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Re-licensing Win7 OEM

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April 14, 2012 9:55:08 PM

How many times will MS allow one to re-license a system builder OEM copy of Win7 at no cost? I changed motherboards once and was allowed to re-license at no cost by using the phone re-activation/re-license option they provided. I am changing boards again and was wondering if I could re-license for free again. Or is once the limit? The sticky provided wasn't too clear on the subject.

More about : licensing win7 oem

a b $ Windows 7
April 14, 2012 10:57:00 PM

Hi :) 

None....OEM is 1 licence ...locked to the original motherboard.....

You may well get away with it, but its still ILLEGAL...

All the best Brett :) 
a b $ Windows 7
April 14, 2012 11:12:02 PM

It's not STRICTLY illegal. If you want to get technical Microsoft has to approve it via phone so if they approve it its not illegal. However they are only supposed to approve it if your board fails and you can't get the same one. So its a repair. if you.are upgrading "just because" you are lying by trying to get them to reactivate it. I consider that illegal. And I am sure they monitor the number of times you change boards, and they may refuse to activate it.

So. if you had a board failure and need to replace it OK. if you are trying to get around the OEM license you got a lower price on... illegal. if you need an upgrade that bad build a new PC and get a new license. a motherboard doesn't add much on its own anyway so u probably need new memory and CPU too
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a b $ Windows 7
April 15, 2012 12:12:32 AM

If you are changing boards because the old one failed, yes Microsoft MAY give you a new license.

If you are changing boards just because you wanted to upgrade, then no, you do not get a new license. This is what the retail version of Windows is for.

If you old board is broken, go ahead and try the activation, if that does not work, call Microsoft and explain the situation and likely they will give you a new number to use.

If you just changed boards because you wanted to upgrade, then you should go buy the retail version of Windows, then you don't have to worry about it, and we won't think you are a low life pond scum sucking butt wipe for trying to cheat your way into something you did not pay for.
a c 371 $ Windows 7
April 15, 2012 12:20:04 AM

Windows 7 OEM versions


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.
April 15, 2012 2:26:58 AM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 

None....OEM is 1 licence ...locked to the original motherboard.....

You may well get away with it, but its still ILLEGAL...

All the best Brett :) 

How can it be illegal if MS directed me to do it to transfer the license?
a b $ Windows 7
April 15, 2012 4:05:01 AM

If Microsoft, who issued the license, told you to go for it I'd not consider it illegal. they provide inaccurate into though. going by tbr license its illegal
April 15, 2012 6:33:46 PM

"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."

So then, if the existing motherboard is put in an entirely different case, with all new/different components... it's legal? Would it be legal to sell the OEM copy as a package with the existing motherboard... and would MS let the new user continue to use the O/S legally? Just asking.

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a b $ Windows 7
April 16, 2012 12:29:28 AM
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box o rocks said:
"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."

So then, if the existing motherboard is put in an entirely different case, with all new/different components... it's legal? Would it be legal to sell the OEM copy as a package with the existing motherboard... and would MS let the new user continue to use the O/S legally? Just asking.


YES --- the license is tied to the MOBO it was initially installed on and as long as that MOBO is being used the license remains with it and valid -- So you can resell it with the MOBO as a package and the buyer is still fully legal and can use any parts they want along with it (though it must use that same MOBO so that will limit some upgrade options like RAM, CPU, etc.) -- MS had to decide what part they would consider as the original system and they decided that it was the MOBO since CPUs , RAM, HDDs DVD drives etc. tend to be swapped more often than the MOBO they decided the license would be tied specifically to the MOBO -- Since OEM versions get support from the manufacturer and not MS they decided that trying to hold a manufacturer responsible for support once a license was reused on a new system would be impossible so they had to restrict the license to the original system and decided that the MOBO was the most appropriate part for the license to be linked with since that still allows the user to make upgrades while keeping their warranty and license intact.
a b $ Windows 7
April 17, 2012 12:00:13 AM

box o rocks said:
How can it be illegal if MS directed me to do it to transfer the license?


Hi :) 

Because YOU replaced the motherboard.....under Ms terms thats ILLEGAL...

All the best Brett :) 
April 18, 2012 11:57:02 PM

Best answer selected by box o rocks.
a c 371 $ Windows 7
April 19, 2012 12:12:00 AM

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