locked
Replacing fried motherboard on VISTA machine RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've searched and found various posts around this issue, but not one that specifically addresses and answers my issue.  I am currently awaiting delivery of a replacement motherboard to replace the one I fried (yes, I did it) in my personal Dell Inspiron 531).  It is exactly the same motherboard...same part number, etc.  No other parts are being replaced.  

    Will Vista still automatically validate -- or will I have to do something to get it re-validated? 

    Thanks.
    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 12:20 AM

Answers

  • Hello Commodore65,

      The answer to your question is complex so I have provided background information to help explain.

    1)  Computers built, by large manufacturers (such as dell) , that come with Vista pre-installed, use OEM Licensing. The OEM License copies of Vista are only licensed to run on the computer it originally came on. (in other words, after an OEM licenced Vista is installed on a computer, it can no longer be used on any other computer)

    2) A computer is just a bunch of components. These componets can usually be replaced rather easily.  Because of this, Microsoft has to decide what part of a computer Defines it as a unique individual computer. They decided on the Motherboard. 

     This means that if you change out any component of a computer (besides the Motherboard) it is still that same computer. But if you replace the motherboard, a 'new' computer is created.

      NOTE: There is one exception to this rule.  If a computer's motherboard is replaced, due to warranty support, and is provided by the original computer manufacturer, then the computer is still defined as the 'same' computer as before the motherboard was replaced.


    So, how does this all apply to your question?

    ~If Dell is providing you the new Motherboard as a warranty covered replacement, then the computer is still the 'same' computer and you can continue to use that same OEM copy of Vista as you did before motherboard replacment.

    ~If you replace the motherboard outside of warranty coverage, then a new computer will be created and the OEM Vista (that you used before the motherboard replacement) will not be licensed to run on the 'new' computer. 

    I hope my answer made sense,
    Darin MS

    Attention All Forum Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own. If any post fixes your issue, please click the "Post was Helpful" button for that post. This will help us showcase the threads that best help our customers.
    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 1:15 AM

All replies

  • Hello Commodore65,

      The answer to your question is complex so I have provided background information to help explain.

    1)  Computers built, by large manufacturers (such as dell) , that come with Vista pre-installed, use OEM Licensing. The OEM License copies of Vista are only licensed to run on the computer it originally came on. (in other words, after an OEM licenced Vista is installed on a computer, it can no longer be used on any other computer)

    2) A computer is just a bunch of components. These componets can usually be replaced rather easily.  Because of this, Microsoft has to decide what part of a computer Defines it as a unique individual computer. They decided on the Motherboard. 

     This means that if you change out any component of a computer (besides the Motherboard) it is still that same computer. But if you replace the motherboard, a 'new' computer is created.

      NOTE: There is one exception to this rule.  If a computer's motherboard is replaced, due to warranty support, and is provided by the original computer manufacturer, then the computer is still defined as the 'same' computer as before the motherboard was replaced.


    So, how does this all apply to your question?

    ~If Dell is providing you the new Motherboard as a warranty covered replacement, then the computer is still the 'same' computer and you can continue to use that same OEM copy of Vista as you did before motherboard replacment.

    ~If you replace the motherboard outside of warranty coverage, then a new computer will be created and the OEM Vista (that you used before the motherboard replacement) will not be licensed to run on the 'new' computer. 

    I hope my answer made sense,
    Darin MS

    Attention All Forum Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own. If any post fixes your issue, please click the "Post was Helpful" button for that post. This will help us showcase the threads that best help our customers.
    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 1:15 AM
  • Well, let's put it this way.  Your answer is comprehensible, but still makes no sense.  You're telling me that when I personally replace the bad motherboard on my Dell computer that has a legal, licensed copy of Vista that it invalidates my Vista, even though all other parts are the same and I'm replacing the motherboard with the exact same model and part number simply to get a working computer again.

    So, basically, what you're saying is that if the computer hardware is out of warranty and the board is replaced by me, then Vista dies along with the hardware warranty.  So, not only do I have to replace the motherboard to get a nice fast PC with 3 GB of RAM to work again, I presume I have to buy a new copy of Vista and reload all my software, settings and personal data along with it. 

    That truly doesn't make any sense at all.   None whatsoever.
    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 1:22 AM
  • Hello Commedore65, 

      I did some checking on the forums and here is an answer to the same question

    This definition has an exception to cover situation where the original motherboard becomes defective and has to be replaced.  In such case, your OEM license for Windows can be used with the replacement motherboard.  If your OEM uses System Lock Preinstall (SLP) technology, a technology that allows the media they provide (say, a CD or DVD) to install only on a motherboard that has the OEM's "signature" embedded into the motherboard's BIOS, then in order to use the Windows media that came with the computer, you would have to install the manufacturer's dsignated replacement motherboard.  If the replacement motherboard you select is not compatible with the OEM media, then in order to continue to install and use your OEM license on that new motherboard, you will have to acquire generic media to install Windows, but you will still be able to use the Product Key that came with your OEM license to activate the license, except you will have to use the telephonic activation process rather than the automated online process.

    The above exception does NOT apply to situation where you decide to replace a functional OEM motherboard in order to achieve greater performance or add new hardware features.  In this situation, the new motherboard constitutes a new computer, and since your OEM license does not transfer to any other computer, you would be required to acquire a new license.

    Replacement of other hardware in the computer has no bearing on licensing, so you can add, change or remove other hardware as desired.  Windows Product Activation does monitor several characteristics of the hardware collection on your computer, so changing hardware may trigger a requirement for you to reactivate the license for Windows on the computer.  Computer enthusiasts and hobbyists who love to install new hardware and tinker with the configurations of their computer may encounter a situation after many reinstallations and hardware changes where Windows Product Activation will report that a given Product Key "has been used too many times" and will not automatically activate online.  In these cases, a telephonic activation is required, but as long as the given license for Windows is being used in accordance with the End User Licensing Agreement, Product Activation will not be refused.

      This answer seems to suggest that as long as as you replace a faulty motherboard, you can still use the same OEM Licensed Vista.  I'm not a licensing expert, ( and I probably shouldn't have attempted to answer your question, in the first place) so I can't be sure which answer is the correct one.  

      The best suggestion I can provide is to follow the guidlines as found in the End User Licensing Agreement.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help,
    Darin MS


    Attention All Forum Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own. If any post fixes your issue, please click the "Post was Helpful" button for that post. This will help us showcase the threads that best help our customers.
    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 6:26 PM