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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No you don't

by arcov In reply to New OS With New Motherboa ...

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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The baseline

by nentech In reply to No you don't

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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Windows validates to the processor

by puddytatz In reply to No you don't

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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I'm Amazed!

by Marko - MCT In reply to New OS With New Motherboa ...

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 for even more detail.

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bios upgrade is only one componenet

by rtroy56 In reply to I'm Amazed!

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

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It doesn?t

by nentech In reply to bios upgrade is only one ...

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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Activation vs License

by RobPatten In reply to I'm Amazed!

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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upgraded bios, left motherboard alone

by rtroy56 In reply to Activation vs License

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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HP must have seen you coming

by RobPatten In reply to upgraded bios, left mothe ...

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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HP post warranty tech support, MS activation center

by rtroy56 In reply to HP must have seen you com ...

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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