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Possible to transfer Pre-installed Win8.1 OEM license to another PC?

Hi,

I know this question has been asked before, but I find different answers so I'm a bit confused.
I've got a laptop which came with Win8 pre-installed(OEM), and I upgraded to 8.1. Now I'm putting together a new gaming-rig, and I was wondering if I could transfer the laptop's OEM license to my new pc.(I will install Linux Mint 17 on this laptop after.)Here they say it can be done, but [url=
http://superuser.com/questions/694952/can-i-install-my-copy-of-windows-8-1-on-a-different-pc-deactivate-the-first-ins]here and here they say it cannot be done.(as I understand it) I searched for the answer on this specific question, so those links describe the answer for the OEM version, not Retail. Microsoft itself isn't very clear on this either. At least, not to me. Can someone confirm whether this can be done or not? I don't want to risk losing my license. If the right answer is in one of those posts, please correct me, but as I understand it, they contradict each other.
Thanks for the help
36 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about transfer pre installed win8 oem license
  1. I also would like to know if that can be done.
  2. that was from a custom build, your is a pre-build laptop, no, you can't transfer it.
  3. Best answer
    No you cannot.
    For a preinstalled on the laptop, the license key is embedded into the motherboard. You cannot use that license on another PC.

    If it was a Win 8.1 OS that you bought and you installed, then yes.

    Read the MS licensing here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx
  4. @iKoolLuke: Yeah I know about OEM, but those answers seemed to contradict each other. (maybe they actually do, and they are just wrong) It'l be a hard time waiting for Win10 to come.. :( Is the exact release date know, and how much it will cost?
  5. USAFRet said:
    No you cannot.
    For a preinstalled on the laptop, the license key is embedded into the motherboard. You cannot use that license on another PC.

    If it was a Win 8.1 OS that you bought and you installed, then yes.

    Read the MS licensing here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx


    So it's possible when you buy an OEM license yourself and you have installed it yourself? But what is the difference between an OEM license which is already installed by the manufacturer and an OEM license which you installed yourself?
    I've read a self bought OEM license is bound to the first motherboard it's installed on. It's a bit confusing, so as I understand it now, you actually have three"versions" of Win8.1.. Retail, pre-install OEM, and self-bought OEM.
  6. bartNL said:
    @iKoolLuke: Yeah I know about OEM, but those answers seemed to contradict each other. (maybe they actually do, and they are just wrong) It'l be a hard time waiting for Win10 to come.. :( Is the exact release date know, and how much it will cost?


    Windows 10 actual release:
    Sometime late 2015

    http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/operating-systems/windows-10-release-date-price-news-and-features-1029245
    http://www.itpro.co.uk/operating-systems/23119/windows-10-release-date-specs-pricing

    Cost? Unknown
  7. bartNL said:
    USAFRet said:
    No you cannot.
    For a preinstalled on the laptop, the license key is embedded into the motherboard. You cannot use that license on another PC.

    If it was a Win 8.1 OS that you bought and you installed, then yes.

    Read the MS licensing here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx


    So it's possible when you buy an OEM license yourself and you have installed it yourself? But what is the difference between an OEM license which is already installed by the manufacturer and an OEM license which you installed yourself?
    I've read a self bought OEM license is bound to the first motherboard it's installed on. It's a bit confusing, so as I understand it now, you actually have three"versions" of Win8.1.. Retail, pre-install OEM, and self-bought OEM.


    The licensing changed between Win 7 & 8.
    Win 7, an OEM license was strictly tied to that first motherboard.
    Win 8, a license that you bought and you installed could be reinstalled on different hardware.
  8. bartNL said:
    @iKoolLuke: Yeah I know about OEM, but those answers seemed to contradict each other. (maybe they actually do, and they are just wrong) It'l be a hard time waiting for Win10 to come.. :( Is the exact release date know, and how much it will cost?


    Umm.. I accidentally deleted my post >.<
    Sorry for that xD

    Quoting trustedreviews.com -
    "The Windows 10 release date is set for mid-2015, with the consumer edition preview now firmly pegged for January 21 ..." - So since the preview is coming out this month, it shouldn't be too long for it to come out. As for the cost, I don't really know but it shouldn't be too different from 8.1 :)
  9. USAFRet said:
    bartNL said:
    @iKoolLuke: Yeah I know about OEM, but those answers seemed to contradict each other. (maybe they actually do, and they are just wrong) It'l be a hard time waiting for Win10 to come.. :( Is the exact release date know, and how much it will cost?


