I have Windows 7 OEM installed on a custom rig of mine, but I'm looking to upgrade some parts (mainly CPU and MOBO) in the near future as I recently got a job, I remember from 'back in the day' on a OEM system you couldn't upgrade certian hardware, so I'm wondering if its the same for windows 7 Ultimate?, if it is what CAN'T I upgrade?
You will be able to reuse your OEM Windows as long as you have the valid key for it. Just go through the normal fresh install process and just activate with the key code. Normally with an OEM system you don't need to activate when you do a reinstall/fresh install on that system.
A. Generally, you may upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on your customer's computer and the end user may maintain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software, with the exception of an upgrade or replacement of the motherboard. An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a "new personal computer" to which Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do NOT need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.
The major drawback of going with an OEM version of Windows.
It is the cheapest way to go, but one of the reasons it is so cheap is BECAUSE YOU CAN ONLY INSTALL IT ON 1 COMPUTER. New motherboard and processor, you are most likely going to have to buy Windows again...unless you can come up with another working key.....which can be done, but it is not legal, so we won't go any further with the discussion.
Or like tecmo34 said above, if you can convince Microsoft that the board was defective, they may supply you with a new key. Sooooo, this may limit you to replacing your current board with something very similiar, except more up to date maybe with more features. But if you change to a completely different board, you may indeed have a problem that you cannot fix without digging into your wallet. Good luck!
btw you CAN actually use that licence on a totally new/different pc, with a fresh install and you should be able to activate (allows 3 standard online activations total if i remember correctly) otherwise if you ring microsoft activation and answer there questons correctly (aka is this the only pc you have this copy of windows installed on -> YES etc) then they will still activate it etc easy.
Thats what you do for a non-oem Windows installation but oem has only oem support. MS won't even talk to you much less give you a new product code.
btw- the oem windows installations typically key off of a model# built into the bios iirc. if they don't see an acceptible # then they wont install; which is why you can't typically replace the motherboard with a better model.
wisecracker stated the party line microsoft answer, and is correct.
But, in practice, microsoft will reactivate a OEM license. You will have to call them and they will verify that the license is being used on only one PC.
That will be the truthful answer. If pushed, claim that the old motherboard/pc no longer works, and that the new mobo and cpu is the best replacement you can find.
They primarily want to quash piracy, not hassle the individual enthusiast.
The main reason we buy the OEM version is for the reduced price. Consider the upgrade versions which are similarly priced and will give you retail status.