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  1.    23 Aug 2015 #11
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    California
    Posts : 203
    Kernel 4.x.x

    Replacing the motherboard even with the exact same model motherboard will not allow you reactivate Windows.
    Microsoft will consider this a different machine.

    This is because part of the hardware signature that Windows activation calculates is derived from data stored in the motherboards BIOS EEPROM.

    This part of the BIOS is installed when the motherboard is manufactured, and isn't intended to be modified by the user.
    Even when you update the BIOS with the files provided by the manufacturer, this data is not modified (or contained in those files!).

    This is somewhat similar to how WIndows 7 activation used the SLIC entry in the ACPI table for OEM activation, but due to exploitation, they stopped this activation method at Windows 8.
    (It's a very simple process to embed a SLIC entry for any OEM into the BIOS, and then using that OEM's certificate and Serial, obtain a fully activated version of WIndows 7, which is completely undetectable to Microsoft...)


    You can however use a perfect BIOS dump from your original activated motherboard, and write it to the new motherboard, if they the same exact model and revision, and are identical in every way other than serial number. This would effectively clone the board.

    This isn't illegal, and since Windows 10 activation is automatic, and cannot be renounced, cannot be considered illegal in a strictly legal sense. Ethically it is dishonest though.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    23 Aug 2015 #12
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Aurora, Colorado
    Posts : 493
    Windows 10 Pro

    thank you
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    23 Aug 2015 #13
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    I'm in the ghetto
    Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Hydranix View Post
    Replacing the motherboard even with the exact same model motherboard will not allow you reactivate Windows.
    Microsoft will consider this a different machine.
    That is definitely correct if replacing the motherboard as part of an upgrade. However, this not an upgrade. Therefore, I believe your conclusion is incorrect.

    This is because replacing a broken motherboard with an identical make and model mobo is not an upgrade but a hardware repair. That type of repair does not meet the any specified definition of an upgrade as stated or defined within the EULA.
    Last edited by WhyMe; 23 Aug 2015 at 17:15.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    23 Aug 2015 #14
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    I'm in the ghetto
    Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Hydranix View Post
    This isn't illegal, and since Windows 10 activation is automatic, and cannot be renounced, cannot be considered illegal in a strictly legal sense. Ethically it is dishonest though.
    Anything can, and often is considered to be unlawful in cases where there is a breach of contract. As far as Windows goes, it could be argued that the EULA constitutes the legally binding contract. After all, you have to tick that you agree to the EULA before you can proceed with an installation. It does not matter how MS publicise their policies regarding hardware and upgrade as the only thing that matters, according to most judicial systems, is the legally binding contract.
    Please ignore. My post is irrelevant as I took your paragraph out of it's correct context. Apologies
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    23 Aug 2015 #15
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,148
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Hydranix View Post
    You can however use a perfect BIOS dump from your original activated motherboard, and write it to the new motherboard, if they the same exact model and revision, and are identical in every way other than serial number. This would effectively clone the board.

    This isn't illegal, and since Windows 10 activation is automatic, and cannot be renounced, cannot be considered illegal in a strictly legal sense. Ethically it is dishonest though.
    Aren't most motherboard BIOS EPROMS chips that are in IC Sockets? If the motherboards are identical, seems like just physically swapping EPROMS would be easy.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    23 Aug 2015 #16
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 610
    W10

    Quote Originally Posted by WhyMe View Post
    The EULA is the EULA and is a binding contract. It is my belief that as long as you are replacing a broken (failed) component with an identical replacement and DEFINITELY NOT doing an upgrade then that is allowed, regardless of where you live.
    The point is a slightly different one: The EULA or Microsoft, who uses it, is not standing above the law. If in a country, hardware bundling is not allowed, then Microsoft may write inside their EULA that their stuff will be bundled, but this has no legal consequences then. It is not legally binding then. Such cases are what clauses on severability are there for: Microsoft wants to ensure that, if parts of the EULA are held to be illegal or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the contract should still apply. This is the part of the contract, which is relevant then.

    So for me, it is not of relevance, whether I did an upgrade or if I used the same copy of Windows on a completely different PC; in the jurisdiction I live in, Microsoft just cannot bundle its software, no matter what I do with it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    23 Aug 2015 #17
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 610
    W10

    Quote Originally Posted by WhyMe View Post
    Anything can, and often is considered to be unlawful in cases where there is a breach of contract. As far as Windows goes, it could be argued that the EULA constitutes the legally binding contract. After all, you have to tick that you agree to the EULA before you can proceed with an installation. It does not matter how MS publicise their policies regarding hardware and upgrade as the only thing that matters, according to most judicial systems, is the legally binding contract.
    Please ignore. My post is irrelevant as I took your paragraph out of it's correct context. Apologies
    Too late, I already answered. Anyway, it's ok.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    23 Aug 2015 #18
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 68
    Windows 10

    Just call them, I have never seen them ever say no to an over the phone activation ever. I have even blatantly told them it was an upgrade of a failed motherboard because said board does not exist anymore and they still reactivated me. They would rather give it away to you than for you to steal it. Microsoft is just awesome in that respect.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    23 Aug 2015 #19
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Aurora, Colorado
    Posts : 493
    Windows 10 Pro

    I just got a Windows 10 Pro product key from Support to activate a stubborn copy that I was setting up a dual boot with. It is a unique key, probably retail. The tech remoted into my rig, cleaned up the activation files, inserted a new key (not one of the generics) and activated it for me. Impressive service.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    23 Aug 2015 #20
    Join Date : May 2015
    Posts : 1,624
    Win 10 X64 Pro 15063

    Let me add: MAC address.

    Every NIC is supposed to have a unique one. Regardless of what is in the motherboard's BIOS, swapping boards will present a new NIC. (You could use a discrete NIC and move that over, but who does that?)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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