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Need help with Windows Activation following replacement of failed OEM motherboard (MB) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a Gateway DX4822 PC that I purchased ~December 2009 for a family Christmas gift.  On or about 01/01/2010 I setup the machine and activated as appropriate.  In July 2011 the PC suffered a catastrophic failure of the motherboard (MB) such that I had to replace it.  OEM board was an Acer GT43-AM board.  When I tried to replace all I could locate was used boards, no new and no refurbs.  Price for used board was unacceptable, particularly in light of the failure could just as easily occur to that replacement just as it did on original, so I would not purchase the used board.  I located and purchased a suitable replacement Intel DG43GT board instead and have installed it into my Gateway DX4822 system.  At first run, BIOS ran fine and DMI was easily adjustable to reflect system components.  Still, when proceeding to boot, the boot to Windows failed.  I ended up having to re-image my HDD with Recovery Discs I created previously when system was working.  That recovery did work and re-imaged back to original configuration, however then it prompted me to activate my Windows 7, which I attempted to do, but then got an activation error code 0xC004E003.  I understand at this point that it is likely due to the new MB and thus the OEM SLP does not match the system BIOS information secondary to replacing that orginal board.  I now have 1 day remaining to activate Windows 7, but the activation process will not accept my product key.  Can anyone provide me with a phone number where I can call Microsoft Support to communicate this complication?  I need help to resolve this run-around, and suspect I'll have the same problem trying to re-install and re-activate MS Office as well.

     

    Sunday, August 14, 2011 9:45 PM

Answers

  • "rightcenter50" wrote in message news:be9b1b7b-f2ae-4094-a968-cdbe09bbfa23...

    I have a Gateway DX4822 PC that I purchased ~December 2009 for a family Christmas gift.  On or about 01/01/2010 I setup the machine and activated as appropriate.  In July 2011 the PC suffered a catastrophic failure of the motherboard (MB) such that I had to replace it.  OEM board was an Acer GT43-AM board.  When I tried to replace all I could locate was used boards, no new and no refurbs.  Price for used board was unacceptable, particularly in light of the failure could just as easily occur to that replacement just as it did on original, so I would not purchase the used board.  I located and purchased a suitable replacement Intel DG43GT board instead and have installed it into my Gateway DX4822 system.  At first run, BIOS ran fine and DMI was easily adjustable to reflect system components.  Still, when proceeding to boot, the boot to Windows failed.  I ended up having to re-image my HDD with Recovery Discs I created previously when system was working.  That recovery did work and re-imaged back to original configuration, however then it prompted me to activate my Windows 7, which I attempted to do, but then got an activation error code 0xC004E003.  I understand at this point that it is likely due to the new MB and thus the OEM SLP does not match the system BIOS information secondary to replacing that orginal board.  I now have 1 day remaining to activate Windows 7, but the activation process will not accept my product key.  Can anyone provide me with a phone number where I can call Microsoft Support to communicate this complication?  I need help to resolve this run-around, and suspect I'll have the same problem trying to re-install and re-activate MS Office as well.

     

    Unfortunately, replacing the motherboard outside warranty conditions means that the Windows License is invalidated, as it’s outside the terms of the license.
    You will have to purchase a new Retail license for whatever flavour of operating system you require.
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Sunday, August 14, 2011 10:49 PM
    Moderator
  • From the OEM License for Windows 7....
    <quote>
    b. License Model. The software is licensed on a per copy per computer basis. A computer is a
    physical hardware system with an internal storage device capable of running the software. A
    hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate computer.
    2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.
    a. One Copy per Computer. The software license is permanently assigned to the computer with
    which the software is distributed. That computer is the “licensed computer.”
    </quote>
    elsewhere the ‘computer’ is defined by MS as being the motherboard.
    <quote>
     
    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 that End User Software License Terms. The End User Software License Terms is a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer and relates 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.

    </quote>

    [emphasis mine]

    It may be that if you can get your OEM to agree that this would have been their choice of replacement MB, then MS would agree to activate the installation.

    It may also be that you could persuade the activation operator to activate the installation (depending on how forceful you are and what sort of mood they are in <g>) without a note from the OEM – but don’t bet on it.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Monday, August 15, 2011 1:38 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • "rightcenter50" wrote in message news:be9b1b7b-f2ae-4094-a968-cdbe09bbfa23...

    I have a Gateway DX4822 PC that I purchased ~December 2009 for a family Christmas gift.  On or about 01/01/2010 I setup the machine and activated as appropriate.  In July 2011 the PC suffered a catastrophic failure of the motherboard (MB) such that I had to replace it.  OEM board was an Acer GT43-AM board.  When I tried to replace all I could locate was used boards, no new and no refurbs.  Price for used board was unacceptable, particularly in light of the failure could just as easily occur to that replacement just as it did on original, so I would not purchase the used board.  I located and purchased a suitable replacement Intel DG43GT board instead and have installed it into my Gateway DX4822 system.  At first run, BIOS ran fine and DMI was easily adjustable to reflect system components.  Still, when proceeding to boot, the boot to Windows failed.  I ended up having to re-image my HDD with Recovery Discs I created previously when system was working.  That recovery did work and re-imaged back to original configuration, however then it prompted me to activate my Windows 7, which I attempted to do, but then got an activation error code 0xC004E003.  I understand at this point that it is likely due to the new MB and thus the OEM SLP does not match the system BIOS information secondary to replacing that orginal board.  I now have 1 day remaining to activate Windows 7, but the activation process will not accept my product key.  Can anyone provide me with a phone number where I can call Microsoft Support to communicate this complication?  I need help to resolve this run-around, and suspect I'll have the same problem trying to re-install and re-activate MS Office as well.

