+ 0 Votes Rules are different for Retail and OEM versions RobPatten 7 years ago If you have a Retail copy of Windows XP then I *think* you can move this between computers, so long as it is only installed on any one computer at a time. Certainly it should be fine from a licensing point of view on the same machine no matter what parts are replaced. Of course, you may be prompted to re-activate, and in the case of a motherboard change sometimes you need to re-install Windows XP completely.If it is an OEM copy of Windows XP, which typically would be bundled with a new computer, or sold with specific items of computer hardware, the licensing is less flexible. The license cannot be transferred to another computer. Specifically relating to a motherboard replacement, there are two different scenarios. If you are changing the motherboard because the original one failed, Microsoft accept this is a repair and therefore a legitimate hardware change and your license is still valid (re-activation will be required of course). If however the motherboard change is because you are performing an upgrade, Microsoft take the view that you are deliberately changing the machine and consider the license non-transferrable to the new hardware.If the computer cannot be repaired an OEM license effectively dies with the machine.Being realistic, I cannot see how anybody could prove that you changed your motherboard out of choice rather than necessity. It would be your word against theirs, and I'm sure many people play the system a bit and 'bend' the rules.You could compare it to drinking four pints and then driving home. Just because you didn't wrap your car round a tree or kill anyone, and didn't see any police on the road, doesn't mean what you did was legal... but nobody found out and you got away with it. A bit of an extreme comparison I know but you get the idea!