JoeyBeanz
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Replacing motherboard on system running OEM version of Win7

I have a PC that is running on an OEM version of Windows 7 Ultimate. And from what I understand, the OEM versions are coded to the motherboard of the PC that they are initially installed on so that they cannot be installed on any additional systems. But my question is... the motherboard in my PC is going to need to be replaced in the near future, so would I still be able to use my current install of Windows 7 ultimate? If I swap in the new MB, configure the BIOS, and boot up the system would I simply need to re-register my install of the OEM windows or would I need to buy a new copy/license?
TrekDozer
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TrekDozer replied on

If the motherboard dies you can replace it if you have OEM. More info below.

 

What Exactly Can One Change With An OEM Operating System?

You shouldn't have a problem replacing any parts other then the motherboard, although if you replace too many of the computers parts you may need to reactivate. If you replace the motherboard you will need to reactivate (and likely reinstall), which (according to some) you can do. However there is also some OEM documentation stating that replacing the motherboard for reasons other then defect creates a new computer and the OEM license is no longer valid.

Many posts here say you can replace the motherboard, many others say you can't. Some of the confusion is because the OEM EULA doesn't specifically say replacing the motherboard creates a new computer, that language comes from a FAQ page about the OEM license (and a FAQ page is not part of the EULA). But Microsoft also has another OEM webpage saying you can replace the motherboard and still use the OEM license - causing much confusion on this topic.

Because Microsoft says you can replace the motherboard on one page and the OEM EULA doesn't say otherwise, you should be able to replace the motherboard. However, if your Windows install disk is from a computer manufacturer the disk might be locked to the motherboards BIOS which would prevent you from being able to install Windows on a motherboard not made by that computer manufacturer. Also, OEM copies are bound to the first computer installed on and are not transferable (can't be moved to a different computer).

OEM License Page:
http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentPage.aspx?pageid=552857


OEM FAQ Page saying you can't replace the motherboard unless it's defective (8 questions down):
http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?pageid=552846#faq1


This page (about Vista) suggests you can replace the motherboard with OEM, it just needs to be reactivated:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/activationfaq.mspx



Have Questions About Installing Windows 7?
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MCC 2011

TrekDozer

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JoeyBeanz
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JoeyBeanz replied on

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OK well I built the computer myself and purchased an OEM copy of Windows from a distributor (newegg.com) and installed it so there is no "manufacturer" to give their 2 cents on it and gum up the works lol. I guess the long and skinny of it is that the mb WILL be replaced, there's no way around that, it's either that or buy a new computer. I'll just install the new mb and hope that the most I have to do is call up microsoft and get it re-registered.
SpikeHughes
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SpikeHughes replied on

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Hello, this is almost exactly my situation - and I am not replacing my faulty motherboard with the same or a similar one. God forbid why on earth would I do that??!!. I have taken the opportunity to order the 1156 mobo with an i5 cpu. The new mobo will cause an issue with licencing so I am interested in finding out how you (JoeyBeanz) got on?

 

Spike

southeasternvenom
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southeasternvenom replied on

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hello i have a computer i built myself about a year ago and now my hard drive died can i install the oem disk that i boutght and installed on the first hard drive then on a new hard drive now
Fascist Nation
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Fascist Nation replied on

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If you built the system you are the OEM under the EULA. Under the EULA the OEM -- you -- are the one to determine if the MB is covered under your replacement repair warranty.  There could be room to quibble under the description of OEM whether you can give the PC to yourself.  Certainly you can give it to a family member and support that PC under the terms of the OEM EULA.

I have been told that MS only grans a one time repair replacement per license which seems fair to me.  And as was stated above this is a repair replacement of a MB.  Anything else under the OEM EULA is a forbidden transfer.
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Fascist Nation
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Fascist Nation replied on

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Again what constitutes a repair replacement is up to the OEM within lmits.  Certainly if the identical MB is available from the MB mfg. that MUST be used.  Keep in mind most MBs come with 3 year warranties from the mfg.  If unavailable, a comparable one (same CPU socket, RAM type and especially same or near same chipset) would be keeping within the spirit of the EULA.  Further, if close enough the activation won't even be tripped.

But, few motherboards or even those capable of supporting old RAM or CPUs are available new after two to three years or from an acceptable equivalent tier level mfg.  In that case it is up to the OEM if they are still supporting the PC to decide on a comparable replacement MB to keep the system working.

You will still have to do activation under the terms of a repair replacement installation.
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