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I reinstalled Windows 7 on the same hardrive, but 3 Mobos

Last response: in Motherboards
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February 16, 2013 4:56:58 AM

Title says it all. When I built a new computer at that time, I didn't get a new hard drive, because I thought my old one was fine. I learned that the hard drive needs to be reformatted before a new OS can be installed, so I did that using the old computer. By installing the copy of windows 7 onto it (I knew nothing at the time about this,sounds like a really stupid mistake, right?). I didn't use my new computer to install/reformat because I was waiting for the CD drive to come in. So, when it did come in, installed it again into that computer, thinking the product key wouldn't work. It did. I was pretty confused, but then it said it wasn't activatted, so I activated it. All was well until I discovered the motherboard was defective. Instead of RMAing it, I returned it and bought a better one. When it came time to install Windows 7 again, I didn't think it was going to work. It did, again.

Can someone tell me how this happened? It's an OEM copy, so you can't transfer it to another computer. Is Windows 7 not tied to the motherboard? Is it tied to the hard drive?
a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
February 16, 2013 5:15:29 AM

It's tied to the motherboard, but Microsoft doesn't always enforce their licensing rules very strictly, at least for home users. There's an old saying you should heed: "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Be happy and don't ask questions.
a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2013 5:18:27 AM

Right? Also enjoy the way they do their licensing. They are already bumping up their game when they announced you would not be able to use the same Product key for the new MS Office.
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February 16, 2013 5:22:29 AM

mbreslin1954 said:
It's tied to the motherboard, but Microsoft doesn't always enforce their licensing rules very strictly, at least for home users. There's an old saying you should heed: "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Be happy and don't ask questions.

So, basically, I just got lucky with being able to install on 3 different mobos?
a c 113 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
February 16, 2013 5:23:01 AM

It's possible if the motherboard is similar enough (same chipset) then the PROFILE appears the same to Activation.

I remember I had to re-Activate twice on the SAME computer because I changed my graphics card, sound card and hard drive (but NOT the motherboard).
February 16, 2013 5:29:47 AM

photonboy said:
It's possible if the motherboard is similar enough (same chipset) then the PROFILE appears the same to Activation.

I remember I had to re-Activate twice on the SAME computer because I changed my graphics card, sound card and hard drive (but NOT the motherboard).

Heh, actually the 3 motherboards were all VERY different. First and Second were ASUS boards, the first being a very old one (M4A77TD), the second being a more modern one (P8Z77-V LK), and the third being an MSI board (Z77 MPOWER).
a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2013 5:35:19 AM

Its also possible to switch out motherboards and not even have to re-install windows. the HDD im formatted to right now was on a AMD 990FX build from way back and When i plugged it up to this board windows was already loaded
February 16, 2013 5:44:10 AM

Rockdpm said:
Its also possible to switch out motherboards and not even have to re-install windows. the HDD im formatted to right now was on a AMD 990FX build from way back and When i plugged it up to this board windows was already loaded

Yes, I read that that could happen and it actually happened to me the third time. It booted perfectly without having to re-install. I re-installed it anyway because I had nothing to lose, and I read somewhere that it could cause instability somehow if actually does boot without re-installing.
a b V Motherboard
March 14, 2013 8:55:57 PM

yesthis said:
Rockdpm said:
Its also possible to switch out motherboards and not even have to re-install windows. the HDD im formatted to right now was on a AMD 990FX build from way back and When i plugged it up to this board windows was already loaded

Yes, I read that that could happen and it actually happened to me the third time. It booted perfectly without having to re-install. I re-installed it anyway because I had nothing to lose, and I read somewhere that it could cause instability somehow if actually does boot without re-installing.


Well its best to reformat anyways because of drivers issues and yea like you said pretty much stability issues
!