Do you use your OEM operating system?

Daniel Pataki
Apr 12, 2009
Updated • Jun 7, 2017

I just got my hands on a new Sony Vaio FW, and I'm really interested to know how you guys use the operating system on your laptop. My old one had XP installed, which I threw away, downloaded a fresh copy, and used my serial on that without any problems, and as long as I use the same OS version, I believe that this is completely legal.

However, my new laptop has Vista, of which I downloaded a copy, installed it, and found that my key doesn't work. While the label on my old laptop just says Windows XP, this one says Windows Vista Home Premium OEMact, so I guess this is the problem. The first question here is, does any of you know how to legally get a working version of Vista which is not full of unneeded things?

system oem information

The second questions is, do you guys use the OS installs provided by the laptop maker? I find that there is a lot of 'everythingware" in these systems from tiny vendor specific utilities, to large pre-installed vendor stuff, trial apps like virus scanners, Office products, and just boatloads of stuff I will never-ever need. For basic users, or for people who just don't care this may be ok, what do you think, do you use your pre-installed OS?

Update: You can run a program like PC Decrapifier on newly bought laptops and PCs to remove much of the "garbage", that is trial versions, third party software and the like, from it in one go.

If you know you are not going to use any of the programs that the manufacturer has added to it, it is the best option to go about it. You can alternatively go ahead and uninstall all the software manually, but depending on the amount installed, this can take quite some time.


Do you use your OEM operating system?
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Do you use your OEM operating system?
Daniel wants to know if you use the operating system your computer comes with, or if you install another operating system instead.
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  1. Raj kumar said on March 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I have purchesed a hcl mileap which provide an OEM operating cd of XP3 Can i foemat my Laptop & reinstall the OS w\From the provided OEM CD ?

    Please help me as soom as possible..


  2. Markus said on April 17, 2009 at 2:20 am

    For Windows XP I downloaded a disc including SP3 called “Windows XP 7in1”

    As you boot it, you get a promt to choose one of all 7 Windows versions (eg. Home, Home OEM, Professional, Professional OEM, Home Retail, …)

    After you have chosen something, the normal setup routine (as you konw it) starts and will accept an adequate valid serial.

    And the best thing is, that it is only the Size of a CD not a DVD.

    But I don’t know if there is something similar for Vista

  3. Adarsh said on April 14, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Why don’t you use Vlite?

    Take your Original CD, open it with Vlite, remove all the unwanted programs, pre-add the cd key, add what programs you want to include in fresh install. Walla you got a perfectally legal, slip streamed version of windows OS

    if you want to do it with XP use nLite

  4. John said on April 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    re: Dotan Cohen

    I believe you’re mistaken, the original poster has a Cerfiticate of Authenticity for “Windows Vista Home Premium OEMact” per the license off You’re allowed to use that version of the software, on the laptop it came installed on. There’s absolutely nothing illegal about reinstalling the software.

    But an OEM license is restricted to the “Licensed Device” which, in this case, is the laptop with the CoA sticker attached.

  5. slapjimmy said on April 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    picassa can’t even play .gif properly. sif not fix that yet

  6. Dotan Cohen said on April 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    > My old one had XP installed, which I threw away, downloaded a fresh copy, and used
    > my serial on that without any problems, and as long as I use the same OS version, I
    > believe that this is completely legal.

    You don’t need to believe, just read the license. You will see that it is _not_ legal.

    > The first question here is, does any of you know how to legally get a working version
    > of Vista which is not full of unneeded things?

    Any other way is not legal, sorry. Not with an OEM license, which if you read the license you would clearly see that.

    > The second questions is, do you guys use the OS installs provided by the
    > laptop maker?

    Of course not. I use this:

  7. Dante said on April 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Whenever I get a new system, I always use MagicJellyBean keyfinder to get the real software keys. Back these keys up on my PDA’s secured eWallet. Than reformat the machine. I hate all those adwares that PC vendors put into their systems – most of which doesn’t get cleaned out properly unless you reformat the harddrive.

    And you can always download a copy of Vista off the internet. The install DVD for Vista includes all the versions. Your product key unlocks the particular version for install.

  8. Nakodari said on April 12, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Hey Martin, I don’t usually comment on blogs. But since you need a little help, here is what I can recommend you.

    Use this software to remove all pre-installed stuffs from the laptop, these junk tools really slow down the overall performance of your system. The pre-installed software that came with my dv5t laptop ate around 35% of the total system memory, which if you ask me is a lot. Once you have removed all pre-installed software, you will get a fresh feel of your OS. I hope this helps :)

  9. sunkumarspace said on April 12, 2009 at 11:46 am

    yeah i use and also lots of stuffs i find good abnd help full and otherwise using oc decaprier can be unnstalled

  10. iolas said on April 12, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I got a Vaio laptop too and was suprised with all the bloatware installed to it. A lot was trialware (e.g. 90-day Norton & Office 2007). Some were freewares (Google pack – Earth, picassa, talk etc)… and they all needed updates (which was as bad as installing it yourself).

