post #11 of 11
OEM keys are tied to the first motherboard they are activated on.

Activating on another motherboard is not legal and cannot be discussed here.
Originally Posted by BFRD View Post

I am tired of reading so many posts suggesting that you may install an OEM copy of a Windows OS on multiple computers and still retain a proper license. Just because you call up and ask for a license key and you are given one does NOT make it OK. Not getting caught is not the same thing as being allowed. The operators that are manning those phone lines do not have the training (or inclination) to determine if you are installing on a new machine or not. The license is clear; OEM = one machine only.

OEM licenses are cheaper for a reason, and it has very little to do with not having a box. It is cheaper because eventually you will need a new machine and will then have to buy another copy of the OS. So next time someone suggests that installing an OEM OS on a new (read: not the original) computer is OK; will get a Piracy Infraction.

  • Minor hardware changes are permitted
  • A motherboard change is never minor
  • Hardware failure may not allow you to re-activate a license
  • This thread is about licensing not morality
  • MS will often allow you to re-activate even though they shouldn't, they have stated this will not protect you from prosecution
  • If you are upset about the licensing issues of OEM software complain to your system builder

Helpful links


Here is a nice article that restates some of these facts.


Originally Posted by rabidgnome229

This page explains what you can/can't do

The license states that it is good for 1 PC only. Microsoft has defined 'PC' as a mobo for the license (used to be an HDD IIRC) so your license lives and dies with the mobo


Originally Posted by noobdown

You can find a phone number here:

Regards Bitemarks