Sticky for someone who KNOWS to explain OEM activation?

Can we get a main post that has someone who KNOWS either from doing it or talking to MS on the phone about the OEM activation stuff. Basically I see this question all over with a billion diff answers:

If you install the OEM on a computer, and reformat it a week later, will you be able to call MS like you could with XP and have them activate it over the phone by just telling them you did a reformat?

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  1. Best answer
    This is known from personal experience: OEM will allow a reinstall to the same computer if there are no hardware changes - you don't even have to call it in. However, people are having different experiences from MS concerning if there is a hardware change and what hardware changes cause an activation issue - memory and harddrives seem OK; motherboards and CPUs seem to be hit and miss with activation - sometimes you have to call it in but other times you don't. To make it more complicated, our IBM laptops are having no issues on upgrades, but our Dell desktops are having activation issues where we have to call in. MS is still going through support issues, so don't expect a final answer on anything yet.
  2. Awesome, thanks big time. OEM i go haha
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