Hello when I bought my computer It came with an OEM windows 7. I just want to know whether the OS is stuck to the motherboard, harddrive or both? Both, meaning that the HD and Mobo needs to be with eachother to even get the OS to work. Much help is appreciated.
I'm guessing it's HDD to MOBO and CPU. I'm not sure though. It has to be a noticeable change to the overall system, from the OS standpoint. so definitely the mobo. If you put the HDD with the OEM Windows in another machine and try to boot it up. it may be able to boot w/ generic drivers, but it'll notice a big hardware change and ask for a license. I would however assume that they account for upgrades in GPU, RAM, CPU, PSU, and extra disks.
The OEM license is tied to the first computer it is installed on and cannot be transferred to another. Microsoft considers the motherboard to be the computer. You can replace the motherboard with another identical motherboard without invalidating the license, but you cannot upgrade the motherboard (except in the case where the identical model is no longer available). Now, that said, if you call Microsoft and plead your case they <may>, at their discretion, allow you to activate on a new motherboard.
1) OEM Windows 7 comes preinstalled on computers. This is the cheapest way to buy windows. Large PC manufacturers like Dell, HP etc. (collectively called royalty OEMs) install windows on millions of such PCs. The main characteristics of such systems are:
a) The license agreement and support agreement is between you and the PC maker, not MS.
b) Activation by the end user is not required. Windows is preactivated at the factory by the OEM using images and standard SLP keys.
c) Your copy of windows is locked to that PC. The license is not transferable.
2) OEM system builder is what you get when you buy from say Newegg or from a local "white box" vendor. It too has the characteristics of Royalty OEM windows. Although it is possible for an individual to buy a System Builder copy, the license requires that the software be installed using the OPK (OEM preinstall kit) and then resold.
3) Retail version is what you buy from a retailer like Amazon or Bestbuy. Its a full price version that comes packaged in a retail box with a retail product key. It has to be activated online via MS servers using the key on the box, it is not tied to the PC it was first installed on, though it can only be used on a single computer at a time. And, MS directly provides the support for it. It is also more expensive than OEM copies.