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CPU change allowed with Vista 64 OEM? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm building myself a new computer. I decided not to bring my retail Windows to the new computer, and, instead, buy a new copy. With this in mind, the requirement of not being able to transfer the OEM version to a new computer didn't seem unreasonable to me.

     

    Now, though, with everything at hand, I discover my CPU of choice got backordered. I'm wondering if I can safely put in a cheap processor just to get the system running while I wait for my order to arrive, and then replace it.

     

    If I had the retail version of Windows, I'd do it without a second thought. I'd expect a reactivation later, but I'd be confident it would be allowed. With the OEM version... I'm just not sure. And this is not the sole upgrade I'm planning for it. The motherboard itself will be unchanged, but I'm adding a second video board later on (maybe sooner than later), I'll replace the memory as soon as the price falls for the faster dual channel ones (until then I'll use cheap memory), and I'll add more disks in a year or so.

     

    So, that's my question. Does the license -- and, generally speaking, Microsoft -- allows me to put in a cheap dual core CPU and later (about a month) replace it with an expensive quad core without much more fussle than an reactivation, or not?

     

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 2:56 PM

Answers

  • Hi DanCapo,

     

      Microsoft classifies the Motherboad as the Core component of a Computer. Meaning, you can change out any other componet (including CPU) without a problem (although you may need to re-activate), but if you change out the Motherboard, then a "New" (i.e different) computer is created and the OEM copy of Windows would no longer be licensed to run on that new computer.

     

      So to answer your question, yes, you can use the cheap CPU untill the new one arrives and when you install the new CPU, your OEM copy of Windows will still be licensed to run on the computer. You will, most likely, be required to re-activate and, most likely, you will be required to Activate by Phone (i.e. Activate over the Internet may return an error)

     

    Thank you for the great question!,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

     

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:03 PM

All replies

  • Hi DanCapo,

     

      Microsoft classifies the Motherboad as the Core component of a Computer. Meaning, you can change out any other componet (including CPU) without a problem (although you may need to re-activate), but if you change out the Motherboard, then a "New" (i.e different) computer is created and the OEM copy of Windows would no longer be licensed to run on that new computer.

     

      So to answer your question, yes, you can use the cheap CPU untill the new one arrives and when you install the new CPU, your OEM copy of Windows will still be licensed to run on the computer. You will, most likely, be required to re-activate and, most likely, you will be required to Activate by Phone (i.e. Activate over the Internet may return an error)

     

    Thank you for the great question!,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

     

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:03 PM
  • I am thinking about changing from a dual core to a quad core on a OEM version of windows is there any trouble I would run into.
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 7:21 PM
  • As long as you do not change the motherboard, your Windows will still be licensed to run on the computer with the new CPU.

     

    Darin

     

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 7:25 PM
  • Oh, you may be required to reactivate (and will need to do the reactivation over the phone) but that shouldn't take mor the a few minutes max.

     

    darin

     

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 7:26 PM
  • I have read from others that I will have to update my HAL. What is that, and if I do have to do this can you tell me how


    Thursday, June 19, 2008 8:40 PM
  •   I don't know what HAL means in this context, but they may be referring to something on the technical side of changing your CPU, that I may not know about. But from a Licensing perspective (which I do know about), changing the CPU will not affect your Licensing of a OEM copy of Windows.  Only changing the Motherboard would cause any nagative Licensing issues and only for OEM versions of Windows...A Retail copy of Windows can be installed on any number of computers, as long as it is only installed on one computer at a time.

     

    Darin

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 10:20 PM