locked
How to activate aVista OEM license when the OEM provider is no help? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Reposting the question from the Activation forum:

    I've got an HP Slimline S3020n.  This computer has a known problem with the nVidia chip that causes the motherboard to fail.  HP replaced it once, but substituted the same defective board into it.  The second board failed so I replaced it with a third, non-HP board (Zotac) and it booted fine, I installed drivers and thought all was well.  At this time I did NOT see any windows or dialog boxes regarding activation.

    The computer sat for a few days since I went to my spare for current projects while replacing the MoBo and now I get the "you must activate Windows."  I used HP chat (twice!) and they first recommended I use the system recovery DVDs to re-install the OS.   I tried that and it failed (recovery discs only work for exact same OEM hardware).  They also offered the HP-official discs for my system for 'free' with only $16 (plus tax!) for 5-7 day shipping -- note: not an OS disc, but an HP recovery disk for my now non-HP hardware.   A later recommendation was to purchase a retail Windows OS disk, re-format the drive and reinstall everything (what a great idea!) OR I could pay to get my non-HP motherboard "tattooed" as an HP board and that might work.

    I tried slui.exe 4 and that only gives the three limited options: purchase, try a different key, or contact HP.  I tried HP - see above; I don't want to purchase another since I already 'own' this license; and other keys won't work.

    I tried running the activation wizard to get the phone number to activate by phone, but it won't come up.  Any ideas other than buying a Mac?  I already decided to boycott HP.
    Monday, February 8, 2010 11:37 PM

Answers

  • Because a OEM preinstalled Windows license requires the original motherboard BIOS for activation, your Windows OEM license from HP cannot be activated with a non-HP motherboard.  I would suggest purchasing a new copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, then boot from the DVD and perform a "clean install".
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, February 9, 2010 8:32 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by yak78254 Tuesday, February 9, 2010 11:54 PM
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Friday, February 12, 2010 10:42 PM
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 2:37 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Because a OEM preinstalled Windows license requires the original motherboard BIOS for activation, your Windows OEM license from HP cannot be activated with a non-HP motherboard.  I would suggest purchasing a new copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, then boot from the DVD and perform a "clean install".
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, February 9, 2010 8:32 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by yak78254 Tuesday, February 9, 2010 11:54 PM
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Friday, February 12, 2010 10:42 PM
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 2:37 AM
    Moderator
  • While the reply is a suggestion that would place a licensed Windows OS onto my system, it does not answer the question.  Linking a license to a specific defective hardware product is a corporate "foul."  I asked a specific question, you suggested I buy the latest Microsoft product instead.

    A better answer would be "You can't.  Microsoft's OEM license policies link the motherboard and the pre-installed OS.  If you wish to retain the ability to repair your system in the future and still use a Microsoft OS, you should not purchase from any of our corporate 'partners' like HP.  Since your current system is on the clock for going into 'limited access mode'  you should back up your data now.  The FAST wizard may/may not work.  Don't "archive" your Outlook e-mail, because you won't be able to open it on a different system; you should copy and paste it like a regular document instead.  We hope you'll buy more Microsoft products in the future, but we'll understand if you don't.  Good luck."

    I went to Microsoft's own site and looked up the FAQ for activation and motherboard replacement.  Do you think it said "the license stays with the motherboard?"  No.  Of course not.  Regarding what hardware changes will invoke activation it says:

    If you acquired Windows Vista pre-installed on a computer from a major manufacturer (sometimes referred to as an Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM), Windows Vista will require re-activation if you replace the motherboard with a motherboard not provided by the OEM.

    Reference:  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/quick-start/activation-faq.aspx

    The FAQ says "will require re-activation" which clearly implies that re-activation is possible with a non-OEM board.  I guess the FAQ is wrong.

    Clearly I'm annoyed and don't mean to pounce on people trying to be helpful; but Microsoft's website is clearly in error, the HP techs were clearly poorly trained, and I've got to work around the problem.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:22 AM
  • Try reposting your inquiry to the experts in the Windows Vista Install, Upgrade, and Activate Forum.
    Carey Frisch
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 4:14 AM
    Moderator
  • I started in Install, Upgrade, Activate; they recommended I come here.

    I'm giving up and surrendering to the inevitable.  I've got a retail version of XP Pro.  I'll wipe the hard drive and re-install that.  I spent my upgrade/repair money on the motherboard.  I can't/won't buy a new OS to go on it.  I think I've got the important data off of it.

    Thanks for trying.
    Thursday, February 11, 2010 10:42 PM