License key issue with new motherboard

Joined
Aug 19, 2018
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I will be upgrading my motherboard on my computer. I have W10 Pro that I think is an OEM version, since it was installed by a computer builder company.
I think it is possible to do the upgrade without re-installing Windows, but it is time to clean the system, so, regardless, would like to re-install.
How do I do that without having to buy another Win10 license?
BTW, the M/B is a different brand, so will need to install all new drivers, etc.
 

jmilcher

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You don’t. Each time I’ve upgraded motherboards or did a fresh install with a new board I had to have a new key. If I was using an existing installation, I just updated the key in windows and activated it.
 

pendragon1

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I will be upgrading my motherboard on my computer. I have W10 Pro that I think is an OEM version, since it was installed by a computer builder company.
I think it is possible to do the upgrade without re-installing Windows, but it is time to clean the system, so, regardless, would like to re-install.
How do I do that without having to buy another Win10 license?
BTW, the M/B is a different brand, so will need to install all new drivers, etc.
oems arent transferable and if you cant get it to activate MS will tell you to pounds sand. had it happen a few months ago when i did a mobo replacement in a laptop. both MS and Acer said tough tits. i'd install the hardware, do a new install and feed it the key, see what happens.
if youre doing a fresh install, youll need to install fresh drivers anyways.
 

/dev/null

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If you go to microsoft.com, download media for win10 & install, it will ask for a key. I pick the "I don't have a key option" (on the one pc I use windows just for firmware updates) and it installs ok. There ARE restrictions at the OS level for certain things (eg: desktop customization) but it seems to work ok otherwise. Maybe that is an option for the OP?

Edit: I last did this quite some time ago, so not sure if this method still works.
 

Dan_D

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There is a lot of bullshit being regurgitated in this thread. It's also clear that most of you have never repaired OEM machines from companies like Dell or HP professionally or ever dealt with Microsoft technical support.

OEM keys from companies like Dell and HP aren't the same as OEM keys you get when you buy an OEM version of the OS at your local Microcenter when purchasing some piece of hardware. It is true that the license key is sort of tied to the motherboard, but not in the ways people seem to think. A Windows 10 installation from Dell or HP will activate on a new motherboard when that motherboard is properly replaced with another that's just like it. You don't have to do anything special to achieve this. When or if it doesn't work, Microsoft support can resolve this. Customers would absolutely revolt if their computers couldn't be repaired by the OEM without them buying a new OS license every time. Windows activations simply do not work that way with OEM machines from major OEMs like Dell, HP, and so on.

With an OEM key from typical sources, you can in fact get it to reactivate on a new motherboard even if it isn't from a typical OEM. I've done this on several occasions. Sometimes you have to contact Microsoft support and explain that your motherboard died and that's the reason for the activation issue. They'll help you resolve this too. I switched from an ASUS Rampage IV / X99 to a GIGABYTE X399 Designare and kept the same key. Again, I spoke to Microsoft support and explained my motherboard died, necessitating a new motherboard and CPU. I also did the same thing on another computer in my house when I switched out the old board and CPU for an ASUS X470-i Strix and a Ryzen 7 2700X.


If you go to microsoft.com, download media for win10 & install, it will ask for a key. I pick the "I don't have a key option" (on the one pc I use windows just for firmware updates) and it installs ok. There ARE restrictions at the OS level for certain things (eg: desktop customization) but it seems to work ok otherwise. Maybe that is an option for the OP?

Edit: I last did this quite some time ago, so not sure if this method still works.
This does work. I literally do this for every single motherboard system configuration I've tested for the last several years. For 30 days, you have few if any restrictions. Those don't come into play until later.
 

pendragon1

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OEM keys from companies like Dell and HP aren't the same as OEM keys you get when you buy an OEM version of the OS at your local Microcenter when purchasing some piece of hardware. It is true that the license key is sort of tied to the motherboard, but not in the ways people seem to think. A Windows 10 installation from Dell or HP will activate on a new motherboard when that motherboard is properly replaced with another that's just like it. You don't have to do anything special to achieve this. When or if it doesn't work, Microsoft support can resolve this. Customers would absolutely revolt if their computers couldn't be repaired by the OEM without them buying a new OS license every time. Windows activations simply do not work that way with OEM machines from major OEMs like Dell, HP, and so on.

With an OEM key from typical sources, you can in fact get it to reactivate on a new motherboard even if it isn't from a typical OEM. I've done this on several occasions. Sometimes you have to contact Microsoft support and explain that your motherboard died and that's the reason for the activation issue. They'll help you resolve this too. I switched from an ASUS Rampage IV / X99 to a GIGABYTE X399 Designare and kept the same key. Again, I spoke to Microsoft support and explained my motherboard died, necessitating a new motherboard and CPU. I also did the same thing on another computer in my house when I switched out the old board and CPU for an ASUS X470-i Strix and a Ryzen 7 2700X.
20+ years of dealing with oems and that doesnt always work. i picked up a board to replace in an acer laptop and the oem key was embedded in the mobo, no key on the unit. it would not activate, ms said talk to acer, acer said tough shit. now if you send a system in for repair under warranty, they would take care of that and youd never know. oem keys are not transferable, you can try and some times it will work but its not supposed to and you probably lucked out. also, the key sticker on oem systems is usually not the key in windows. so if you replace a board and then feed it the key from the case it will activate as a new license on the system. in the old days you could use an oem key over and over, not anymore.
 

B00nie

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There is a lot of bullshit being regurgitated in this thread. It's also clear that most of you have never repaired OEM machines from companies like Dell or HP professionally or ever dealt with Microsoft technical support.

