Win7 OEM and new motherboard

Hello,

Last January, I put together a nice system using Win7 Home Prem OEM (64-bit). I am realzing now that the motherboard I'm using is a bit limited, (I need a couple of onboard USB3.0) and I wish to upgrade the Motherboard only. The rest of the system will remain intact. Would I be able to re-install the Win 7 OEM without having to purchange a new copy? Also if I will need to contact MS, where would I be able to find MS phone contact. I have looked everywhere without success?

Thanks,

Mike
19 answers Last reply
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  1. Strictly speaking the OEM software is locked to the 1st motherboard, but you may get away with activating it on the new one. Once you've installed, provided you chose automatic activation, it will probably fail and then you will be given the option to attempt telephone activation, and a list of numbers to call. If, on the other hand, you chose to enter your Licence number after installation, follow this guide
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950929#Win7
  2. dodger46 said:
    Strictly speaking the OEM software is locked to the 1st motherboard, but you may get away with activating it on the new one. Once you've installed, provided you chose automatic activation, it will probably fail and then you will be given the option to attempt telephone activation, and a list of numbers to call. If, on the other hand, you chose to enter your Licence number after installation, follow this guide
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950929#Win7



    Hi Dodger,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I would like to find a way to make sure this works before I unassemble my system. Sounds like I'd have to make the install first and then scramble to get an activation key.


    Another question I have. When I built my system, I installed the OS on a separate SSD, Will I need to reinstall the OS, or can I just plug the SSD into the Motherboard?


    Thanks again,

    Mike
  3. May recommend that if you have an open PCI slot that is unused, to get USB 3.0 slots, you can buy an addon card rather than change the motherboard entirely.
  4. Good suggestion from dudewitbow, but if you're determined to change mobos it would not be a good idea to simply transfer the SSD to the new rig. Best to clean install on a formatted drive to avoid driver clashes. You can, however, install Windows and run it for 30 days without activation. You won't find out if it will activate until you've removed one installation and tried activation on the new system. Most are successful.
  5. Just change the motherboard. How would people use warranty boards when the supplier provides a later model because the board under warranty is no longer made?

    Technically an OEM is married to the original board but providing your OEM copy is not showing up on multiple machines MS will activate it. MS have recognised the situation which is why they are providing a system builders license for Win 8.

    If the software doesn't activate on line it will bring up a phone option which will provide the contact numbers.
  6. OEM versions of Windows 7 are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

    - OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

    - OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

    - OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

    - OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system


    Microsoft.com ^
  7. 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.
  8. Wamphryi said:
    Just change the motherboard. How would people use warranty boards when the supplier provides a later model because the board under warranty is no longer made?

    Technically an OEM is married to the original board but providing your OEM copy is not showing up on multiple machines MS will activate it. MS have recognised the situation which is why they are providing a system builders license for Win 8.

    If the software doesn't activate on line it will bring up a phone option which will provide the contact numbers.



    Wamphri, your response makes sense. If that OEM software is not on multiple computers, why would Microsoft prevent you from reinstalling it? This idea that a Motherboard = Computer is strange. I know they are trying to protect their intellectual proprety, but it shouldn't happen at the expense at the customer's good will. I am not trying to rip Microsoft, or trying to use the OS illegally. I just want to upgrade my motherboard on the same computer I installed the software in the first place.

    Dodger46 and Dudewitbow, I'm one of them weirdos that like to own a machine (computer) that is complete without having to attach things for it to work. My case's front port require 1 eSata onboard port and 2 USB 3.0 headers. I don't like using adaptor cables etc. I like things to fit right. So, I want a motherboard that would have all these things on it without the use of adaptors. Call me carzy/stupid or whatever, but that's how my brain works. It's not easy being me. :lol:

    Mike
  9. A. After an OEM software license has been installed on a PC, the license may not be installed on or transferred to another PC. However, the entire PC may be transferred to another end user along with the software license rights. When transferring the PC to the new end user, the software media, manuals (if applicable), and Certificate of Authenticity label must be included. It is also advisable to include the original purchase invoice or receipt. The original end user cannot keep any copies of the software.

    microsoft ^
  10. That's why they have a retail version , so that you can move it to another computer.OEM is cheaper for a reason < 1 computer motherboard.
  11. This is a situation which MS has responded to by making a System Builder License for Win 8. Area51 is correct regarding the wording of the OEM license.

    However Motherboards often run out of supply stock well before warranties expire and faulty boards require replacing. This is from Microsoft.

    "Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer—except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, 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."

    Note the use of the word equivalent.

    The fact is that MS uses its discretion when it activates software. The OEM licenses is worded in the manner it is to prevent certain scenarios.