     

    Unfortunately, replacing the motherboard outside warranty conditions means that the Windows License is invalidated, as it’s outside the terms of the license.
    You will have to purchase a new Retail license for whatever flavour of operating system you require.
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Sunday, August 14, 2011 10:49 PM
    Moderator
    • Proposed as answer by fudingding Monday, August 15, 2011 4:03 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Darin Smith MS Monday, August 15, 2011 4:40 PM
    Sunday, August 14, 2011 10:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Noel, I greatly appreciate your quick respone, however can you please maybe explain further?  How can replacing the failed MB under any conditions simply invalidate the Windows License?  What I mean is, if at 18 months on suddenly with no apparent warning the MB just fails and must be replaced then why/how does that invalidate the Windows License?  It is the same Windows OS from a legal Restore Disc that I made from the same HDD from the same machine that I purchased and received the OS on in the first place.  It is not like I moved it to some other machine, but rather it is the same machine with exception that the MB component of the system is slightly altered by virture of the fact the original baord failed...  And this aleration was necessary because no new duplicate replacement board was available from Acer/Gateway.  When I searched for a replacement board there were (and still are) no new exact replacement boards available, only used... Not even any refurbs.  So I had to replace the board with a suitable alternative, which I was able to locate (new) and basically configured the same with the same or essentially similar chipset and same Southbridge.  There are few discernable differences in the boards except the replacement is a new Intel DG43GT board and the original one was (apparently a faulty) Acer GT43-AM board.  Even from the ID one can see they are very similar.  Nevertheless, the replacement was necessary due to the fact the original board failed, unannounced and completely.  And I would ask also why would I dare chance replacing that bad board with nothing better than a used board (and expensive one at that, and even a second or third generation so therefore even not precisely the same as original) that no one could/would guarantee would survive any longer than the original board?  So, in order to restore my machine to anything other than a huge paperweight I have instead tried to restore it using a suitable replacement alternative board, which by the way works just fine with exception of this Activation issue, which I have tried ernestly and honestly to authenticate.  I'm not trying to cheat Microsoft or anyone else by putting the software into another machine some place else...  So I am just trying to do what I can to both communicate to Microsoft my issue so as to try to stay legal and also get some use and benefit out of my (now 19 month old) machine rather than to risk similar failure from a used board or else to have to buy a whole new machine.  Can you see my point here?  So I am back to my original question, which is can (you or) anyone (else) provide me with a contact number for Microsoft support where as an honest consumer I can try to discuss my misfortune with someone who can hopefully understand my circumstances and help me to navigate safely through this process?

    - rightcenter50

    • Proposed as answer by fudingding Monday, August 15, 2011 4:03 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Darin Smith MS Monday, August 15, 2011 4:40 PM
    Monday, August 15, 2011 3:16 AM
  • Carey, thanks for trying, but regretably the process you show does not repeat precisely the same in Win7 (your reply examples Vista) and no location option or phone number is provided with Win7 if the license evaluation fails (secondary to the SLP not matching data from the new board).

    - rightcenter50

    • Proposed as answer by fudingding Monday, August 15, 2011 4:02 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Darin Smith MS Monday, August 15, 2011 4:40 PM
    Monday, August 15, 2011 3:20 AM
  • Please try: Microsoft Support
    Carey Frisch
    • Proposed as answer by fudingding Monday, August 15, 2011 4:02 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Darin Smith MS Monday, August 15, 2011 4:40 PM
    Monday, August 15, 2011 4:00 AM
    Moderator
  • From the OEM License for Windows 7....
    <quote>
    b. License Model. The software is licensed on a per copy per computer basis. A computer is a
    physical hardware system with an internal storage device capable of running the software. A
    hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate computer.
    2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.
    a. One Copy per Computer. The software license is permanently assigned to the computer with
    which the software is distributed. That computer is the “licensed computer.”
    </quote>
    elsewhere the ‘computer’ is defined by MS as being the motherboard.
    <quote>
     
    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 that End User Software License Terms. The End User Software License Terms is a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer and relates 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.

    </quote>

    [emphasis mine]

    It may be that if you can get your OEM to agree that this would have been their choice of replacement MB, then MS would agree to activate the installation.

    It may also be that you could persuade the activation operator to activate the installation (depending on how forceful you are and what sort of mood they are in <g>) without a note from the OEM – but don’t bet on it.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Monday, August 15, 2011 1:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Funny how the EULA say verbatim that I as a single userr can run ONE LIC copy on my LAPTOP and MY DESKTOP..... same copy.....

    now as I am the only Person using it thats what I want to do. So Gateway dont have to help me but MS does. take that to an attorney and watch gates throw up.

    AND IT's LEGAL

    Saturday, March 10, 2012 2:48 PM
  • "bamorris" wrote in message news:1acc3f43-8d08-440c-9d34-c97e663d13f6...

    Funny how the EULA say verbatim that I as a single userr can run ONE LIC copy on my LAPTOP and MY DESKTOP..... same copy.....

    now as I am the only Person using it thats what I want to do. So Gateway dont have to help me but MS does. take that to an attorney and watch gates throw up.

    AND IT's LEGAL

    \You are reading the wrong EULA – the one you are reading is for Office, not Windows.
     
    If you read the Windows License terms, they state that the machine on which the COA sticker is affixed (if it’s an OEM License) is the ONLY validly licensed machine.
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, March 10, 2012 3:03 PM
    Moderator