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A question regarding an OEM operating system

by rogerpaul / January 1, 2007 2:49 AM PST

About a year ago I built my own computer and purchased an OEM operating system and installed it. The system is Windows XP, media Center Edition . Now I need to make some changes in this computer, such as put in a newer mother board and processor. When I mentioned this to a friend, he told me that if I did that, I would have to purchase another OEM as MicroSoft only allows their systems to be installed into one computer. He said it had something to do with the drivers. Can anyone help me out regarding this information? This news is very discouraging as I really don't want to put more money into another OEM. Appreciate any feedback anyone can give me, even if it's bad news. Thanks much. Peace, Roger

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OEM OS....
by VAPCMD / January 1, 2007 2:57 AM PST

People who've done this indicate thay have to reactivate the OS if you move it to another system. I've never heard of anyone not being able to reactivate a legit version the OS on an upgraded version of the PC.

If any question...give MS a call and they can advise you.

Let us know what you find.


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by rogerpaul / January 1, 2007 3:01 AM PST
In reply to: OEM OS....

Thanks much. Will call them tomorrow morning. Actually, I never thought of calling them. Will post their reply here. Peace, Roger

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(NT) You're welcome and we'll be standing by
by VAPCMD / January 1, 2007 4:15 AM PST
In reply to: thanks
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Yes you can reuse it
by sharee100 / January 5, 2007 10:06 AM PST
In reply to: OEM OS....

I replaced a motherboard on one computer. I owned Win XP Pro and Win XP Home. I installed Win XP Home on the computer with no problem. I have crashed one of my 2 computers twice since then and had to reinstall Windows. And I replaced the hard drive on each computer and had to reinstall Windows. I only had to call to update the key once (and that was because I had typed O instead of 0 or reverse).

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Your friend was probably referring to this...
by Edward ODaniel / January 2, 2007 7:18 AM PST

The important thing to note there is:
3. OEM operating system licenses live and die with each PC?they are not transferable.

Since you built it for yourself it is possible that Microsoft will consider a Motherboard replacement a repair as they do with a system builder.

The number to call about licensing is 1-800-426-9400
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Hey Thanks
by rogerpaul / January 2, 2007 9:01 AM PST

I will call that number tomorrow morning for sure. I did call msn today, but got no where with them on the subject, but the number I called was different than the one you listed. So hopefully I will get some positive feedback. Again, thanks. Peace, Roger

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Reinstall OEM after upgrade.
by jaytmoon / January 5, 2007 4:59 AM PST

I have reinstalled an OEM of Win XP pro at least 5 times on one box. Making changes to various pieces of hardware. The OS has some tollerance to these changes, BUT when you change out the motherboard and ram the system's signature changes and you will need to re-activate the OS. If you run into a challege during the Validation (call MS due to verification problems etc), you simply call MS CS and get the code manually. They are very fair that way.

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Reinstall OEM Windows
by sasquatchll / January 5, 2007 6:06 AM PST

I too am constantly building and re-building my computers and re-use the OS.

Microsoft will reactivate Windows about as meny times as you want. After the first 2-3 installs on the same motherboard/NIC in a short period of time you may need to use phone activation.

Same goes for entirely rebuilt machines. But it is rather simple and your Activate Windows screen will tell you how. All you need do is tick the Activate Windows Over The Telephone box (toll free) and follow the directions. It may take 10-20 minutes if their Indian service center is busy, but it really is rather painless. You don't have to identify yourself or anything. They just want to confirm that you are using your copy of Windows on only 1 machine with a maximum of 2 processors.

Calling Microsoft itself will not usually give you much satisfaction. I've called them over activation problems in the past and have never been able to resolve any activation problem. In one case due to my investment (Office 2003 Professional) and their recalcitrance I resorted to using a crack. I told them just what I was going to do and their only answer was that that would be illegal but they couldn't stop me. They had refused to replace the defective disks which would install, just the Product Keys were worthless. Good way to cut down on piracy. Make legit buyers/users resort to cracks.

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Legally MS Ties OEM License to Motherboard
by pmchefalo / January 5, 2007 3:41 PM PST

If you look on the Microsoft OEM sites (need to be Registered System Builder to do that) you will see that the motherboard is the component that an OEM license is linked to. If you upgrade the motherboard you legally should buy a new license. Replacing a burned out motherboard with the same model or the next replacement model from the manufacturer is allowed.

