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How exactly does Windows 7 Retail vs OEM

X-RaNgEr asked on
Hi All,
I don't fully understand how Windows 7 Retail vs OEM.   What I understand is OEM is locked to one computer. AKA Mac address or
BIOS, not sure. However, what happens when my the Intel motherboard fails or I decide to upgrade my system motherboard included, which I like do on a regular basic. Is the OEM version still locked to the original motherboard and if it fails I must purchase a new OEM copy of Windows 7?  Or can it truly be relicensed, if only one copy if active?  Is there a method for doing so?   It is still a Full Windows 7 license, which I paid for. Can I just replace the motherboard and reinstall it?   I don't care about Windows Support, or the box.


With Windows XP Professional OEM, I was able to reinstall if my motherboard was changed out (I must of changed motherboard 10 times in 10 years) or if I upgraded my hard drives.  Reinstall required a phone call and explainiation, however, it was never a problem.

Good FAQ here, but doesn't answer my question.
http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/18233-oem-vs-retail-war.html

Thanks for your response I am sure others would like to know and understand this situation.

Jay

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Carey Frisch replied on
OEM versions of Windows 7 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
Carey Frisch
Windows Expert - Consumer
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However, what happens when my the Intel motherboard fails or I decide to upgrade my system motherboard included, which I like do on a regular basic. Is the OEM version still locked to the original motherboard and if it fails I must purchase a new OEM copy of Windows 7?

It is simply tied to that motherboard and becomes non transferable, the minute you installed and activated the license.
Andre Da Costa http://adacosta.spaces.live.com http://www.activewin.com
Best,
Andre
Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT
twitter/adacosta
groovypost.com
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