OEM Vista Ultimate activation when hardware fails! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I sure don't like what I'm seeing.  I think I am angry about something here!


    I build a few systems -- not very many, but a few.  I pay plenty of money for an OEM version of Vista Ultimate and a unique purchase for each system.  I understand that it is my obligation to "support" my customer with any problems he has with both the hardware and the O/S. 


    However, what I am reading here suggests that if the hard drive fails and I have to replace the hard drive, I will not be allowed to activate the Vista when I reinstall the O/S!  So, instead of having to shell out $70 to $100 bucks to replace the hard drive, I get to shell out $240 to $270 for a combination of a replaced hard drive AND another OEM Vista Ultimate!


    That kind of policy by Microsoft simply encourages people to make illegal copies, and I'd bet it is not so hard.


    My policy has always been that if you don't purchase a valid licensed edition of your O/S and all your software, you can find someone else to work on your stuff --- I won't do it.  Maybe my policy is naive!


    Monday, October 6, 2008 3:59 PM


  • An OEM version of Windows Vista can be activated/reactivated on a new hard drive, as long as that hard drive is installed in the same original computer.


    Monday, October 6, 2008 7:15 PM

All replies

  • An OEM version of Windows Vista can be activated/reactivated on a new hard drive, as long as that hard drive is installed in the same original computer.


    Monday, October 6, 2008 7:15 PM
  • Hello,

    Can you direct me to the content you are concerned with?  What Carey has stated is correct.



    Andy [MSFT]

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 4:14 PM
  • Thanks for the replies Carey and Andy.  I don't have time right now to hunt up the content because I am going away for several days.  When I get back on Monday, I'll try to find it and respond.  Meanwhile, there are other failures like a mobo or processor.  What is it that determines "the same computer" for licensing purposes.


    I would say the box itself with the Geniune Microsoft Windows holographic sticker on it.  Of course, Microsoft can't really see that over the web, so are they going to believe me if I call?  Well, probably so, but it does get a bit complicated.  I certainly understand the problem with O/S licenses. 


    I remember when I was working for a Fortune 500 company and we discovered that people were buying computers, IBM PCs, no less, and not purchasing MS-DOS etc.  This was back in the early 80s and we made a company-wide decision that no computer purchase would be approved for payment if the invoice did not clearly indicate O/S.  Clearly looks bad in the newspaper to see banner, "Fortune 500 Company Cheats Microsoft of $60!"




    Of course, Microsoft was smaller and had better press then.  Now the banners read, "Software Giant Microsoft Sued Over ..." (complete the sentence as you wish).


    Anyway, thanks for the reassurance.  I was really upset because my customers all call me anyway even if they bought a Dell with Windows pre-installed! 


    'til next week,




    Thursday, October 9, 2008 1:34 PM
  • Thanks,


    If you can point me to the content I would definitely appreciate it.  I would like to make sure that what you are looking at is current so I can try to get it corrected if it is not. 


    As to your other question, it really depends on the hardware change itself and how many times a hardware change has occurred.  A motherboard change will almost always require reactivation. You might want to take a look at this link for further information about hardware reactivation issues:



    If you have a machine that goes into "Hardware Out of Tolerance" state you will have to call in for reactivation and talk to a representative.  You can get the appropriate number and directions by going to a command prompt and typing slui 4. It generally only takes a few minutes.



    Andy [MSFT]

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 4:42 PM
  • Yea and leprecons are going to give gold to all the good oem's that listen to microsoft propaganda! I'm building systems and if you want Vista or any of the new acitivation products I will purchase them for you.That is my line for my customers I do now will not can not hope to support your system in any way or detail. I tell them don't buy Microsoft till bill decides that he will deal fair with the public and if he don't history has shown someone else will take over. Maybe we will go to MAC's

    Microsoft needs to pull thier heads out and smell what they are shoveling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Monday, December 1, 2008 6:20 AM
  • So, let me get this straight:
    You (Mr. Browning, a system builder) dredged up a thread that went quiet two months ago, in order to rant about product activation (which, need I remind you, has been around since 2005), and to state (threaten?) that you might instead "go to Mac's" (which, need I remind you, the Mac OS is a proprietary OS that will only install on proprietary hardware)?

    Me (a longtime hobbyist, and now also a system builder), I've had no issues with activation, or with WGA.  I see no point in trying to discourage my customers from running Windows (Vista, these days.)  If I were to try to steer them to Mac, I wouldn't get their busines - the Apple store would.  Not good for my bottom line.

    Just my $0.02,

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 2:08 AM
  • LOL


    Well, since the quiet thread has been dredged up, and since I was the thread starter, I'll take this opportunity to add another $0.02.  (Just think, we'll never get enough for a cup of coffee, because when the Treasury starts printing the 8.5 trillion dollars they just spent (to no avail, by the way), coffee will be up over four dollars a cup even at MacDonald's!)


    And just try to guess how much Windows will cost then!


    Back to the subject:  I searched for but did not find the thing that had prompted me to begin the thread.  This forum is simply too big and the search function not effective as it could be -- I even used the IE history on the computer I had been using -- I just couldn't find it.


    Based on the answers I have received here, I suppose I will wait until the occasion arises, if it does.  Then it appears that I may have to call MS to get reactivated if the repair triggers a problem.  I know that OS and SW piracy is a really big problem.  HW piracy is also a big problem, but Intel and Motorola and AMD have the advantage that not every Tom, ***, and Harry has the ability to clone chips!  So, I have to cut MS some slack for devising a sophisticated licensing plan.


    I am reminded of the early 80s when Ashton-Tate's d.Base was copy protected and floppy disk failures and hard drive failures were almost the order of the day.  MicroRim published a database manager called R:Base which they proudly announced was not and would not be copy protected.  "We trust our customers!" 


    I switched to R:Base and bought the R:Base Compiler so I could write custom applications.  Both d.Base and R:Base are gone now (for all practical purposes), but MicroRim was wrong to trust its customers.  Illegal copies of R:Base started showing up all over the place. 


    By the time Windows 95 became the flavor of the day OS for Intel based PCs, MicroRim and R:Base were gone!  A Windows version was published briefly, but the company was out of money and never provided tools for custom programming of the Windows version.  I continued to compile DOS applications which ran well under windows, but there was no way to point output to a USB so the user without a parallel ported printer was out of luck.  Borland owned d.Base by then and did publish a Windows version, but I never liked it.


    There's a restaurant someplace out West that "trusts its customers" to pay what the meal is worth.  Don't look for them to survive either!


    Unlike Mr Browning, however, if I find it necessary to switch, it won't be to Apple -- I'll just take on the burden of teaching my customers the KDE and Gnome desktops.  Of course, I'll also have to teach them to knit so they'll have something to do in the time they used to use recovering from crashes.  You really got to hate an OS that is free and doesn't crash.  Go figure!



    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 2:57 PM
  • Dude.  It's been dead two years now.  Let it be like that.  ;)
    MS-MVP (Media Center) [If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.]
    Thursday, November 18, 2010 3:38 AM