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Can I Reinstall Windows 7 OEM on a new motherboard ?

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May 11, 2012 3:21:52 AM

Hey guys, big issue right now. I found a really good deal for a P8P67 Deluxe motherboard and was going to get an i5 2500k but I have heard that doing so will not be do-able with an OEM copy of windows 7. Is this true !?

I was also going to get an SSD and transfer windows 7 onto it, can I do either of these things with an OEM copy ? and how would I go about transferring it from my mechanical to an SSD
a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2012 3:33:08 AM

1.) Yes you can, no you shouldn't. CPU & Mobo upgrades will violate the EULA, so you may not be able to activate it. OEM copies are tied to the mobo/CPU they are installed on first.

2.) Some people may advise you to clone the HDD, I am not one of them. It is highly recommended that you do a fresh OS install to a SSD. Windows 7 has "things" it has during install to a SSD that you would not have from a HDD install.

I'll stop here, I could go on and on.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2012 3:48:37 AM

1) On OEM version. YES is tied to MB first installed on. This rules out "upgrading" a MB and reusing the OEM Key. Only cavet is if the MB dies the thousand deaths and a "NEW" MB was required.

2) SSD is not an issue on re-using, or Not reusing the OEM Win 7. BUT I agree w/foscooter.
... Clone from SSD -> SSD, same MB - Great
... Clone HDD -> SSD, questionable at best, And I DO NOT recommend.
... Clone SSD -> SSD, HDD -> SSD, even HDD -> HDD. some clonning software MAY work, But since New MB,s normally require NEW drivers Very few recommend clonning.
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May 11, 2012 3:55:46 AM

But this is not an OEM version that came pre-installed, it is a disk copy with it's own product key and everything. It's called a "OEM system builder pack" so I seriously cannot reinstall it ?!?!


Also, how can I backup games that require a single product key ? If I decide to go the clean reinstall of windows 7 (presuming I can reactivate that is...) I need to backup games like SC2 and BF3 don't I ?
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May 11, 2012 3:57:52 AM




contacted microsoft customer support, they said I can do that ! :D  !!!!
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May 11, 2012 4:12:17 AM

so the best way to do this is to completely reformat my hard drive ?


What about all my games like BF3 & SC2 that require product keys ?
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May 11, 2012 4:48:29 AM

headlesszombie said:
this is what you're telling me NOT to do ?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxNyDBSBNxg

it seems so much easier....


I didn't watch the whole video, but based on the intro the clip deals with migrating data from a HDD to SSD without changing other hardware. Your situation is different as you're also upgrading motherboard and cpu. As scooter and chief already pointed out, this is not recommended.

I'm surprised to hear MS gave you the go-ahead... did you present them with the same scenario as you presented to us in your original post?
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May 11, 2012 4:53:14 AM

pdxalex said:
I didn't watch the whole video, but based on the intro the clip deals with migrating data from a HDD to SSD without changing other hardware. Your situation is different as you're also upgrading motherboard and cpu. As scooter and chief already pointed out, this is not recommended.

I'm surprised to hear MS gave you the go-ahead... did you present them with the same scenario as you presented to us in your original post?



I told the representative I am buying a new motherboard and want to reinstall windows 7 and gave her my product key. Like I said though it wasn't a pre-installed version it's an "oem system builder pakc," whatever that means.


Alright so basically I have to do it the hard way eh. So what can I do to keep all my games that require product keys ? I know Steam games are fine I just have to log into steam no problem, but how about Crysis 2, Starcraft 2, and Skyrim ? Do I have to uninstall them now ? And what is the best/quickest way to completely wipe a HDD ?
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May 11, 2012 5:00:35 AM

ah this is making my brain hurt, how hard is this going to be and how much a hassle ?
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May 11, 2012 5:04:46 AM

Don't worry about uninstalling anything or wiping your HDD for now. Set your HDD aside, plug in your SSD (don't forget to then go to bios and switch SATA to AHCI) and install Windows and your games. You can plug your HDD in later and wipe it, or transfer any data files if needed (pics, docs, bookmarks, etc).

