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Windows Vista OEM motherboard upgrade RRS feed

  • Question

  • I apologize if this question had been asked previously, but I'd just like to be crystal clear, as I am receiving a large variety of widely varying answers both from these forums and from other sources.

    If I have built a PC, paid for and installed all components on my own and have a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate OEM installed, will I be able to reactivate my copy of Vista should I upgrade my motherboard (and processor as well, switching from AMD to Intel)?  And for that matter, should this motherboard installation require a clean wipe of my hard drive partitions, would I be able to repartition and install a valid, legal, Vista Ultimate that i could successfully activate?

    Again my question pertains to not if Vista will need to be reactivated, but rather can it, should the motherboard and processor be upgraded, and/or the hard drive wiped an the OS reinstalled.



    Since I am the creator of this PC, I'm citing "Darin Smith MS" 's response on a similar thread and would like further clarification as to whether or not I can switch these parts out and retain a working copy of vista, in relation to Microsoft's view of the core of the computer (the motherboard) and it's stance on the rights of the computer's creator.

    forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2478448&SiteID=25


    My further apologies for the lengthy post, any information would be appreciated,

    Phil
    Monday, June 23, 2008 3:38 AM

Answers

  • Hi Phil,

     

      I am getting a Double Check on my statement regarding you being the Original Computer Builder and the replacing the motherboard question. I'm 95% sure my statment is correct, but I'm looping in some people from the OEM licensing Dept to get me up to 100% sure.

     

      As for your other concerns,

     

    CPU: No, change the CPU all you want (even between intel/AMD), it will not affect Windows OEM Licensing (there may, however, be some purely technical issues with Vista when changing a CPU, but that is outside my area of knowledge).

     

    Hard Drive/Partitions: No, repartitioning, reinstalling to different partitions...dosn't matter from a licensing standpoint.  As long as the OEM Windows is installed on the computer, it doesn't matter where on that computer it's installed.

     

    Reinstall: OEM Windows can only be run on the computer it was first installed on, but you can reinstall that OEM Windows, on that first computer, as mush as you want. (You will, of course, need to reactivate after each reinstall and at some point you will only be able to Reactivate by Phone)

     

    Repacing Componets: Aside from the Motherboard, you can replace any componet(s) as many times as you wish and still be Licensed to continue running the OEM Windows on that computer.

    (Note: Significant hardware changes will, as always, prompt Vista to need to be Re-activated)

     

    I will update when I get information back from the OEM Licensing Dept. (should be tomrrow 6/24/08, some time)

     

    Thanks,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

    Monday, June 23, 2008 11:52 PM
  • Hello,

      My assumption is that the reason no answer was given is because OEM Software is not intended to be purchased by end-users seperate from a computer. Since it is unintended, it is unsupported.

      This forum is for the support of Activation and Validation issues. If you have a Licensing question, please see the page "Find End User License Terms for Microsoft Software Licensed by Microsoft or the Computer Manufacturer" at http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms/default.aspx



    Note: In the "How was the software aquired" dropdown menu:

    The option "From a store as packaged software for End-User or from Microsoft" means Retail software
    The option "Pre-installed on your computer from the computer manufacturer" means Any OEM version software 

    Thank you,
    Darin MS
    Monday, November 2, 2009 9:19 PM

All replies

  • Hi Phil,

     

      I am getting a Double Check on my statement regarding you being the Original Computer Builder and the replacing the motherboard question. I'm 95% sure my statment is correct, but I'm looping in some people from the OEM licensing Dept to get me up to 100% sure.

     

      As for your other concerns,

     

    CPU: No, change the CPU all you want (even between intel/AMD), it will not affect Windows OEM Licensing (there may, however, be some purely technical issues with Vista when changing a CPU, but that is outside my area of knowledge).

     

    Hard Drive/Partitions: No, repartitioning, reinstalling to different partitions...dosn't matter from a licensing standpoint.  As long as the OEM Windows is installed on the computer, it doesn't matter where on that computer it's installed.

     

    Reinstall: OEM Windows can only be run on the computer it was first installed on, but you can reinstall that OEM Windows, on that first computer, as mush as you want. (You will, of course, need to reactivate after each reinstall and at some point you will only be able to Reactivate by Phone)

     

    Repacing Componets: Aside from the Motherboard, you can replace any componet(s) as many times as you wish and still be Licensed to continue running the OEM Windows on that computer.

    (Note: Significant hardware changes will, as always, prompt Vista to need to be Re-activated)

     

    I will update when I get information back from the OEM Licensing Dept. (should be tomrrow 6/24/08, some time)

     

    Thanks,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

    Monday, June 23, 2008 11:52 PM
  • Any news from your associates?
    Tuesday, July 1, 2008 5:52 PM
  • Hi Phil,

     

      Sorry for the wait, I am bugging the OEM Licensing people for a response. I will escalate the issue, if I don't hear from them soon. 