    For instance a OEM supplier that leases machines and then "recycles" the licenses off older machines to operate on their new machines. Then there are people who sell their computers and keep the license to run on their next computer.

    These are scenarios that would cost MS a lot of money. Yet this protection causes a problem. People who are learning about building systems and experimenting with software and hardware configurations on a budget are often reinstalling their software. That is why MS is providing a System Builder License for Win 8 to accommodate this.

    MS are not fascists. As long as you are not running multiple PC's and or selling PC's without the OEM license they came with then MS will activate the software. If they are unhappy they simply wont. Some license keys get banned because they are pirated and have shown up for activation to many times from to many places.

    Retail versions are not as clear cut as they seem. I have retail versions of Office 2010 and I have been most careful about where I have the software installed. Yet on occasion I have had to ring MS to have the software activated despite being well within the requirements of the retail license. I have had to ring MS to get OEM software activated after reinstalling a machine that had not had a single hardware change. On other occasions I have installed an OS to a machine that had substantial hardware changes and the internet activation went through without a problem.

    When I have rung MS on the automated system to reinstall an OEM license I am asked to confirm that the software is no longer installed on a previous PC. Upon confirming that the software is not installed on any other machines the activation number is provided. Therefore it stands to reason that MS is allowing me to reinstall the software or otherwise they simply wouldn't activate it. MS knows its an OEM license and MS knows that the OS was installed on another machine. Yet MS does not ask the question "Is this motherboard replacing a defective motherboard?" MS asks if the software has been removed from previous machines.

    It would seem to me that the question asked at activation is the requirement and additional to the original OEM license conditions which are in place to control license recycling and not so much hapless PC enthusiasts.
  12. blueleo65 said:
    Wamphri, your response makes sense. If that OEM software is not on multiple computers, why would Microsoft prevent you from reinstalling it? This idea that a Motherboard = Computer is strange. I know they are trying to protect their intellectual proprety, but it shouldn't happen at the expense at the customer's good will. I am not trying to rip Microsoft, or trying to use the OS illegally. I just want to upgrade my motherboard on the same computer I installed the software in the first place.


    The OEM version is designed to be used by builders that are reselling the machine and thus offering a warranty and support on their own without MS having to support them so MS offers it at a discount to the system builder since they will be providing support -- Thus the tie the license to the original MOBO since once it is replaced the builder would no longer be responsible for providing warranty support on the system since it is essentially a new system therefore MS has decided that that is the part they tie the license to also. True MS is usually forgiving and will allow an OEM version to be used on a different MOBO and will activate it for you but by the EULA they are not required to do so and will at times refuse ( Though normally hanging up and calling again to get a different support person will usually result in getting it activated even after the first refuses - It is up to the particular CS person you talk to whether he gives a new activation code so being pleasant and calm will usually get it done unless they are having a bad day.)
  13. OEM Software Licensing: Rules & Restrictions
    License Transfers*
    OEM Software may NOT be transferred to another machine. Even if the original laptop, PC or Server is no longer in use, or if the software is removed from the original hardware, OEM licenses are tied to the device on which the software is first installed.
    Microsoft Office and Terminal Services
    OEM versions of Microsoft Office cannot be deployed in a Terminal Services or remote desktop services environment. When deploying Microsoft Office in a Terminal Services environment, the Office licenses should be purchased through a Microsoft Volume Licensing agreement.
    Re-imaging*
    Re-imaging rights are a benefit granted to Microsoft Volume Licensing customers. Volume Licensing customers may re-image any software they have legal licenses for (including Microsoft OEM Software) using Volume Licensing media.
    Hardware Replacement*
    The motherboard is the component that determines whether or not a new Microsoft Windows Desktop Operating System license is required. Motherboard upgrades or replacements require a new operating system license with an identical series motherboard (unless a replacement is for a defect).
    Volume Licensing Customers
    Windows desktop operating system licenses purchased through Microsoft Volume Licensing Programs are UPGRADES and require an eligible underlying Windows license (generally purchased as an OEM license pre-installed on a computer system).
    Downgrade Rights*
    Microsoft Office: OEM Microsoft Office licenses DO NOT grant downgrade rights. For eligible Microsoft Office licenses, Software Assurance can be purchased within 90 days through a Volume Licensing agreement. Software Assurance provides downgrade rights, home use rights, training, and more. Note: From the release of Microsoft Office 2010, Office is no longer available as an OEM license.
    Microsoft Windows (desktop): Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate customers have downgrade rights to Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate, or Windows XP Professional.
    Microsoft Windows (server): OEM Microsoft Windows Server licenses DO grant downgrade rights. OEM versions released with, or after Windows Server 2003 R2 allow the end user to downgrade to an earlier version.
    *Additional information on these rules and restrictions below:
    Additional Information
    Transferring Licenses
    OEM Software may NOT be transferred to another machine. Even if the original laptop, PC or server is no longer in use, or if the software is removed
    from the original hardware, the OEM licenses are tied to the device on which the
    software is first installed. As long as the license and device remain together, there is no limit to the number of times they may be transferred from one user to another. When transferring a PC to a new end user, the software media, manuals (if applicable), and Certificate of Authenticity label should be included. It is also advisable to include the original purchase invoice or receipt. The original end user cannot keep any copies of the software.
    When OEM licenses have Software Assurance (SA) coverage: If an OEM license has SA coverage, although the SA coverage may be transferred the underlying OEM license may not. If any upgrades have been applied as part of the SA coverage, those upgrades must be removed before reassignment of SA to a new device.

