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My claws fix anything
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So, you want to OC, but you have an OEM (prebuilt... aka, Dell, HP, etc) and have decided that you want to get a new mobo and get started. Before you jump into this, make sure you know these things.

Almost 99% of the time that you get a new mobo, you will need to reinstall your OS. This is because the new mobo will use different chipset drivers. Sometimes you can get lucky if your current mobo is the same chipset as the new one (or close enough) but that rarely happens. So get ready for a completely new install and everything that is involved with that, and be pleasantly surprised if it does work out.

This leads us to the next thing that you MUST know before you do this. If you have an OEM copy of Windows Vista (aka, you don't have the disk, and it came pre-installed on your computer) then when you install the new mobo, you likely will not be able to use the same product key again. This is because the Product Key is registered in conjunction with the BIOS. Microsoft has determined that a new mobo = new computer, so you'll have to get a new Product Key, otherwise you might not be able to install your OS again. OEM copies of windows come with a one time use license key

This is confirmed with Vista, most likely with Win 7, through apparently XP and earlier are not effected by this.

Don't let this scare you away if this is what you really want to do, as neither of those things are hard to do. Its just a nasty surprise when you can't use your product key, and now that means you need to spend another $100 on an OS that you already had.

On the other hand, once you have transplanted your first CPU into your new mobo... you'll be well onto your way to being a full system builder, and will probably never buy a pre built again. You'll be able to build better performing computers for less money, and will have learned a valuable skill.

I have just seen this happen a few to many times, and wanted to make this information more readily accessible to those that need it. Hopefully this helps someone out.

Note: This was written to be part of the Phenom II Overclocking guide
 

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My claws fix anything
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Discussion Starter #3
Are you referring to using the recovery console? I have never actually tried that, because I simply like having a nice fresh install of windows to work with.

Also, I was under the impression that there were drivers that windows loads upon installation, and those were the ones that were more difficult to change, not the ones that you install after the fact for your mobo.

If you have any more information on this topic, or know a way to keep your same OS that would be easy for new members to follow, go ahead and post it, that would be great.

Thanks!
 

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I would also like to add one quick thing. A lot of the cases which OEM manufactures ship are very small internally and that makes upgrading harder. My previous computer was from Fujitsu-Siemens and you can't even fit a moderately sized motherboard into the case that the computer was built into.

However, this is not true for EVERY OEM manufacturer, just for some. So, if you are one of those users who has a small case, like I did, make sure that you measure how big of a motherboard your case actually fits!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tizmo View Post
I would also like to add one quick thing. A lot of the cases which OEM manufactures ship are very small internally and that makes upgrading harder. My previous computer was from Fujitsu-Siemens and you can't even fit a moderately sized motherboard into the case that the computer was built into.

However, this is not true for EVERY OEM manufacturer, just for some. So, if you are one of those users who has a small case, like I did, make sure that you measure how big of a motherboard your case actually fits!
i agree i had an old old old emachine and it was barely big enough for another hard drive. If you are thinking of getting a new mobo spend another 50 bucks and get a semi decent case.
 

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my friend did this with his dell e521. this is what he ended up replacing:
mobo
case
OS (he also wanted to go from x32 to x64, he might have been able to somehow reuse his disc though, he didnt try, he wanted to use 4gb of ram).
I think most cases should fit a microatx board fine but with the e521 its BTX (backwards) so he had to replace the case too.
 

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I've heard it's a matter if calling MS and getting an activation for a faulty motherboard. You ask me? Onboard video or LAN controller - and that's worthy of junking - ESPECIALLY the lan. yes, you could buy a card - but I bought it onboard for a reason.

In theory, anything goes - and it's fair game. With XP I think it's like 5 or 6 potential activations...so don't waste them. this is not piracy or subverting the license - this is absolutely in the realm of fair use. An OS is an inherent cost that you're considering and applying your money towards purchasing an OEM machine. So upgrades are a natural progression - as are the activations you are entitled to.

My original rig back in 05 started at Cyberpower with their OEM copy of xp x64, and I got an activation with my new motherboard. Keeping that install for HTPC and moving it all downstairs...but it's left it's exoshell of a case...like these Dells, eMachines etc.

Comes down to what the true definition of what you consider a computer is. Logan's on point that MS is currently interpretting motherboards as "a computer". That's the only person it matters to in this discussion - it's MS's software and they make the rules. At least from my experience as of last fall (08) when I put the new motherboard in.

So be thrifty with your activations. It is a 1 time install technically on a machine..but again you revert back to the question of what is a computer...CPU, motherboard - would anyone really argue the case(I mean the literal case here - not the funny pun, no pun intended)?? You buy one and you inevitably need to get other pieces...and off we go onto OCN...These people bought these OEM system - and admit OCN'ers...that's the majority of the populations here in the states at least.

A certain brand beginning in D machines fail faster than a ..well anyways - I can see these OEM's constantly getting new motherboards (like their lovely hdd's - I've seen more fail personally than I ever imagine any brand failing)..But should they buy everything new and need to pay for a new OS? Not necessarily - toss a new motherboard in, and for the majority of folks - that would do it for them. (laptop owners and their hdd's are a second biggie - who are never subject to this activation)

The motherboard really is the essence of the systems, on both Intel and AMD sides of things..chipsets..sockets..so activations based on motherboards seems very fair to me.

I have triple boot, XP x64, Vista x64 and Ubuntu x64 (edit - not true - I actually have pentabootastic ability. I have my microSD keychain with an instance of Ubuntu (live). I also have another instance on my external drive of Ubuntu in case of emergencies - but that probably wouldn't boot if I plugged it into any machine besides my own - we'll see at new motherboard upgrade). 5 OS's? No macs allowed!

I bought retail Vista last year to avoid all this, and intend on doing the same with 7. I figure I can always have one instance of whatever OS and not have to ever worry about this activation nonsense.

And my poor xp is forever exiled to the 780G chipset on my Asus mobo...it will be arcane and un-needed by the time the motherboard fails hopefully and would need it's 3rd activation. (
I miss my old ME
- and I still technically have an image of what it looked like...but it would never boot on today's machine I think..,that's what I mean XP will be irrelevant when it comes to fore.)

Other thing to consider all you heed MS's - "upgrade" process. This is kind of like an activation. In most cases - you will need a new OEM copy or will need a retail copy. It IS eligible for OEM to OEM on that same motherboard I believe though (and hdd). So if you go Vista to 7 - you lose the right to that instance of your Vista. And I think that's considered an activation (need new info here)...so here we go back the the motherboard equation. (definitely need more info here - MS's and ALL the retailers sites are useless on details).

Alternate is that OEM Vista to 7 I think that's the last upgrade - or XP to Vista I think. I'm pretty sure you can't jump straight from XP to 7 OEM to OEM.

Point is, don't scrap your old Dell of eMachine and expect your old recovery disk entitles you to a new copy of Windows. If you can reuse the case and motherboard - do so.

If you're subject to motherboard change - follow the above.

And remember what an instance is, versus a computer, versus what MS considers a "computer" is...what are you trying to do? Fix or buy, build a second computer, - it's simple folks..hope that helps.

Great guides Logan, I came across this from your AMD general area... +1

Oh yeah... and the above basically is how I came to why I want retail 7 if you're wondering. If you go OEM (obviously it's cheaper)....READ THE FINE PRINT FOR ACTIVATIONS ALLOWED - etc...I don't want to worry about it 5 years from now when I'm 3 plus motherboards deep (in theory). Retail is much more expensive, but I work in software too..it's worth it to me - it is the OS after all. Love Ubuntu as well so no calling me a fan....just don't ask me about Mac.
 
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