1.    21 Nov 2015 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10

    Activating Windows 10 After Replacing Hardware


    Hello everyone! I have a question and I apologize if this has been discussed earlier. I am really confused about how activation now works with Windows 10. I hope someone can help me understand. Say I have a PC that had Window 7 with an OEM license installed, and then it was upgraded to Windows 10. I understand that the license is suppose to still be OEM which is fine. How does activation work if the hardware was changed due to a major upgrade eg. motherboard, HDD, graphics card etc? My understanding is that there is no key and that the license is linked to a Microsoft account and current hardware setup. I know in previous versions of Windows you would just go through a phone activation process to reactivate a new installation for the OEM license, but I am pretty sure it still used a product key to do that. It would ask how many other devices are using this product key and you would say zero and all was good. Can someone please shed some light on this issue for me? I would like to upgrade one our computers, but I am afraid to because I don't know how the activation works. I rather not have to purchase a new license if not needed. Thank you in advance for any assistance provided.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    21 Nov 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 196
    Win 7 8 and 10

    The motherboard is the deciding factor. New motherboard = New license. Remember the term in the EULA "for the life of the device". Device = Motherboard.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    21 Nov 2015 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    The motherboard is the deciding factor. New motherboard = New license. Remember the term in the EULA "for the life of the device". Device = Motherboard.
    I have to disagree with this answer. I have had motherboards fail numerous times and replacing them was not a problem under OEM. I just had to go through the activation process by phone. I just don't know how you can do the same now. It doesn't make any sense to me that if a mobo failed that it would require someone to buy a new license.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    21 Nov 2015 #4
    Join Date : Nov 2014
    The Netherlands
    Posts : 628
    Win 10 Pro x64 1607 (Build 14393.953)

    Try call the MS helpdesk and explain your situation. I migrated from a Mac Pro 3.1 (2008) to a Mac Pro 5.1 (2012) with Windows 8 OEM on a SSD that I moved from the cMP 3.1 to the cMP 5.1. They have different MB's, so my Windows 8 was NOT activated anymore. Called MS, explained my situation and I got a new activation key.

    Good Luck with your call...

    Cheers
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    21 Nov 2015 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 1,555
    W7 32 bit, Linux Mint Xfce 18 64 bit

    From what I was told by an in person Dell tech, upgrading or replacing a motherboard with the current motherboard still works, you will need a new license.

    Now, if you need a replacement motherboard because it quit or failed in or out of warranty that you won't need a new license. You might have to call Microsoft and explain that your previous motherboard failed. The new motherboard may not be the exact replacement.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    21 Nov 2015 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,551
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisRTech View Post
    I have to disagree with this answer. I have had motherboards fail numerous times and replacing them was not a problem under OEM. I just had to go through the activation process by phone. I just don't know how you can do the same now. It doesn't make any sense to me that if a mobo failed that it would require someone to buy a new license.
    You are trying to argue two different points. In your original post, you were not talking about a hardware failure, were you?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisRTech View Post
    How does activation work if the hardware was changed due to a major upgrade eg. motherboard, HDD, graphics card etc? My understanding is that there is no key and that the license is linked to a Microsoft account and current hardware setup.
    First, there is no link between activation and a Microsoft account. Second - at what point does you "upgrade" become a new computer? You "upgrade" motherboard, CPU, RAM, graphics card and switch to an SSD, but you claim it isn't a new computer because you kept the original case, power supply and DVD drive?

    Replace the motherboard - activation is going to be exactly the same process - call Microsoft and see if they will activate for your. They might - but probably won't.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    21 Nov 2015 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 1,555
    W7 32 bit, Linux Mint Xfce 18 64 bit

    NavyLCDR,

    I think he is talking about a failed motherboard but can't get the same exact replacement motherboard.

    I am basing this on my experience with dell. They replaced my motherboard without issue. No activation was required even after I did a clean install. This was on a windows 7 computer.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    21 Nov 2015 #8
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    You are trying to argue two different points. In your original post, you were not talking about a hardware failure, were you?
    It doesn't matter really. You are telling me if I built a custom machine and upgraded to Windows 10, bought a different mobo that Microsoft expects you to buy a new license each time this happens? That makes no sense. As I said before, I have done this plenty of times before and doing automated phone activation worked fine. The issue I am having is that there isn't a product key.

    Here is another question then. Say you had a Windows 7 PC that uses a Retail license and then you upgrade to 10? A retail license should allow me to install on another PC no questions asked. So how do you go about activating Windows 10 on a new PC with the retail license of Windows 10? Does it just activate without any issue, or are you suppose to first install Windows 7 again, activate, format, then install Windows 10 as a clean install?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    21 Nov 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,551
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisRTech View Post
    So how do you go about activating Windows 10 on a new PC with the retail license of Windows 10? Does it just activate without any issue, or are you suppose to first install Windows 7 again, activate, format, then install Windows 10 as a clean install?
    Supposed to first install Windows 7 again, activate it, then upgrade to Windows 10. That is what Microsoft is telling people to do. Or purchase a retail Windows 10 Product Key/license.

    Seriously, Microsoft never promised to give you Windows 10 for free for a new computer. They only offered to upgrade existing Windows 7/8/8.1 to 10 for free.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


Similar Threads
Thread Forum
Activating windows 10 after major hardware change help
After my motherboard died I have installed new Skylake hardware so obviously my windows 10 installation wants to re activate. In my previous experiences of this I have phoned microsoft to explain my predicament and they supplied me with a new...
Windows Updates and Activation
Re-activating windows 10
Hi I have this week completed building my new Pc and I have received a message in settings you need to activate windows 10 which was a free download in July 2015 as I was upgrading from windows 7,however the product code I have does not work and...
Windows Updates and Activation
Replacing hardware/activation?
The short story is motherboards Asrock AliveNF6G-VSTA ddr2 and Gigabyte GA 790X-UD3 ddr2 simply aren't supported and there are definitely win10 failures with chipset compatibility on these two boards. I've activated both boards through MS free...
Installation and Upgrade
Replacing a Video Card after installing the free Windows 10 upgrade
I've successfully installed Windows 10 on four desktop PCs and one older laptop. Windows 10 has performed perfectly but I'd like to install new video cards in two of the desktop computers. I've read a few very brief comments online regarding the...
Graphic Cards
Solved Activating Windows 10 might take a few days
This assumes that the Free Upgrade offer was followed correctly. The OS has to be UPGRADED first. You cannot perform a clean install until the Windows 10 license key has been generated, encrypted, stored and activated on the upgraded OS and...
Windows Updates and Activation
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:17.
Find Us
Twitter Facebook Google+ Ten Forums iOS App Ten Forums Android App



Windows 10 Forums