I have a relatively new 2TB HDD with Dell-branded Windows 7 Home Premium edition.
My old compy is giving up the ghost, and I've purchased a new barebones rig (new guts: case, PS, video card, mobo, chip, memory) and I plan to do a heart transplant, ripping the nearly new hard drive out of the dying machine and using it to breathe life into the new one.
My only concern: I heard somewhere that a branded OS is less mobile than a typical one. Someone mentioned that it is somehow "tied to the motherboard," and that it won't function if it is moved to a new machine. Is this true? Will my OS somehow stop working when I move the drive to the new rig? Or will it function, but be unable to reinstall? Or was this just fearmongering and everything will be just fine? Or...a fourth thing?
Technically an installed OS is "mated" to the machine it is installed to initially, if memory serves me right. It doesnt matter if it is a branded machine or a custom built machine. Once it is installed it belongs to "that" machine and it is expected that when that machine is disposed or transferred the OS goes with it.
OEM installs are a little different in that the OEM is completely responsible for the support of the install. They require a different key and if you attempt to install a retail version and use an OEM key it will not take it (and vice versa).
The os on your Dell is a oem edition, and is tied to the motherboard.
If you can replace the motherboard, you are ok and legal.
When you try to boot from the old hard drive, it may, or may not work, depending on how similar the old and new chipsets are.
Assuming you can boot, installing the motherboard chipset drivers will get you working properly.
If you can't boot, you need to try a repair install, and I hope you got a bootable windows dvd from dell. If not, you can try a borrowed windows 7 dvd.
If a repair install is not successful, a clean install will be required.
When you activate, using the product code attached to your dell, it will fail, because it detects a different motherboard, and ask you to call ms.
You may get an automated response, or, a live person. Regardless, your explanation is that the old pc (motherboard) failed and you need to replace it.
A exact replacement is no longer available.
MS understands this situation, and will activate, if you assure them that the os is being used only on this pc.
OEM License: (applicable to you)
2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.
a. One Copy per Computer. The software license is permanently assigned to the computer with which the software is distributed. That computer is the “licensed computer.”
b. Licensed Computer. You may use the software on up to two processors on the licensed computer at one time. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, you may not use the software on any other computer.
c. Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time on the licensed computer.
d. Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may use only one version at one time. If the manufacturer or installer provides you with a one-time selection between language versions, you may use only the one language version you select.
18. TRANSFER TO A THIRD PARTY.
a. Software Other Than Windows Anytime Upgrade. The first user of the software may make a one time transfer of the software and this agreement, by transferring the original media, the certificate of authenticity, the product key and the proof of purchase directly to a third party. The first user must remove the software before transferring it separately from the computer. The first user may not retain any copies of the software.
b. Windows Anytime Upgrade Software. You may transfer the software directly to a third party only with the licensed computer. You may not keep any copies of the software or any earlier edition.
c. Other Requirements. Before any permitted transfer, the other party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software.
In a nutshell, based on the above you do NOT have a right to move that OS to your newly built computer and would need to purchase a new copy.
According to Microsoft, roughly 90% of all copies of Windows are purchased with new PCs, preinstalled by Original Equipment Manufacturers that build the PC and sell Windows as part of the package. That will certainly be true with Windows 7.
OEM (major PC manufacturer) This is, by far, the cheapest way to purchase Windows 7. The top 20 or so PC makers (sometimes called “royalty OEMs”) collectively sell millions of PCs per month with Windows already installed on them. When you start up that PC for the first time, you accept two license agreements, one with the manufacturer and one with Microsoft. Here’s what you need to know about this type of license agreement:
Your Windows license agreement is between you and the PC maker, not between you and Microsoft.
The OEM uses special imaging tools to install Windows on PCs they manufacture. When you first turn on the PC, you accept a license agreement with the OEM and with Microsoft.
The PC maker is required to provide support for Windows. Except for security issues, Microsoft will not provide free support for any issues you have with Windows purchased from an OEM. Your copy of Windows is locked to the PC on which you purchased it. You cannot transfer that license to another PC.
You can upgrade any components or peripherals on your PC and keep your license intact. You can replace the motherboard with an identical model or an equivalent model from the OEM if it fails. However, if you personally replace or upgrade the motherboard, your OEM Windows license is null and void.
Windows activation is typically not required when Windows is preinstalled by a royalty OEM. Instead, these copies are pre-activated at the factory. Your copy of Windows will be automatically reactivated if you reinstall it using the media or recovery partition from the PC maker, it will not require activation.
At the time you purchase an OEM copy of Windows 7 to be preinstalled on a new PC, you must choose either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. Your agreement with the OEM determines whether you can switch to a different version; some PC makers support only a single version with specific PC models and will not allow you to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit (or vice versa) after purchase.
OEM (System Builder) If you buy a new computer from a local PC builder (sometimes called a “white box” PC), you can get an OEM edition of Windows preinstalled. This type of OEM license differs in a few crucial details from the version the big PC makers sell:
As with the royalty OEM versions, your copy of Windows is locked to the PC on which it is installed and cannot be transferred to a PC, nor can the motherboard be upgraded.
Under the terms of its agreement with Microsoft, the OEM must use the Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) to install Windows. When you first turn on the PC, you accept a license agreement with the OEM and with Microsoft. The OEM is required to provide support for your copy of Windows.
Activation of your new PC is required within 30 days. The product key should already have been entered as part of the OPK installation and activation should be automatic and transparent to you.
Although it is possible for an individual to buy a System Builder copy of Windows 7 and install it on a new PC, that scenario is specifically prohibited by the license agreement, which requires that the software be installed using the OPK and then resold to a non-related third party. (As I noted in a September 2008 post, Microsoft once allowed “hobbyists” to use OEM System Builder software to build their own PCs, but the company switched to a hard-line stance on this issue sometime after Vista shipped in early 2007.)
When you purchase a white-box PC from a system builder, the PC maker preinstalls the Windows version you purchased. The package you receive includes reinstallation media and a product key that is similar to a full packaged product but cannot be used for an in-place upgrade. You may or may not receive both 32-bit and 64-bit media. If you receive both types of media, you can switch from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows or vice versa by performing a custom reinstall using your product key.
An OEM version can be transfered from 1 pc to another. What will happen is windows will say your hardware configuration has changed and you'll be given a number to call if you can provide all the info for your copy they will give you a new key.
Myself and Area51reopened both posted exact licensing information from Microsoft concerning the use of the software (Area went into much more detail), you posting right afterwards with contradictory information makes absolutely no sense.
Being the individual on the other end of the line may very well let you slide with violating the EULA, I wouldn't post this as fact for people to think they can violate the EULA on a whim.