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New OS With New Motherboard?

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New OS With New Motherboard?

mraftice
Am I correct that if you replace the motherboard on a machine that has a legally licensed copy of Windows XP that you have to buy another license because Microsoft considers it a "New Machine?"
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    Desktop Veteran

    The license of the operating system refers to the installion of the OS on the HD. Replacing hardware does not constitute an additional installation. Even if the HD had crashed and you had reinstall the OS from scratch, that still only counts as one installation of the operating system, and that is what you paid for. Once you install the OS on two different systems, then you have technically violated the license agreement.

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    Desktop Veteran

    I should mention that Microsoft does not always follow a logical path (as if they ever have). And based on that thought, there may be a difference between OEM and PRO, and whether or not your working with a site license. I tend to forget about the licensing issues because I always work with site or volume licensing. The issue would be with the "activation" of the OS. I wouldn't think you'd have to activate the OS by simply switching the motherboard, but leave it to MS to find a way to charge you twice for the same product.

    There ought to be a law against it! ;-0

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    rtroy56

    So why, if you upgrade the bios on an oem based xp installation (as on a HP box), do you have to then buy a new copy of XP?

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    RobPatten

    If the BIOS is significantly different from the older version, Windows XP may think that the motherboard has been changed and consider the change significant enough for re-activation to be required.

    Just because you are prompted to re-activate does not mean that your license is no longer valid. You should be able to successfully re-activate your copy of Windows XP, and if it won't do it automatically you can call the toll free number provided to you on the activation wizard where you will be asked some standard questions and you will be given an activation code.

    It amazes me the number of people who have perfectly legitimate software who seem to be scared to use the 'call the activation centre' option and assume they are doomed!

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    nentech

    Why don?t they just ask Microsoft?

    What is Microsoft going to do?

    Say yes or no

    It?s that simple

    In my opinion if the PC is so slow its painful to use
    And the only fix is to replace he Motherboard
    Then that is a repair

    It wasn?t that slow when they paid for it so it must be faulty
    To bad for MS if it?s their service pack slowing it to a crawl

    There is also the case of a defective CPU
    To bad for MS if you cant find one to fit the Motherboard
    It has to be repaired and to do that the motherboard has to be replaced

    There are many reasons that a motherboard has to be replaced as part of a repair

    And like I said they can only say no

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    rtroy56

    When the activation wizard told me to call Microsoft, I did. They told me to call HP. HP charged me $50 and then told me they couldn't do anything (I did eventually get the money back).

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    Desktop Veteran

    I can honestly say that I have never, and I do mean never, had to reactivate an installation of XP after the replacement of a motherboard or upgrade of the BIOS.

    Our standard image, historically, has been created from an OEM installation of the XP (we have now started using UIU and it's awesome). More to the point, we were victims of Dell's involvement in the "buldging capacitor" incident, and out of literally hundreds of motherboard replacements and BIOS upgrades, I was not prompted once to reactivate Windows.

    Based on this, I am surprised by your problem. However, never say never. Here you are with this issue. I can't help but wonder why we would have never seen this issue. Am I overlooking something rediculously simple that would answer this question?

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    rtroy56

    The XP docs one can find when one digs deep enough show that PC's that come with xp preactivated have something hidden in the bios that identifies the bios to XP. Change the bios to one not coming from the pc builder and XP deactivates.

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    nentech

    Your bios is not everyone else?s bios that is your bad luck

    You own an HP computer that is your choice and in this case your bad luck

    How you dealt with Microsoft is also your choice and bad luck

    It appears you have a lot of bad luck
    Other people have not had the same problems as you

    Other people have been able to update their pc bios with no problems

    Other people own HP computers they have no problems

    So next time you buy a computer don?t buy hp or don?t upgrade the bios

    To continue to insist that a bios upgrade means you have to activate windows when other people keep telling you they have had no problem makes you look stupid

    You seem to be your own worst problem
    People have offered you help
    It didn?t work for you that is your bad luck

    So stop bugging us

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    RobPatten

    It would be nice if he let us know if he had tried any of our suggestions before posting back with bits and pieces of information.

    I don't think rtroy56 is stupid, but I think he could have done a better job of supplying us with all the relevant facts at the beginning rather than have us all run round playing guessing games.

    As it is I think we have finally got to the bottom of it.

    What he may find is that when he tried to activate and his system says he is using an incorrect product key, the key shown on the activation screen does not correspond with the product key that is on the OEM sticker on the side of his case.

    This is because all the big manufacturers, HP, Dell etc, all release their systems with a "pre-activated" product key (the one that will be displayed on the activation screen). This basically allows them to create recovery CDs which do not require re-activation every time they are used.

    So long as the BIOS string matches what the software is expecting, no activation will be required. It would be sensible to assume that an HP pre-activated product key will only work on an HP branded BIOS. Otherwise there is nothing to stop people distributing HP (or Dell etc) installation/recovery CDs and getting an illegal pre-activated copy of XP on their Brand X box.

    When the activation screen prompts you, you should change the product key to the one that is on the OEM sticker. This is your individual product key, unique to your computer. Even with a motherboard change, or BIOS change, etc, you should be able to activate with this key even if it involves a call to the activation centre.

    I hope that makes sense.

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    nentech

    1. To give us more info
    2. Or solve the problem himself

    Some people do not listen

    Some people refuse to accept what they are told
    They then think they are being told lies

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    rtroy56

    Yes, I've paid a great deal of attention to everyone's suggestions. And I'd note that your comments just now are right on the button, but; when I got the activation wizard after the bios upgrade, the product key displayed IS the one on the OEM sticker. That may be what confused Microsoft's activation staff. Of course the non-HP bios did not match what the software was expecting. And the fact that the key displayed is that on the sticker but doesn't work anymore is my problem.

