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XP Pro OEM case swap?

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
Hi there,

I am about to purchase 30 PCs with Windows XP Pro OEM.

Knowing that XP Pro is OEM and tied to their machines; how can I know if they did not swap the cases from a defective PC to another working PC that did not originally contain a XP Pro OEM licence sticker?

Thanks,
Rene
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Question by:ReneGe
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by:jmiller47
jmiller47 earned 357 total points
ID: 33459692
It sounds like they are possibly used machines if you may suspect that.

The only way I can think of is that they usually (Dell for sure) put the serial number (Service Tag for Dell) on the case itself. If you go into the BIOS and check the serial number (or service tag) it should match whats on the case. Other than that, you definitely have the COA on the case and if there were ever any questions, you are the only one with that COA and that registration code. You would be completely fine in that case.
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by:Scanman999
Scanman999 earned 143 total points
ID: 33459738
OEM licences are tied to the machine by the license point of view. There's no records (at least public) saying that a specific OEM licence goes with this specific PC.
Maybe brands like HP, IBM, etc... keep a record matching the serial number to the licence number, but still. You could ask the PC manufacturer if they can trace them.
As long as the EOM label, if branded, goes with a machine of the same brand, you won't have license problems.
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by:ReneGe
ID: 33459742
Is there a way to read that serial number from Windows, without getting into the BIOS?
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by:jmiller47
jmiller47 earned 357 total points
ID: 33459757
I agree. You cannot transfer the COA sticker from one machine to another. If the COA sticker has not been moved to another computer (ripped) and you have the original COA sticker, you own that license.
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by:ReneGe
ID: 33459786
jmiller47, my concern here is that these are all IBM PCs and their covers are very easely removable.  Therefore, swaping covers is quite easy and I dont wat to get a bad surprise.
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by:ReneGe
ID: 33459789
Yes, they are userd PCs
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by:Scanman999
Scanman999 earned 143 total points
ID: 33459822
The covers could be swapped but only with the same model of IBM PC anyway, so I don't see where you would have a problem as long as the sticker is intact.
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by:jmiller47
jmiller47 earned 357 total points
ID: 33459855
As long as YOU have those stickers and they were not ripped off, YOU own those licenses.

If machine X has a COA sticker code of 111-222-333-444 and someone installed windows XP on that machine with that code, then replaced all the components, reinstalled the OS with that same code and sold it to you, only you are licensed to use that code on that computer. If somoeone has those old parts, they are not licensed. They do not have the case with the COA sticker. You do. You are the only one that holds proof that you are licensed to use that code on that machine. Nobody else does at all. That is your saving grace.
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by:ReneGe
ID: 33459859
I just found the cammand line to get the serial number from windows: wmic bios get serialnumber

Also, what if the manufacturer did not put a sticker of the BIOS serial number on the case?

Thanks,
Rene
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by:ReneGe
ID: 33459895
jmiller47, so in a twisted way and to confirm your saying:

1-I buy a PC with XP Pro OEM licende new from IBM.
2-Mother Board dies
3-I buy a new mother board and reinstall XP Pro
4-I am able to activate XP Pro OEM but my OEM licence is invalid because I changed the mother board
5-I sell that PC and the new owner has now, a legal OEM licence.

Did I undersdood well?

Thanks,
Rene
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by:jmiller47
jmiller47 earned 357 total points
ID: 33459900
That really woulldn't matter too much as far as the licensing. My last post will explain that. The only thing the sticker would help with is if you see that the sticker on the case with the model number and serial number and that serial number matches the serial number in the BIOS, you can be 'almost' certain that the motherboard was never swapped out. However, those can be altered in the BIOS is needed usually.

Another situation is if I bought a new IBM computer and the motherboard failed, IBM comes in and replaces the motherboard, the COA code will still be valid. Swapping out the internals will not matter. You have the COA sticker on that PC. That PC is licensed to use that code.

If this is a networked environment, I suggest you downlaod and install the free Spiceworks application. It is free and only takes minutes to set up. It will scan your network and give you all sorts of inventory information like the serial numbers int he BIOS (also using WMI) and the Windows Product codes, model numbers of computers, etc... There are some great reports in there and all the information is automatically gathered. Perfect for licensing!
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by:
jmiller47 earned 357 total points
ID: 33459914
"
1-I buy a PC with XP Pro OEM licende new from IBM.
2-Mother Board dies
3-I buy a new mother board and reinstall XP Pro
4-I am able to activate XP Pro OEM but my OEM licence is invalid because I changed the mother board
5-I sell that PC and the new owner has now, a legal OEM licence.
"
All except number 4. The OEM license is not invalid. You are still good there. The license stays with the computer. You no longer have the computer or the COA sticker. The new owner does and they are legal.
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by:ReneGe
ID: 33461159
Thanks guys,
Rene
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