How To: Install The Windows 7 OPK OEM Preinstallation Kit

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For those who purchased the official OEM version of Windows 7 the licensing clearly states that the installation must be built and deployed using the official Microsoft Windows 7 OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit). Although the link is placed right on the box where to download it, this process isn’t clearly defined nor is it as self-explanatory as it ought to be.


Microsoft went out of their way on Windows 7 to make OEM installations a bit more difficult than their previous operating systems. The Windows 7 OPK is essentially a tool designed for OEMS to take a Windows 7 installation disk and customize an OEM install for clients and customers who will be purchasing or receiving their machines.


Windows OEM licensing traditionally allowed hobbyists to purchase a copy of the OEM disk and install it on a system they build themselves, unfortunately Windows 7 changed this in their latest release of OEM editions. They state quite clearly that the Windows 7 OEM edition is designed for distribution to an end user from an original equipment manufacturer. That OEM is required to register themselves as a Microsoft Partner prior to the installation and distribution of their OEM license.


Regardless of the reasoning, The Windows 7 OPK is quite easy to install once you’ve jumped through a couple of headaches from Microsoft. In fact, as of the making of this video, the link printed on the OEM copy of Windows 7 I purchased is broken and I had to manually track down the links to obtain my official copy of the Windows 7 OPK.




This article walks users through the prerequisites, download and installation of the Windows 7 OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit). This kit is required for the distribution of an OEM copy of Windows 7 to an end user.


How To Install The Windows 7 OPK OEM Preinstallation Kit:



  1. Register yourself or your company as an OEM system builder Microsoft Partner (
  2.  Login to the OEM Partner Center (
  3.  Download the latest ISO image version of the Windows 7 OPK from Microsoft.
  4. Double click on the ISO image using Windows 7 to use the built in Windows 7 image burning utility (you may also opt to mount the image using a separate image mounting utility).
  5. Insert a Blank DVD into the drive and select Burn.
  6.  Launch the DVD by removing and inserting it into your drive or double clicking on the CD Rom drive in Start Menu > Computerclip_image002[11]
  7. Select OPK Setup
  8. Choose a destination folder and select Next
  9. Confirm your installation.
  10. Wait for the installation to complete.
  11. Select Close.
  12. You can launch the Windows 7 OEM Preinstallation Kit through Start Menu > Microsoft Windows OPK > Windows System Image Manager



After the installation of the Windows 7 OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit), you can then start to build your own custom Windows 7 installation image. This image will allow you to enter custom OEM information that will allow the end user to go through a “First Time Boot” sequence catered to you as an OEM. Although the kit leaves many hobbyists with some frustration, it has become a necessary evil for obtaining an OEM copy, rather than retail copy, of the Windows 7 operating system.


Craig Chamberlin

Craig received his degree in Informatics with a cognate in Business from Indiana University: South Bend in 2008. Craig lives with his wife and daughter in South Bend, Indiana near Notre Dame. Craig is currently employed by Precision Electric, Inc. and acts as the chief Information Technology Manager. With a passion for teaching and technology, he founded The PCMichiana Tech Help Show in Fall 2009. His focus is teaching users of all backgrounds how to learn technology while having fun.

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