    My apologies if I have not been clear on all the issues. I've never encountered this type of problem before and did not know what is relevent.

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    RobPatten

    We all learn as we go along, I don't think you ever stop learning especially where computers are concerned.

    rtroy56, it is clear you have been trying to solve the problem yourself and doing a fair bit of research into the cause of the problem. Hats off to you because it is more than a lot of people bother to do.

    As the discussion continues we all learn more and more about your situation and the possible causes of your problem.

    The only thing I find a bit frustrating is that when people make suggestions, you don't always reply to say whether you then tried it or not, and what the result was.

    Getting back to the matter in hand I find it interesting that Windows is showing your individual product key rather than the generic pre-activated HP key.

    In theory this should make your case fairly straightforward, and you should be able to re-activate with that product key even after a full motherboard change. It will involve a call to the activation centre, and you may have to go along and play the game their way, telling them you have replaced the motherboard (as it was defective). Bending the truth a little but it is what they will want to hear in order to provide you with an activation code.

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    rtroy56

    I reported a technical issue here that affects OEM preactivated XP users who updated their BIOS. Yes, I've been looking for advice, and perhaps someone to talk to at Microsoft about this. But I've also been trying to educate people, as most posters here are trying to do even while getting help. Just in case you don't understand, MS does document that for a preactivated XP, changing the BIOS leaves XP needing to be activated.

    I went into this quite ignorant on the subject. I've learned a lot, but what amazes me is how a few people seem to think that they are superior to everyone else here, that they somehow know better. Each of us hopefully has some knowledge to share here, but insulting each other is useless.

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    nentech

    I was not trying to be rude
    I just wanted you to let us know how you got on
    You had posted many times in this discussion and appeared to be ignoring the suggestions given to you

    I suggest you do what RobPatten wrote

    Ring the activation line play dumb tell them your computer has been fixed
    Tell them you need to re activate windows
    Keep it simple and short
    Play dumb
    I don?t know is a good answer

    Microsoft do not deserve anything but simple answers
    Its their OEM scam that is the problem

    Good luck

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    nentech

    Not long ago I had a friend who had brought Windows XP professional

    They wanted me to install it on their new dell computer
    Which had come with an OEM Windows XP home installed

    I did that then activated it and showed them how register with Microsoft

    They then asked me to install the OEM version of Windows XP home on their old computer

    This was a dell that had come with an OEM version of Windows 98 second edition

    I checked the computer to see if the hardware would handle XP
    It checked ok

    This is the interesting part

    I told them I can try but I had doubts
    It worked and did not need to be activated

    Another thing I have found is this

    The activation code for OEM Windows XP classic still works if you install from a service pack 1 CD or a service pack 2 CD

    How do I know?

    I got sick of installing windows XP then installing the service packs
    So I tried the install CDs with the service pack included

    It worked and activated no problem

    Amazing what will work if you try it

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    arcov

    You do not need a new license even if it is an OEM copy.
    Saying that I beleief there are restrictions on how many times you can re-install different versions of Windows (retail and OEM) which is odd as most of us would reinstall it often just to start with a 'clean' machine.
    My suggestion is to create a clean install and image the validated baseline and use that to rebuilt from.

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    nentech

    Is that straight after activation?
    Before you do anything more
    No driver installs etc

    Some people may not understand the meaning of the word baseline

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    puddytatz

    If you are luck enough to have bought a MB that is compatible with your old processor you can remove the processor from the old MB and install it on the new MB. A little preplanning is the key. Research what MB's are compatible with your current processor. Make sure that the processor is assigned to the same slot. You can find this information on most any MB suppliers web site. Be especially careful when removing and instaling processor. Make sure that all power is disconnected and also make sure not to bend the pins. Also make sure to use a good heat sink compound when reinstalling the processor. Good luck.

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    Marko - MCT

    The number of replies seemingly coming from seasoned IT professionals that are providing misleading at best and outright wrong answers at worst is amazing.

    A motherboard can be replaced if it is similar to the one that was there, so most warranty and repair situations will allow the old license to be re-used. This is because (likely) the CPU, RAM, Video, Sound, Network, Hard Disk and other major components will not change.

    Microsoft activation basic rule of thumb is: three major componet changes within a 90 day period will not require re-activation or a new license. Situations like replacing the video and sound card in one go would be fine. Adding a new hard disk to the mix *might* trigger activation. Adding a new CPU almost certainly will.

    A motherboard typically changes the BIOS, CPU, RAM and (likely) network card, sound chip and video subsystems. This constitutes a new computer and therefore requires a new license.

    The exception to the new license rule is if you have bought retail versions of OS products and retail versions of subsequent upgrades and do not use any of these more than one time on another device. If any OS product used at anytime was OEM, there is no change-the-motherboard-to-a-new-one path that allows you to re-use your OEM license (except the warranty situation already mentioned). This is almost always seen as a new PC and requires a new license.

    Check microsoft.com/licensing for even more detail.

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    rtroy56

    So why does a bios upgrade require a new copy of XP?

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    nentech

    You are not replacing the motherboard

    You are replacing a memory chip

    If you can change the system memory
    You can change the read only memory

    In other words it?s all memory
    What is in it is of little importance

    Also if the firmware it faulty it will have to be repaired
    One way is to replace the rom

    Flash rom is just one type of memory

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    RobPatten

    As far as I can tell there is nothing that stipulates that a failed motherboard needs to be under warranty or replaced with a similar motherboard.

    Microsoft stipulate that for an OEM license, a motherboard replacement counts as a new machine *unless* the replacement is because the original board was defective. There is no mention of the specification of the board needing to match the old one, or that it has to be replaced within one, two or three years of the original purchase date.

    However I think it is safe to assume that there is a general expectation that for most home users, if your motherboard fails four years down the line, you won't be able to get a like for like replacement, and the cost of replacing the CPU, memory, possibly PSU makes the cost of a repair uneconomical compared to going out and purchasing a new computer. For people who maintain their own computers this is a different matter of course.