    Windows 10 actual release:
    Sometime late 2015

    http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/operating-systems/windows-10-release-date-price-news-and-features-1029245
    http://www.itpro.co.uk/operating-systems/23119/windows-10-release-date-specs-pricing

    Cost? Unknown


    Yeah, i've read those very articles myelf, but they are anything but helpful (when you need to know the release date and cost,) so I asked it.. Will there be a trial to your knowledge? (not a buggy dev version)
  10. iKoolLuke said:
    bartNL said:
    @iKoolLuke: Yeah I know about OEM, but those answers seemed to contradict each other. (maybe they actually do, and they are just wrong) It'l be a hard time waiting for Win10 to come.. :( Is the exact release date know, and how much it will cost?


    Umm.. I accidentally deleted my post >.<
    Sorry for that xD

    Quoting trustedreviews.com -
    "The Windows 10 release date is set for mid-2015, with the consumer edition preview now firmly pegged for January 21 ..." - So since the preview is coming out this month, it shouldn't be too long for it to come out. As for the cost, I don't really know but it shouldn't be too different from 8.1 :)


    21january isn't too long no.. I think i'll try that preview, but i suppose this preview isn't very suitable as a main OS.
  11. Oh man, you are asking a similar question to mine. So here's what I can tell you, you can probably dump your SLIC to get the key, and using OEM installation media (read: DVD) you should be able to activate... There's just that little problem that M$ does enforce one machine per key for Windows 8, not sure if they check if the machine is running, or you can only activate one hardware per key, I don't know. Maybe you can get around that using phone activation, and legitimately tell them you replaced the motherboard.

    I'm trying to avoid activating on the machine the key came with, so I won't have problem activating on the machine that I will use Windows 8.1 on. That's only if M$ offers a cheap upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Otherwise I'm not gonna bother with 8/8.1 at all.
  12. bartNL said:
    USAFRet said:
    bartNL said:
    @iKoolLuke: Yeah I know about OEM, but those answers seemed to contradict each other. (maybe they actually do, and they are just wrong) It'l be a hard time waiting for Win10 to come.. :( Is the exact release date know, and how much it will cost?


    Windows 10 actual release:
    Sometime late 2015

    http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/operating-systems/windows-10-release-date-price-news-and-features-1029245
    http://www.itpro.co.uk/operating-systems/23119/windows-10-release-date-specs-pricing

    Cost? Unknown


    Yeah, i've read those very articles myelf, but they are anything but helpful (when you need to know the release date and cost,) so I asked it.. Will there be a trial to your knowledge? (not a buggy dev version)


    Tech Preview now.
    Consumer Preview probably later this month.

    I have the Tech Preview running on a secondary laptop since day one. It's pretty good. But NOT for a primary, main system.
    Rumor leads to the thought of current Win 8/8.1 users will get Win 10 for free.
    Rumors only, though.
  13. USAFRet said:
    No you cannot.
    For a preinstalled on the laptop, the license key is embedded into the motherboard. You cannot use that license on another PC.

    If it was a Win 8.1 OS that you bought and you installed, then yes.

    Read the MS licensing here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx

    You can't, or M$ says they won't be happy with you?

    My understanding is that the SLIC can be read, and you get your 5x5 key out of it. Of course you pair that with OEM installation media.
  14. r00tb33r said:
    USAFRet said:
    No you cannot.
    For a preinstalled on the laptop, the license key is embedded into the motherboard. You cannot use that license on another PC.

    If it was a Win 8.1 OS that you bought and you installed, then yes.

    Read the MS licensing here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx

    You can't, or M$ says they won't be happy with you?

    My understanding is that the SLIC can be read, and you get your 5x5 key out of it. Of course you pair that with OEM installation media.


    The activation servers at Microsoft are the final authority. It knows what the license is, and it knows what motherboard that license is associated with.
    It almost certainly will not activate.
  15. USAFRet said:
    r00tb33r said:
    USAFRet said:
    No you cannot.
    For a preinstalled on the laptop, the license key is embedded into the motherboard. You cannot use that license on another PC.

    If it was a Win 8.1 OS that you bought and you installed, then yes.

    Read the MS licensing here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx

    You can't, or M$ says they won't be happy with you?

    My understanding is that the SLIC can be read, and you get your 5x5 key out of it. Of course you pair that with OEM installation media.


    The activation servers at Microsoft are the final authority. It knows what the license is, and it knows what motherboard that license is associated with.
    It almost certainly will not activate.

    Does the association of key to the motherboard take place at the factory or the first time the machine goes online?

    What about phone activation, you can always say the computer broke and motherboard has been replaced...?
  16. r00tb33r said:
    USAFRet said:
    r00tb33r said:
    USAFRet said:
    No you cannot.
    For a preinstalled on the laptop, the license key is embedded into the motherboard. You cannot use that license on another PC.

    If it was a Win 8.1 OS that you bought and you installed, then yes.

    Read the MS licensing here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx

    You can't, or M$ says they won't be happy with you?

    My understanding is that the SLIC can be read, and you get your 5x5 key out of it. Of course you pair that with OEM installation media.


