remove them once in a while (for example like on my gaming computer at home).....a nice re-format is a fantastic way to clean your system and restore lost performance. Even better than the utilities you can buy to clean your system, defrag it, etc.

I've never ran official tests or studies to prove this but from personal and long experience I can tell you my systems are OBVIOUSLY faster after a fresh format and re-install.

And this is from someone who keeps up on scheduled defrags, AV/Malware software is always updated, all patches are updated and I also watch were I'll surf online nor do I download junk left and right either.

The changing of the apps I mention is when I tire of games I un-install them, plus installing new games I get.....then maybe 6 months later i re-install a game (with each game comes patches too).

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 3:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
Before I installed Windows 7 I had Windows Vista up for 2 years on the same computer. Installed all the patches, service packs, applications added/removed, etc. It never slowed down for me. I never defragged either (disabled the scheduled event for it). I only have a Core 2 Duo and 4GB DDR2 as well.

I never bothered with registry cleaning garbage apps either.

The only reason to reformat and fresh install is because of a virus/malware. If you get a newer/faster hard drive then you can merely image from the old hard drive to the new.

RE: Data wipe
By Blight AC on 9/30/2009 11:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
Got that beat. Windows XP install on my old Dell Laptop (Inspiron 9300). It's been running for about 4 years now at least. I only reformatted it when I first got it from dell to remove all the crap they ship it with. Still cold boots XP in 30 seconds.

That's on a Pentium M 1.86 Ghz, with 1 GB RAM and the 7200 RPM HDD. The battery no longer charges, but that system still amazes me with it's responsiveness. Takes me another 15 seconds to login and load Firefox.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 10/1/2009 10:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
My point wasn't how long I have had my OS up and running but that I never used registry cleaning programs or defragged and my system never slowed down.

If you managed to do that too then that's a good thing and more proof. If you are just posting to point out how long you have had an OS install on a single PC then you are wasting your time.

RE: Data wipe
By Chaser on 9/29/2009 2:25:22 PM , Rating: 3
Moreover, the learning curve of an OS reinstall is often too much for the average user --

"Average users" tend to flood their computers with tons of "free" apps and bloatware and they almost always leave orphaned registry keys, hardware devices, and folders. Even above average users do that even though they think they know how to "properly maintain" a computer.

So even more reason why it can be a good practice to do a clean install sometimes.

RE: Data wipe
By Hieyeck on 9/29/2009 3:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
-registry (I cried when I saw this in Win7)
-old apps (Power users are especially bad, since they keep installing random crap to try out cool new shit)
-uninstall leftovers
-trojans and other hijacks (that everyone gets once in a while - yes even you, cause those porn sites and cracked software will get you one time or another, your fault or not)

I could go on and on and on about all the crap leftover in systems.

Yes, in theory, you can keep a constant vigil, or manually recover after a nasty oopsies in less time, but when you consider that a reformat's time is mostly consumed by watching that green/blue bar crawl accross the screen and your only task is to only click accept>next>next>finish, you could probably do it while doing other REAL LIFE things. I think most people are capable of cooking a meal (a neccessity), doing the laundry (i sure hope it's a neccessity), or cleaning up the desk (yes, I included an office chore, just so you don't try any silly gotchas) whilst occasionally tapping the enter key to go through these installs.

RE: Data wipe
By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 5:58:22 PM , Rating: 3
1. Disabled SuperFetch. Only advantageous if you have a LOT of RAM. Moot if your computer is already fast.
2. Old registry entries do not harm anything. The registry is merely a database. Registry entries are moot if nothing is pointing to them anymore.
3. Real power users will be trying out apps in a VM. Will not be affecting the host OS. This goes along with your trojans and hijacks theory. VirtualBox is free.

RE: Data wipe
By Jonesd on 9/29/2009 6:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
If MS removed the registry I'm sure a LOT of vendors would scream at them.

RE: Data wipe
By eek2121 on 10/2/2009 8:13:35 AM , Rating: 2
I am also going to disagree here. I definitely do not consider myself a noob when it comes to these things ( I have 10+ years of IT experience, and I'm also a software developer), but any user who DOESN'T reformat every so often shows lack of education of the windows operating system. You say that users should be able to fix most problems, but that is untrue.

