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4.2 out of 5 stars
Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit (OEM) System Builder DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)
Style Name: Frustration-Free PackagingChange
Price:$135.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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395 of 401 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Old Standard Packaging
If you've reinstalled Windows just once in your life, you've learned enough to tackle a full virgin installation of Windows 7 from a system builder DVD. Microsoft has finally created an operating system with so much built-in support and maintenance technology it practically does all the work for you, so if your current Windows XP machine is labeled "Windows Vista Capable" or "Windows 7 Capable," this is the way to go. Just to be sure, install and run Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor. If it passes the 64-bit system requirements, order up!

You can't upgrade from XP to 7; you have to wipe the drive or partition and perform a clean install, but even an upgrade from Vista to 7 is fraught with peril, so you might as well do the same if you're running Vista. Just back up your data and find all your application installation software before you begin. Once you activate Windows 7, it's married to the PC's system board. You can't reuse the product key on another machine unless you can convince Microsoft that the previous PC is out of commission. You're also not eligible for free phone and chat support from Microsoft, but there's a big enough expert user base that you should be able to solve most problems by joining a few Windows 7 users' forums. If you're not building an exotic tricked-out übergamingmaschine with overclocked handmade graphics cards, you shouldn't have much trouble that will require outside help. Your humble author installed Windows 7 64-bit on a MacBook Pro using Boot Camp. It found our Brother WiFi laser printer and installed the latest drivers and Brother's printer control center.

The biggest advantage: you'll skip all the "enhanced experience" software the likes of Dell, HP and Lenovo cram onto their otherwise zippy machines. After the latest updates install, head off to microsoft dot com slash securityessentials and you'll get all the virus and malware protection you'll need absolutely FREE. Pay a visit to your PC maker's website, let 'em scan your system and grab all the latest hardware drivers.

With a system builder DVD, you don't get both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions. If you should find that 64-bit isn't right for your machine, don't fret. Just Google the phrase "legal windows 7 download" and the first match will show you how to create a 32-bit installation DVD that you can activate on the same PC using the product key from the 64-bit DVD. The new installation wipes out the old one and that keeps everything legal.
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163 of 168 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2011
Style Name: Old Standard PackagingVerified Purchase
After much research I decided to go with this OEM version of Windows 7 Professional SP1 to run virtually on my new MacBook Pro running Parallels. The install was flawless and it actually runs very fast on my MacBook. I turned off all accelerators and auto-everything. The main reason I wanted the system set up this way was to be able to run the Windows version of Quicken and Turbo Tax which I've been using for more years than I care to recall. I am able to do this concurrent with running OS X, which is very convenient. No conflicts with anything. Great solution to enable a Windows user to switch to Apple and bring essential programs and documents from the Windows environment over to Mac without missing a beat!
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2014
Style Name: Frustration-Free PackagingVerified Purchase
I was forced to move up to Windows 7 Professional from Windows XP because of Microsoft ending XP support even though I was happy using XP. My desktop PC is a 2008 Dell Optiplex 740. I need a new computer and will buy one with Windows 7 Pro as soon as I can work it into the budget but for now I have to use this machine for a few more months.

After researching my options using customer reviews here on Amazon and elsewhere online, I determined that I did not want to go with Windows 8 and opted for Windows 7 Pro. I learned from reading one review about the OEM version and decided that was the one to get and I bought a copy. My girlfriend was in the same boat with her own Dell Optiplex 740 XP PC so she also bought Win 7 Pro OEM.

I successfully installed the Win 7 Pro OEM on both PCs between 4/7/14 and 4/9/14, activated them and installed most of our daily use software and we haven't had any problems so far except for a glitch in my Camtasia Studio 3 (caused by a missing Adobe Flash Active X component, which I was able to fix by downloading a copy from Adobe.com and installing.) We are both happy with these Windows 7 Pro OEM installations and find that Windows 7 is not all that different from XP as far as the user interface goes. It also seems to boot up, load and run faster on our computers than XP did.

