O/T - advice sought from techie-type people, please.


Well-Known Member
Hi all:
I'm currently looking at a system upgrade, and I'm considering moving to a
laptop instead of a desktop, which I intend to use at home by plugging it into a
19" monitor and using a wireless keyboard and mouse. The idea being I'll
effectively have a PC, but it'll be portable as well.

At the moment, I'm searching the old interweb, and finding a number of
fairly attractive deals on laptops which are fairly high on raw power, (i7
processors, 16gb RAM, that kind of thing), but are supplied without an

I'm also finding some good deals from places like Amazon on Windows O/S OEM
versions; these come with the usual caveats about being intended only for
system builders, however there doesn't seem to be anything really preventing me
from buying them. Amazon for example don't seem to require that I provide any
proof that I am a "system builder", and it's not as if I really require any
customer support from MS ...

So, my question is, does anyone have any expereince of going down this
route, and what the pitfalls, if any? Is it a good way of saving money? Or am I
opening a can of worms for myself?

Any and all input welcomed; TIA.



In my opinion actually - its a far better way to go about things. Installing your own O/S avoids the endless and irritating software that people will inevitably lump on your system (Especially Toshiba and HP!) Only downsides can be with drivers, but modern operating systems have most of the common drivers built in.


Well-Known Member
Only downsides can be with drivers, but modern operating systems have most of the common drivers built in.

Most of the examples I've been looking at provide a disk with all necessary drivers. (they claim ... )

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
Done this with a desktop system and XP a few years back, never with a laptop (yet), but if you're reasonably confident and able to handle tracking down drivers/updates you need manually, I'd agree it's a much better way to get a system with everything you want but nothing you don't. From what I've heard win8 sucks (haven't tried it, I try to avoid being an early-adopter - or "post-release Beta tester" - as far as Microsoft is concerned), but it looks like there are plenty of W7 OEM kits around.


Active Member
Windows will install with its own set of drivers sufficient to get the laptop working. Once it is working you can easily go to the manufacturers website and download more recent drivers. Always remember Microsoft will write a general purpose driver to implement the basic functionality; the manufacturer knows the capabilities of their hardware better and therefore their own driver is usually the better choice.

One other thing, steer clear of Windows 8.


Do you have a specific need for Windows at all? You'd be able to get a Linux system up and running in far less time than you might spend tracking down and installing endless Windows drivers.


Well-Known Member
Dicking around trying to get major software like Finale to run under Linux et al is a step too far when it comes to frugality, I'm afraid ...

Cornet Nev.

I will dive in here even if the thread is over a week old.
Firstly to put your mind at rest, Microsoft don't give a monkey whether you buy and install an OEM version or a full version of their windows operating systems. So all you need to know is which version of the chosen operating system you require, 32bit or64bit, which depends on the laptop you buy. If fully capable of running 64bit then go for the 64bit version OEM disk.
Considering OEM stopped as being an option from Windows 8 onwards, I already assume you want Windows 7.
The main difference as far as the end user is concerned, between an OEM version and the full retail version, apart from price that is, the OEM is tied to the computer it is first installed on and cannot be moved to another computer. The activation codes are registered along with the major part makes and numbers when registered and validated, so moving to another computer will render it invalid.
However a full retail version can normally be moved to another computer with little hassle. (Might require a call to Microsoft)

Windows 8 by the way, is equivalent in a vague sense to OEM only, as the validation/license key is actually embedded into the BIOS system during installation, therefore it also cannot be moved. (Well, in theory)

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