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Microsoft OEM Licensing

Posted on 2014-09-11
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Trying to find information on OEM licensing, but it's very confusing.

I have some Dell server that came with OEM versions of 2003 server. A client gave them to me to do a security wipe, and dispose of. They're wiped, but still decent enough to be cheap BDC's for other clients that only have a single server.

Since I have refurbished these machines, can I consider them like fresh builds... install 2012 Server OEM, and resell these units?

Is this acceptable use of OEM license?

Someone told me that if you replace as little as a SATA cable, you can consider the machine a refurbished unit, and install a new OEM operating system just as if you built the unit from scratch.... But I can't find any information to verify this.

If any one knows the facts?
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Question by:DrPing
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8 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:BALMUKUND KESHAV
ID: 40316661
No, you can't exchange OEM pack with another m/c. This is not valid licensing approach. You can't sell one m/cs OEM pack with another M/c.

Thanks and regards
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40316690
I wouldn't even consider installing new OEM OS licenses to any hardware. All you do is limit the options of your clients, and usually it is more expensive in the long run.

If you want to keep costs low, I'd install Zentyal on those servers. With Zentyal you can easily setup DC's with the same functions you got with SBS servers. It is very easy to setup and maintain, much easier than m$ servers or SBS servers are, it is stable, you can add modules very easily depending on the functions you need. Besides, the community edition is free. The other editions add support.

Also, it requires far less resources than m$ servers need, so it runs fine on old low-end hardware.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=zentyal
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Author Comment

by:DrPing
ID: 40316953
Not trying to exchange a new OEM pack for an old one.

If I build a new computer with used parts from other computers, I understand that you can legally install an OEM license.
Not for personal use, but OK to sell as a system builder.

At some point the number of components being replaced would constitute it being in fact a different computer than the original that came with OEM software. (I've had this happen to me that a computer needed to be reactivated because I replaced too many components) So even MS figures it's a new computer (maybe built with spare/used parts) but a new computer.

So how much of a refurb needs to happen before it's a different computer? Can I swap mobo's on two?
Now they're 2 completely new computers that definitely would no longer activate.... Can I install OEM now?
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Author Comment

by:DrPing
ID: 40316977
I will look at Zentyal as an alternative for small offices that don't require a Windows server.... but it will not function as a BDC for existing Windows networks.... that's what I'm trying to find a solution for now. Just a backup domain controller so users could still log in if the primary server were down. (and a secondary resource for AD if I ever needed it)

Sure OEM software has it's limitations... but the price between OEM $700 and retail $1170 (almost $500) makes it appealing for these limited applications. (if it's within licensing rules, and that's what I can't find a definitive answer)
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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40317044
You can add a Zentyal server as a secondary DC to an existing AD domain, so it does work as a BDC.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40317651
It is not legal. The machine was built by dell. So unless you replace the case, motherboard, and processors (what are you keeping at that point?) it is still a Dell and you aren't the OEM.

System builder guidelines are actually pretty clear on this. If you are buying and reselling OEM, the only way to do *that* legally is as an MS partner, and the partner portal has clear system builder terminology.
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Author Comment

by:DrPing
ID: 40317869
Thanks for all the responses, and you all have some great opinions :>)

I'm looking for facts.
For Cliff:
Here is a snip from Microsoft's own web page about refurbished computers...
Q. Can a system builder install Microsoft OEM software on a refurbished computer system, which may include branded PCs, such as Hewlett-Packard and Compaq?
A. Yes, as long as the system builder complies with the OEM System Builder License requirements for preinstallation and distribution of the OEM Microsoft software licenses, and the customer accepts the Microsoft Software License Terms.
link: http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/licensing_faq.aspx

So you can install OEM on a branded (refurbished) Dell.... Just maybe not the way I am wanting to do it.
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Author Comment

by:DrPing
ID: 40318664
I guess I'll close this question, as I don't think any real answers are coming soon.

Lot's of "you can't do that!" without anything more than an opinion.
(some of them obviously wrong)

Rindi gets the points. Not for having the answers, but for proposing a work around with Zentyal.
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