If I change the motherboard and processor in my PC, do I have to transfer my Windows 7 licence?

Eric S August 6, 2013

My Windows 7 eMachines PC seems to be acting up and I want to change the motherboard and CPU. The CPU is an old 775LGA dual core. I found a quad core with a motherboard and 4GB of memory package.

Do I have to transfer the Windows 7 license? Thanks!

  1. Tsf O
    August 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    If you have an OEM version of Windows = Yes you need to purchase Windows 7. Changing the motherboard invalidates an OEM version as it tied to the motherboard it is first installed on.
    If you have a Full retail version of Windows = No, you can reinstall and activate by phone.

    reference: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/if-i-change-my-motherboard-processor-and-hard/f6f0b435-b5fe-4281-9ccf-577705f4150d?msgId=5c4d965f-7660-4cc1-898d-af69805c7d9c

  2. Paul P
    August 7, 2013 at 2:54 am

    As a side note I notice recently that Windows lets you change in the Control Panel Systems app, the key that your operating system is registered.

    So say you install Windows on one machine and then install with the same key on another. Then you remember "Oh no, now I have two operating systems with the same key!" if you another legitimate key, you can change it to that other one In the Systems app down at the bottom on the right by clicking on the link "Change product key."

  3. Matt Smith
    August 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Yes, you will probably have to transfer your license. What's likely to happen is you'll install Windows, enter your product key, and be flagged for counterfeit software. Since the version of Windows that shipped with your desktop is probably an OEM copy, it's only supposed to be installed on one PC.

    What you'll have to do is activate via phone. Fortunately this is painless in my experience, as Microsoft doesn't hassle you. They might just ask if you're upgrading, or they might not. Then they'll give you a code over the phone to input, and you're good to go.

  4. Hovsep A
    August 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    if you change your motherboard and cpu with another manufacturer you have o reinstall Windows, if you attempt to boot you will get error messages, so after reinstalling you have to reactivate the phone by adding the serial or via phone, depending your Windows license type you may succeed or you have to buy a new license.

  5. Oron Joffe
    August 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    When the PC's hardware changes "significantly", you need to reactivate Windows, and a change to the mobo is certainly significant (see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows7/activate-windows-7-on-this-computer for more details). However, your license should still be valid, so other than reactivation and loading new drivers you should have no problem doing this.

  6. Jan F
    August 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

    If the Windows activation is triggered you will simply be asked to re-activate it once you enter Windows. So this shouldn't be a problem.

    Before changing the motherboard take a look into the BIOS/UEFI (usually by pressing DEL during boot). Look for the SATA configuration whether it's in RAID, AHCI or Legacy/IDE mode. This should be set to the same on the new motherboard.

    Also make sure the hard drive is connected to a SATA port on the primary chipset (Intel ICH10 or whatever). Some boards have secondary SATA controllers which may not be detected by Windows automatically.

    So if your computer can't find a boot device make sure SATA mode is set correctly and try a different SATA port on the motherboard.

  7. Junil M
    August 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Windows is installed on the hard drive and the license is saved in it. so unless u do not replace the hard drive, you don't have to worry about transferring the license

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