I am making my first DIY build and something recently caught my attention. I realized that there is a OEM and a Retail License; which sparks a worry in my head. I understand that the OEM license is tied directly to the motherboard; so my question is, what happens when the motherboard goes bad? If anything goes wrong, even if I get an exact replacement of the motherboard, the MAC address would be different. So how would I simply replace the motherboard without buying another copy of Windows?
It's tied to a unique identifier located within the system firmware. In most cases an exact replacement of the motherboard will work just fine, but if there have been any significant revisions to the board design, it may trip it, but this is incredibly unlikely and can usually be resolved by calling Microsoft.