There is a difference as to what is "legal" and what works. One can always try to lie their way through the reactivation process. Let your conscience be your guide. But be aware that selling mis-licensed product could get you into trouble with the law.

If you bought a retail license to begin with, there would be no question of the legality in re-inatlling as long as it is used on one PC at time. (For Windows XP Home the price differential is trivial between OEM and retail.) There was talk that Microsoft would change this practice with retail copies of Vista but they "clarified" that the retail licenses could be transferred as many times as you want, one PC at a time. Still will likely have to do the reactivation thing ... and Vista will "power down" until you do.

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OEM License
by sasquatchll / January 6, 2007 3:32 AM PST

If he was building and selling PC's that applies 100%

As far as upgrading your own PC, Microsoft actually couldn't care less. If you wanted to treat the EULA as though it were given by G-d on Sinai, then return the OEM disk to the original manufacturer (Dell has been known to do this) for a refund. Then apply that to the purchase of a full version of XP of your choice. Keep in mind though that if you have a Media Center OEM disk there is no retail version of this edition.

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2005 Media Edition
by pmchefalo / January 6, 2007 3:56 AM PST
In reply to: OEM License

You are correct that Media Edition does not come other than OEM. When the user applied the OEM version he agreed to a whole lot of other things by clicking "OK" (application via System Builder tools, for instance, is a big stumbling block) that make the license agreement not valid as it is.

As for Mount Sinai: yep, losing your soul for $120 is a great bargain for Old Scratch ... (-:

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i use 2 OEM installs from 1 installdisc
by lycansmurf / January 6, 2007 2:43 AM PST

I'm using 2 pc's at home both winxp from the same disc and i've had no problems activating it on both pc's, for as long as you don't install it twice on the same pc in a period of 60 days it should work. If you install new hardware your os will still be able to run unless you install a new mobo, then you don't have to reinstall windows, I was able to get it working by modifying the mbr(main boot record) directory using a bootmanager, once properly set it should normally work.
and if it doesn't you can still reinstall windows but i don't advise that because your softs (eg program files) won't be "installed" anymore, they will still be installed but your register will tell you they "aren't", this can be fixed but sometimes you have to format your HD and if you haven't made backups your data will be lost.

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Lots of good replies to my question
by rogerpaul / January 6, 2007 7:38 PM PST

I've been out of town for 3 days and am amazed at all the replies I have received to my question. Much appreciated, too. Now I do have a much clearer idea as to what I will have to do and I intend to go ahead and buy the new motherboard and processer and install. I have printed out all the replies and will follow some of the directions you all have given me. Thanks again. Peace, Roger

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Contact Microsoft directly.
by Ryo Hazuki / January 13, 2007 10:37 AM PST

You don't have to purchase another OEM.

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FYI Not going to like this one.
by dieselguy07 / February 8, 2007 11:21 PM PST

Vista will only allow 2 installations of the operating system. So basically upgrade your hard drive once then your stuck. Another wonderful feature of Vista. Doesn't everyone enjoy it when you legally spend 200+ on a operating system that you are told your can't take it with as you upgrade computers over the years.

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Source for this factoid?
by pmchefalo / February 9, 2007 3:09 AM PST

Is this just your personal opinion, an old rumor that had been discounted (for full retail product) or simple misunderstanding?

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OEM Version differences are....
by intrepi / January 14, 2007 7:29 AM PST

The main difference from an OEM version of Windows and an UPgrade or Full Version is Microsoft provides NO SUPPORT for OEM versions. Why, well they will tell you it was sold with a system which was purchased from a vendor and you will need to contact the vendor. In short, it's another way for MS to limit it's cost factor in supporting it's product.
The other way is to provide support for the rest of thir software by setting up support staff in India and pay them a lot less. It doesn't matter if you can't understand their version of English so long as MS fulfills their " support" obligations. It's up to you to learn their verion of English !

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Once you install it on one machine.
by philliprowland / January 15, 2007 5:29 AM PST

It is a permanently linked to that machine. Your Bios Information, Processor Information, etc is linked to this OEM Copy. You need another OEM License Key to install on another Motherboard. Consider a Volume Licensing package for a good deal.

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