According to Microsoft if you upgrade your motherboard that is now considered to be a new computer and you will have to buy a new license for windows. They have circulated this information to oem builders that if they upgrade a motherboard for a customer they must inform them that they will be required to buy a new license. This is absolutely insane. I guess Microsoft wants to see how fast they can get Linux into the main stream.
I knew this was coming when Microsoft required a "Windows genuine validation patch" months ago. When this validation patch requirement came out back in August of 2005 I emailed Microsoft about my concerns of being able to still use my copy of windows if I upgraded my computer. I have in writing from that Microsoft correspondence Where a Microsoft employee promised that a new motherboard installation would not require a new copy of windows.
I have found my original post and provided below a copy of Microsoft's final e-mail to me.
Thank you for your response and for the time you have spent on our issue.
If you could please provide a link to the information you refer to in your post I would appreciate it. I fully intend to hold Microsoft to their word.
First, I apologize for ignoring your concerns.
First, I would like to explain that we must install the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation tool (WGA) so that we can download the latest updates from the download center. On the other hand, if you don't want to install this tool, we can use Automatic Update to update the computer. Using genuine M
icrosoft software offers you greater capabilities and easy integration with the widest variety of hardware, software, and services. It also provides confidence that you will receive the latest product features, updates, and ongoing improvements to keep your PC performing at its best.
Second, if we reinstall the computer, we should validate the Windows again. This means that we will be required to download an ActiveX control to check whether their copy of Windows has been activated. Microsoft offers an online validation process that enables you to verify that your copy of Window
s is genuine.
Third, after validating Windows, we can then install a new motherboard, hard drive or other components. Also, we don't need to re-validate. Please be assured that if we have been validated, this means that Windows is genuine.
Finally, I would like to explain that if the report displays that it is invalid key, we should purchase another copy of the Operating System. Since the Product Key may be stolen or the a copy of the Operating System it is piracy.
If you have any other question on this issue, please feel free to let me know. I am glad to give you assistance. Also, I suggest we visit the following site to learn how to recognize genuine Windows software:
In the meantime, I would like to confirm whether this issue is resolved. If not, please capture a screenshot when you encounter trouble, and send the picture file to me for research. I have attached the following steps to capture a screenshot:
1. Keep the window on the screen.
2. Press the Print Screen key (PrtScn) on your keyboard.
3. Click Start, click Run, type "mspaint", and click OK.
4. In Paint, click Paste under the Edit menu, click Save under the File menu, type a file name for the screenshot, choose JPEG as "Save as type", and click Save.
5. Send this file to my email account: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> directly.
Please also attach the two Windows Update log files C:WindowsWindowsUpdate.log and Windows Update.log (if present).
I appreciate your time collecting the above information. If anything is unclear, please don't hesitate to let me know and I will be glad to help.
I look forward to hearing from you.
If you would like to read the entire correspondents HERE is a link to my own original thread.
Could you please provide a link to the information you referred to in your post.
As I read those articles, it looks like it only applies to the OEM versions. This does not impact the retail version. I don't agree with this policy, however for the masses who buy a Dell this won't matter. For the gamers or those in the know, this will not have an impact because we already use retail versions.
Has anyone found anything that says it might apply to the retail versions as well?
This officially applies ONLY TO THE OEM versions of XP.
Retail versions' licenses are for life ("in perpetuity" is their language), on one desktop machine at a time (one laptop is allowed concurrently).
True, you may have to activate frequently as your hardware progresses, but it's not a difficult process. I've got one customer on his 44th activation in 3 years. If you haven't needed an Activation in 120 days, all counts are wiped clean. They only keep track for simple Internet Activation purposes. After five, you have to call, which is really no big deal.