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Windows 7: Swapping OEM licenses...Conflict?

27 Nov 2009   #1

7 Prof
 
 
Swapping OEM licenses...Conflict?

Right, so for some one I'm helping, the person bought: 1 Win 7 notebook with mediocre hardware. Since the notebook is a little weak, we decided to run XP on it, this frees up the Win 7 licence to be installed on something else. So I was wondering if this key can be used on a custom built home theater PC. I did install it on the home theater PC, and it had trouble with online activation, but I used phone activation method, and it activated without problem.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

EDIT: Straight from the Windows 7 Ultimate RETAIL EULA;

Quote:
2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.
a. One Copy per Computer. You may install one copy of the software on one computer. That computer is the “licensed computer.”
b. Licensed Computer. You may use the software on up to two processors on the licensed computer at one time. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, you may not use the software on any other computer.
c. Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time.
d. Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may install and use only one version at one time.
Straight from Windows 7 Ultimate OEM EULA

Quote:
2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.
a. One Copy per Computer. The software license is permanently assigned to the computer with which the software is distributed. That computer is the “licensed computer.”
b. Licensed Computer. You may use the software on up to two processors on the licensed computer at one time. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, you may not use the software on any other computer.
c. Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time on the licensed computer.
d. Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may use only one version at one time. If the manufacturer or installer provides you with more than one language version, you may use only one language version at one time.
http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal...s/default.aspx
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #3

7 Prof
 
 

So that sounds like a no go. But in practice, it still activated fine over the phone. I think I'll just stick with using the OEM key on the custom built machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ragzarok View Post
So that sounds like a no go. But in practice, it still activated fine over the phone. I think I'll just stick with using the OEM key on the custom built machine.
The OEM copy, once installed, is stuck on the original computer. A retail copy and be installed, removed, and installed on a different computer over and over again. Caveat below...

The text quoted by rsvr85 looks like it's from the retail EULA, but since it depends on the country in question, I'm not certain. The US OEM EULA states the software license is permanently assigned to the computer with which the software was distributed. Since OEM is for system builders, that means the computer that used the OEM key is the only computer that will ever be allowed to get that key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Did the Windows 7 come with the notebook? If so, as stated by others then it is locked to that notebook.

However, if it was a retail copy or Upgrade then it is migratable to the single machine of your choice. The robo call was to disable it on the notebook and migrate it to the PC.

The only other way a Windows 7 install should have activated on the Home THeater PC is if that computer also came with a Windows 7 license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #6

7 Prof
 
 

[QUOTE=

The only other way a Windows 7 install should have activated on the Home THeater PC is if that computer also came with a Windows 7 license.[/QUOTE]

Right, that's the thing of it. I essentially transferred the OEM key from a storebought machine to a custom built machine and it activated fine on the phone. From the EULA, it is not legal, but it DOES activate fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Sorry to be doubtful, but the manufacturer's OEM license key for the laptop would NEVER install on another machine.

The install disk could work to install only.

WHat you were doing during activation then was applying the OEM Windows 7 license on the PC mobo to your installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Greg, that's not entirely true. I've seen a Dell Vista OEM disc, with a Dell key from a laptop, install perfectly on a custom built PC with an Intel motherboard. On the Dell, a key is never asked for because the OEM disc finds the BIOS marker; that marker was missing from the custom built PC, so the install required a key, and the OEM key worked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #9

7 Prof
 
 

Well Greg, for installation, a retail Disc was used, and the OEM key activated the machine. I did not use any OEM disc from a manufacturer for installation.

Edit: Now that I think of it, the phone activation process was a little inaccurate, so to speak. Why? Because after bringing the laptop home and using it for a few days, I know for sure that its OEM key was activated, probably done automatically online when HP installed it. But after I wiped the laptop and used that OEM key to install on the HTPC, it admittedly couldn't activate online, the phone activation process asks if the key is installed on more than one machine, and then goes and verifies it, and gives me the number code to activate the key...again...on a different motherboard.

Now I'm sure that if instead of installing XP on the laptop, I went ahead and continued using Windows 7, then one of the two computers will have a problem down the road, but given that that isn't the case, I tend to think the HTPC will be fine. And I wouldn't think MS will be knocking my doors down to demand money for this "illegal" activity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2009   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

You used a retail installer? Are you sure it wasn't a retail key that activated it, as the question about how many computers during phone activation is normally only asked with retail?

It really isn't illegal if they activated it, more like a gift. Usually these OEM license sticker keys are tightly controlled by MS and the manufacturer, linked permanently to the hardware config and the S/N. They are NEVER supposed to migrate, although two people here today have said they did.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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