Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM Question

Posted on 2011-09-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Experts,

I was thinking of buying and installing Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM on a new built PC.

Here's my question:

Let's say hypothetically, the hardware(s) fails in the PC. And I replace what fails, mobo, memory, ect.

Can I still re-install and use Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM on the hardware that I replace if something fails?
Question by:JeremySBrown
LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz earned 400 total points
ID: 36567441
Replacing by the same hardware that has failed, i think that yes. If you replace with other components, i can´t say yes or not.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:James H
ID: 36567451
This should answer your question.


Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer—except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.

The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the End User Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by that End User Software License Terms. The End User Software License Terms is a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer and relates only to rights for that software as installed on that particular PC. The system builder is required to support the software on the original PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PCs with different components, Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define the 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. The original system builder did not manufacture this new PC, and therefore cannot be expected to support it.
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

athomsfere earned 400 total points
ID: 36567482
You can replace most things without an issue, if you change motherboard you will need to use the same model of motherboard.

You can also usally call MS and tell them why your changing a motherboard and they will help you get reactivated.
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LVL 66

Assisted Solution

johnb6767 earned 400 total points
ID: 36567650
MS should NEVER allow a reactivation once you tell them that the motherboard has been replaced on an OEM license. And just because it activates, doesn't mean you are complying with the EULA.....
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

ded9 earned 400 total points
ID: 36567763
I agree with athomsfere suggestion...that will fix your issue in case you computer crashes.

LVL 13

Author Comment

ID: 36568953
So it's okay to go ahead and purchase an OEM copy?

What exactly is the difference between Retail vs OEM? Just Microsoft support?
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:James H
ID: 36569014
OEM does not allow for transfer to another PC.

Retail does allow you to move the license to another PC.

And yes, OEM does not get support from MS like the retail does.
LVL 13

Author Comment

ID: 36569056

<OEM does not allow for transfer to another PC.>

What happens if your PC dies? You have to buy a new OEM license?
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

James H earned 400 total points
ID: 36569628
Yes, that is why OEM licenses are cheaper than retail.
They are NON-transferable as per Microsoft. The license is tied to that PC.
You can't "legally" do it as per their EULA.

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