    There seems to be a general confusion on this thread that implies that Windows prompting you to re-activate means that your license ceases to be valid. This is not the case!

    Even if you have to call the activation centre you get asked a series of questions, one of which is 'have you replaced your motherboard?' and if you say yes, you are then asked if it is to replace a defective board, or for any other reason. If you are replacing a defective board, no matter how different the specification to the original, Microsoft will grant you an activation code. From an OEM licensing point of view, it does not matter if changing the board also forces you into changing the CPU and memory, not to mention the on-board devices such as audio, LAN and possibly video.

    You had to change the board because of a fault, not because you fancied an upgrade. That is the key difference between your OEM license still being valid, and needing to buy a new license.

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    rtroy56

    I upgraded the bios, but the motherboard stayed the dame. But the MS reps didn't care, they would only tell me to call HP.

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    RobPatten

    I have called the activation centre dozens of times when reloading or repairing people's machines.

    Only once was I told to speak to the PC manufacturer and this was because Windows had de-activated itself because a pirated CD key had been used to install the software, by whoever originally supplied the computer.

    I think you have to be careful when speaking to the activation centre that you just stick to the facts. They are not technical people, they are call centre staff, and if you start telling them about how a BIOS update has caused you problems they are going to think you have called them for technical support and will refer you back to HP (in your case).

    They don't want to hear your tales of woe, they only want to know what you are calling for so they can enter it on their computer system and then generate you a new activation code. If you start going off on one you're going to confuse them and the purpose of the call will be misunderstood.

    I am glad to hear you got your $50 back, but I don't think I would have paid it to start with. It sounds like they saw you coming.

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    rtroy56

    I told MS at the time that all I did was a bios upgrade, no other changes. All they would say is to call HP. HP really doesn't seem to like doing tech support post warranty, but they took the $50, kept me on the phone for hours (they had no idea of what I was trying to do - something like tech support level .01). I had to contact HP's corporate offices to get my money back.

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    RobPatten

    It does annoy me that companies like HP can get away with charging you *before* you even get any advice.

    Sony are the same in the UK, you need to enter your credit card details before they will even pick up the phone to you.

    Much better customer service would be to speak to somebody first, see if they can help you, and fair enough if they can then be advised that you need to pay for the support. But to be made to pay and then be told they cannot help you leaves you having to chase them for a refund, which I am pleased to hear you did and with success.

    I suppose their stock answer would be "re-flash the official HP BIOS" either way. I just find it is sad these days that speaking to somebody in support is such a frustrating experience because they do not understand the problem.

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    Desktop Veteran

    Honestly, is it possible that this issue stems from the fact that this is an HP product?

    I've worked with Dell's, IBM's, and a multitude of other systems. NONE of them resulted in this issue.

    This has that faint smell of the "PackardHell" days.

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    RobPatten

    The issue is not that the product is made by HP.

    HP stopped releasing BIOS updates for the machine in question some years ago, the machine apparently was bought in 2002.

    The new updated BIOS that was purchased was produced by a third party company. Therefore it will not be "branded" as an HP BIOS and probably other BIOS strings such as the model number will be different to the more customised HP BIOS he had before.

    Like you, I have never had an issue in a BIOS update released by the PC manufacturer (or motherboard manufacturer) triggering a Windows re-activation, be it Dell, HP, Packard Bell, Sony, or any of the countless motherboard manufacturers I have encountered.

    He has effectively replaced a branded HP BIOS with a different Brand X BIOS, and Windows has detected the difference as a motherboard change.

    This in turn has triggered the need to re-activate, which in itself should not be a problem (but appears to be in this case, probably more due to bad luck and misunderstanding when calling the activation centre than any specific Microsoft policy).

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    Desktop Veteran

    Thanks Rob for condensing that situation. I tried to read through most of it, but you summed it up very well.

    Interesting combination of circumstances and manufacturers (MS and HP). Or should I say, bad combination.

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    sir.ptl

    I have built two computers in addition to the one my version of Win XP was originally installed on and haven't had any problems with installation or registration on the new machines. The latest new new computer I built was completed just two weeks ago and is now up and running just fine.

    What I have encountered that I don't like is that I have reinstalled Win XP so much that I now must register via phone, but then a lot of software companies are doing that.

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    natomega

    It appears that many people have jumped on this issue. However I have not read One relevant correct Answer. Question is can one replace a new Motherboard using same CPU/Disk on a new M/B - This has two answers.
    1) If New Motherboard has same chipset as Old M/B you "May Not" have any problems running XP.
    2) However if new M/B has a different chipset to Old M/B you are then required to re-install XP.
    I know this from practical experience, as I have performed Upgrades for countless clients.
    Tip: When you re-install XP and all other software, you can re-register with Microsoft using existing XP, but tell them you have upgraded your hardware.
    Hope this helps.

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    nentech

    The question asked was

    Am I correct that if you replace the motherboard on a machine that has a legally licensed copy of Windows XP that you have to buy another license because Microsoft considers it a "New Machine?"

    This is a legal issue
    It is not about chip sets

    Thank you for not answering the question

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    Freebird54

    Apparently it is - however has anyone even heard of it being tested in a court of law, anywhere in the world?

    It seems to me that people (sheeple?) are just taking the license to mean whatever it is that MS says it means. In the las EULA I read, there was disclamatory language noting that certain provisions were void where prohibited - and that voiding a given provision would not affect the remaining provisions. They would not DO this if their 'ideal situation was not successfully overridden by local laws and statutes.

    Check the consumer protection laws of your jurisdiction before ASSuming that the relevant portion of the EULA pertains to YOUR situation.

