Is OEM software strictly for the server which came with it ?

We are planning to buy SBS 2008 software with a new server.
Dell has some pre-built servers which come with SBS 2008 pre-installed, I am guessing these
are OEM softwares.


1) The OEM software Cd's which come with the new dell server are only strictly for that
     server hardware only ?

2) Is it true that oem software can only be used with the server with which they came  ?
3) So if my Dell server crashes after 1-2 years and if I have to replace my hardware server
     then can I use the same OEM software on a different server ?
4)  Is it good to buy a Dell server by itself without OS and then buy a retail version of SBS 2008 from a reseller, this way later on even if the Dell server crashes and we have to replace with a new server hardware , we can use the retail SBS 2008 software.

Let me know or correct me if I am wrong.

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Shreedhar EtteCommented:
1) Yes that's correct.
2) Yes that's correct.
3) No, You need to buy new license.
4) Yes that's correct.

Refer this:

I hope this helps,

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(1) Legally yes. However you could use the same CD to install it on another Dell server with identical hardware configuration.

(2) Legally, yes.

(3) No you cannot, unless the new server hardware is identical or very similar to the original 'crashed' server.

(4) There is no guaranty that the retail version of 2008 will install on a particular Dell server due to special hardware driver requirements (eg SCSI hard disk)

PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Yes, OEM software belongs to the hardware with which it was sold.  An Dell OEM CD (for example) will only install on a Dell machine, as it check the BIOS to make sure it is indeed a Dell.  Also, the license (product key) will only work to activate an OS installed from an OEM CD of the same brand (Dell key cannot be used with HP media and vice versa).  OEM media and licenses are also not interchangeable with Retail media and licenses.

Software is often cheaper when purchased as OEM, but that is the price you pay for the discount.  If you expect to install it on different hardware at some point, then yes you are better off buying a Retail copy that can be installed on any hardware.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Some points:

1.  If the existing server fails, why isn't it under warranty?
2.  If the existing server fails you can replace failed components.
3.  Why is everyone recommending RETAIL licenses?  I do NOT recommend retail licenses.  They tend to cost more.  While they are a little more flexible, Volume Licenses can be almost as cheap as OEM and are licensed to the business - which means they are transferable to other hardware but cannot be resold to another company.  Further, MOST volume license media can be downloaded (SBS is an exception, but almost all other products can be - including DOWNGRADE media).  You would have to contact Microsoft and order the media directly from them - but if you lose it, it IS Microsoft who can replace it (I know, I've had to do this for a client).
I would have to agree with leew.
1. Most servers come with a three year warranty from dell and even after that replace whatever component(s) fail and still use the same software.
2. Yes, you can only use the OEM software for the server it came on.
3. Bottom line, the OEM software is tied to that server, legally no way to transfer it to another server. When the server dies the license dies.
4. Under normal circumstances when the server is out of warranty and dies or retired you will want a new OS anyways.
Volume license is the other route I go never retail if I can help it, especially for workstations and office products. Server products are good as long as your buying 10 licenses or more for the server. Also you can keep track of the product keys online.
Hope this helps.
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