If I sold you my PC it would arrive with Win7 pre-installed plus the OEM disk (system builder pack) as well. According to the EULA, that still wouldn't permit installation on a whole new system.
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May 11, 2012 5:07:21 AM

Hard, not at all. Hassle? Well, it just take a while. Install Windows, install/update all drivers, go through all the Windows updates. It's time-consuming, but worth it if you want a nice, clean rig.
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May 11, 2012 5:10:30 AM

pdxalex said:
Don't worry about uninstalling anything or wiping your HDD for now. Set your HDD aside, plug in your SSD (don't forget to then go to bios and switch SATA to AHCI) and install Windows and your games. You can plug your HDD in later and wipe it, or transfer any data files if needed (pics, docs, bookmarks, etc).

If I sold you my PC it would arrive with Win7 pre-installed plus the OEM disk (system builder pack) as well. According to the EULA, that still wouldn't permit installation on a whole new system.



What does AHCI do ?

Okay that sounds a lot smarter though one step at a time right, but literally the only things going onto the SSD will be Starcraft 2, Origin +battlefield 3 and Windows. So other then those, backup the rest of my files externally and do a clean wipe after installing on the ssd ?

Again sorry to ask but what about my games I am just worried that after I wipe I will not be able to reinstall the ones with product keys.

As for the OEM thing, she said it's fine and I'm sure Microsoft will make it work even if it does say ungenuine. I'll just have to call them up and tell them my issue I doubt it will be a big deal.
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May 11, 2012 5:11:20 AM

pdxalex said:
Hard, not at all. Hassle? Well, it just take a while. Install Windows, install/update all drivers, go through all the Windows updates. It's time-consuming, but worth it if you want a nice, clean rig.




oh that's all easy for me not a big deal. It's more of what to do with my games/important files ^.^
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May 11, 2012 5:18:55 AM

AHCI refers to the Advanced Host Controller Interface. It needs to be enabled in BIOS for your SSD to operate optimally. When I purchased my first SSD around 8 months ago I had no clue and just plugged it in. The performance was rather underwhelming to say the least. AHCI makes a big difference. You'll pretty much see enabling AHCI as the top priority in every SSD post around here.

I don't know about all your product keys, but don't really see any issues. Do you have the keys at hand? I would try finding your keys and writing them down beforehand.

Once you install windows on the SSD, do not boot windows from your HDD.
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May 11, 2012 5:24:23 AM

pdxalex said:
AHCI refers to the Advanced Host Controller Interface. It needs to be enabled in BIOS for your SSD to operate optimally. When I purchased my first SSD around 8 months ago I had no clue and just plugged it in. The performance was rather underwhelming to say the least. AHCI makes a big difference. You'll pretty much see enabling AHCI as the top priority in every SSD post around here.

I don't know about all your product keys, but don't really see any issues. Do you have the keys at hand? I would try finding your keys and writing them down beforehand.

Once you install windows on the SSD, do not boot windows from your HDD.


I have all my product keys in their boxes still. Would it be wise to uninstall the games first ? Or does a complete hard drive format do that automatically ?
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May 11, 2012 5:29:43 AM

Uninstalling them wouldn't hurt. Some software vendors may keep track of the installations although I've never encountered any issues - other than with my music and itunes.
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May 11, 2012 6:28:48 AM

pdxalex said:
Uninstalling them wouldn't hurt. Some software vendors may keep track of the installations although I've never encountered any issues - other than with my music and itunes.



alright one last question thanks for all the help :) 

If I install win7 onto the SSD first and don't wipe the HDD right away, and have to call in microsoft (as I probably will have to) because it is saying it is not certified, will the HDD cause an issue ? Like what I am asking is because there are two copies of it already installed will that make it hard to activate one ? Or is it only tied down to the motherboard?


