I dont know much about oem OS. I would like to know, if I buy an oem windows XP Home disc which cost less than retail, is it possible to boot from it from a cd-rom on system startup ? The oem version I got with my older system 3 years ago cant boot on system startup.


You're only supposed to get an OEM OS with some kind of hardware purchase, thus justifying the lower price. But, to my knowledge, most OEM software discs work the same as retail.

Actually you can buy them individually. I often go to that store near where I live: http://www.dealsdirect.ca/catalog/mall.cfm?CATEGORY=64
They have OEM versions of XP home and PRO for a really good price (10$ less than tigerdirect.ca, I also dont pay shipping, just gas :D). You can also get it at tigerdirect.com.

Edit: never mind that... ALL OEM software must be purchased with hardware. Retail software may be purchased by itself.

But its alright cuz I would buy it if i would buy parts to build system for people.

TigerDirect says: This is a legal OEM version of Windows® licensed by Microsoft® to be sold with any "non-peripheral hardware component" and is bundled as such.

You are only allowed to use the OEM software on the same computer you install those parts in.
Of course there's no way to check that happening, but that's the license.

Actually there is an inbuilt check. Try to use it on a different PC than the one it was first installed on and you'll run into activation problems.

And yes, it will boot from CD. Nothing is different other than the way the activation code is calculated.

We're talking about OEM CDs purchased from stores granddad, not system recovery CDs.
OEM CDs can be installed just like full retail versions, except there's no upgrade option.

I'm fully aware of what is being referred to, jwenting.

Care to explain with a little more clarity what you're referring to in relation to 'upgrade'? Just like any other Windows XP CD an 'In place upgrade' (or repair installation) can be performed with an OEM Windows CD. There is certainly no 'Upgrade version' of it, but then why would there be when the licence is for newly sold or home built systems and tied to a single machine?