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  1.    25 Mar 2016 #1
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10

    Activating Windows 10 on a new motherboard


    Sorry if this has been asked already, but I have a few questions.

    I am upgrading my motherboard soon, and from what I understand, windows keys are tied to the motherboard and not the hard drive. Is this correct?

    I have a windows 7 OEM copy; disc/key is with me. I upgraded to windows 10 when the free upgrade was released. I will not be wiping any of my hard drives, so I am wondering the following:

    Will I be able to activate windows 10 on my new motherboard with a Win7 OEM key?
    If not, do I need to buy a Win10 OEM disc/key for the new motherboard because of this?

    Upon changing motherboards and starting up my upgraded PC, will windows ask for an activation key? If not instantly, will it do it later on?

    Thanks in advance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    25 Mar 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    OEM is good for installation on only one computer. Change the motherboard and you have changed the computer and it is illegal to use your OEM license (product key) on the new motherboard. Therefore, since you only had one OEM license for Windows, and you have already used that on the old motherboard, you are left with no license to legally run Windows on a new motherboard. When you change motherboards, Windows will deactivate itself and nag you at increasing intervals to activate it.

    You will need to purchase a new license from Windows 7, 8, or 10 with a product key to activate the Windows 10 on the new motherboard. Also, you can upgrade with a new license (product key) - such as from Home to Pro - but you cannot downgrade from Pro to Home without doing a new, clean install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    26 Mar 2016 #3

    Correct, however, I have seen instances of a similar mobo (but same CPU) accepted... but strictly speaking, a new one will require a new key.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    30 Mar 2016 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 1,653
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)

    I just wondered in an unlikely scenario where I had to use my vendor warranty and they diagnosed an issue with & replaced the motherboard (like for like). This means the unfortunate user has to shell out for a new license key?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    30 Mar 2016 #5
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 6,409
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottyboy99 View Post
    I just wondered in an unlikely scenario where I had to use my vendor warranty and they diagnosed an issue with & replaced the motherboard (like for like). This means the unfortunate user has to shell out for a new license key?
    Like for like replacements are permitted but you would have to call MS support and provide documentary evidence of change.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    30 Mar 2016 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    If the license is OEM, Microsoft is not obligated to transfer that license to a new motherboard. The "manufacturer" that used the OEM license for Windows is responsible for support and replacement of that installation of Windows.

    If Microsoft grants transfer of that OEM license to a new motherboard, it is a gift from Microsoft, not an obligation. That's the whole reason why OEM licenses are cheaper than Retail licenses - Microsoft is under no obligation to support, replace or transfer the OEM installation of Windows.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    30 Mar 2016 #7

    Yup, OEM's are obliged to replace the licence under warranty - if it's a Windows 8/10 OEM PC, the new motherboard will not have an embedded key - instead make sure they supply one separately.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    31 Mar 2016 #8
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 6,409
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    If the license is OEM, Microsoft is not obligated to transfer that license to a new motherboard. The "manufacturer" that used the OEM license for Windows is responsible for support and replacement of that installation of Windows.

    If Microsoft grants transfer of that OEM license to a new motherboard, it is a gift from Microsoft, not an obligation. That's the whole reason why OEM licenses are cheaper than Retail licenses - Microsoft is under no obligation to support, replace or transfer the OEM installation of Windows.
    Agreed but grey area is when the mobo is replaced outside warranty period. It seems MS are quite lenient on this if you have evidence to support a "like for like" claim. Of course lots of people "try it on" with varying degree of success.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    31 Mar 2016 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    Agreed but grey area is when the mobo is replaced outside warranty period.
    It's not a grey area at all. Inside the warranty period, the "manufacturer" who installed the OEM Windows is responsible for replacement. Outside the warranty period, neither the manufacturer nor Microsoft is obligated to replace or transfer anything OEM for free. If they do, it is a bonus gift.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    31 Mar 2016 #10
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit

    I had to replace my motherboard but Microsoft was great and reactivated my operating system.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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