    Another thing that amazes me is that every iteration of the licensing agreement limits the paying customer more and more - and nobody DOES anything about it. The current ridiculous provision is that you are not supposed to install certain (lower priced) versions of Vista on a virtual machine. By what 'right' do they claim to control the type of hardware that you choose to use the software on?

    I could go on - but my fingers would get tired :)

    Anyway - MS SHOULD re-activate for most REPAIR scenarios - and if they do not, ask for a refund - their software does not fulfill your needs if it won't activate, and does not meet the minimum standard of merchantability...

    Enjoy!

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    nentech

    The original post was about a legal issue

    mraftice wanted some one to confirm or expand on what he understood

    It is different for windows OEM licences and windows full licences

    Edit to add this

    Some of the replies in this discussion talk about how this has been tested or why it has not been to court

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    natomega

    Please Consider this Question!
    Where does the licensed Operating System reside. On the Hard Disk Drive or on the Motherboard?
    Of course on the Hard Disk!
    Therefore if you do change any Major Component, and XP requires to be re-installed, MS is obligated to re-active your Software.
    There is no issue of legalities - the legal issues of licensing comes into play only if YOU WANT to install your XP onto another Hard Drive and run two or more machines simulataneously.
    This is the good oil from Microsoft some months ago, as I was faced with this actual situation for a corporate client.
    Cheers
    And thank you for taking the time to read my comments

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    nentech

    This document on the microsoft website

    Before we have any more discussion

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/e/3/4e3eace0-4c6d-4123-9d0c-c80436181742/OSLicQA.doc

    I understand what you say

    But Microsoft are bars**eds

    When it comes to the OEM License racket

    It appeared that you had not read the posts of other people in this discussion

    Cheers from me

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    RobPatten

    I agree completely, DigitalAI.

    Unfortunately there seems to be an influx of responses recently from people who have not read the rest of the thread before they decide to jump in with their take on the situation.

    People are very quick to base their comments on their previous experiences, which is fine, but the main difference here is that OEM licensing works differently and is much more restrictive, because it has been sold at usually around half the price of a retail copy, the main purpose being so that PC manufacurers can "bundle" the software with their computers making the price attractive compared to a consumer buying a bare computer and a full retail copy of the software.

    As the discussion continues, we have not even heard anything back from the person posting the original question. We have no idea if he has a retail or OEM copy of XP. We have no idea if his motherboard is faulty or whether he wants to upgrade. We can only speculate and try to cover as many scenarios as possible in order to answer his question fully.

    I think this bandwagon is now getting full.

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    nentech

    If some one jumps in

    I may just point them to the posts they may find interesting or start a discussion

    But natomega's first line in his post

    ?It appears that many people have jumped on this issue. However I have not read One relevant correct Answer.?

    Was if nothing else rude

    I would expect better from a IT Department Manager

    So nice know someone thinks everybody else was wasting their time.

    I have not always read all the posts in a discussion
    But those were the Linux verses windows ones

    They just go on and on and on
    Deeper and deeper and I get tired of looking for something of real value

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    RobPatten

    I quite agree, it is not always necessary to read an entire thread. However if he had even skimmed through a couple or looked over the subject lines before posting it would have made him look a bit less arrogant in assuming that nobody else had hit the nail on the head.

    The fact is there is no definitive "right answer" here because we do not have enough information from the person who asked the original question.

    However, there have been many excellent and accurate posts, some more relevant than others to the discussion.

    Unfortunately there have also been, in the last few days, a number of people posting thinking they can "re-invent the wheel".

    Before I jump in I at least make a bit of an effort to make sure somebody hasn't already made the same point as me.

    Windows vs Linux... bores me to tears. AMD vs Intel... I don't care. Different people have different preferences and different needs. One solution does not fit all.

    A couple of times on this thread I have sensed a post trying to spark a "you wouldn't have this problem with Linux" debate. Maybe you wouldn't, but it does not help answer the question that has been asked. I was glad to see that nobody rose to the bait anyway!

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    nentech

    How dare you mention that name

    Hang on o dear
    Never mind I was thinking of somthing else

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    RobPatten

    In fact, as DigitalAI has said, it doesn't even look like you read the original question properly, which has in fact been discussed by a number of people in this thread whose comments have been much more "relevant" and "correct" than yours.

    What you state is correct from a practical viewpoint with regard to motherboard chipsets.

    However the question related to licensing, rather than the practical side of a motherboard change.

    Indeed you can re-activate and tell Microsoft you have upgraded your hardware. For retail copies of XP this is fine. The difference is with OEM copies (which has also been discussed at great length which you do not seem to have noticed) where you are only allowed to replace a motherboard if the original is defective.

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    Borgesen

    When MS launched the new Licensing program, I asked a MS certified retailer here in Denmark about the OEM license, where the license is tied to one single machine. I asked, "What is 'a machine', and when is there room for upgrades?"

    I tried to put the case to the test, and finally received an answer (thou they would not give it to me in writing) that the machine was still considered an original until you changed / replaced / upgraded "electrified" component no. 7. I tried further to get a description of "what is a component" thinking of parts like "Motherboard/BIOS" / "CPU/Fan" / "Case Airflow Fan(s)" etc. but they finally gave up answering my questions, settling for "We will have to see, when the problem occurs".

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    ozi Eagle

    Hi,

    I have had several mobos go belly up. I make sure that any replacement mobo (with cpu, RAM) has the same chip set as the original mobo, ie VIA, SIS etc. I have found that the drivers are close enough for the machine to boot into XP and then just load the new mobo drivers. I can't recall any need to re- activate.

    Also there was a thread some time ago that explained how to avoid re-activation, to do with the wpa.dbl and wpa.bak files.

    Herb

    Edited for spelling

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    rtroy56

    The problem of needing to reactivate XP after changing a BIOS (and obviously changing a MOBO changes the BIOS) is ONLY for OEM PREACTIVATED XP. In these PC's XP has a link to the OEM BIOS that is broken when the bios and/or mobo is replaced.

