Microsoft OEM licensing...

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Microsoft OEM licensing...

Postby Mr T » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:00 pm

There have been a lot of misconceptions about OEM licensing, basically in the guise of 'I have a Gateway/Medion/DELL and the motherboard has failed, when I replace it do I need a new copy of windows?'... You do not need to purchase a NEW license. You have one with the system that is quite viable as your system has not been scrapped or changed significantly to be deemed 'different' by M$...

Quoted from Microsoft's OEM Builder FAQs:

"Q. Can a PC with OEM Windows XP have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?

A. Generally, you may upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on your customer's computer and the end user may 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" 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. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do NOT need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC.

The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the end-user license agreement (EULA) and the support of the software covered by that EULA. The EULA 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 for that particular PC. The System Builder is required to support that license the software on that individual PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PC with different components, 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. The original System Builder, therefore, can not be expected to support this new PC that they in effect, did not manufacture."


From here....

If, like most prebuilt machines there is a recovery partition, it obviously won't work if you change the main hard drive out or change the motherboard for a different type/model... To work round this, borrow a disc which relates to the system builders license key, ie if it is XP professional OEM, get hold of an XP Professional OEM disc and install it that way. Quite legal and above board.

The only thing you then have to do once it is installed is find the drivers and activate and that is why, if you buy a new system ALWAYS CREATE THE BACKUP DRIVERS DISC AND KEEP IT SAFE....

I know it can be a legal minefield, but if you bought a system with a licence why

A) Pay for new one when you already have 'paid' for one (which is even more infuriating when the software has failed/corrupted and it isn't your fault and that dissertation is sat on that hard drive that you need)
B) Upgrade the operating system when the one you are using is completely adequate and you are paying for the upgrade (lost count of the number of f88k ups people have made doing this)...
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
Yet to some people I still know nothing...
Mr T
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