Upgrading motherboard and processor and reactivation RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have heard that if you have Vista installed and you upgrade your motherboard and processor that Vista will look at it as a totally different computer and you won't even be able to reactivate it over the phone.  You will be forced to buy another license.  It seems pretty unbelievable to me that Microsoft wouldn't allow a person to upgrade their processor, which also often requires a new motherboard.

    Can anyone verify from experience whether a person can upgrade a processor with Vista or not?
    Monday, November 19, 2007 5:30 PM


  • Hello,


    Thank you for posting!


    That statement is not true. Windows Vista is using a flexible rule of activation and try best to satisfy customers’ needs.


    Re-activation Requirement


    If you acquired Windows Vista via retail purchase (boxed product) or pre-installed on a computer from a local computer vendor, Windows Vista will require re-activation if you, for example:

    ·      Replace the hard disk drive and memory at the same time.

    ·      Replace the motherboard.


    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.


    Reactivation Times


    Windows can be activated any number of times, but your re-activation experience will vary based on the way you acquired Windows.


    ·      If you acquired Windows Vista via retail purchase (boxed product), you may activate via the Internet the first five times. Subsequent activations are allowed but must be completed via telephone.


    ·      If you acquire Windows Vista pre-installed on a computer, re-installation would not require additional activation steps unless significant hardware changes were made.


    More Information


    For more information about the Windows Vista activation, please refer to:


    Windows Vista Activation FAQ:



    (KB326851) Activation and registration of a Microsoft product:



    Microsoft Activation Centers Worldwide Telephone Numbers




    Hope it helps!



    Lionel Chen

    Microsoft Online Community Support


    Thursday, November 22, 2007 10:52 AM