OEM keys from companies like Dell and HP aren't the same as OEM keys you get when you buy an OEM version of the OS at your local Microcenter when purchasing some piece of hardware. It is true that the license key is sort of tied to the motherboard, but not in the ways people seem to think. A Windows 10 installation from Dell or HP will activate on a new motherboard when that motherboard is properly replaced with another that's just like it. You don't have to do anything special to achieve this. When or if it doesn't work, Microsoft support can resolve this. Customers would absolutely revolt if their computers couldn't be repaired by the OEM without them buying a new OS license every time. Windows activations simply do not work that way with OEM machines from major OEMs like Dell, HP, and so on.

With an OEM key from typical sources, you can in fact get it to reactivate on a new motherboard even if it isn't from a typical OEM. I've done this on several occasions. Sometimes you have to contact Microsoft support and explain that your motherboard died and that's the reason for the activation issue. They'll help you resolve this too. I switched from an ASUS Rampage IV / X99 to a GIGABYTE X399 Designare and kept the same key. Again, I spoke to Microsoft support and explained my motherboard died, necessitating a new motherboard and CPU. I also did the same thing on another computer in my house when I switched out the old board and CPU for an ASUS X470-i Strix and a Ryzen 7 2700X.




This does work. I literally do this for every single motherboard system configuration I've tested for the last several years. For 30 days, you have few if any restrictions. Those don't come into play until later.
Yes I have a Fujitsu-Siemens Win7 installation disc that activates on every computer lol.
 

Dan_D

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20+ years of dealing with oems and that doesnt always work. i picked up a board to replace in an acer laptop and the oem key was embedded in the mobo, no key on the unit. it would not activate, ms said talk to acer, acer said tough shit. now if you send a system in for repair under warranty, they would take care of that and youd never know. oem keys are not transferable, you can try and some times it will work but its not supposed to and you probably lucked out. also, the key sticker on oem systems is usually not the key in windows. so if you replace a board and then feed it the key from the case it will activate as a new license on the system. in the old days you could use an oem key over and over, not anymore.
I've been repairing PC's for over two decades myself and I've never had this problem. I've repaired more OEM machines than I could ever count. I've done motherboard replacements in laptops, desktops, servers, you name it. Again, your statement indicates a failure in logic. Customers would never put up with having to buy a new license for Windows 10 every time their systems need to be repaired under warranty. It just doesn't work that way. Cases like you mentioned probably do occur, but they are outliers.

Where you typically have issues is in cases where a system shipped with Windows 8.x and was upgraded to Windows 10 for free. Sometimes, Windows 10 will not activate with a replacement motherboard in those situations. But I've never seen a Windows 10 system not activate on a OEM replacement motherboard in these cases.
 

pendragon1

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I've been repairing PC's for over two decades myself and I've never had this problem. I've repaired more OEM machines than I could ever count. I've done motherboard replacements in laptops, desktops, servers, you name it. Again, your statement is a failure in logic. Customers would never put up with having to buy a new license for Windows 10 every time their systems need to be repaired under warranty. It just doesn't work that way. Cases like you mentioned probably do occur, but they are outliers.
i am being specific to w10 and apparently our real world experiences are opposite.
customers wouldnt need to buy a key every time its repaired. if its in warranty oem takes care of it. if its out, they buy a retail key and they can use that over and over.
 

Mazzspeed

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OEM licensing regarding manufacturer specific PC's supplied by vendor's such as DELL/HP/Intel NUC/etc work a little differently to 'shop built' PC's used outside corporate circles in my experience.

If you buy an OEM license outright, specifically for use on a shop built PC not made and packaged by a big name vendor (eg: HP/DELL/Intel), that license is tied exclusively to the motherboard and replacement of the motherboard will require the purchase of another OEM or retail license. There is a reason why OEM licenses are cheaper than retail licenses...
 
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pendragon1

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oems will take care of any licensing issues while under warranty. out of warranty, if you replace the mobo and it needs a new key, its on you. according to acer canada two months ago.
 

atarione

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it is annoying Microsoft is inconsistent with this kinda stuff... it has been awhile since I dealt with it.. but when I swapped motherboards I called them and told them i was replacing the motherboard due to HW failure.. they activated it..

this seems* (i guess?) what they say now:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530
 

Mazzspeed

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it is annoying Microsoft is inconsistent with this kinda stuff... it has been awhile since I dealt with it.. but when I swapped motherboards I called them and told them i was replacing the motherboard due to HW failure.. they activated it..

this seems* (i guess?) what they say now:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530
It's always been the case in relation to OEM licences, Microsoft have just been lax at enforcing the rule in the past. These days they seem to be right onto it.
 
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All that worry and it worked out on it's own. That is, I swapped the motherboard (same chipset, but different brand) and put all the pieces back in without upgrading anything else. I booted up and it worked just like it did before the swap. I did have to update a few drivers, but it was no problem. I connected the ethernet cable and left it connected to the internet for a few hours, then turned it off over night. I then booted up the next morning and used it for several hours (that is, plenty of time for MS to tell me my Win license had changed). I checked and all is good - genuine Windows license. That was a whole lot easier than I imagined.
 

B00nie

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All that worry and it worked out on it's own. That is, I swapped the motherboard (same chipset, but different brand) and put all the pieces back in without upgrading anything else. I booted up and it worked just like it did before the swap. I did have to update a few drivers, but it was no problem. I connected the ethernet cable and left it connected to the internet for a few hours, then turned it off over night. I then booted up the next morning and used it for several hours (that is, plenty of time for MS to tell me my Win license had changed). I checked and all is good - genuine Windows license. That was a whole lot easier than I imagined.
Sometimes it deactivates after a few days so give it some time...
 
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