Windows 7 Can I Install OEM Windows 7 and use Retail Product Key


Senior Member
Hi Forum !

I have downloaded the OEM version of Windows off the internet. I know for a fact its the OEM version because the manufacturer's code told me its an OEM version as I googled that code up. Now, I didn't activate the OEM version because I don't have a product key. So, I purchased my Retail version of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional from Amazon.
Now for my question: The Retail version of the Windows I have purchased will come with a Retail product key. Can I use that Retail product key to activate my OEM copy of windows that I have installed on my system ? Or do I have to do a complete format and full installation off the Retail DVD that will come with it ?


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
If I had the choice of OEM or Retail I'd install the retail every time - less likely to cause problems at install time (meaning you'd probably end up resorting to the Retail version anyway) and less likely to store up problems for the future.