    So my advise, first thing uninstall all you don’t need and then those you think you might need in the far future (they will be out-dated by then ).

  11. slapjimmy said on April 12, 2009 at 10:29 am

    i find it annoying that microsoft don’t provide master discs for their os’s for “small” system builders. The action pack comes with vista business only (unless i’m a blind noob). So when a client breaks or loses his cd’s you have to order a new set from the manufacturer. so i found a masterdisk for vista for download (obviously i won’t mention how). it will install any 32bit version of vista that you choose and then u use your genuine key from your machine or laptop and and activate it normally. it would be nice if microsoft realised the product key is king, that way they could just release 1 dvd with all os’s on it and you just choose your version and plug in the key when asked. that’s my 2 cents anyway.

  12. Daniel Pataki said on April 12, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for the tips you guys, I think I’ll just call Microsoft. I don’t really want to use Decrapifier, as someone pointed out, vlite is great because I can remove the 800Mb of printer drivers.

    I actually quite like Vista, and would use it, but even if I choose the correct version it doesn’t work with my serial. Oh well, I guess I’ll call them!

    Thanks again for all your help!

  13. Danny said on April 12, 2009 at 9:40 am

    +1 on PC Decrapifier. My notebook came with XP and lots of crap. Instead of formatting it, I just used PC-D to make it near-pristine.

  14. B said on April 12, 2009 at 8:35 am

    1. You could use a program such as nlite or vlite (for Vista) to strip the “unneeded things” and burn another copy of your OS. You can also use it to slipstream updates, drivers, service packs, and third-party programs all on the new OS disc.

    2. I usually use nlite or vlite to remove the junk.

  15. apollo911 said on April 12, 2009 at 6:59 am

    I wouldn’t install Vista on my worst enemy’s xomputer – it would be classified as “cruel and unusual punishment” and therefore against the Geneva convention.

  16. Dennis said on April 12, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Skip it and load Windows 7 7077 pretty stable build

  17. Jeff said on April 12, 2009 at 6:14 am

    I downloaded a Vista disc (my HP didn’t come with one, just the restore disk that replaces all the crapware) and then was able to do a fresh Vista install using my OEM serial numbers. You need to select the same install type (ex. vista home basic) as you originally had. I believe you can even back up your activation files so that you don’t have to activate your copy of windows again. I don’t recall any other details, other than the fact that I just used google to investigate first, and found plenty of directions online.

  18. Brian said on April 12, 2009 at 5:43 am

    If the bullsheetware is the problem you can try PC Decrapifer, as the first person suggested. However, as you pointed out, there are a lot of little bs files embedded in the system that would have to be manually sought and destroyed. My method is to first backup the necessary drivers with DriverMax, then wipe the hard drive clean with Boot & Nuke, then reinstall the OS. There are only 2 laws pertaining to Microsoft software: 1) The software is genuine and legally purchased, 2) the software is not installed on more PC than allowed by the license agreement. Therefore, if you have a copy of an OS, and you have not violated any of the aforementioned in any way, then Microsoft CANNOT dictate how you choose to use the software that YOU purchased.

  19. myd said on April 12, 2009 at 5:00 am

    the key on your laptop and the key installed on the initial system are different for vista….if you want to use the key on the sticker you are going to have to call microsoft…your other alternative is here:

  20. AussieRodney said on April 12, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Question is: Did you receive an OEM CD for Vista with the new laptop. If so, just do a clean install from that & pick the “features” you need.

  21. Ed said on April 12, 2009 at 3:43 am

    I had some issues with vista (surprise!) when I bought my new PC, the manufacturer ended up sending me the restore disc because the it wouldn’t restore from the pre-installed partition. Well, the new disc installed only the OS and drivers, none of the junkware. huzzah!

    oh yeah, they tried to charge me $20 but i argued that that’s what the warranty was for, so they caved and sent the disc.

    of course, yours may not be under warranty still
    good luck

  22. Troels Bjerre said on April 12, 2009 at 3:36 am

    I read that you have to call Microsoft to get your key on the label to work.

  23. Howard Pearce said on April 12, 2009 at 3:21 am

    try uninstall …. that works for me :D

  24. The Mighty Buzzard said on April 12, 2009 at 2:55 am

    I don’t even use the OEM OS when something came with linux preinstalled. I’m picky like that.

  25. Rainvibe said on April 12, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Try PC Decrapifier to get rid of the unnecessary stuff

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