1) What about things like registry bloat? Old registry settings, etc. Uninstallers don't remove everything. Ever taken a look at a virgin registry vs a clean one? Tools don't help much either. Most of the 'registry optimization' tools I've tried either don't get everything or the get things they aren't supposed to.

2) What about old files laying around? Apps that leave behind files when you uninstall them, etc. A 3 year old XP install can have over a million files. Think those files don't slow down your machine? It's just another file index to parse and that much longer your machine takes to look up information.

3) 100% defrag. Now there are tools out there that can help you with this, but reformatting is often the best way to perform a 100% defragmentation of your system.

4) Ever see what a virus can do to a system? I've seen viruses infect a system so badly that the virus scanner just can't get rid of all of the traces of it.

5) Reformatting also ensures that you don't have a rootkit installed on your system. While this may sound foolish, even the best users I've worked with have had rootkits at some point or another. These rootkits are usually undetectable by virus scanners and even the specialized tools out there have trouble picking them up.

These are just a few of the reasons why one should reformat periodically. In an ideal world we shouldn't have to, but our world is hardly ideal. Anyone that doesn't believe that a periodic reformat is necessary is foolish and I hope to god you aren't in IT.

RE: Data wipe
By kattanna on 9/29/2009 1:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
plus anyone coming from XP or moving from a 32bit to 64bit OS will have to do a full wipe and fresh install anyways.

RE: Data wipe
By Griswold on 9/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: Data wipe
By Lerianis on 10/2/2009 7:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think so. I got the RTM version, and it left my data alone when I installed it.... just waiting for my number to come so I can permanently activate.

By Unicorn0830 on 9/29/2009 1:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
After initial install of an OEM version, your OEM copy will not work if you upgrade the MB. You'll need to call MS.

By GreenEnvt on 9/29/2009 1:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes true, and while it does take a few minutes, the most complex call I ever had was "I replaced my motherboard because the old one fried itself", and the phone rep said "ok, here is your new installation ID"

By ksherman on 9/29/2009 1:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Works even if you change computers :-)

By jonmcc33 on 9/29/2009 1:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if you tell them that the motherboard fried then technically they shouldn't activate again for you. It is tied to the motherboard.

That being said, I always tell them that the hard drive died and I had to re-install. That doesn't violate any EULA foro OEM.

By johnsonx on 9/29/2009 2:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
I have called Microsoft numerous times to re-activate an OEM version on a new mainboard. I told them exactly that, and each time they activated it without any further question.

I know that officially the license is tied to the mainboard, but in practice they simply don't enforce it that way. As long as you tell them it's the same physical computer (I guess that translates to the same case, ie the thing with the sticker on it), they don't hassle you.

By Ratinator on 9/29/2009 1:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
In the early days, I replaced a video card and CD player and that was enough for my copy to prompt me and say, hey you changed your hardware, your current copy of Windows is no longer invalid. A quick 10 minute phone call to MS fixed the problem. I am since on 2 new motherboards (moved from Intel to AMD at one point) and 4th video card and have not had a problem using the same copy since.

By kmmatney on 9/29/2009 1:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
With windows XP, I was able to make 2 motherboard changes without having to call Microsoft. I had to call Microsoft on my third motherboard, but they did give me the code, so I was able to milk the OEM version of XP through several upgrades of my computer.

By omnicronx on 9/29/2009 1:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldnt worry, I've already installed and registered a copy of 7 on two machines with the same one motherboard restriction without issue.. This is really nothing new either, it was the same with Vista and XP for OEM versions, but I've still managed to install more than one copy.

By walk2k on 9/29/2009 8:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know if it's different on Win7 but have re-installed XP probably 15 times on all kinds of different computers until it finally didn't let me do the online authorization. Just had to do a robo-call, only hard part was writing down the 8,390 digit id number.. :P

I still want to know...
By Morphine06 on 9/29/2009 1:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
If I have an OEM copy of Vista and buy the retail upgrade will the license become retail and thus transferable to upgraded systems?

RE: I still want to know...
By namechamps on 9/29/2009 1:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well the license doesn't become anything.

A retail license is always a retail license.

Within that an upgrade license requires a previous version to be valid.

