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replace motherboard / activation

    Question

  • I may need to replace the motherboard on a new Windows 7 installation.  I hope to keep everything else the same, I know the mb will be different.

    Will/should i have to reinstall windows 7 and will it need to be activated again even if i don't reinstall and will it even re-activate?

    Friday, April 23, 2010 7:08 PM

Answers

  • The answer depends on what type of OS license your machine has. If you have a retail license (you purchased W7 separately) you should have no problem replacing the motherboard. If you have an OEM license (W7 came with the machine) you should still have no problem as long as the replacement motherboard is the same model as the original. But if you replace with a different model, MS will say that this is a different machine not covered under the OEM license.
    Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:14 AM
  • I was curious because I am worried that replacing the mb would make it look like the OS had been installed on a second machine.  I am unclear about the one machine rule for the new operating system.

    Hi rhendrix9

    rlt6246 is correct.

    Whether or not you can successfully reactivate Windows after changing the motherboard depends on the version of Windows.

    If you have an OEM version that came pre-installed on the computer, then the answer is generally no, you will not be able to reactivate. OEM versions are tied to the first system where they are installed and generally a new motherboard is seen as a new computer. This all depends on the how much difference there is between the old and new motherboard.

    If you purchased a retail version of Windows, separately and installed it, then you can replace the motherboard and reactivate as many times as you wish. You can even move it to a different computer as long as it is only installed on one computer at a time and reactivate without any problems.

    Hope this helps.

    Thank You for using Windows 7


    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Saturday, April 24, 2010 9:17 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

     

    I agree with Rlt6246 and Ronnie.

     

    After replacing the motherboard, please perform the following steps to re-activate Windows 7 by phone.

     

    1.    Click Start, type SLUI 4.exe into Search box and press Enter.

    2.    Select the nearest location and click Next.

    3.    Call the number provided on the page and use the Confirmation ID provided to re-activate Windows 7.

     

    Regards,


    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Monday, April 26, 2010 7:16 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Should you reinstall? Probably

    Will you have to? Maybe, maybe not. I've had Windows 7 reinstall all drivers for my mainboard after a failure and subsequent replacement of a new mainboard.

    Will you have to reactivate? Most Likely, however this can most likely be done automatically through the UI. If not a quick call to support will get you moving.

     

    Hope this helps!

     

    Friday, April 23, 2010 7:19 PM
  • I was curious because I am worried that replacing the mb would make it look like the OS had been installed on a second machine.  I am unclear about the one machine rule for the new operating system.
    Friday, April 23, 2010 9:51 PM
  • The answer depends on what type of OS license your machine has. If you have a retail license (you purchased W7 separately) you should have no problem replacing the motherboard. If you have an OEM license (W7 came with the machine) you should still have no problem as long as the replacement motherboard is the same model as the original. But if you replace with a different model, MS will say that this is a different machine not covered under the OEM license.
    Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:14 AM
  • I may need to replace the motherboard on a new Windows 7 installation.  I hope to keep everything else the same, I know the mb will be different.

    Will/should i have to reinstall windows 7 and will it need to be activated again even if i don't reinstall and will it even re-activate?


    Microsoft forces a reinstall when the motherboard is repalced and your may need to use the telephone activation and speak t6o a human.

    I recently upgraded the Windows machine's motherboard. Its no problem, simply need to actiavate it by phone, takes 10-15 minutes.

     


    Vote if answered or helpful, I am running for Office (joke)! IT/Developer, Windows/Linux/Mainframe
    Saturday, April 24, 2010 3:05 AM
  • I was curious because I am worried that replacing the mb would make it look like the OS had been installed on a second machine.  I am unclear about the one machine rule for the new operating system.

    Hi rhendrix9

    rlt6246 is correct.

    Whether or not you can successfully reactivate Windows after changing the motherboard depends on the version of Windows.

    If you have an OEM version that came pre-installed on the computer, then the answer is generally no, you will not be able to reactivate. OEM versions are tied to the first system where they are installed and generally a new motherboard is seen as a new computer. This all depends on the how much difference there is between the old and new motherboard.

    If you purchased a retail version of Windows, separately and installed it, then you can replace the motherboard and reactivate as many times as you wish. You can even move it to a different computer as long as it is only installed on one computer at a time and reactivate without any problems.

    Hope this helps.

    Thank You for using Windows 7


    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Saturday, April 24, 2010 9:17 AM
    Moderator
  • I had to reinstall with a box retail version of WIndows 7 which is what I have.

    I had to reinstall fresh and activate by phone.

     


    Vote if answered or helpful, I am running for Office (joke)! IT/Developer, Windows/Linux/Mainframe
    Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:11 PM
  • the Related Topics box (above right) has a thread on this same type of thing.

    what do you make of the final comment, submitted by bubbapcguy ?

    Saturday, April 24, 2010 6:02 PM
  • Hi,

     

    I agree with Rlt6246 and Ronnie.

     

    After replacing the motherboard, please perform the following steps to re-activate Windows 7 by phone.

     

    1.    Click Start, type SLUI 4.exe into Search box and press Enter.

    2.    Select the nearest location and click Next.

    3.    Call the number provided on the page and use the Confirmation ID provided to re-activate Windows 7.

     

    Regards,


    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Monday, April 26, 2010 7:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Quick start: Activation FAQ  -  click the topic:   "Will I ever need to activate my current copy of Windows again?"

    Quick start: Activation FAQ  -  click the topic:   "What hardware changes may require re-activation?"

    Quick start: Activation FAQ  -  click the topic:   "What hardware changes can be made without re-activating?"

     

    it says you cannot transfer OEM windows from one computer to another.  but you can change the motherboard.

    you can even change it from OEM to non-OEM.

    repeated 3 times for emphasis.

     

    Updated: Preserving OEM Activation in Windows Vista and Windows 7  -  you can also reimage (modify) a preloaded OEM Windows if you choose.

    • Proposed as answer by ᅠᅠBanned Friday, August 27, 2010 7:38 PM
    Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:13 PM
  • somehow the content of the FAQ linked above has changed.   the original content can still be found:

     

    Quick start: Activation FAQ  -  click the topic:   "Will I ever need to activate my current copy of Windows again?"

    Quick start: Activation FAQ  -  click the topic:   "What hardware changes may require re-activation?"

    Quick start: Activation FAQ  -  click the topic:   "What hardware changes can be made without re-activating?"

     

    in case these also get changed, you can find the original passages quoted  here  and  here  and as follows:

    "You make a significant hardware change to your computer, such as upgrading the hard disk drive and memory at the same time or replacing the motherboard in your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) computer. If a major hardware change requires activating Windows again, you will be notified and will have three days to activate your copy of Windows."

    "If you acquired Windows Vista pre-installed on a computer from a major manufacturer (sometimes referred to as an Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM), Windows Vista will require re-activation if you replace the motherboard with a motherboard not provided by the OEM."

     

    • Proposed as answer by ᅠᅠBanned Friday, August 27, 2010 7:38 PM
    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 12:43 PM