    microsoft oem brochure ^
  14. They may activate it with an upgraded motherboard, but they don't have to.The motherboard does equal a computer.
  15. I installed the unit late last night/early this morning. I can tell you that Windows was the easiest part of the whole proccess. Windows 7 was previously installed on a seperate SSD. I plugged everything in, expecting to "clean" install windows, but windows fired up and worked flawlesy without even reinstalling it. I checked the "propreties" and it said I had 3 days to activate windows, so it new it was a new motherboard. I clicked activate, expecting to get a phone number to call. Not so, I got a response, Windows is now activated. !!!....The thing that I was most concerned about was the easiest piece. Now about my USB problems, well you can read about them on the ASRock Motherboard forum.


    Thanks everyone for your responses and help.

    Mike
  16. Out of curiosity, how 'diiferent ' was your new mobo to the first? ie was it same manufacturer with similar chipsets etc? Good that it worked without the clean install, most often this fails...
  17. dodger46 said:
    Out of curiosity, how 'diiferent ' was your new mobo to the first? ie was it same manufacturer with similar chipsets etc? Good that it worked without the clean install, most often this fails...


    Actually with Win7 they have done a much better job of having it be able to notice the changes and repair the installation properly by adding\removing the drivers for the various pieces instead of failing like it used to a majority of the time. Main thing to make sure you do afterwards is check in Device manager and ensure that all of the drivers have installed properly and that none of the older drivers are also being loaded (ie. look for any yellow waning signs that indicate something not functioning properly or a conflict between multiple devices) -- and as mentioned it only gives you 3 days to reactivate instead of the normal 30 day period so be sure to do that so it does not lock you out after the 3 days.
  18. dodger46 said:
    Out of curiosity, how 'diiferent ' was your new mobo to the first? ie was it same manufacturer with similar chipsets etc? Good that it worked without the clean install, most often this fails...



    Hi Dodger,

    The first motherboard I installed was an Intel branded motherboard DH67CL. The new motherboard was an ASRock Z77 Exteme4. The reason I say "was" is because I ended up having to uninstall the motherboard and ship it back to NewEgg. The USB 3.0 inputs in the back were not working. So, my new motherboard is an ASUS P8Z77-V PRO. Again, I was concerned about reinstalling Windows 7 OEM because this would be my 3rd motherboard I'm installing my copy of Windows on. Again, I registred online, but this time, I was told I was not authorized. My initial reaction was I'm SOL. But, it gave me an option to register via automated phone. I thought, what the heck, I might as well try it. Not gonna loose anything. Well after inputting a series of number in groups of 9 and getting back a series of letters in groups of 9, once again Windows activated!!! Thank you Microsoft!. (but what's with all these numbers and letters???) Why it actived on the phone and not online I have no clue, but I don't care, It's activated.

    Although the SSD with Windows 7 worked fine without a reinstall, It somehow felt like I'm wearing a dirty underwear. :D Don't ask me how my brains work! With the ASUS motherboard, I did in fact format my SSD and reinstalled a clean install, which really was very simple. Unfotunately all these updates I have to install won't stop downloading, which is kind of a pain. I get about 90 at a time, which take forever to restart my system. Hopefully they'll be done soon. Overall though it feels like I have a new computer. :bounce:

    One isssue I had, I installed an internal card reader, and for the life of me, I couln't figure out why it wouldn't show in "My Computer". I was almost on the verge of unintalling it and taking it back, until I fould a thread on here that mentioned to un-tick the "Hide Empty Drives" option in the Folder View tab. I unticked (?) and Voila! all 4 SD card readers appeared.

    As of tonight, I'm done with my motherboard upgrade, and I'm very happy with the outcome. All my front panel USB3.0 now work and I feel like my project is complete.

    Thanks everyone for your inputs.

    Mike
  19. Microsoft was kind enough to activate your copy when you upgraded your motherboard,then you reinstalled and sometimes they make you use the automated line because the key keeps getting used.If you clean install again it will do the same.
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