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    Desktop Veteran

    The license of the operating system refers to the installion of the OS on the HD. Replacing hardware does not constitute an additional installation. Even if the HD had crashed and you had reinstall the OS from scratch, that still only counts as one installation of the operating system, and that is what you paid for. Once you install the OS on two different systems, then you have technically violated the license agreement.

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    Desktop Veteran

    I should mention that Microsoft does not always follow a logical path (as if they ever have). And based on that thought, there may be a difference between OEM and PRO, and whether or not your working with a site license. I tend to forget about the licensing issues because I always work with site or volume licensing. The issue would be with the "activation" of the OS. I wouldn't think you'd have to activate the OS by simply switching the motherboard, but leave it to MS to find a way to charge you twice for the same product.

    There ought to be a law against it! ;-0

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    rtroy56

    So why, if you upgrade the bios on an oem based xp installation (as on a HP box), do you have to then buy a new copy of XP?

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    RobPatten

    If the BIOS is significantly different from the older version, Windows XP may think that the motherboard has been changed and consider the change significant enough for re-activation to be required.

    Just because you are prompted to re-activate does not mean that your license is no longer valid. You should be able to successfully re-activate your copy of Windows XP, and if it won't do it automatically you can call the toll free number provided to you on the activation wizard where you will be asked some standard questions and you will be given an activation code.

    It amazes me the number of people who have perfectly legitimate software who seem to be scared to use the 'call the activation centre' option and assume they are doomed!

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    nentech

    Why don?t they just ask Microsoft?

    What is Microsoft going to do?

    Say yes or no

    It?s that simple

    In my opinion if the PC is so slow its painful to use
    And the only fix is to replace he Motherboard
    Then that is a repair

    It wasn?t that slow when they paid for it so it must be faulty
    To bad for MS if it?s their service pack slowing it to a crawl

    There is also the case of a defective CPU
    To bad for MS if you cant find one to fit the Motherboard
    It has to be repaired and to do that the motherboard has to be replaced

    There are many reasons that a motherboard has to be replaced as part of a repair

    And like I said they can only say no

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    rtroy56

    When the activation wizard told me to call Microsoft, I did. They told me to call HP. HP charged me $50 and then told me they couldn't do anything (I did eventually get the money back).

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    Desktop Veteran

    I can honestly say that I have never, and I do mean never, had to reactivate an installation of XP after the replacement of a motherboard or upgrade of the BIOS.

    Our standard image, historically, has been created from an OEM installation of the XP (we have now started using UIU and it's awesome). More to the point, we were victims of Dell's involvement in the "buldging capacitor" incident, and out of literally hundreds of motherboard replacements and BIOS upgrades, I was not prompted once to reactivate Windows.

    Based on this, I am surprised by your problem. However, never say never. Here you are with this issue. I can't help but wonder why we would have never seen this issue. Am I overlooking something rediculously simple that would answer this question?

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    rtroy56

    The XP docs one can find when one digs deep enough show that PC's that come with xp preactivated have something hidden in the bios that identifies the bios to XP. Change the bios to one not coming from the pc builder and XP deactivates.

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    nentech

    Your bios is not everyone else?s bios that is your bad luck

    You own an HP computer that is your choice and in this case your bad luck

    How you dealt with Microsoft is also your choice and bad luck

    It appears you have a lot of bad luck
    Other people have not had the same problems as you

    Other people have been able to update their pc bios with no problems

    Other people own HP computers they have no problems

    So next time you buy a computer don?t buy hp or don?t upgrade the bios

    To continue to insist that a bios upgrade means you have to activate windows when other people keep telling you they have had no problem makes you look stupid

    You seem to be your own worst problem
    People have offered you help
    It didn?t work for you that is your bad luck

    So stop bugging us

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    RobPatten

    It would be nice if he let us know if he had tried any of our suggestions before posting back with bits and pieces of information.

    I don't think rtroy56 is stupid, but I think he could have done a better job of supplying us with all the relevant facts at the beginning rather than have us all run round playing guessing games.

    As it is I think we have finally got to the bottom of it.

    What he may find is that when he tried to activate and his system says he is using an incorrect product key, the key shown on the activation screen does not correspond with the product key that is on the OEM sticker on the side of his case.

    This is because all the big manufacturers, HP, Dell etc, all release their systems with a "pre-activated" product key (the one that will be displayed on the activation screen). This basically allows them to create recovery CDs which do not require re-activation every time they are used.

    So long as the BIOS string matches what the software is expecting, no activation will be required. It would be sensible to assume that an HP pre-activated product key will only work on an HP branded BIOS. Otherwise there is nothing to stop people distributing HP (or Dell etc) installation/recovery CDs and getting an illegal pre-activated copy of XP on their Brand X box.

    When the activation screen prompts you, you should change the product key to the one that is on the OEM sticker. This is your individual product key, unique to your computer. Even with a motherboard change, or BIOS change, etc, you should be able to activate with this key even if it involves a call to the activation centre.

    I hope that makes sense.

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    nentech

    1. To give us more info
    2. Or solve the problem himself

    Some people do not listen

    Some people refuse to accept what they are told
    They then think they are being told lies

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    rtroy56

    Yes, I've paid a great deal of attention to everyone's suggestions. And I'd note that your comments just now are right on the button, but; when I got the activation wizard after the bios upgrade, the product key displayed IS the one on the OEM sticker. That may be what confused Microsoft's activation staff. Of course the non-HP bios did not match what the software was expecting. And the fact that the key displayed is that on the sticker but doesn't work anymore is my problem.

    My apologies if I have not been clear on all the issues. I've never encountered this type of problem before and did not know what is relevent.