    The activation servers at Microsoft are the final authority. It knows what the license is, and it knows what motherboard that license is associated with.
    It almost certainly will not activate.

    Does the association of key to the motherboard take place at the factory or the first time the machine goes online?

    What about phone activation, you can always say the computer broke and motherboard has been replaced...?



    Laptop motherboard replaced with a desktop motherboard is not a viable 'replacement'...:)
    The association happens when that license is activated. When you turned the laptop on and used it, or even before, when it was built.
  17. Yeah, but that's the critical part. Whether it takes place at the factory or the first time you use it. It makes all the difference.

    And according to M$ laptop to desktop motherboard replacement is quite "viable". ;)
  18. r00tb33r said:
    Yeah, but that's the critical part. Whether it takes place at the factory or the first time you use it. It makes all the difference.

    And according to M$ laptop to desktop motherboard replacement is quite "viable". ;)


    Factory.
    And who, specifically, at MS says that is a 'viable' replacement?
  19. The Indian dudes on the other end of the phone at M$. Don't say what kind of motherboard it is. Don't give any non-essential information. Always worked so far.
  20. OK, maybe. As said, the final authority is MS.
    But then, you have to come up with an OEM install of the Win 8.1.

    Dunno, never done it between laptop and desktop. I generally don't buy a laptop with Windows and then try to move that OS to a new desktop.

    A Windows OS is maybe 10% of a new desktop.
  21. r00tb33r said:
    Oh man, you are asking a similar question to mine. So here's what I can tell you, you can probably dump your SLIC to get the key, and using OEM installation media (read: DVD) you should be able to activate... There's just that little problem that M$ does enforce one machine per key for Windows 8, not sure if they check if the machine is running, or you can only activate one hardware per key, I don't know. Maybe you can get around that using phone activation, and legitimately tell them you replaced the motherboard.

    I'm trying to avoid activating on the machine the key came with, so I won't have problem activating on the machine that I will use Windows 8.1 on. That's only if M$ offers a cheap upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Otherwise I'm not gonna bother with 8/8.1 at all.


    While you don't get a recovery or install disk anymore, my laptop had a recovery program which allowed me to burn the recovery partition on a set of dvd's (6! in total). I have retrieved the embedded key with belarc advisor, so would it be stupid to try to install windows on a new pc using these disks you think? I think it's rather unfair from MS to keep you from using your license on another product. You pay for a product but you can't freely use, stingy misers at ms..
  22. Quote:
    I think it's rather unfair from MS to keep you from using your license on another product. You pay for a product but you can't freely use, stingy misers at ms..


    It is less expensive for a reason. If you want a freely transferable license, you can just buy a Retail license.
    Install on whatever new hardware you want. Only one PC at a time, of course.
  23. Your key is your right to the software. Where you get the OEM installation media is irrelevant.

    Also, apparently it's possible to inject the SLIC into another motherboard (including desktop) sometimes. That kind of takes care of the problem.

    Besides, I never said that I'll be doing laptop to desktop transfer, it might be another laptop, or even another laptop of the same brand...
  24. r00tb33r said:
    Your key is your right to the software. Where you get the OEM installation media is irrelevant.

    Also, apparently it's possible to inject the SLIC into another motherboard (including desktop) sometimes. That kind of takes care of the problem.

    Besides, I never said that I'll be doing laptop to desktop transfer, it might be another laptop, or even another laptop of the same brand...


    In keeping with the original topic of this thread, it was from a preinstalled laptop to a new desktop build.

    Where you get the OEM installation media is irrelevant.
    According to the MS licensing, it is relevant.
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/IntellectualProperty/UseTerms/Default.aspx
  25. USAFRet said:
    Quote:
    I think it's rather unfair from MS to keep you from using your license on another product. You pay for a product but you can't freely use, stingy misers at ms..


    It is less expensive for a reason. If you want a freely transferable license, you can just buy a Retail license.
    Install on whatever new hardware you want. Only one PC at a time, of course.


    It's not any harder from them to design a windows which is freely movable across systems I suppose. So they just make use of, willingness to pay, consumer surplus, they skim it off. (or how do you say that in english) I can't blame the for using that marketing technique, but i still think it's stingy. But that's just my opinion.
  26. This was all so much easier with vista / 7 :(

    as far as slic goes, windows couldn't tell the difference between vista HB and w7 ulti...
  27. bartNL said:
    USAFRet said:
    Quote:
    I think it's rather unfair from MS to keep you from using your license on another product. You pay for a product but you can't freely use, stingy misers at ms..


    It is less expensive for a reason. If you want a freely transferable license, you can just buy a Retail license.
    Install on whatever new hardware you want. Only one PC at a time, of course.