I already thought of what I'll tell 'em: my motherboard died and had to be replaced."

WIN
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2012 6:31:01 AM

When you try to activate Windows with the changes to your hardware it will probably fail, choose the 'Telephone Option' to activate, its a bit cumbersome with lots of figures to enter on your phone handset and a whole lot more into your machine. If you're worried about any of your Licence Keys download and run Belarc Advisor, it will list them all
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
(Telephone option is automated and you won't need an excuse! Usually works for me...)
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May 11, 2012 7:05:49 AM

headlesszombie said:
will the HDD cause an issue ? Like what I am asking is because there are two copies of it already installed will that make it hard to activate one ?


The HDD won't cause any problems, but like you said there will be two copies. You can plug the HDD back in later to copy/backup some files if needed but do not boot from it. Copy/backup as needed and format. Or format beforehand. Personally, the only reason I typically format afterwards is in case I accidentally missed backing something up... like I forgot about backing up my bookmarks or photoshop actions or something.

headlesszombie said:
WIN


I'm not so sure about that, lol. Nobody here is actually condoning what you're doing, and saying "I already thought of what I'll tell 'em" basically says it all... you're aware that what you're doing is rather iffy, at best. But that said, you did ask them earlier about it. You were quite vague with them on the phone and they apparently didn't question you for any specifics... but I guess they gave you the ok *shrug*
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2012 1:51:03 PM

You have the gist of what to do.
1) REMOVE/Disconned HDD this is Important
2) Verify that bios is set to AHCI, if not change to ahci.
... NOT if this was set to IDE for the HDD, this may cause a problem later on.
3. Connect SSD, Install Windows, update windows, install programs.
... If everythink Hunky-dorry, then activate.
4. Power down and Reconnect HDD, power on and verify in bios first boot device is your SSD. Continue to boot into windows.

5. If the HDD was set to ahci when windows was first installed on HDD, you are in great shape as YOU can NOW daul boot to either the SSD or The HDD. And you can retain this config Until you are happy with SSD then can just delete OLD windows and reclaim space.

6: IMPORTANT, once you are happy with SSD - Make a Backup image and set the imager to go to the HDD (Use windows control panel, Backup). You can completely restore your OS + programs in about 10 Min shoud something BAD happen.

Now for the Kicker - If Bios was NOT set to AHCI when OS was installed on the HDD. You might want to fix BEFORE proceding with win7 SSD installation.

SEE: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

On Lic. It is quite specific - And there is NO diff between say a "Dell" preinstalled OS vs "John Doe" install using an OEM ver. When You buy a OEM version and install on a new build - YOU are in defacto the "Dell", or "HP". Unless the MB that the OEM was installed on is "dead - IN THE TRASH" then it is illegal, and "luck" of the draw on who you get when calling in on approval.
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May 11, 2012 3:06:56 PM

RetiredChief said:
You have the gist of what to do.
1) REMOVE/Disconned HDD this is Important
2) Verify that bios is set to AHCI, if not change to ahci.
... NOT if this was set to IDE for the HDD, this may cause a problem later on.
3. Connect SSD, Install Windows, update windows, install programs.
... If everythink Hunky-dorry, then activate.
4. Power down and Reconnect HDD, power on and verify in bios first boot device is your SSD. Continue to boot into windows.

5. If the HDD was set to ahci when windows was first installed on HDD, you are in great shape as YOU can NOW daul boot to either the SSD or The HDD. And you can retain this config Until you are happy with SSD then can just delete OLD windows and reclaim space.

6: IMPORTANT, once you are happy with SSD - Make a Backup image and set the imager to go to the HDD (Use windows control panel, Backup). You can completely restore your OS + programs in about 10 Min shoud something BAD happen.

Now for the Kicker - If Bios was NOT set to AHCI when OS was installed on the HDD. You might want to fix BEFORE proceding with win7 SSD installation.

