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  1. #1
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    Computer from mom and pop shop with Win7 OEM and dead motherboard

    MB goes dead after 4 years? Are you going to have to buy another copy of 7?

  2. #2
    jwoods
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    My understanding is yes...Windows 7 OEM is tied to the motherboard it was first installed on.

    Windows 7 has 4 years of extended support left (as of January 2016), so in your 4 year scenario, buying a fresh copy of Windows 7 with little or no support left, wouldn't gain you much.

    By then, you will probably be ready for a new system with Windows 2019/2020 (or whatever it will be called) installed.
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-12-03 at 02:16.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    If it's the same make/model that replaces it, or the shop you bought it from no longer exists, it should be no problem, a phone call to MS (it should be offered when activation fails - don't google it) and you should end up with a new key from them.

    If you can only replace the 'board with the same CPU socket version, so long as your other components are the same as the original, there's a very high chance that you can use the same method successfully - being polite and carefully explaining the situation should smooth the path.

  4. #4
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    It could be a much cheaper option to contact the computer vendor and purchase a set of Recovery disks rather than purchasing Win 7 outright and MS may change/reactivate the COA sticker key as satrow has suggested.

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    Microsoft aren't stupid - they know components go wrong, users upgrade their machines, etc. That's not what WPA is designed to stop. It's software piracy they're after. Your new mobo should be fine.

  6. #6
    jwoods
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    This is what Microsoft says...

    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 Microsoft Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by those terms. The Microsoft Software License Terms are a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer, and relate 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.

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    This is what Microsoft says...
    <snip>
    Therefore, the OP would be OK. He would be replacing the mobo due to a defect. If he couldn't get the same make and model after 4 years, he'd have to upgrade. But he'd still be doing it due to a defect, so he'd still be within the terms of the EULA. Microsoft would be fine about it; believe it or not, they're human.

  9. #8
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    As noted by tonyl above, according to Microsoft, you are not replacing the computer or transferring Windows to a new machine, only repairing a defective machine.

    Since it's the mobo being replaced, the copy of Windows and everything else should still be intact on the hard drive. Windows may or may not 'realize' that you've swapped motherboards. For what it's worth, when I upgraded motherboards and processor 2 years ago, Windows 7 automatically recognized a bunch of new hardware and then 'checked the mothership (MS)' for genuine Windows and it was happy as a clam. I think they DO allow 1 extra 'install', in case of a HD crash, etc. I upgraded just the processor from a quad to octo processor 4 months ago (and sold the quad), and it recognized the new processor and never hiccuped at all.

    In short, I don't think Windows will get too 'upset' if you change motherboards. But then, if you've started with a mom-and-pop OEM computer, if they're still in business, they might have ways to not get Windows all 'shook up' with the new mobo. For what it's worth, every 3-4 years, I upgrade mobo and/or processors, so I've never had one fail on me.

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratkinson View Post
    <snipped>
    I think they DO allow 1 extra 'install', in case of a HD crash, etc.
    They allow as many installs as you like, provided it's on the same machine (and there's the rub, of course).

    I have an XP machine I built in 2003; it's on its 2nd motherboard (admittedly the same make & model), 2nd processor, 3rd video card, 2nd system drive, and 3rd secondary HD. The OEM version of Windows has been reinstalled 3 times, too. The only hiccup I ever had with WPA was on one occasion when I had to make a quick phone call.
    Last edited by tonyl; 2015-12-04 at 15:29.

  12. #10
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    Thanks!

  13. #11
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    tonyl, bratkinson that address my main concern. My main computer has a new motherboard, the old one died, new processor but the same copy of XP. As long as I can do that with 7 I'll be happy.

  14. #12
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    Yes, it is not the number of installs but MS allows one defective MB replacement under the EULA. While the EULA does not actually specify only one replacement allowed, my understanding is that is MS' position on defective MB swaps. If the MB is in fact identical MS's validation algorithm wouldn't even know anything had been swapped. Indeed this turns out to be true with a different MB if the chips with drivers on the MB are the same (or relatively the same).

    If the MBs are significantly different, and they usually are since MB's are often long discontinued by the time the MB fails (and who wants a used old one off of eBay, when a modern MB fits nicely) then MS will know a swap was arranged when re-validated (though this is usually an automated validation). Indeed, it is an easier validation/updating process with a Mom&Pop Win OEM copy rather than a big box maker Win OEM that is customized/volume licensed for their PC.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-12-07 at 10:25.

  15. #13
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    "I have an XP machine"

    That's why it works. XP treats you like you actually own the machine.

    7 and 10 only allow you to use a machine, in a practical sense, owned by MS and some pc maker.

    You bought it - you don't own it.

  16. #14
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    @UncleStu,

    Wrong. You own the hardware. You purchased a license to use the operating system.

    Joe

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    .... You purchased a license to use the operating system.

    Joe
    That is MS' position, but the courts in the USA have always said otherwise. You own the copy of the OS under the non-conflicting terms of the EULA which is limiting.

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