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Mobo swap & win 7 licensing

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 6, 2011 10:48:43 PM

Not sure which thread this one belongs in.
I'm looking to build a new PC & finally enter the 21st century. I'll need to buy a full copy of Win7 (premium 64bit, I reckon).
I want most of the guts to last more than 3 or 4 years, and not have to spend another 600 to 1k$, repeating the entire process by replacing the entire PC at once. Upgrade, not replace.
My question is this: if I buy a copy of win 7 & a license, and install it on an SSD, how many hardware components can I change & still use the same license? Say I get an i3 processor on an 1155 board, and then Intel comes out with, let's say, a new i36 Monkeybridge* processor that runs on an 1155 socket, so I swap out CPUs. Then, SATA9* comes along and I need a new mobo to keep up. Then I need a new SSD that runs at SATA9* speed. Or the SSD bites the dust and I need to swap it. Make any sense?
At what point are you hosed and buying a new Windows license? I'm especially curious cause my current farm of old PCs are heavily modified/beat up/ancient Dells, and if the mobo needs swapped, you're buying a new XP license. That's why I have 3 parts PCs in the closet!
Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere--it seems like a common concern-- but I couldn't find it!

thanks,
Jim
*all my futuristic hardware versions are imaginary/for illustrative purposes at this time!
a b $ Windows 7
September 7, 2011 1:02:59 AM

if I am not mistaken the OEM License (about $130) is connected to the MOBO and cannot be transferred to a different MOBO; however, if you buy a Retail version (about $280) you can change the MOBO as many times as you like.

all other parts can be upgraded as many times as you want to.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 7, 2011 6:19:13 PM

OEM is definitely tied to your hardware. However, I had an OEM version of XP and changed motherboards and they went ahead and reactivated it for me. I don't think they could tell the difference if it was retail or OEM unless they looked to see if the key was assigned to OEM or retail. But, they went ahead and reactivated it for me.

Since then, I've purchased the retail version of Windows 7 to avoid any potential hassles with changing MOBOs and haven't had an problem with it.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 7, 2011 7:03:46 PM

To avoid any hassle, just pay the extra few ££ and get the retail version of W7 Pro, that you can transfer from machine to machine.
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