OEM License Question: When is a motherboard replacement an upgrade? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a 3 year old desktop that ran XP Home and Works in OEM dress.  I have a COA. 

    The motherboard has failed.  I have attempted to replace locally and on the web, and find it to be proprietary.  The board has some significant negative reputation in the blogs.  In other words, going back to the OEM board equals a failure in a few weeks to a few years.  The OEM quit shipping Mobos to customers for self replacement citing a 50% failure rate.  This is not good.

    The cause of my personal MB failure is not known - the CPU likely failed too - it fails the power on test for the power supply, and kicks the no power shut down on known good power supply units.  In a word, it's toast.

    The box is a nice ATX mid case design, and justifies a new modern board and CPU.  It has a unique AGP VIVO card that I want to save - and that requires a higher end motherboard with both PCIe and AGP support if I don't want to lose functionality or waste cash later.

    I don't want to get caught up in this WGA nightmare.  If I trot down to wherever and buy a quality motherboard and modern dual core whatever CPU how will I know they will be acceptable to the MS?  (I can't tell you all how much it bugs me to have to play "Mother may I?"   Enough to make you shop Cupertino) 

    If I can fix my box, and "phone home" for authorization, can I rest assured I wont have a WGA breakdown later?  Will I be Vista upgradable under my license?

    Monday, October 16, 2006 8:19 AM


  • Sufro,

    From your post, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to copy and paste your diagnostics output. Can you tell me who makes your computer?

    Monday, October 16, 2006 3:11 PM

All replies

  • Sufro,

    From your post, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to post your diagnostics output. Can you tell me who makes your computer?

    Monday, October 16, 2006 3:10 PM
  • Sufro,

    From your post, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to copy and paste your diagnostics output. Can you tell me who makes your computer?

    Monday, October 16, 2006 3:11 PM
  • I was trying to be kind to the manufacturer - I still think they build a great machine with solid support.  It is a Medion USA, and came with a green booklet Windows XP Home, and a Medion Recovery labeled CD.  Diagnostics are indeed out of the question - it won't even spin up the CPU fan all the way. 

    FYI in case it matters:  The board is a proprietary MSI MS-6701 See a manual at:  http://www.elhvb.com/mboards/OEM/medion/manuals/MD5000_MS6701.zip.  It sports a Socket 478 with a 2.2mhz Pentium, 533mhz front side bus, SiS 648 with hyperthreading.  512k P2700 ram.  Dated, but very eficient setup - I wasn't ready to replace it. 

    I can buy a Core2 appropriate RAM, and Conroe board for a fair price - all else is great on the box, and does not need replacement at this moment.  My thought was to keep my current IDE hard drive as a backup, which is something I really see the need for now,  and to launch the recovery partition onto a new SATA "C:" drive so I wouldn't have to wipe or fool with my data. The original drive is still fine and has a recovery partition intact. 

    So - is my OEM version a player?  Will my plan work? 

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006 5:36 AM
  • Sufro,

    From a licensing standpoint, IMO since your current problem is a hardware failure, you are within your EULA rights to use your original XP Home license on a replacement motherboard.  If you use a replacement supplied by Medion, you should be able to easily use the Medion recovery program to get a fresh installation of XP Home onto the repaired computer.

    Given the details of what you want to use, I would say it's a pretty good guess that the Medion recovery program will not be able to accommodate recovering the Medion OEM installation to a SATA disk.  Almost all of the recovery programs I've seen (but I have not done any on a Medion PC) are sort of "fire and forget" prepackaged, canned scripts that you start and just let them run until complete.  I just don't think that there would be any provision in their programming to allow for the separate installation of the SATA mass storage controller drivers that you would need to get XP installed on a SATA disk.

    What you should be able to do, however, is this.  Borrow a genuine MS hologram OEM (not retail) XP Home SP2 CDROM from a friend or relative, and using the genuine XP Home Product Key on the Certificate of Authenticity affixed to your computer, install XP Home onto the repaired computer.  When it comes time to activate, choose telephone activation, and choose the option to speak with a live activation rep.  Explain that you had to replace the defective motherboard, which is allowed by MS, and they should issue you a telephone activation code.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006 7:02 PM
  • Derrick:  See Dan's response.  Do you concur?
    Saturday, October 21, 2006 5:26 AM
  • I had to replace an asus motherboard when it failed and called MS support and they told me the only way was to pay again for a new OS even though i replaced the board with the same p4p800-vm board.

    Monday, June 4, 2007 7:26 PM
  • Captcanuck,


    It sounds like you are in the same situation as what the other person has posted. Please call again and explain your situation maybe they didnt understand everything. Also read the end user licensing agreement, EULA. The motherboard is being replaced because of a failure and replaced with the same board. Also are you using all the same hardware as before? 



    Stephen Holm, MS

    OGA and WGA Forum Manager


    Monday, June 4, 2007 10:29 PM