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If I replace a motherboard, can I transfer my OEM Windows 7 OS to the "new" machine?
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Vic Trola
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#1
9th August 2011
Old 9th August 2011
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If I replace a motherboard, can I transfer my OEM Windows 7 OS to the "new" machine?

When I built my first i7 almost two years ago, SATA III wasn't happening yet. Now, I'd like to replace the motherboard on my machine to get the higher speeds for SSDs, but I would rather not have to by another OE copy of Win 7 64.

I read somewhere that retail versions can be moved, but the OE versions are permanently bound to the first machine they're installed on. If that's the case, I'm guessing a new motherboard would make it a new machine, right?

Anybody know anything about this?
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Vic Trola
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9th August 2011
Old 9th August 2011
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Joe Porto is offline
MS OEM must be sold with a motherboard or hard drive. You will probably have to call MS to get a new authorization code. Just tell them you upgraded the motherboard, and all else is the same.
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11th August 2011
Old 11th August 2011
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That would be great. Thanks for the info.

Vic
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11th August 2011
Old 11th August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
MS OEM must be sold with a motherboard or hard drive.
Not true, sorry

The answer to your inquiry, Vic, depends on whether or not the OEM vers of the OS was purchased from a retailer by you (which is what I did), or if the OEM came with a pre-built computer, such as a Dell.

If it's the latter, then the answer is no, the OS (well, technically, the license) is not transferrable to anything - I have already taken this up w/MS.

But you said, "When I built my first i7..." So, you must have the original W7 box with the MS product key, no? If you've lost it, you can call MS to get another key, as Joe alluded to. If you still have it, simply enter that key when you format your new drive, and register the OS when you have your computer up and running, and online. I have done this many times without a problem.

Cheers.
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11th August 2011
Old 11th August 2011
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FLYINGJAY is offline
I'm thinking he wants to keep his OS in place as is not start over?

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Vic Trola
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12th August 2011
Old 12th August 2011
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I'm using an OEM copy of Win 7 I purchased from Newegg, with the rest of my components when I built my system. Now I want to replace the original mobo with a new one and use the same copy of my OS.

I guess the question comes down to whether a "system builder's OEM" copy is reusable on a new mobo.

All other components will stay the same.
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12th August 2011
Old 12th August 2011
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PascalVB is offline
I am having the same question, but for the processor... What if I replace my i7-950 by an i7-980? Will I need a new OEM license? I bought the OEM disc together with the parts of my self assembled PC.
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12th August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Trola View Post
I'm using an OEM copy of Win 7 I purchased from Newegg, with the rest of my components when I built my system. Now I want to replace the original mobo with a new one and use the same copy of my OS.

I guess the question comes down to whether a "system builder's OEM" copy is reusable on a new mobo.
Sure it is, if it is you who made the purchase, and it is you who is doing the uninstall/reinstall. MS is not going to force you to buy another OS license because you swap out your MB. Now, if you keep the computer you built, and build another one - can you use that same license? No you can't. In that case, you would have to buy a 2nd copy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PascalVB View Post
I am having the same question, but for the processor... What if I replace my i7-950 by an i7-980? Will I need a new OEM license? I bought the OEM disc together with the parts of my self assembled PC.
No, you do not need a new OEM license.

Cheers.
Vic Trola
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12th August 2011
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OK, I finally found the answer from MS. I'm just re-posting it FYI...


Q. Can a PC with an OEM Windows operating system have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?


A. Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer—except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.
The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the End User Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by that End User Software License Terms. The End User Software License Terms is a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer and relates only to rights for that software as installed on that particular PC. The system builder is required to support the software on the original PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PCs with different components, Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define the original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the "heart and soul" of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created. The original system builder did not manufacture this new PC, and therefore cannot be expected to support it.



Here's the page...

Licensing FAQ
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12th August 2011
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Hmmmm - interesting. At first glance, that completely contradicts what MS told me a while back. Then, I had another look. Notice the term end user - you would tend to think that a person who buys an OEM disc/license would be considered an end user, but I am thinking that end user applies to the person who buys the computer. ie - you buy and install an OEM license and keep the computer, and you are not conisdered an end user, whereas you buy an OEM license, build and sell the computer - the person who buys that computer is the end user. Not 100% sure about that, but that is what it appears to be.

In any event, I just called MS again. And I was told that you are in fact allowed to upgrade the MB and keep the same license. The rep did tell me that people who do that sometimes have problems registering the OS after the reinstall, but all it takes is a call to the MS sales dept, and they can help you out. I am quoting the rep here.

800-426-9400

Say 'personal' and then 'pre-sales'

Cheers.
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12th August 2011
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jcschild is offline
to simplfy
a call to MS and telling them you had to reinstall is all you have to do
assuming you cant auto register online (hit and miss)


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12th August 2011
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just request a new license, tell them you had hard drive failiure and had to re-install on a new HDD therefore losing all data.
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12th August 2011
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Related question:

can I clone my hard drive (with windows Ableton VSTi etc) and put it in a new computer with identical parts without any issues?
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12th August 2011
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Masaaki is offline
Even you clone the hard drive, when you boot Win OS from the cloned drive, you'll see "your OS hasn't been activated" message. You can't maintain two activation from a single license, so your option is limited to either using the original hard drive, or activate the cloned drive, and erase the original.
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13th August 2011
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The point is just as a backup... I wouldnt even need to activate the new drive until the old one has died or been lost anyway so I think its a good option... cloning takes an hour or so while reinstalling everything take like 2 days+ lol
Vic Trola
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13th August 2011
Old 13th August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Hmmmm - interesting. At first glance, that completely contradicts what MS told me a while back. Then, I had another look. Notice the term end user - you would tend to think that a person who buys an OEM disc/license would be considered an end user, but I am thinking that end user applies to the person who buys the computer. ie - you buy and install an OEM license and keep the computer, and you are not conisdered an end user, whereas you buy an OEM license, build and sell the computer - the person who buys that computer is the end user. Not 100% sure about that, but that is what it appears to be.

In any event, I just called MS again. And I was told that you are in fact allowed to upgrade the MB and keep the same license. The rep did tell me that people who do that sometimes have problems registering the OS after the reinstall, but all it takes is a call to the MS sales dept, and they can help you out. I am quoting the rep here.

800-426-9400

Say 'personal' and then 'pre-sales'

Cheers.
Hey Jeff, thanks for that info and for that legwork. Greatly appreciated.
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