Is there an "OEM" Action Pack for Windows?

Posted on 2010-09-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Our company does residential repair of Windows PCs.  These of course all have OEM product keys.  We need to have OEM copies of all versions of Windows 7 & Vista media.  The Action Pack of course can't be used to reinstall these systems.
Is there an equivalent product offered by MS that provides this?  We only need the media, and would like to have the latest (service packs) versions of 7 & Vista.
Question by:bryanchandler
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Expert Comment

ID: 33692935
I am not an expert in MS licensing but based on what I know ..   I don't think so... MAPS is a separate package offered by MS and it has nothing to do with OEM key or media.
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

KCTS earned 500 total points
ID: 33693081
Microsoft produce the Technet paackage which has retail and OEM versions of all OSs included. While it would be against the licening rules to use Technet products with your keys to install on clients machines I can see no reason why you could not use the Technet media with the clients own keys.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 33693224
Yes they offer one Action Pack for us. It's called "Microsoft System Builder Action Pack"

Here you get Action Pack Media and OEM Media with keys for preinstall on the systems you build.
More info's:
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Author Comment

ID: 33693298
We don't really build systems.  While we do manage some small businenses, we're needing to do reinstalls on people who walk in & say, "My anti-shield-virus-buster says I need to pay them $80 to get rid of the spooky-dooky-virus 5000.  What's wrong with my computer?" ;) I.E. "uninformed" users who get themselves infected, or come in with Windows 98 beige boxes & wonder why the HDD died. $200 for a Technet Std is a lot more attractive than $550+ for things we don't need/will use.

@KCTS Do we get product keys for our own use in-office?  I'd love to upgrade internally to Win7 Pro.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 33693370
Hi again :-)

I think you can use the Microsoft System Builder Action Pack. Because one of my friend own also a small company. And he don't build systems.

For questions regarding system builder content in the Microsoft Action Pack, contact

Author Comment

ID: 33693544
Those links you provided aren't very clear (not your fault of course.) Doesn't seem to mention much about a "Microsoft System Builder Action Pack."
I still think that a Technet sub would be best for us, regardless if we get PKs for internal use.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 33693719
I would contact

Technet is expensive and you get only one key. Action Pack has (every time 10 activations for test) & 1 OEM key from each.

Author Comment

ID: 33693773
I've emailed them & will award points after I get a response.

Author Comment

ID: 33694714
Here's the email exchange w/ MS:

"Our company manages several "micro" sized businesses as their IT department, as well as residential computer repair.  We need to have a source for OEM versions of Windows operating system media to use with their OEM product keys.
Would a "System Builder Action Pack" provide us OEM versions of Windows (home, pro, ultimate) that we can use when we need to re-install the OS?
Also, will it provide product keys for our own internal uses?"

"Hello Bryan,
While the Action Pack does provide some software, the only way to do this is to purchase a copy of the software for your own use to perform the reinstalls.
Thank you,
Microsoft OEM Internet Business Support"

Doesn't sound like it would work.  Technet sounds like it would, at least for our purposes, regardless of the EULA.
LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 33696354
OEM System Builder really is designed for small system builder companies and is the equivalent of one of the major OEM's installation.  MAPS for marketting and Technet for  ... well techs!
The media and keys are purchased in packages for sale onto the end user and the kit contains utilities for sysprep etc to create your own image for your products.
There is still no universal OEM kit which covers all OEM situations for all flavors of Windows, particularly the "Royalty" OEMs like Dell, HP, Toshiba etc who have a license from Microsoft to supply system locked preactivated (SLP) copies of Windows on the machnies they sell.
Because the media used for SLP is manufacturer specific it requires the OEM's hardware (ie systemboard) to be present to activate, so although a MS System Builder disk will activate on a "royalty OEM" machine the opposite isn't true.  Also SLP avoids entering an activation key so OEM installs on OEM hardware shouldn't go through that stage - they use a manufacturer specific common Key which bears little relationship to the Key printed on the OEM COA sticker on the case.
The bottom line is there's a "black art" in supporting OEM OS's, to be completely clean you need an OEM installation disk for pretty much every manufacturer.  Because unlike the retail disks the OEM disks only support one version of Windows you'll end up with one for premium, one for home, one for business etc...
Because the are a variety of tools that will allow you to change installation keys following install and prior to activation there are lots of "workarounds" but their legitimacy f you start looking closely at the licensing rules is at best questionable and at worst illegal.
Building a library of installation disks is still your safest bet.

Author Comment

ID: 33696440
Thanks MASQUERAID.  We'd all love to be "clean", but I'm sure you know the quote about "raising the black flag & slitting throats." >:)
I'll go with the Technet sub for now.  If they go after little ol' us, then there'd be a lot more problems in the world we'd have to deal with than breaking Windows OS EULAs!

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