New OS With New Motherboard?

By 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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Thank You!

by RobPatten In reply to Read the EULA

I am so glad that somebody has finally made this point.

Buying software is not like buying a tin of beans. Once you get your beans you can put them on toast, eat them all yourself, share them with the family, or even fill a bath with them (as was once popular for various charity events).

Heinz won't come round because two people are sharing one tin of beans.

The difference is you are buying a product. You can then (so long as you act within the law of course) do what you like with it.

With software you never own the product. You are just granted a license to use it. That license forms a contract and if breached will become void.

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The difference is the price

by rick In reply to OEM or Retail... paid for ...

The OEM version costs about half the price of the full retail version. That is supposedly the reason for the extra restrictions on the OEM versions.


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I SECOND that! B-) n/t

by btljooz In reply to My reason for leaving MS ...
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Very old motherboard failure

by byu1980 In reply to Rules are different for R ...

My parents' 1999-vintage ASUS motherboard (PIII, 450 MHz CPU) failed while I was visiting. The required upgrade was a new Intel motherboard (very basic), CPU (P4, 3.2 GHz), memory & power supply. The technician couldn't get his Windows XP Home disks to install using our product key, but succeeded with our original XP Home disk. He downloaded all updates without having to reactivate the license. Subsequent updates have only required us to go through the genuine validation routine.

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purchase bios upgrade on pc that has oem xp

by rtroy56 In reply to Rules are different for R ...

I have an HP that came with preactivated (OEM) XP Pro. I bought a bios upgrade. Boot up, log in, and Windows says I'm not activated. It looks for something in the bios that the purchased upgrade bios does not have. I either back out the new bios, or I do a full install with a new copy of XP Pro? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

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You *purchased* a BIOS update?

by RobPatten In reply to purchase bios upgrade on ...

Most motherboard manufacturers provide BIOS updates free of charge on the support section of their web sites, I have never encountered a situation where you have had to pay for a BIOS update.

I sure hope it was worth the money, did it fix the issues you were experiencing that made you go out and buy this update?

Just because you cannot see any difference in the menu structure of the BIOS does not mean that nothing has changed.

Have you actually tried to re-activate Windows when you were prompted to? Now that it has de-activated itself even if you restored the previous BIOS (assuming you kept a backup of the original flash image before upgrading) Windows will remain in an unactivated state, so either way you will need to re-activate. May as well keep the new BIOS you paid for...

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purchased bios upgrade

by rtroy56 In reply to You *purchased* a BIOS up ...

HP never issued upgrades for this bios, neither did Phoenix. The bios makers license a 3rd party to do upgrades. I bought one, which fixes power management problems, allows hyperthread to work, etc. Very nice bios, many xp and vista enhancements. Booted, logged in, got the wizard. Called MS with the number given, they told me to call HP (waste of time). Backed out the upgrade (yes, it comes with software to backup the original), rebooted and logged in, and Windows was fine. As I understand it, Windows compares what it reads from the bios to something hidden on the hd. If they match, you are fine. If not, you get the wizard. Putting back the old bios made them match again.

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You must be unlucky

by RobPatten In reply to purchased bios upgrade

You must be unlucky, I have downloaded BIOS updates for HP & Compaq machines numerous times and never once have I had to buy one from a third party. Presumably if the update contains XP and Vista enhancements your computer is not all that old?

If the BIOS update was released by a third party though, this would explain why you were prompted to re-activate. The BIOS string in your original BIOS would have shown HP as the manufacturer, and probably had the model number of the machine embedded into it.

Your third party update will probably have the actual manufacturer of the board, or maybe the third party's name in the manufacturer field rather than HP, so that would have triggered Windows to think it was a different motherboard.

You clearly feel sure you would benefit from the BIOS update, or you would not have parted with any money for it I'm sure, so I would be inclined to re-update and then get back onto Microsoft. Be insistent that it is the same board, and if they try telling you to call HP again tell them you tried that already and got nowhere. Don't be rude but make it clear that you believe they should re-activate your software if need be. It may have just been that last time you got hold of somebody who didn't understand the situation.

As far as I was aware, once Windows de-activated itself, it would not automatically remove the need for re-activation if the original 'hardware' (or in your case the BIOS firmware) was put back. But I have to say I could be wrong on this one as it is not something I have ever needed to do so far as I can remember.

I hope this helps, don't despair and be persistent with Microsoft. Make sure they understand you have not changed ANY hardware.

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by rtroy56 In reply to You must be unlucky

I'd say you got most of it exactly right. And yes, the bios upgrade (2002 box, original bios did not support hyperthread, etc.) is a huge improvement for me over what HP provided (last updated before I bought the PC from HP).

And as wierd as it sounds, XP does not seem to remember that I had the new bios temporarily.

Is there any way I could talk to MS before going for the bios upgrade again to prearrange the re-activation?

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Play the game their way then

by RobPatten In reply to unlucky

Unfortunately there isn't really a way to pre-prepare for re-activation, for example there is no way to "de-activate" Windows to effectively free up the license, Windows just detects hardware change and uses that as the trigger.

You could leave it as is, which you don't really want to do having got this far.

The alternative, and what I would do, would be to re-flash the updated BIOS, try to re-activate when prompted, call the activation centre and when they ask if you have changed any hardware just tell them that your motherboard died and you have replaced it with a new one.

This is the only compromise I can see. If their call centre staff are not even savvy enough to understand that a BIOS update is not a big deal, and Windows is assuming that your motherboard has changed, play along with the game their way.

While it is a little white lie, I think it is a case of "needs must" in order to get the activation code. Remember you are not really doing anything wrong, you are not violating your license agreement because you have not physically changed the hardware.

It is more a case of a communication barrier between you and the activation centre staff, and this way you are effectively ticking a box that they understand and can deal with.

You may even find that if you call back and speak to somebody different, they will understand better and get you re-activated without a problem.

Your choice, let us know how you get on.

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