I have been using Windows operating systems since 1992, when I installed Windows 3 on my little 16 megahertz Packard Bell 386SX PC running Microsoft DOS. I have installed multiple versions and instances of Windows (3, 95, 98, ME, and XP) on several computers over the years. These installations of Windows 7 Professional OEM 64 bit (on two older Dell PCs) were the easiest, quickest and most glitch-free Windows installations I have ever experienced and that helped motivate me to write this review.

I'd like to address a couple of issues here for the sake of those who are thinking about buying Windows 7 Pro OEM on Amazon. The first is, always be aware that some customer reviews are written in haste while the reviewer is angry and frustrated and hasn't done the due diligence necessary before buying or after installing. So the reader of the review should read as many reviews as possible, look at comments left for reviewers, weigh all the opinions and possibilities, and then go elsewhere online to research further if necessary.

The second thing I recommend is that each potential buyer of the software do the due diligence prior to purchase to make sure it is the right decision before you buy. What do I mean by "due diligence"? I mean one needs to make sure that Windows 7 Professional OEM 64 bit software from Microsoft and sold by Amazon.com will work on the buyer's PC. It takes a little time and effort but will save the buyer a whole lot of aggravation and headaches in the long run.

So, to help the potential buyer do that due diligence, I will lay out here the steps I took before and after we purchased Windows 7 Pro OEM 64 bit for our Dell Optiplex 740 XP desktop PCs.

1. I researched on Amazon and elsewhere online to learn about Windows 8.0, 8.1 and 7. From my research I decided that I wanted Windows 7 Pro.

2. From reading some good customer reviews on Amazon, I decided to go with the Windows 7 Pro OEM 64 bit version.

3. I read the documentation that came with my Dell Optiplex 740 to see if it was 64 bit compatible and it appeared to be.

4. I wanted to be sure my Dell could run the Win 7 64 bit OS so I researched a bit more online and learned about the "Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor" software which I downloaded, installed and ran and it verified that my computer could run Win 7 Pro 64 bit.

5. I bought the software, received it in the mail and got ready to install it first on the girlfriend's PC (somebody has to be the guinea pig tester) and then after that on mine.

6. I backed up all essential files, software and settings onto flash drives and external hard drives (I did miss a couple; make sure to backup your "user/application data" folders in your "Douments and Settings" folder). I booted up the first PC and went immediately into the BIOS Setup to set the boot sequence to "Boot from CD" (on these Dells it is an "F2 - Enter Setup" command entered while the machine is booting up just before it loads Windows.)

7. I tried to install the the Win 7 Pro 64 bit OEM System Builder OS on the first PC thinking that it would reformat the hard drive and then install the OS but it didn't. So I went online with the other PC and did more research to find out that I would need to perform a "clean installation" of Windows 7 Pro which would require me to "wipe" the hard drive of ALL files prior to installing Win 7. More online research led to several recommendations to use "Darik's Boot and Nuke" to do the hard drive wipe so I went to dban.org and downloaded the software (or the disk image of it) and then I burned that to a CD-ROM disc.

9. I placed the "Boot and Nuke" disc in the CD drive on the girlfriend's PC and rebooted (BIOS again set to "Boot from CD"), the software loaded and I just started it up without any selection of which type of wipe to perform. The default selection seemed to work okay but it took about 2.5 hours to complete on my girlfriend's machine and nearly 4 hours on mine (I had a lot more files.) During the wipe, I left the computer running and went off to do other things.

10. Now that the hard drive was wiped clean I was ready to install Win 7. I inserted that disc into the CD/DVD-ROM drive and tried to get it started (again with the BIOS Setup still set to "boot from CD") but it wouldn't work. I went into the BIOS and tried changing settings but nothing worked. Eventually I figured out I needed to put the Win 7 DVD into the other DVD drive (I still don't know why the first DVD drive didn't work but with computers it is always trial and error). I then changed the boot sequence in the BIOS so that the second DVD drive was first in the boot sequence. Bingo! Windows 7 began installing.

