windows 10 and hardware changes (future reference)

"Q: What happens if I change the hardware configuration of my Windows 10 device?

A: If the hardware configuration of your Windows 10 device changes significantly (e.g. motherboard change) Windows may require re-activation on the device. This is the same experience as prior versions of Windows (e.g. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1).   The free upgrade offer will not apply to activation of Windows 10 in such scenarios where hardware changes reset Activation."

I wondering if this will become a issue as i rebuild/replace parts in my pc often. (Most the time now that i have to order parts online)
 I have been known to gut my desktop for parts to repair other (friends pcs and such as I order the parts and they needs theirs up asap ( i have a laptop for when pc down) So I wondering if there will be a issue when I do this some time . I will actually install windows on a junker that not got the parts they need to get by. I will end up with multi different hardware configs as i go though different repairs.  I know at time that it will look like i am running 2 computers  if the windows 10 key is only set to hardware configs. I know other gamers' change stuff monthly.  I also find that  these prebuilt systems (dell and such) don't offer media disk to do restores. I don't always have access to quality internet speed to download a restore image for every model when they had a harddrive failure./ or a upgrade to a larger drive .

When I upgrade a preinstalled (OEM) or retail version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 license to Windows 10, does that license remain OEM or become a retail license?

If you upgrade from a OEM or retail version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 to the free Windows 10 upgrade this summer, the license is consumed into it. Because the free upgrade is derived from the base qualifying license, Windows 10 will carry that licensing too.

If you upgrade from a retail version, it carries the rights of a retail version.

If you upgrade from a OEM version, it carries the rights of a OEM version.

Full version (Retail):

- Includes transfer rights to another computer.

- Doesn't require a previous qualifying version of Windows.

- Expensive

Upgrade version (Retail):

- Includes transfer rights to another computer.

- require a previous qualifying version of Windows.

- Expensive, but cheaper than full version

OEM :

OEM versions of Windows are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system

What happens if I change my motherboard?

As it pertains to the OEM license this will invalidate the Windows 10 upgrade license because it will no longer have a previous base qualifying license which is required for the free upgrade. You will then have to purchase a full retail Windows 10 license. If the base qualifying license (Windows 7 or Windows 8.1) was a full retail version, then yes, you can transfer it.

From the Windows 10 end user license agreement:

b. Stand-alone software. If you acquired the software as stand-alone software (and also if you upgraded from software you acquired as stand-alone software), you may transfer the software to another device that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software to a device owned by someone else if (i) you are the first licensed user of the software and (ii) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Every time you transfer the software to a new device, you must remove the software from the prior device. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between devices.

Best,
Andre
Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT
twitter/adacosta
groovypost.com

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So this means that my windows 7 Pro key is Now a windows 10 pro key ( OEM)? then I can use it to reload my system at any point ? I really should build a set system but I love to tinker with the system lol.  well if Windows 10 pro works for my I might buy a OEM dvd and then have 2 keys LOL  can never have enough copies and Keys when you play with pcs. 

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Thanks for the detailed info, this was something I was worrying about since yesterday!

So if I upgrade my system (let's say I'll change the motherboard and the CPU) in the future I will be able to activate W10 since I upgraded from a retail W7 license, right?

Is the activation on the new system automatic or do I have to know the W10 key assigned to me by Microsoft with the free upgrade?

If that's the case, how to read it from my current installation?

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Thanks for the detailed info, this was something I was worrying about since yesterday!

So if I upgrade my system (let's say I'll change the motherboard and the CPU) in the future I will be able to activate W10 since I upgraded from a retail W7 license, right?

Is the activation on the new system automatic or do I have to know the W10 key assigned to me by Microsoft with the free upgrade?

If that's the case, how to read it from my current installation?

No! I had this scenario and changed my  motherboard. My retail windows 7 - 3 computer license was used to upgrade to windows 8. It is used on only one computer. I then upgraded to the windows 10 beta and it has been active for many months. I changed my motherboard and CPU and I got the reactivate message. I tried to reactivate and no go! It says to go to the Windows 10 store. When I go to the store it says I have a valid license. I have a valid license and it still will not activate so I call. I speak to a person with a heavy Indian accent that I have trouble understanding. He says I have to buy a new license or reinstall my old windows and then upgrade again! I ask to speak to the supervisor and his accent is not as bad. He says the same thing as the first guy. I have so many licenses for windows Vista, XP, 7  and I don't have the ability to reactivate windows 10 without reinstalling 2 operating systems and all my software all over again! Come On Microsoft!

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Not surprisingly, there are lots of threads on this topic. I found a lot of this info helpful (thank you Andre) but it still hasn't quite resolved my issue. Here's my situation (which seems to be a common one) and what I've found so far:

My laptop came with Win 8.1 and I want to install a new, larger drive, and do a clean install of Win10. I don't want to clone the old drive, or save any of my settings. I want a CLEAN install.

I understand the product key is stored, encrypted, in the BIOS. I also understand that changing the hard drive won't affect the OEM license but that changing the motherboard would (which I don't intend to do). Has anyone verified this, btw?

The first thing I did was a clean install of Win10 on an empty drive, hoping it would find the Win8 product key in the BIOS. That didn't work - it prompted for a product key and when I skipped it, the installation was not activated.

Then I tried upgrading my Win8 installation and that worked but without prompting for, or providing me with a product key. It is activated.

It seems to me, the only way I'm going to get this to work on the new drive is to first install Win8 and then to upgrade it to Win10 using the option to not save my files or settings. Really? And how is this truly a clean install?

It has been months since the first pre-release copies of Win10 were made available. It's frustrating that there doesn't appear to be a definitive guide from Microsoft on how to accomplish this seemingly popular task - to install a clean copy of Win10 on a machine with an embedded product key.

Any suggestions?

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Last updated October 25, 2020 Views 7,356 Applies to: