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New Motherboard, New Windows License?


The Highlander

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Microsoft recently made a change to the licence agreement saying that a new motherboard is equal to a new computer, hence you need to purchase a new Windows licence.

 

Here is what Microsoft has to say:

 

“An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a “new personal computer” to which Microsoft® OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required.”

 

The reason Microsoft gave for this term is that “Microsoft needed to have one base component “left standing” that would still define that 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.”

 

Microsoft sent a memo to its OEM partners asking them to enforce this new policy, every time they upgrade a computer for a client.

 

From the Microsoft License FAQ, question 11:

Rather than purchase completely new PCs, my organization performs in-place upgrades to the hardware on many of our computers. We often times only replace the motherboard, processor, and memory. Since the COA is still on the case and the OS is still installed on the hard drive, this computer is still licensed, right?

 

Generally, you may upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on your computer and maintain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software, with the exception of an upgrade or replacement of the motherboard. An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a "new personal computer." Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from one computer to another. Therefore, if the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect then a new computer has been created, the original license expires, and a new full operating system license (not upgrade) is required. This is true even if the computer is covered under Software Assurance or other Volume License programs.

Link to Artical here

Link to Microsoft License FAQ (Word .doc format)

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I have two PC's, and I purchased two full copies of Windows XP. I agreed to the license when I loaded the OS on my two computers. I will abide by the license that I agreed to back then.

 

Microsoft can change horses in the middle of a stream, but I won't. :)

 

If you have the full version you do not have a problem. This only relates to OEM versions, and IIRC this has always been in the license agreement of OEM versions.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Silva is correct. That only applies to OEM software. And also the loop hole there is "....If the mother board is upgraded or replaced for REASONS OTHER THAN A DEFECT....". Many computer shops have no problem at all replacing your mother board with a new one and then placing the OEM OS back on the computer.

 

I like Bruce's statement the best however !! :huh::)

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