SEE: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

On Lic. It is quite specific - And there is NO diff between say a "Dell" preinstalled OS vs "John Doe" install using an OEM ver. When You buy a OEM version and install on a new build - YOU are in defacto the "Dell", or "HP". Unless the MB that the OEM was installed on is "dead - IN THE TRASH" then it is illegal, and "luck" of the draw on who you get when calling in on approval.




So I don't even need to do a clean wipe of my hard drive !? How do I go about ONLY deleting windows 7 not the rest of the HDD ?

What if I just left my copy of windows 7 on my HDD as well as my SSD and just had the boot drive as my SSD ? What would happen then ?



As for the validity, to everyone, I bought the program thinking it was the retail one not knowing there was any difference so this whole "moral" thing is a load of BS. I bought the program paid my money for it, and only use it on my computer. IF Microsoft asks, I had to replace my mobo as it died. What are they going to say, "NO YOURE A LIAR." Even in their legal terms it says it can't be put onto a new mobo unless that one dies and is replaced. So I don't really see the issue here, not to mention I can argue that a representative told me it would be fine.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2012 3:36:55 PM

I sucessfully cloned an HDD to a SSD using a kit from a company called APRICORN. It worked perfectly and has been running flawlessly for several months.
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May 11, 2012 3:42:10 PM

ram1009 said:
I sucessfully cloned an HDD to a SSD using a kit from a company called APRICORN. It worked perfectly and has been running flawlessly for several months.



Meh I think I'd rather just do a fresh install that is what everyone is recommending
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2012 5:46:12 PM

I caught, you opted for a clean install, but just to reitterate.
There are a couple of reasons the fresh install is recommended bear in mind a clone is an exact dopulicate of HDD:
1) Will properly align the partition and create that tiny 100 mb partition.
2) Will enable trim (can do manually.
3) With clone you have to ensure correct drivers are used. When New motherboard is used drivers Should NOT be carried over. A few of the clonning programs will OMIT drivers and allow windows to re-install default drivers, which means you still have to replace some of the drivers.
4) If the OLD OS has been used for say a yr or two - Clean install is the BEST way to "Clean" up the registry. Reg cleaners Do an OK job, just NOT as good as a Clean install.

On the "old" OS:
Following the method that I outlined.
With the SSD set as 1st boot drive, Most newer MBs have an option to select a 2nd drive to boot to. For example if I wanted to boot to the HDD (SSD set as #1). When I power on, or Reboot, during the Post I can Hit F12 on my gigabyte MB (or F11 on my Asrock MB). When the post completes it brings up a boot menue and ask do I want to boot to the SSD, the CD drive, or HDD. You then select which drive and the system will boot to that drive. NOTE: This Does NOT change BIOS boot priority. So if you reboot it will revert back to the SSD unless you again Hit the "Key" to bring up the boot menu.

This is the mehod I use when I have say Win 7 on one drive and say XP (or what ever) on a second drive. The nice thing is NO SOFTWARE boot manager to Hose things up.

When, and if You want to delete the "Old" operating system, it depends on how you have it partitioned. I ALWAYS partition a HDD and put just the Operating system and Programs in that partition (C-drive) then the 2nd partition is for all MY files (D-drive). And in this case it is very simple - Just reformat "C" drive.
If your HDD is just one BIG AS* drive, best way is to:
A) back up all YOUR data, reformat and then Put all your data on. OR
B) Shrink the partition on the HDD, Create a New Volume in the NOW free space. Copy Your data to the New partition and then reformat the partition with OS on it.
... To shrink partition (Volume) just googe it. Not hard and there is only one fly in the outment - If Hibernation was enabled it may have stuck a file at the Edge of the partition thereby not allowing shrinking. Simple solution for this is to Boot to the OS on the HDD, disable Hibernation, reboot (again to the HDD) and run disk cleanup. then perform the shrink operation.
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May 11, 2012 11:40:51 PM

Alright guys so I got the new mobo and ssd up and running ! even activated windows WITHOUT having to call in either :p 


