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Old July 12, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Default Changing mobo, do I have to re-install Windows?

My nefew wants to up-grade his computer by changing the motherboard + CPU. He have an e-machine T6420, 2.2 GHz x64 3400+ and want to up-grade to Abit NF-M2S NVIDIA Socket AM2 MicroATX Motherboard and an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ 2.80GHz Socket AM2 OEM Processor. Will he have to re-install Windows from scracth?

Thank you for your advise...
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Old July 12, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Well when I upgraded the old DELL I had from a generic intel mobo + 1.7 Williamette P4 to a DFI LanParty UT NF3 250GB S754 + A64 3300+; I didn't really have to reinstall windows, all I had to do was to pop the Windows cd in to do a "repair this windows partition". After that you just have to re-register windows with the cd-key he had with his eMachines (there should be a sticker on the case somewhere...), but if it doesn't work just call Microsoft and tell them you're upgrading a computer and it doesn't work, and they'll just give you a new one.
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Old July 12, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by francois methot View Post
My nefew wants to up-grade his computer by changing the motherboard + CPU. He have an e-machine T6420, 2.2 GHz x64 3400+ and want to up-grade to Abit NF-M2S NVIDIA Socket AM2 MicroATX Motherboard and an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ 2.80GHz Socket AM2 OEM Processor. Will he have to re-install Windows from scracth?

Thank you for your advise...
Generally windows is dumb when it comes to detecting new hardware and making you reactivate. I've swapped from an NF4 board to another NF4 board with no issue, and even an NF4 to an NF5. The trouble comes when you are changing from, say, a Via chipset to an Nvidia one, however even then, I've gotten away with x3200 to NF4 with no problem. I think i was lucky though.

One thing you have to consider, however, is that if he is using thE OEM license for his computer, then it is against the EULA for him to change motherboards, and therefore illegal. This is not so if you have a retail license of windows.
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Old July 12, 2007, 09:01 AM
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One thing you have to consider, however, is that if he is using thE OEM license for his computer, then it is against the EULA for him to change motherboards, and therefore illegal. This is not so if you have a retail license of windows.

When I upgraded my old DELL (as stated above) the license key I had with my DELL didn't work when I was trying to re-register windows, so I called Microsoft and just said I was upgrading an old computer, I even said it was a DELL, and they just said (with an Indian accent mind you) "That's fine, here's your new product key."
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Old July 12, 2007, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Moneyless View Post
When I upgraded my old DELL (as stated above) the license key I had with my DELL didn't work when I was trying to re-register windows, so I called Microsoft and just said I was upgrading an old computer, I even said it was a DELL, and they just said (with an Indian accent mind you) "That's fine, here's your new product key."
Then this guy was mistaken. With Windows XP and Vista, an OEM license is bound to the hardware it is sold with. If oyu change the hardware because you are upgrading, you need a new license. The only reason it would be legal, and that they approve of (according to their EULA) is when the mobo dies and you need a new one.
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Old July 12, 2007, 09:17 AM
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You are right, but I have activated OEM copies on new builds just as often as retail.
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Old July 12, 2007, 09:22 AM
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You are right, but I have activated OEM copies on new builds just as often as retail.
Oh I never said it wasn't possible. As I said windows is terrible at detecting changes like that, and even ASKING to reactivate. I am just saying, its illegal.
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Old July 12, 2007, 09:44 AM
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I believe it also depends on the OEM version you are using.

OEM versions of windows shipped with pre-builts are definately tied to the hardware, and good luck getting them re-activated with different hardware.

I'm only going on what I remember reading a while back (I'm certainly not going to try to go through and interpet the EULA... :) ), but I believe the EULA is a lot looser when it comes to upgrades for copies purchased with hardware components. A new chipset will trigger a re-activation, but my understanding is that microsoft is only concerned with the OS only being installed on one computer at a time. (The argument probably goes that it is essentially the same computer even with a motherboard upgrade).

That said.... I've never had an issue getting XP re-activated when I've upgraded (I've done that a hell of a lot!! :) ), and I've always said that it was a hardware upgrade rather than needing to convince them that it was due to a hardware failure.
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Old July 12, 2007, 10:22 AM
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I generally do a Windows XP repair when I upgrade the motherboard, if it fails to boot up.

Activating an E-machines specific XP install if you're not using a motherboard that has an e-machine bios could be tricky. They might not even let you do it at all, so you might need to purchase another copy of XP. What I generally do if it fails to activate is call in, tell MS that the motherboard died and I got it fixed at the store, and they'll reactivate it on the spot.
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Old July 12, 2007, 02:10 PM
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Im still using an XP key I got with an old p4 HP pavilion years ago and not 1 piece of hardware is the same. The way I look at it is I own the OS and can do with it what I want!

To answer the question, it may work to change hardware and not reinstall, but you will probably have some issues so its a good idea to reinstall esp when changing MB
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