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    RobPatten

    We all learn as we go along, I don't think you ever stop learning especially where computers are concerned.

    rtroy56, it is clear you have been trying to solve the problem yourself and doing a fair bit of research into the cause of the problem. Hats off to you because it is more than a lot of people bother to do.

    As the discussion continues we all learn more and more about your situation and the possible causes of your problem.

    The only thing I find a bit frustrating is that when people make suggestions, you don't always reply to say whether you then tried it or not, and what the result was.

    Getting back to the matter in hand I find it interesting that Windows is showing your individual product key rather than the generic pre-activated HP key.

    In theory this should make your case fairly straightforward, and you should be able to re-activate with that product key even after a full motherboard change. It will involve a call to the activation centre, and you may have to go along and play the game their way, telling them you have replaced the motherboard (as it was defective). Bending the truth a little but it is what they will want to hear in order to provide you with an activation code.

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    rtroy56

    I reported a technical issue here that affects OEM preactivated XP users who updated their BIOS. Yes, I've been looking for advice, and perhaps someone to talk to at Microsoft about this. But I've also been trying to educate people, as most posters here are trying to do even while getting help. Just in case you don't understand, MS does document that for a preactivated XP, changing the BIOS leaves XP needing to be activated.

    I went into this quite ignorant on the subject. I've learned a lot, but what amazes me is how a few people seem to think that they are superior to everyone else here, that they somehow know better. Each of us hopefully has some knowledge to share here, but insulting each other is useless.

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    nentech

    I was not trying to be rude
    I just wanted you to let us know how you got on
    You had posted many times in this discussion and appeared to be ignoring the suggestions given to you

    I suggest you do what RobPatten wrote

    Ring the activation line play dumb tell them your computer has been fixed
    Tell them you need to re activate windows
    Keep it simple and short
    Play dumb
    I don?t know is a good answer

    Microsoft do not deserve anything but simple answers
    Its their OEM scam that is the problem

    Good luck

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    nentech

    Not long ago I had a friend who had brought Windows XP professional

    They wanted me to install it on their new dell computer
    Which had come with an OEM Windows XP home installed

    I did that then activated it and showed them how register with Microsoft

    They then asked me to install the OEM version of Windows XP home on their old computer

    This was a dell that had come with an OEM version of Windows 98 second edition

    I checked the computer to see if the hardware would handle XP
    It checked ok

    This is the interesting part

    I told them I can try but I had doubts
    It worked and did not need to be activated

    Another thing I have found is this

    The activation code for OEM Windows XP classic still works if you install from a service pack 1 CD or a service pack 2 CD

    How do I know?

    I got sick of installing windows XP then installing the service packs
    So I tried the install CDs with the service pack included

    It worked and activated no problem

    Amazing what will work if you try it

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    arcov

    You do not need a new license even if it is an OEM copy.
    Saying that I beleief there are restrictions on how many times you can re-install different versions of Windows (retail and OEM) which is odd as most of us would reinstall it often just to start with a 'clean' machine.
    My suggestion is to create a clean install and image the validated baseline and use that to rebuilt from.

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    nentech

    Is that straight after activation?
    Before you do anything more
    No driver installs etc

    Some people may not understand the meaning of the word baseline

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    puddytatz

    If you are luck enough to have bought a MB that is compatible with your old processor you can remove the processor from the old MB and install it on the new MB. A little preplanning is the key. Research what MB's are compatible with your current processor. Make sure that the processor is assigned to the same slot. You can find this information on most any MB suppliers web site. Be especially careful when removing and instaling processor. Make sure that all power is disconnected and also make sure not to bend the pins. Also make sure to use a good heat sink compound when reinstalling the processor. Good luck.

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    Marko - MCT

    The number of replies seemingly coming from seasoned IT professionals that are providing misleading at best and outright wrong answers at worst is amazing.

    A motherboard can be replaced if it is similar to the one that was there, so most warranty and repair situations will allow the old license to be re-used. This is because (likely) the CPU, RAM, Video, Sound, Network, Hard Disk and other major components will not change.

    Microsoft activation basic rule of thumb is: three major componet changes within a 90 day period will not require re-activation or a new license. Situations like replacing the video and sound card in one go would be fine. Adding a new hard disk to the mix *might* trigger activation. Adding a new CPU almost certainly will.

    A motherboard typically changes the BIOS, CPU, RAM and (likely) network card, sound chip and video subsystems. This constitutes a new computer and therefore requires a new license.

    The exception to the new license rule is if you have bought retail versions of OS products and retail versions of subsequent upgrades and do not use any of these more than one time on another device. If any OS product used at anytime was OEM, there is no change-the-motherboard-to-a-new-one path that allows you to re-use your OEM license (except the warranty situation already mentioned). This is almost always seen as a new PC and requires a new license.

    Check microsoft.com/licensing for even more detail.

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    rtroy56

    So why does a bios upgrade require a new copy of XP?

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    nentech

    You are not replacing the motherboard

    You are replacing a memory chip

    If you can change the system memory
    You can change the read only memory

    In other words it?s all memory
    What is in it is of little importance

    Also if the firmware it faulty it will have to be repaired
    One way is to replace the rom

    Flash rom is just one type of memory

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    RobPatten

    As far as I can tell there is nothing that stipulates that a failed motherboard needs to be under warranty or replaced with a similar motherboard.

    Microsoft stipulate that for an OEM license, a motherboard replacement counts as a new machine *unless* the replacement is because the original board was defective. There is no mention of the specification of the board needing to match the old one, or that it has to be replaced within one, two or three years of the original purchase date.

    However I think it is safe to assume that there is a general expectation that for most home users, if your motherboard fails four years down the line, you won't be able to get a like for like replacement, and the cost of replacing the CPU, memory, possibly PSU makes the cost of a repair uneconomical compared to going out and purchasing a new computer. For people who maintain their own computers this is a different matter of course.