    It's not any harder from them to design a windows which is freely movable across systems I suppose. So they just make use of, willingness to pay, consumer surplus, they skim it off. (or how do you say that in english) I can't blame the for using that marketing technique, but i still think it's stingy. But that's just my opinion.


    No it isn't any harder. Hence the Retail license for Win 8/8.1, which is freely reusable across systems.
    But to get the price down, they work with manufacturers. With a preinstalled system, you are getting that license from the manufacturer, not directly from MS.

    If the ~$90 Windows 8 license were a direct cost on top of the laptop/desktop....people would bitch at the overall price.
    They give it to the manufacturer for cheap, and that is just included in the price of the whole thing.

    We can buy a brand new laptop or desktop for $275. Obviously, the Windows license, as a separate line item, is not 40% of that.
  28. USAFRet said:
    bartNL said:
    USAFRet said:
    Quote:
    I think it's rather unfair from MS to keep you from using your license on another product. You pay for a product but you can't freely use, stingy misers at ms..


    It is less expensive for a reason. If you want a freely transferable license, you can just buy a Retail license.
    Install on whatever new hardware you want. Only one PC at a time, of course.


    It's not any harder from them to design a windows which is freely movable across systems I suppose. So they just make use of, willingness to pay, consumer surplus, they skim it off. (or how do you say that in english) I can't blame the for using that marketing technique, but i still think it's stingy. But that's just my opinion.


    No it isn't any harder. Hence the Retail license for Win 8/8.1, which is freely reusable across systems.
    But to get the price down, they work with manufacturers. With a preinstalled system, you are getting that license from the manufacturer, not directly from MS.

    If the ~$90 Windows 8 license were a direct cost on top of the laptop/desktop....people would bitch at the overall price.
    They give it to the manufacturer for cheap, and that is just included in the price of the whole thing.

    We can buy a brand new laptop or desktop for $275. Obviously, the Windows license, as a separate line item, is not 40% of that.

    The $90 retail price is a poor indicator. What is a good indicator is the average sale price of the software. Count up all the volume licenses, all the OEM keys, all the upgrade keys, and the average is much much lower than the retail figure. If you choose to pay above average for the same software many others get cheaper, that's your personal choice. Telling everyone they are supposed to pay retail accomplishes little on a technical forum.

    There is more than one price for a legal copy of Windows. That's the point I am making.
  29. USAFRet said:
    r00tb33r said:
    Yeah, but that's the critical part. Whether it takes place at the factory or the first time you use it. It makes all the difference.

    And according to M$ laptop to desktop motherboard replacement is quite "viable". ;)


    Factory.
    And who, specifically, at MS says that is a 'viable' replacement?

    Okay, my new machine arrived today. To my pleasure the OEM Windows 8.1 was not activated at the factory on this laptop. It's asking me to activate online or by phone. Phone activation presents me with a 9x7 installation ID.

    I'm going to recover the key from this machine and perform installation on another machine. I'm assuming that if it lets me go to phone activation on the other machine it means that it accepts the OEM key in a type-in form, and not necessarily from the BIOS.
  30. I was able to install Windows 8.1 onto a desktop PC using the key I retrieved from the MSDM ACPI table on the new laptop. The installer accepted my key and I performed the installation offline. I got as far as the phone activation screen where I am presented with the 9x7 installation ID. If I had called the activation line and entered the installation ID, is there a chance I would not have been able to activate? Does installation ID tell Microsoft whether I typed in the key or it came from the BIOS? Or if Windows 8.1 checks for OEM key in the BIOS I was supposed to fail earlier than this? This is as far as I can go right now as I have no plans to activate this key on any machine yet until I decide if I'm getting Windows 10 upgrades or not.

    Notes:
  31. it is an OEM key from the laptop? Microsoft would know if it OEM key or not.
  32. rgd1101 said:
    it is an OEM key from the laptop? Microsoft would know if it OEM key or not.


    Yes, it's an OEM key from a laptop. Yes, I think so too, Microsoft would know what kind of key they made. ;)
    If I got as far as phone activation on a non-OEM desktop machine using this OEM key, would I fail to activate over the phone using the generated installation ID?
  33. There more then just activation, even if they let you activation now, they could reject it later when you connect to the internet.
    That how they usually deal with pirated key.
  34. rgd1101 said:
    There more then just activation, even if they let you activation now, they could reject it later when you connect to the internet.
    That how they usually deal with pirated key.

    That would be a concern. Not a pirated key however. I never activated this key on the original machine and I am removing Windows 8.1 from the original machine to use Windows 7 anyway. So one machine per key.
  35. But OEM from a prebuild is different, it is just for that laptop and nothing else. That why they(manufacturer) can get it cheaper.
  36. rgd1101 said:
    But OEM from a prebuild is different, it is just for that laptop and nothing else. That why they(manufacturer) can get it cheaper.

    True, but we work with what we've got. This time I have an OEM key.
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