So if you buy a retail upgrade Windows 7 version the license is always retail. You legally can't use it unless you have a valid license for Vista but the windows 7 license is always retail.

RE: I still want to know...
By Morphine06 on 9/29/2009 2:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
Okay I think that answers that. I get to save money with less headache by upgrading my OEM Vista instead of getting an OEM W7. Apart from possibly having to install Vista before installing W7 on a complete reinstall.

Although since I got my WHS I do less and less of those these days. 3-pk upgrade here I come.

RE: I still want to know...
By kmmatney on 9/29/2009 1:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't bother. I've always been able to upgrade my computers a least a few times with an OEM license. Waste of money to by the retail upgrade when you already have an OEM license. I had to call Microsoft after my last upgrade, but I just explained that my PC died and the motherboard had to be replaced, and they gave me a new validation code.

RE: I still want to know...
By CvP on 9/29/2009 2:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
so i can just buy this Windows 7 OEM version
and i'll be able to install Windows "8" retail UPGRADE?

thanks a lot. i was looking for this answer.

RE: I still want to know...
By walk2k on 9/30/2009 12:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
No I don't think you can upgrade a OEM copy. Retail only.

You can buy a new OEM copy for about the same price (or less, actually).

RE: I still want to know...
By dark matter on 9/30/2009 4:38:40 AM , Rating: 2
Firstly there is no such thing as an OEM upgrade. So I am not sure what you mean by retail upgrade.

A lot of posts above have got it wrong.

Whatever your previous license this will be carried accross to your upgrade.

Thus is you had an OEM version of XP and you use Win7 upgrade you will have OEM Win7 and to be within the license agreement you cannot transfer to another machine.

If your previous version of Windows was retail then your Win7 upgrade will also be retail. Meaning you can install the Win7 upgrade and then later on transfer to another machine after deleting the install on the existing installation.

And whilst a lot of people are saying they transferred their OEM versions of Windows across several machines, they are in fact in breach of the license and thus legally are in the same situation as if they had pirated windows.

My opinion is that although legally you are in breach of license I think ethically there is no problem with using the OEM license across several machines. I have done this myself.


I expected about as much
By smackababy on 9/29/2009 1:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like I will be purchasing the Professional OEM disk on launch day. Let us hope it exceeds the beta as far as quality goes (Not saying the beta was bad, just everything could always be improved).

RE: I expected about as much
By inighthawki on 9/29/2009 1:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
I've been running the RTM for a while now, and compared to the beta, the performance and stabiity has increased dramatically, and improved over the RC build as well. I have yet to run into any problems at all that were the fault of 7 itself. I think you will be happy with RTM if you liked the beta (or even RC)

RE: I expected about as much
By smackababy on 9/29/2009 1:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have the RC, and I am in no way knocking it. I love Windows 7 so far and have only had a few minor problems, 99% of which were probably not OS related.

RE: I expected about as much
By Mitch101 on 9/29/2009 2:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
Im running Windows 7 RTM and for some unholy reason I was using McCaffee and it chewed up an important file. My own mistake. I told it to and I was mid patching but hadn't rebooted yet. Plus I was using McCaffee what did I expect. I was a little to quick to click. I couldn't boot into Windows 7 after the damage was done. So I got to experience the recovery abilities of Windows 7. I'm happy to report it too is great. I was able to recover nicely. Within maybe 10 mins I was back. The recovery options are nicely put together and reassures you how you wont lose any of your personal data. I almost want others to mess up their PC just to see how good it is.

Everything in Windows 7 is great right down the new calculator. Yes I got excited over the calculator. I will say that Windows 7 is probably Microsofts best OS yet.

RE: I expected about as much
By TomZ on 9/29/2009 2:32:19 PM , Rating: 2
for some unholy reason I was using McCaffee
Yes, I can see your problem. To solve that, use Add/Remove programs and choose "uninstall." :o)

(I'm not a fan of that program or others like it...)

Available now, why preorder and wait.
By cyclonus on 9/29/2009 2:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
Zipzoomfly has them in stock and ready to ship right now for the same price as newegg. No wait no preorders. I'm just debating between Home premium or Ultimate, leaning towards premium though. Not much difference between the two but price and the XP mode.