11. When it came time to activate the software, I had the same problem as others have had with the minute type used for the authentication key. Having been warned about this I simply got out a magnifying glass and deciphered the smallest print you have ever seen in your life (watch out for those "Bs" that are really "8s" and "Gs" that are really "6s") and, after two or three tries at entering the correct alpha-numeric characters, I entered the correct key and was able to successfully activate and install Windows 7 Professional. Remember, if you do not enter the authentication key characters EXACTLY as printed on the DVD sleeve next to the key symbol, you won't be able to activate and install the OS. I think most of the negative reviews for this product are being left by people who have not entered the correct key characters. I have 5 sets of 5 alpha-numeric characters on my DVD and I have to use a high quality magnifying glass to read them. Even then, it is hard to tell "Bs" from "8s" and "Gs" from "6s". Don't mistake improper authentication key character entries for non-genuine software.

12. Once the installation was complete, I began installing the software that we use every day.

It was a bit of a job doing two computers over about four days but it worked and I'm glad we went with this OS. I do have to warn you that there are many, many Windows updates during the first few days that will download automatically after you try to shut down and then install when you start up the computer. But be patient. They do wind down and cease after about a week.

So, if you're worried about buying and installing Windows Professional 7 64 Bit OEM Version from Microsoft and sold by Amazon, don't be. As long as you make sure to do your due diligence about your computer's compatibility and you take the right steps in backing up files, wiping your drive, booting up in proper sequence and deciphering the key, you shouldn't have any real problems.

Good luck and enjoy the new OS!
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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2013
Verified Purchase
Bought this because of the reasonable price for a full install version of Win 7. I emailed their support to get reassurance after receiving the product that it was truly a legal copy and a full install, not an upgrade version. That was because of the ambiguous wording on the install DVD, which was originally with a Dell machine. They responed very quickly and assured me it would install and run Ok. It was shipped and received within a couple of days and was the easiest windows install I have ever done. I suppose that is because of Microsoft and not this vendor but it was still great.
I installed this a as virtual machine using virtualbox on a host Windows 8 Laptop with lots of disc and ram . Works great!
One minor thing to note is that the Dell name appears on some of the screens in th eoperating system. Not a big deal to me but something to know. They can probably be removed if its important to you.
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82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2013
Style Name: Old Standard PackagingVerified Purchase
I have been designing, building and programming computers for 37 years, and have put together perhaps two dozen PCs, so when I bought the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer or "system builder") version I knew what I was getting. It works OK for an operating system, especially after all the glitzy "Aero" and other useless features are disabled.

The OEM version is intended to be installed in a new PC by the supplier, and not by the end user. However, it is the same as the end user version - there is no functional difference - and you can install it on your computer. You don't get "free" technical support from Microsoft, but if you have ever spent an hour on the phone waiting to get Microsoft's "help" only to get someone who doesn't speak English and clearly knows little about computers you know that Microsoft's "help" is worthless anyway. That's one virtue of the OEM version - you won't be tempted to waste your time waiting on the phone.

Installation is extremely simple - just put the disk in the DVD drive and follow the instructions. You DO NOT need any other installer software. The Microsoft OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) that is occasionally mentioned is just for OEM installers who are installing Windows on dozens of computers at a time. It is not needed to install the OEM package on your computer.

There are some serious shortcomings/bugs in Win 7.

1. If you have internal SATA 3.0 hard drives in your computer they will appear as removable USB devices in the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" dialog that is used to remove USB devices from the computer. External SATA3 drives can be unplugged and removed from the computer, but your internal drives cannot and should not be listed. If you accidentally click on one of the hard drives it will be "uninstalled" and will no longer work until you reboot the computer again. That is just bonehead stupid! Windows gives you no way to correct this and tell it that the installed hard drives are not removeable devices. If you are lucky the motherboard manufacturer may provide a driver workaround. If not you are stuck with this bit of Microsoft programming incompetence.

2. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional does not properly install Microsoft Office 2010 (and possibly a lot of other programs as well)! When you install Office it will ask you to activate it - that's nothing new. However, every time you try to run an Office program (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) it will ask you to activate Office again. And again. And again - and each time it will tell you that if you don't reactivate the program is will stop working.

You can solve this problem by selecting any Office program icon in the Start window or on the desktop and SHIFT-right click on it. In the pop-open menu select "Run as Administrator" and then repeat the activation process again. You will have to do this even if you are running the computer as Administrator, because Win 7 denies administrator priviledges (such as activating software) to Administrators! That is bonehead stupid! With luck you won't have to do this every time you want to run an Office program.