     

      I build computers myself (for family members and friends) and I, personaly, would like to know a definitive anwer on this, as well.

     

    Darin

    Tuesday, July 1, 2008 6:59 PM
  • *Whew* I ordered a new cpu and was starting to get worried...

    Thanks!
    Friday, July 25, 2008 8:45 AM
  •  

    "CPU: No, change the CPU all you want (even between intel/AMD), it will not affect Windows OEM Licensing (there may, however, be some purely technical issues with Vista when changing a CPU, but that is outside my area of knowledge)."

    Damnit, I knew I should have bought a motherboard that could take either and AMD or an Intel chip... ;o)

    Friday, August 1, 2008 1:41 PM
  • Any update, Darin?
    Friday, August 8, 2008 8:33 AM
  •   Hi Aureleus,

      Thank you very much for reminding me!

      As promised, I have escalated this question up to the Director of Worldwide Genuine Windows and he assures me that he will have an answer for us, as soon as possible.

    Thanks again,
    Darin
    Attention Forum All Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own.
    Friday, August 8, 2008 8:37 PM
  • Hi Darin,

    It's been about a week now, any replies yet so far?

    As a hardware reviewer I do change motherboard from time to time and I wish to know if the OEM Windows Vista (any variant) will continue working or whether I need to re-activate.
    Sunday, August 17, 2008 8:02 PM

  • "will I be able to reactivate my copy of Vista should I upgrade my motherboard (and processor as well, switching from AMD to Intel)?"



    If its an upgrade I will go ahead and give you the short answer.

    NO

    It must be an exact replacement of the same make and model board that is under warranty.



    "If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do NOT need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC. The replacement motherboard must be the same make/model or the same manufacturer’s replacement/equivalent."


    "Generally, you may upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on your customer's computer and the customer may maintain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software, with the exception of an upgrade or replacement of the motherboard. Unless upgraded or replaced under warranty, if the motherboard is upgraded, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required. The original Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to another computer. Please visit https://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?PageID=552862 "

    Read here, questions are for XP OEM, but I'm sure Vista has the same eula:

    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/oemeula.htm



    Monday, August 18, 2008 2:48 AM
  • Hi Suse,

      You are correct, up to a point. 

      The true question in this situation is: What's the Definition of a System Builder?  
    If the user built the computer him/herself, does Microsoft recognize them as a System Builder (i.e the Manufacturer of the computer).

    ~If the user is recognized as a System Builder, then he/she would have all the power that a normal Manufacturer has. They can define their own "Warranty", decide what qualifies as a "defect" in a motherboard and what thier "replacement/equivalent" motherboard, would be.


    ~If the user is not recognized as a System Builder, then what you said would be correct.


    Personally, I am on the fence. I can see the Pros and Cons from either definition. But it's not my call to make. I just need to find the person/group who can make it.   

    Untill then, we can give no definitive answer.


    Darin Smith
    WGA Forum Manager



    Attention Forum All Users: Please Do Not post your issue in someone else's Thread...Create your own.
    Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:14 PM
  • Hi,

    Has this matter been clarified as of yet?

    On a personal note, and as someone who has built a few systems myself in the past, I would be interested in the outcome of this.

    Surely the definition of the 'System Builder' would have to be appropriate for individuals such as ourselves as we are doing no more or less a role than that of a PC manufacturing company (e.g. Dell) as we source the parts; piece together; install the OS and, are normally the 'customer support' / 'repair engineer' - especially when PC is for a family member!

    Regards

    Chris Hill
    Tuesday, September 16, 2008 9:07 PM
  • After four months of no answer, I am beginning to think that I'm going to take the route that until they show me in the license agreement where I do not qualify as an OEM, I'm fine to do what Phil was asking about at the start of this thread.

    I mean, taking that long searching internally for an answer either means that it's not clear in the licensing, or they don't care...take your pick.

    I'm off to revamp my custom built (by me) Media Center running OEM Vista Home Premium.
    Sunday, November 1, 2009 8:48 PM
  • Hello,

      My assumption is that the reason no answer was given is because OEM Software is not intended to be purchased by end-users seperate from a computer. Since it is unintended, it is unsupported.

      This forum is for the support of Activation and Validation issues. If you have a Licensing question, please see the page "Find End User License Terms for Microsoft Software Licensed by Microsoft or the Computer Manufacturer" at http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms/default.aspx



    Note: In the "How was the software aquired" dropdown menu:

    The option "From a store as packaged software for End-User or from Microsoft" means Retail software
    The option "Pre-installed on your computer from the computer manufacturer" means Any OEM version software 

    Thank you,
    Darin MS
    Monday, November 2, 2009 9:19 PM