RE: Available now, why preorder and wait.
By Spivonious on 9/29/2009 3:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
Pro - adds xp mode, remote desktop server, domain joining
Ultimate - adds bitlocker, multiple language support

Please ignore Ultimate unless you really need its features.

RE: Available now, why preorder and wait.
By BruceLeet on 9/30/2009 1:44:53 AM , Rating: 2

Please ignore Ultimate?

Why dictate whom uses what OS?

By Spivonious on 9/30/2009 12:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
Because if people assume they need ultimate they will just complain later about the high price and that "M$ ripped me off. I need a free copy of Windows 8".

By TomZ on 9/29/2009 3:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Zipzoomfly has them in stock and ready to ship right now for the same price as newegg. No wait no preorders.
ZZF's website says about the price, "Pre-Order special, offer ends 10/21."

So I doubt you're right about that. I think they'll be happy to take your money now and ship you the software on 10/22 just like everyone else.

By BruceLeet on 9/29/2009 2:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
I preordered my free Windows 7 64-bit upgrade from my OEM! Orders are processed on a first come first serve I'll probably end up waiting a long time for mine to come in.

...for freee, I cant complain.

RE: Well
By meikol on 9/29/2009 5:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
I just got a new computer with a free Windows 7 upgrade. I ordered the upgrade and on the website FAQ it said you could do a clean install.

Do you know if this is correct? It doesn't sound right.

By Spivonious on 9/29/2009 1:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
Those prices are special preorder prices. Newegg has the regular price of OEM home at $109.99, Pro for $139.99, and Ultimate for $189.99.

Get them cheaper...
By The0ne on 9/29/2009 2:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
There are deals out there for to buy them cheap if you're interested. Check the bargains sites like anandtech :)

How about 2 for 1 and for less
By xyn081s on 9/29/2009 2:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
You can get it now even cheaper. Newegg now has Vista Home Premium for $89.99 with free shipping + Free Win 7 upgrade coupon. You get 2 OS's for the price of one. Not too bad.

price freeze?
By deegee on 9/29/2009 7:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently these low prices are not available to the people in the frozen great white north...
I have been watching the Win7 prices here for the past months at and and other canuck stores, and we are getting hosed by the corporate-hosers here in Canada.

eg. Windows 7 Pro Upgrade pre-order $249.95 (
take off eh!

These prices are higher than polar bear poo...
Even the UK is getting better Win7 prices than Canada. I won't be upgrading any of my systems to Win7 because of this.

OEM Vista - changed computers
By Noubourne on 9/30/2009 10:03:51 AM , Rating: 2
I upgrade my computer fairly frequently - and I rarely use a mobo more than 3 years.

I have Vista OEM from Newegg and I called them when I changed mobos and explained that I needed a new mobo to run a quad-core processor. They basically only asked me if I still had Vista installed on the "old" machine - it took maybe 30 seconds to explain that the "old" machine was only a few parts (mobo processor, PSU and RAM) - and that I still only had one computer - and just like that I had my new key. It was a very quick transaction and I believe they do a very good job of honoring your purchase. I bought the OS - they know as well as I do that it would be silly to force me to purchase it again as long as it is not already being used on another machine.

I would still like to see the language softened to represent their actual policies, but as long as they continue to enforce it appropriately I guess I don't really care what their legal team makes them write in the EULA.

Also, on the re-install stuff, I didn't see much slowdown with XP - and none with Vista.

When I reinstalled Vista on my new machine it was fairly easy even without a complete backup. I was able to back up a bunch of settings and transfer them over by saving that file on one of my other hard drives. Most of my apps and games are installed to a second hard drive. Some had to be reinstalled, but most just worked.

Also, I got in on the first promo program and got Windows 7 Home Premium for $50. I thought it was a great deal and I could not be happier or more excited to get the upgrade.

Unlike most people, I did not have huge problems with Vista. The new interface took a bit of getting used to, but within a couple weeks I had it tamed and customized to my needs and I found it very reliable and convenient. It needed a lot of power, but as a gamer that's not an issue for me.

By Phoenix7 on 10/1/2009 8:13:30 AM , Rating: 2
I really like the college deal of only $30, it's a nice upgrade to vista.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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