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Can I Upgrade a Motherboard with an OEM Windows 7 Serial Key?

Last response: in Motherboards
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June 13, 2013 6:32:33 PM

I bought a cheap asus computer 2 years ago. Since I have upgraded the CPU, the RAM, the GPU, the PSU and I even have it in a new case. I really want to buy a new motherboard and upgrade the CPU again. I am nervous because the version of Windows 7 is OEM. I have had people tell me that it doesn't matter, all i need is the serial key for verification when the machine recognizes the new hardware. I have also read online that you can't upgrade an oem motherboard without purchasing a new copy of windows. I am keeping my HDD oem boot drive. Do I need to buy a new copy of windows or can I just swap in a new motherboard (assuming everything is compatible.)

Thanks!
June 13, 2013 6:38:36 PM

You can give it a try and see if it works. Sometimes it won't, if not contact Microsoft and they may let you use it.
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June 13, 2013 6:39:22 PM

If you swap, will have to reactivate, on-line will have you call, a computer will ask if this is the only computer it's on, say Yes, it will either give you a new activation code or send you to a person - with MS about 9 times out of 10 it just gives you a new code...if you go to a person, tell them the original mobo is dead...generally they just give you a code.
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June 13, 2013 6:41:50 PM

danielbsipe said:
I bought a cheap asus computer 2 years ago. Since I have upgraded the CPU, the RAM, the GPU, the PSU and I even have it in a new case. I really want to buy a new motherboard and upgrade the CPU again. I am nervous because the version of Windows 7 is OEM. I have had people tell me that it doesn't matter, all i need is the serial key for verification when the machine recognizes the new hardware. I have also read online that you can't upgrade an oem motherboard without purchasing a new copy of windows. I am keeping my HDD oem boot drive. Do I need to buy a new copy of windows or can I just swap in a new motherboard (assuming everything is compatible.)

Thanks!


Just swap it and do a clean install. Once that is done go and activate it, It will be rejected and you'll have to call. follow the instructions from the person above me and you will be golden.:) 
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June 13, 2013 6:44:23 PM

Your copy of Windows is locked to the PC on which you purchased it. You cannot transfer that license to another PC.
You can upgrade any components or peripherals on your PC and keep your license intact. You can replace the motherboard with an identical model or an equivalent model from the OEM if it fails. However, if you personally replace or upgrade the motherboard, your OEM Windows license is null and void.
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June 13, 2013 6:45:30 PM

In Win7 generally no need to do clean install, Win will detect the new mobo and hardware and load default drivers, then update all drivers from CD/DBD that comes with mobo or better yet the mobo site, and you have your system just as it was, good idea to run the Registry Cleaner of your choice to get rid of old junk. Have even done this from AMD to Intel rigs an Intel to AMD with good success
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June 13, 2013 6:49:23 PM

just to add a little info to what has already been said:

Older OEM codes are tied to the motherboard. In order for an OEM code to be used again you need to call Microsoft. IF they deem it valid they will theorize the code. This holds true for Win XP, Win Vista and Win 7. Windows 8 is slightly different. The OEM on Win 8 is not tied to the motherboard but still needs a call to Microsoft to transfer from one PC to the other.
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June 13, 2013 6:52:44 PM

And while their legal statements remain in effect, it's up to MS to make the final decision to let you reuse it...and they generally do
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June 13, 2013 8:48:12 PM

9 times out of 10 , automated phone activation works.
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June 14, 2013 3:22:13 AM

Thanks everyone, for the guidance. I guess I will go ahead and give it a shot. Worst case scenario I have to buy a new activation code. Thanks again!
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June 14, 2013 7:45:23 AM

Let us know how you do ;) 
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Best solution

June 19, 2013 8:15:44 PM

Tradesman1 said:
Let us know how you do ;) 


So I got an AS Rock 970 Extreme 3. Everything went without a hitch. I called Microsoft to authenticate and they gave me a new OEM key for free, like all of you said. Thanks again guys!
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June 19, 2013 8:27:31 PM

Sort of figured that would happen, glad to help, have fun!
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