    There seems to be a general confusion on this thread that implies that Windows prompting you to re-activate means that your license ceases to be valid. This is not the case!

    Even if you have to call the activation centre you get asked a series of questions, one of which is 'have you replaced your motherboard?' and if you say yes, you are then asked if it is to replace a defective board, or for any other reason. If you are replacing a defective board, no matter how different the specification to the original, Microsoft will grant you an activation code. From an OEM licensing point of view, it does not matter if changing the board also forces you into changing the CPU and memory, not to mention the on-board devices such as audio, LAN and possibly video.

    You had to change the board because of a fault, not because you fancied an upgrade. That is the key difference between your OEM license still being valid, and needing to buy a new license.

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    rtroy56

    I upgraded the bios, but the motherboard stayed the dame. But the MS reps didn't care, they would only tell me to call HP.

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    RobPatten

    I have called the activation centre dozens of times when reloading or repairing people's machines.

    Only once was I told to speak to the PC manufacturer and this was because Windows had de-activated itself because a pirated CD key had been used to install the software, by whoever originally supplied the computer.

    I think you have to be careful when speaking to the activation centre that you just stick to the facts. They are not technical people, they are call centre staff, and if you start telling them about how a BIOS update has caused you problems they are going to think you have called them for technical support and will refer you back to HP (in your case).

    They don't want to hear your tales of woe, they only want to know what you are calling for so they can enter it on their computer system and then generate you a new activation code. If you start going off on one you're going to confuse them and the purpose of the call will be misunderstood.

    I am glad to hear you got your $50 back, but I don't think I would have paid it to start with. It sounds like they saw you coming.

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    rtroy56

    I told MS at the time that all I did was a bios upgrade, no other changes. All they would say is to call HP. HP really doesn't seem to like doing tech support post warranty, but they took the $50, kept me on the phone for hours (they had no idea of what I was trying to do - something like tech support level .01). I had to contact HP's corporate offices to get my money back.

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    RobPatten

    It does annoy me that companies like HP can get away with charging you *before* you even get any advice.

    Sony are the same in the UK, you need to enter your credit card details before they will even pick up the phone to you.

    Much better customer service would be to speak to somebody first, see if they can help you, and fair enough if they can then be advised that you need to pay for the support. But to be made to pay and then be told they cannot help you leaves you having to chase them for a refund, which I am pleased to hear you did and with success.

    I suppose their stock answer would be "re-flash the official HP BIOS" either way. I just find it is sad these days that speaking to somebody in support is such a frustrating experience because they do not understand the problem.

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    Desktop Veteran

    Honestly, is it possible that this issue stems from the fact that this is an HP product?

    I've worked with Dell's, IBM's, and a multitude of other systems. NONE of them resulted in this issue.

    This has that faint smell of the "PackardHell" days.

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    RobPatten

    The issue is not that the product is made by HP.

    HP stopped releasing BIOS updates for the machine in question some years ago, the machine apparently was bought in 2002.

    The new updated BIOS that was purchased was produced by a third party company. Therefore it will not be "branded" as an HP BIOS and probably other BIOS strings such as the model number will be different to the more customised HP BIOS he had before.

    Like you, I have never had an issue in a BIOS update released by the PC manufacturer (or motherboard manufacturer) triggering a Windows re-activation, be it Dell, HP, Packard Bell, Sony, or any of the countless motherboard manufacturers I have encountered.

    He has effectively replaced a branded HP BIOS with a different Brand X BIOS, and Windows has detected the difference as a motherboard change.

    This in turn has triggered the need to re-activate, which in itself should not be a problem (but appears to be in this case, probably more due to bad luck and misunderstanding when calling the activation centre than any specific Microsoft policy).

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    Desktop Veteran

    Thanks Rob for condensing that situation. I tried to read through most of it, but you summed it up very well.

    Interesting combination of circumstances and manufacturers (MS and HP). Or should I say, bad combination.

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    sir.ptl

    I have built two computers in addition to the one my version of Win XP was originally installed on and haven't had any problems with installation or registration on the new machines. The latest new new computer I built was completed just two weeks ago and is now up and running just fine.

    What I have encountered that I don't like is that I have reinstalled Win XP so much that I now must register via phone, but then a lot of software companies are doing that.

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    natomega

    It appears that many people have jumped on this issue. However I have not read One relevant correct Answer. Question is can one replace a new Motherboard using same CPU/Disk on a new M/B - This has two answers.
    1) If New Motherboard has same chipset as Old M/B you "May Not" have any problems running XP.
    2) However if new M/B has a different chipset to Old M/B you are then required to re-install XP.
    I know this from practical experience, as I have performed Upgrades for countless clients.
    Tip: When you re-install XP and all other software, you can re-register with Microsoft using existing XP, but tell them you have upgraded your hardware.
    Hope this helps.

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    nentech

    The question asked was

    Am I correct that if you replace the motherboard on a machine that has a legally licensed copy of Windows XP that you have to buy another license because Microsoft considers it a "New Machine?"

    This is a legal issue
    It is not about chip sets

    Thank you for not answering the question

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    Freebird54

    Apparently it is - however has anyone even heard of it being tested in a court of law, anywhere in the world?

    It seems to me that people (sheeple?) are just taking the license to mean whatever it is that MS says it means. In the las EULA I read, there was disclamatory language noting that certain provisions were void where prohibited - and that voiding a given provision would not affect the remaining provisions. They would not DO this if their 'ideal situation was not successfully overridden by local laws and statutes.

    Check the consumer protection laws of your jurisdiction before ASSuming that the relevant portion of the EULA pertains to YOUR situation.

    Another thing that amazes me is that every iteration of the licensing agreement limits the paying customer more and more - and nobody DOES anything about it. The current ridiculous provision is that you are not supposed to install certain (lower priced) versions of Vista on a virtual machine. By what 'right' do they claim to control the type of hardware that you choose to use the software on?

