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Dead motherboard - System Builder license transferrable to new mobo/PC? RRS feed

  • Question

  • My motherboard's SATA ports have died, as well as having other issues. My PC is a "whitebox" PC with a Windows 7 Home Premium OEM System Builder license. My motherboard is over 5 years old and no longer in production. Can I transfer my license to another motherboard, or a whole other PC? If it's possible, I may want to pick up a system off ebay and transfer the license to that, but some of the systems I see online only ship with a Vista COA and no media or installed OS.
    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 9:56 PM

Answers

  • Q. Can a PC with an OEM Windows operating system have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?

    A. 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.

    The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the End User Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by those terms. The End User Software License Terms are a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer, and relate only to rights for that software as installed on that particular PC. The system builder is required to support the software on the original PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PCs with different components, Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define the original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the "heart and soul" of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created. The original system builder did not manufacture this new PC, and therefore cannot be expected to support it.

    please note: It is a high risk purchasing computers on ebay. also almost all software sold on ebay is counterfeit

    • Proposed as answer by Noel D PatonModerator Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:40 PM
    • Marked as answer by Imrazor Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:30 AM
    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:24 PM
    Answerer
  • It's unlikely that a change of board would be allowed - such changes must be 'approved' at least by the manufacturer, even if not actually replaced by them. (although this is a rather grey area, and if you're prepared to take the risk that the change may be refused, it's worth a try)

    There is no way that moving the license to another machine entirely would be approved.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:28 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Q. Can a PC with an OEM Windows operating system have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?

    A. 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.

    The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the End User Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by those terms. The End User Software License Terms are a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer, and relate only to rights for that software as installed on that particular PC. The system builder is required to support the software on the original PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PCs with different components, Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define the original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the "heart and soul" of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created. The original system builder did not manufacture this new PC, and therefore cannot be expected to support it.

    please note: It is a high risk purchasing computers on ebay. also almost all software sold on ebay is counterfeit

    • Proposed as answer by Noel D PatonModerator Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:40 PM
    • Marked as answer by Imrazor Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:30 AM
    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:24 PM
    Answerer
  • It's unlikely that a change of board would be allowed - such changes must be 'approved' at least by the manufacturer, even if not actually replaced by them. (although this is a rather grey area, and if you're prepared to take the risk that the change may be refused, it's worth a try)

    There is no way that moving the license to another machine entirely would be approved.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for a comprehensive answer. In this case, the system is out of warranty, and therefore there is no way to get an 'approved' warranty replacement.

    In any event, I've taken the risk and purchased a used system on eBay that supposedly has a valid Win7 COA/license from HP. At this point, I suppose my original question is moot, but it's something I've been wondering about for a long time as I pondered my slowly dying motherboard.

    If the COA or Win7 license on the new system proves to be counterfeit or already in use, what remedies do I have?

    Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:30 AM
  • to check it's validity:

    To properly analyze and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the diagnostic report produced by the MGADiag tool (download and save to desktop - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 )

    Once downloaded, run the tool.

    Click on the Continue button, after a short time, the Continue button will change to a Copy button.

    Click on the Copy button in the tool (ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your post. (please do not edit the report.)

    Please state the version and edition of windows from your COA. do not state the product key from the COA. 

    check ebay's refund terms. I suggest you post the diagnostic as soon as you can. (hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones)

    Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:50 AM
    Answerer