You have to wonder if Microsoft is getting its programmers from the primate house in the Elbonia zoo?!
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80 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2014
Style Name: Frustration-Free PackagingVerified Purchase
This was indeed a copy of Windows 7 Pro and a genuine Microsoft disk BUT, the product key code had obviously been razor bladed off another machine and this genuine but used key code was just stuck in the non Microsoft DVD case. The whole thing had been poorly re-shrink wrapped. This is not a legal way to sell Microsoft OEM software as it can only be used on one machine. Amazon needs to be aware that they are aiding an illegal practice.
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86 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2011
Style Name: Old Standard PackagingVerified Purchase
I was running Windows XP SP3 prior to this "upgrade". They call it an upgrade, but it was a full system init and a re-install of all my software. While this is my preferred method for a new operating system, it would have been nice to have the option to upgrade rather than do a new install.

That being said, the process went smoothly and quickly. From start to finish to get up and running on Windows 7 with SP1 it took about 90 minutes. Now that did not include re-installing my applications, just the basic Windows 7 OS being up and running on my machine.

I have never used MS support in the past, so I had no reservations about buying an OEM product with no MS support.

I would recommend this product to anyone that has installed an OS in the past and does not feel they will ever need to us MS for support.
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76 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2013
Verified Purchase
4 weeks after installing product I get a message from Microsoft informing me that this is not a Genuine copy of Windows. Will be returning copy ASAP. Buyer Beware.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2014
Style Name: Frustration-Free PackagingVerified Purchase
First, Amazon has an annoying habit of using the same description for a product, but then rotates to different sellers at purchase, making the reviews confusing as to which sellers are doing what. This review is for a purchase of a Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit (OEM) System Builder DVD 1 Pack, which was fulfilled by Amazon and supplied by Markdown Discount (now it is someone else on the web). Looking at the description, this product is supposed to be "new" and "genuine," pretty straight forward, right? When I received the package, it looked new too--it was sealed wrapped with a bar code label that read, "New Packaging", "New." But then once opened, the Microsoft product code falls out. It looks like a bad cut out: the piece looks like someone steamed off an original code then badly glued it on a blank piece of paper, which was coming off. The disc had smear marks all over...not exactly new, and probably not genuine. I am irked at the time wasted on waiting for something pirated when I could be looking elsewhere. But on top of it all, Amazon is a bit of an auto-bot on this issue. I called Customer Service, and basically, it only gives a refund or exchange (without guarantees that you will ever get a genuine one!). Customer Service cannot deal with piracy issue, Amazon does not even want to see the package that was sent, it is going back to Returns (to get repackaged probably!). Another department will do a follow up call to look into the matter, without the product for reference, of course! The Customer Service rep. was reading out from a book or something, about how Amazon can only rely on the description posted on the website by the "seller", and was sorry that this happened, what do I want to do--return or exchange? Which only leads me to ask, why is the exact same polished description being posted for all these different sellers? Perhaps, Amazon gets paid to promote these sellers and wouldn't want to look too deeply into such issues--you get your money back and forget the whole thing, or try another Russian roulette to see if you get something genuine. Somehow Microsoft would be more proactive than this, the FBI would be breathing down Amazon's and its sellers' neck pronto. In my opinion, one too many questionable businesses are on the market place these days--I have received a fair share of used/damaged/ amateur products from Amazon's sellers, and find myself buying often from other reputable places at better prices. So Amazon take a harder line on such issues, it's your reputation. If not, you risk losing legit customers, then what will you do with your drones?
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2014
Style Name: Frustration-Free PackagingVerified Purchase
I purchased this with the realization that I needed to convert my 64-bit capable XP machine to Windows 7, since XP is about to reach "end of life". I was a little concerned reading previous reviews that this was not a Microsoft OEM product, even though the picture and description says that it is. Well, I'm glad I purchased because it is a genuine Microsoft Windows 7 OEM disk and it ran wonderfully, giving the option of updating the from XP, or wiping clean and starting afresh. But even with a clean start, it kept most of the old computer files in a windows.old folder. However, I was glad I did a full back-up to my external drive before installing so that I could go grab some of my old configuration data files.
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