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Windows 8 - Licence Question

Posted on 2013-06-24
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Last Modified: 2013-07-01
Hello,

I have two laptops which are the same make/model. I have installed on one of the laptops a Widows 8 OS. I would like to take just the hard drive out of one of the laptops and use it in the other, what are the license implications of this from Microsoft's perspective (is this allowed) and would it work? I was not sure how Windows ties its installation to the computer?

Any information would be greatly received.

Regards,

GISVPN
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Question by:gisvpn
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Expert Comment

by:aadih
ID: 39272320
Probably not.  Because Windows 8 license is tied up in the machine's BIOS.  Sorry.

[Note: You could ask Microsoft for help, however.]
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Assisted Solution

by:epichero22
epichero22 earned 125 total points
ID: 39272322
It may work, but as I understand it, if the license is OEM, then it's a violation from Microsoft's point of view.  Once a piece of OEM software is installed on a computer, that's it, you can't use it again on any other computer, no exceptions - even if the computer breaks, you can't use it again.  If your laptop screen cracks, you can't use it again.  And if you simply transfer one hard drive to another computer, why not use the license key on that second laptop?
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Assisted Solution

by:phoenix5ire
phoenix5ire earned 125 total points
ID: 39272351
Retail copies are transferable but not OEM (like epichero22 said). If retail version, I would try installing it on your other machine, worst case you can call Msft to get a definite answer.
Good luck.
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LVL 78

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 39272729
As long as it is not an OEM version of the Operating system you can simply unplug the HD from one computer and plug it into the other . You did say same make and model so it should just boot.
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LVL 95

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 39273472
As long as it's NOT an OEM version you can switch computers that it's installed ONCE every 90 days.  NON-OEM licenses are transferrable ONCE every 90 days to new hardware.

That said, as others have suggested:
DISCLAIMER: Licensing advice offered here is a "best effort" and based on the understanding of the respondents. Licenses can change and we may not be aware of these changes or may misunderstand them. Further, licenses and laws allowing them to be enforced can differ by country and/or region and what we understand to be true in our area could be false in your area.  "they told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid defense in a software audit.  All licensing questions should be confirmed with the appropriate licensing authority (the maker of the software/issuer of the license).
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Author Closing Comment

by:gisvpn
ID: 39291262
Thank you for everyones input!
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Author Comment

by:gisvpn
ID: 39291277
FYI - I will read into this more but just picked this up from a Web Site:

URL: http://www.quietpc.com/windows8?gclid=CISt4_-Gj7gCFYTItAod3mUA4g

System Builder / Retail / OEM Editions Unlike Windows 7, Microsoft is selling Windows 8 only in one edition, called "System Builder". This replaces the OEM and Retail variants in which previous Windows versions came. The main problem with previous Windows OEM (original equipment manufacturer) versions was that once installed, they could not be legally transferred to a different PC later in the event of a hardware upgrade. However, this is not the case with the System Builder edition which can indeed be transferred to a different machine as and when required, as long as it is used only on one PC at any one time. For more details, please look through the surprisingly readable (for Microsoft) licence conditions at www.windows.com/personaluselicense.
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