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How is this possible w/ Windows Vista OEM???

Last response: in Windows Vista
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June 16, 2011 7:26:07 PM

I purchased an OEM version of M$ Windows Vista for system builders a few years back not really having any understanding of my license. But now it has come to my attention that the OEM version is tied to the original computer (motherboard) it was installed to and thus, cannot be installed to any other computers (motherboards).

Can Someone PLEASE explain to me how I've installed this exact copy of Vista, with the same key and everything, on two completely different computers that are actually both running right now? I can assure you I have not hacked or done ANYTHING illegal to allow this to happen.

More about : windows vista oem

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a b V Motherboard
June 16, 2011 7:49:32 PM

Although Microsoft tells you it is tied to the original MOBO and reinstalling to another system will usually require reinputting the activation --- they do realise that MOBO's are eletronic components and will at time die requiring replacement so even though they want you to believe it can not transfer there is no real implementation of that limitation in place. Now if that same product key was to show up on hundreds or thousands of systems they might actually block that key from activating but for a single user over the lifetime that that OS will be used for they are not going to block you from using it on a few systems even though according to their EULA they do have the right to do so.

It is pretty much the same as buying an Upgrade version and using it to do a clean full install on a new system vs. buying a full version -- either one can be made to work but MS tries to get you to pay more for the full version to make more profit just like they try to get you to buy a full version retail instead of OEM version if you want to use it on more than a single build.
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June 16, 2011 11:45:13 PM

JDFan said:
Although Microsoft tells you it is tied to the original MOBO and reinstalling to another system will usually require reinputting the activation --- they do realise that MOBO's are eletronic components and will at time die requiring replacement so even though they want you to believe it can not transfer there is no real implementation of that limitation in place. Now if that same product key was to show up on hundreds or thousands of systems they might actually block that key from activating but for a single user over the lifetime that that OS will be used for they are not going to block you from using it on a few systems even though according to their EULA they do have the right to do so.

It is pretty much the same as buying an Upgrade version and using it to do a clean full install on a new system vs. buying a full version -- either one can be made to work but MS tries to get you to pay more for the full version to make more profit just like they try to get you to buy a full version retail instead of OEM version if you want to use it on more than a single build.


Ah I see. So are you saying I can install this copy of vista with that exact same key on a bunch of completely different computers (like 10+) and I should basically never hear anything from Microsoft or get any errors? Do a whole lot of people do this?
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June 17, 2011 12:31:19 AM

Normally a key is good for up to 3-4 computers according to the support staff when you call them. However you will have to call them if you currently have more than one active each time you need to reactivate the OS which isnt' really all that hard of a process since it's mostly automated.
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a b V Motherboard
June 17, 2011 4:11:17 AM

ashammay said:
Ah I see. So are you saying I can install this copy of vista with that exact same key on a bunch of completely different computers (like 10+) and I should basically never hear anything from Microsoft or get any errors? Do a whole lot of people do this?


Usually after around 4-5 installs it will make you use the phone activation instead of the automatic activation but even then it is just an automated system that you enter the key and it gives you a response code -- I've never really used it on more than 6 or so systems before upgrading to a new OS so not sure if 10+ would be a problem or not but doubt it would and a call to their support dept. explaining that your mobo died and you could no longer get a replacement with that CPU socket etc. would probably result in them giving you a new code to use anyway. MS is pretty lenient with the activations as long as you did buy it at some point since they make most of their $ from the corporate licenses instead of home systems anyway -- and if the person you talk to will not activate it then another call at a different time talking to a different support person will usually get it done.

I've repaired and reinstalled the OS on numerous systems through the years and have never had a problem getting an activation validated. Also the activation response code even with the same product code will vary on each system since the components vary so even having several codes using the same license will have different activation codes
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February 3, 2012 7:37:33 PM

Best answer selected by ashammay.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
February 3, 2012 7:42:45 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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