"You cannot use Retail media, like you buy over the counter, to
re-install OEM Windows - it uses a different set of Product Keys: an OEM
Product Key in a Retail DVD won't work, and vice versa."
There is no difference in the DVDs, the key determines what version you
"Andrew McLaren" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> This will depend on the manufacturer of your new PC.
> When Windows comes installed on a new PC, you are getting what's called an
> "OEM Licence" for Windows (OEM == Original Equipment Manufacturer)
> Under the terms of the OEM Licence, the manufacturer is not obliged to
> give you any physical media (such as a DVD). It costs them money, not just
> for the DVD disks, but also packaging, shipping, warehousing, maintemnce,
> management etc for all those millions of DVDs. So, many OEMs elect not to
> supply any media at all, and just leave you with the hidden partition.
> This way they pay less money to Microsoft, so they pass on the "savings"
> (by way of, no disk) to you the consumer.
> If you are lucky, your OEM will have an optional offer to get Windows on
> DVD. This is usually free or at low cost, eg $10 or thereabouts. The
> details should be in the documentation which came with your PC. If in
> doubt, contact their support line and ask.
> If you cannot get physical DVD media for Vista from your OEM, you are out
> of luck. You cannot use Retail media, like you buy over the counter, to
> re-install OEM Windows - it uses a different set of Product Keys: an OEM
> Product Key in a Retail DVD won't work, and vice versa.
> Personally I think this practice by the OEMs (not supplying physical
> media) stinks - it's a huge inconvenience to the user, to save a few lousy
> bucks. But all PC businesses run on incredibly thin margins, they count
> the cost of every screw.
> Sorry for the bad news,