    I could go on - but my fingers would get tired :)

    Anyway - MS SHOULD re-activate for most REPAIR scenarios - and if they do not, ask for a refund - their software does not fulfill your needs if it won't activate, and does not meet the minimum standard of merchantability...

    Enjoy!

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    nentech

    The original post was about a legal issue

    mraftice wanted some one to confirm or expand on what he understood

    It is different for windows OEM licences and windows full licences

    Edit to add this

    Some of the replies in this discussion talk about how this has been tested or why it has not been to court

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    natomega

    Please Consider this Question!
    Where does the licensed Operating System reside. On the Hard Disk Drive or on the Motherboard?
    Of course on the Hard Disk!
    Therefore if you do change any Major Component, and XP requires to be re-installed, MS is obligated to re-active your Software.
    There is no issue of legalities - the legal issues of licensing comes into play only if YOU WANT to install your XP onto another Hard Drive and run two or more machines simulataneously.
    This is the good oil from Microsoft some months ago, as I was faced with this actual situation for a corporate client.
    Cheers
    And thank you for taking the time to read my comments

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    nentech

    This document on the microsoft website

    Before we have any more discussion

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/e/3/4e3eace0-4c6d-4123-9d0c-c80436181742/OSLicQA.doc

    I understand what you say

    But Microsoft are bars**eds

    When it comes to the OEM License racket

    It appeared that you had not read the posts of other people in this discussion

    Cheers from me

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    RobPatten

    I agree completely, DigitalAI.

    Unfortunately there seems to be an influx of responses recently from people who have not read the rest of the thread before they decide to jump in with their take on the situation.

    People are very quick to base their comments on their previous experiences, which is fine, but the main difference here is that OEM licensing works differently and is much more restrictive, because it has been sold at usually around half the price of a retail copy, the main purpose being so that PC manufacurers can "bundle" the software with their computers making the price attractive compared to a consumer buying a bare computer and a full retail copy of the software.

    As the discussion continues, we have not even heard anything back from the person posting the original question. We have no idea if he has a retail or OEM copy of XP. We have no idea if his motherboard is faulty or whether he wants to upgrade. We can only speculate and try to cover as many scenarios as possible in order to answer his question fully.

    I think this bandwagon is now getting full.

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    nentech

    If some one jumps in

    I may just point them to the posts they may find interesting or start a discussion

    But natomega's first line in his post

    ?It appears that many people have jumped on this issue. However I have not read One relevant correct Answer.?

    Was if nothing else rude

    I would expect better from a IT Department Manager

    So nice know someone thinks everybody else was wasting their time.

    I have not always read all the posts in a discussion
    But those were the Linux verses windows ones

    They just go on and on and on
    Deeper and deeper and I get tired of looking for something of real value

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    RobPatten

    I quite agree, it is not always necessary to read an entire thread. However if he had even skimmed through a couple or looked over the subject lines before posting it would have made him look a bit less arrogant in assuming that nobody else had hit the nail on the head.

    The fact is there is no definitive "right answer" here because we do not have enough information from the person who asked the original question.

    However, there have been many excellent and accurate posts, some more relevant than others to the discussion.

    Unfortunately there have also been, in the last few days, a number of people posting thinking they can "re-invent the wheel".

    Before I jump in I at least make a bit of an effort to make sure somebody hasn't already made the same point as me.

    Windows vs Linux... bores me to tears. AMD vs Intel... I don't care. Different people have different preferences and different needs. One solution does not fit all.

    A couple of times on this thread I have sensed a post trying to spark a "you wouldn't have this problem with Linux" debate. Maybe you wouldn't, but it does not help answer the question that has been asked. I was glad to see that nobody rose to the bait anyway!

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    nentech

    How dare you mention that name

    Hang on o dear
    Never mind I was thinking of somthing else

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    RobPatten

    In fact, as DigitalAI has said, it doesn't even look like you read the original question properly, which has in fact been discussed by a number of people in this thread whose comments have been much more "relevant" and "correct" than yours.

    What you state is correct from a practical viewpoint with regard to motherboard chipsets.

    However the question related to licensing, rather than the practical side of a motherboard change.

    Indeed you can re-activate and tell Microsoft you have upgraded your hardware. For retail copies of XP this is fine. The difference is with OEM copies (which has also been discussed at great length which you do not seem to have noticed) where you are only allowed to replace a motherboard if the original is defective.

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    Borgesen

    When MS launched the new Licensing program, I asked a MS certified retailer here in Denmark about the OEM license, where the license is tied to one single machine. I asked, "What is 'a machine', and when is there room for upgrades?"

    I tried to put the case to the test, and finally received an answer (thou they would not give it to me in writing) that the machine was still considered an original until you changed / replaced / upgraded "electrified" component no. 7. I tried further to get a description of "what is a component" thinking of parts like "Motherboard/BIOS" / "CPU/Fan" / "Case Airflow Fan(s)" etc. but they finally gave up answering my questions, settling for "We will have to see, when the problem occurs".

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    ozi Eagle

    Hi,

    I have had several mobos go belly up. I make sure that any replacement mobo (with cpu, RAM) has the same chip set as the original mobo, ie VIA, SIS etc. I have found that the drivers are close enough for the machine to boot into XP and then just load the new mobo drivers. I can't recall any need to re- activate.

    Also there was a thread some time ago that explained how to avoid re-activation, to do with the wpa.dbl and wpa.bak files.

    Herb

    Edited for spelling

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    rtroy56

    The problem of needing to reactivate XP after changing a BIOS (and obviously changing a MOBO changes the BIOS) is ONLY for OEM PREACTIVATED XP. In these PC's XP has a link to the OEM BIOS that is broken when the bios and/or mobo is replaced.