What is To Be Filled By OEM and How to get Drivers to fix this message

Sometimes you cannot see a computer part number or the motherboard details, when looking at system properties. It is either blank or display To be filled by OEM. In this post, we will discuss this message and how to fix it – rather how to get the details of motherboard displaying “To Be Filled by OEM” so that you can obtain its drivers. First, let us understand why this message comes up.

To Be Filled By OEM windows What is To Be Filled By OEM and How to get Drivers to fix this message

When Windows releases any software, for example, a new operating system, it does so in two versions: one for personal use by a user and one for bulk installations by different product manufacturers. The second version is called OEM version of the software. Since Windows does not know what kind of equipment these manufacturers will be using, it does not fill up the fields related to motherboard etc. details. It is the job of the company that is building computers to fill up motherboard details so that people can get to download relevant drivers. Of course, they do provide a copy of drivers either on a separate disk or on the local drive. Some OEMs also place the software copy on the local disk instead of giving away a separate disk containing that software.

What is To Be Filled By OEM message

The main difference between the retail version, and the OEM version is that you have to keep the OEM installed software on a particular computer – the one that you purchased. In other words, the OEM versions come preinstalled on the machines and you ‘should not’ transfer the software to any other machine. However, in case of retail versions, the license is tied to the person and not to the machine so you can transfer the software from one machine to another – depending upon the license type (if it does not permit two installations, you’ll have to remove the software from previous computer before you can activate your product on the other machine).

Coming back to OEM software, which is mostly the operating system in the post’s context, when you try to install it on a machine different from the one you brought or purchased, it fails to recognize the motherboard model number etc. details in some cases. Another case can be local manufacturers who do not bother to fill in the info assuming you will not be reformatting or reinstalling the product on the same or other computer. In that case too, the operating system cannot identify all the hardware, especially the motherboard and hence you see the “To Be Filled By OEM” message.

If your operating system is enabled to use the Internet to search for related drivers on its own (under System Properties -> Hardware tab in Windows), chances are good that Windows could find the motherboard version correctly to some extent and thus relieving you from problems. However, if the machine came with a CD or DVD having drivers, I recommend using it first – before you connect the connect the computer to Internet.

Get Drivers to fix To Be Filled By OEM message

As said above, some local computer manufacturers fail to provide you with drivers assuming you will not be reinstalling or using the software on a different computer. This creates a problem where you are not left with any drivers to make the computer work properly. You might take a chance to let Windows decide the hardware for you but with no records, chances are you might not get or get a wrong set of drivers.

If it is a reinstall on the same machine, check the local disk for any folder containing the driver set. Normally, they are placed along with the operating system on a separate partition. You can get the drivers from there. If you used the software on a different machine, the method will not work as the hardware configuration will be different from the original equipment.

In the case where you installed the OEM copy on a different computer and in the case where you could not find any local copies of driver installers, you have to look up the serial number of product and the motherboard details so that you can look for related drivers on the Internet.

The best bet is to contact the place where you purchased the computer. They can find out the machine info and install relevant drivers. But it is not feasible to carry the computer, especially if it is a desktop, to the place of purchase. In that case, read our article on how to Find Computer Model and Serial Number. You can give out the information on the phone to the vendor, and they’ll help you get the drivers.

Another place where you can try for drivers – especially if the machine is old – is http://www.drivers.ru. The site is Russian, and you will have to download a package that inspects your machine to install relevant drivers. Do remember to create a system restore point first.

This explains what is “To Be Filled By OEM” problem and how to get drivers for it. If you still face any problems obtaining drivers or locating your machine ID, please contact us with as much detail as you can.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. He also offers online training for Business English. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN
  • Fran

    Thank you. I have an older laptop and so does my son, so we needed this info.

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