Honestly I probably won't even back up any of my data. It is strictly a gaming PC so all I have to do is reinstall and redownload my games which are all from steam basically. Other then that just a few programs and drivers I wrote down, it will take me less time just to start over IMO


I am still trying to figure out how to use the HDD as my storage, if you can answer that as well I'd be grateful :) 
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 12, 2012 12:43:29 AM

Once the SSD is setup and your Happy Power off, reconnect the HDD..
You should now be able to reformate the HDD and use it strickly as a storage drive.
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May 12, 2012 12:49:13 AM

RetiredChief said:
Once the SSD is setup and your Happy Power off, reconnect the HDD..
You should now be able to reformate the HDD and use it strickly as a storage drive.



ok but how do I make files download straight to there and not the SSD ?
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 12, 2012 1:36:03 AM

You should have a dialog box that allows you to select the location to save the download to.
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May 12, 2012 1:38:49 AM

headlesszombie said:
As for the validity, to everyone, I bought the program thinking it was the retail one not knowing there was any difference so this whole "moral" thing is a load of BS.


Hey now, keep in mind you're asking for advice and people aren't going to suggest doing something which they think may not be in accordance with any licensing agreements. We're merely trying to help and the whole OEM vs Retail thing is one big grey blob :kaola: 

headlesszombie said:
ok but how do I make files download straight to there and not the SSD ?


Not sure what you mean. You'll want to install your games on your SSD. Put your photos, music, Justin Bieber videos etc on your HDD.
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May 12, 2012 1:41:12 AM

Oh, after calling Microsoft today myself, I learned I was allowed to use Win 7 OEM to upgrade a 5 year old Dell which had come shipped with and was still running XP. I didn't think that was possible, per EULA.
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May 12, 2012 2:09:52 AM

Sorry buddy not trying to be rude I do appreciate the help, but I think we all know how much bloody money microsoft makes and it's a piss off. If I buy your software, let me use it on as many single computers as I want. I understand not multiple pcs for obvious reasons but as long as that product key is not in use on another system there should be NO reason why I can't re-use it, OEM or not :) 



And what I mean is how do I set it up so that from not on everything I download and save is done directly onto my HDD and not my SDD ? I already put the games I want on my SDD and the rest need to go onto storage.


I was actually shocked I didn't even have to call in. That whole EULA agreement is a mess, does not make any sense. oh well I am happy it all works so no problems ^.^ currently formatting that hard drive, will take all night I presume.
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May 12, 2012 2:11:22 AM

RetiredChief said:
You should have a dialog box that allows you to select the location to save the download to.



Oh so I have to do it manually ? :\

what about things I download online, they don't give me a prompt they just download right away so "my downloads."
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May 12, 2012 2:29:20 AM

Oh, what Chief said. Alternatively, if you're using firefox, you can also go to Tools > Options, and in the 'General' tab change the "save files to" setting to your HDD. Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc all have similar options somewhere.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
May 12, 2012 5:37:49 AM

From M'soft's Licence FAQs
http://prntscr.com/9537y
ie. in theory we shouldn't but in practice sometimes we can...
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May 12, 2012 4:29:50 PM

pdxalex said:
Oh, what Chief said. Alternatively, if you're using firefox, you can also go to Tools > Options, and in the 'General' tab change the "save files to" setting to your HDD. Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc all have similar options somewhere.



Ah I see, so my best bet is to change all my save directories manually. That's alright I guess. I formatted my hdd going to start this all up now. :) 
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May 13, 2012 12:08:01 AM

Hey guys having a big issue here.


I was playing crysis when my computer black screened with a loud noise coming from the speakers. Now everytime I start the computer it freezes on my desktop or just takes FOREVER to load up. Any idea what the issue is ? My ssd is an OCZ vertex 3. Did I forget to chance the settings on it ?
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May 13, 2012 12:23:08 AM

Oh my god, now when the computer starts up it powers off then powers on again WHAT IS GOING ON !??!?!
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