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Windows 7: Help changing motherboards on 2 current Win Pro systems

22 Mar 2012   #11
Microsoft MVP


From Licensing FAQ

Q. Can a PC with an OEM Windows operating system have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?

A. Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer except the motherboard and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.

The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the End User Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by that End User Software License Terms. The End User Software License Terms is a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer and relates only to rights for that software as installed on that particular PC. The system builder is required to support the software on the original PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PCs with different components, Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define the original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the "heart and soul" of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created. The original system builder did not manufacture this new PC, and therefore cannot be expected to support it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2012   #12

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1

OK..things didn't go well...could not run sysprep because the system kept saying it wasn't the original install....or something like that.

The box was originally an HP unit...but when we went to Win 7 Pro 32bit I beleive I did a clean install and then reinstalled programs from scratch.

The system always had a C: drive and E: drive (system reserve)...I guess left over from the original HP set up

( can I increase the "System Reserve Partition" of 100 MB )

I am in the process of changing mother boards on two systems ( Help changing motherboards on 2 current Win Pro systems )

I could not get sysprep to run on either an error message saying:

"Sysprep cannot run on a computer that has been upgraded to a new version of Windows. You can only run Sysprep on a custom (clean) install version of Windows"

So I tried to just change MB's and hope for the best...

After starting up system with new MB...Windows will not start...the Windows logo appears and the little things start to circle...but then the PC reboots.

Have notice tho that the system is trying to boot to "E" above...and NOT the "C" drive ?

I can get to startup disk/command prompt...can I change the 'system' disk from "E" (causing boot failure) to "C" thru Command prompt...will that solve my problem and allow Windows (old same HDD but new motherboard) to boot

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2012   #13
Microsoft MVP


Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

It's a superior install anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2012   #14

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1

OK...a little confused....

This was an old HP media center PC....2 years ago we purchased the Win 7 Pto 32bit upgrade DVD

All original HP stuff and C: drive was wiped and replaced with new Win 7 isntall

Installed as a clean install and then reinstalled all programs that we wanted to keep...nothing left over from HP's origianl OS and Media Center PC setup

Why do i need the :
Write down the Product Key from COA sticker located on back or side of PC tower, bottom or under battery of notebook. Make sure you get the characters correct as this is a main cause of activation failure. You can input or Skip the key during install then afterwards activate at Control Panel>System which may require a quick robocall. The COA sticker looks like this:
I have the original upgrade DVD and a current iso DVD with SP1 included ?

The original install of Win 7 Pro 32bit went with out a hitch and my DVD upgrade product key was registered officially...why would I deal with the COA sticker then ?

Are you saying there is no way out now but to a clean install and re-install everything on the PC ??

There's nothing at all left over from the original HP Media Center PC we originally purchased !??

Only project here is/was to replace the motherboard and/or new case...all other hardware staying the same

Still have to do a "clean install" ??

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2012   #15

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

As I understand it, you have a retail Windows installation disc, with its own Product Key?

If that's correct, you don't need any other product key that may be found on the PC. You can do a clean install with that retail disc and its product key, bypassing anything connected to HP.

You don't need to have that "system reserved" partition at all.

Install with just 1 disc connected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2012   #16
Microsoft MVP


If Win7 won't start up on the new hardware then you'll have to clean reinstall unless you can SysPrep it on the old hardware, find a Paragon Adaptive Restore CD to run on it on the new hardware, or reimage the old OS using Acronis with Unversal Restore. That's all.

No you don't need the previous Windows Product Key which came with the HP if it isn't Win7. Just clean reinstall with the Product Key that came with the Upgrade disk, or if it will start on the new hardware change the Key at Control Panel>System to reactivate with the new hardware signature.

When you boot the installer to Clean Reinstall, it will see another OS on the HD to allow use of Upgrade verison key during install. If you have a new HD or wipe HD before install, leave the Product Key blank then after install do the quick registry workaround given here to activate Upgrade version on blank HD: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2012   #17

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1

Thanks again for all you efforts on this...since I have the same issue with my Win 7 Pro 64bit appears that SysPrep will not work on a Windows installation that was installed with the upgrade version of Windows.
"SysPrep cannot run on a computer that has been upgraded to a new version of Windows. You can only run SysPrep on a custom (clean) install of version of Windows"

Looks like I'm locked into reinstalling all programs on both the Win 7 Pro 64 bit and Win 7 Pro 32 bit systems because of the two new motheboards...

I "started a conversation" with the SysPrep author on the Tutorial page...but can not figure out how to get back to it. Didn't use a post to the tutorial..but I believe the link was "start a conversation" with the author ?

Have any idea on how I get back to that conversation in case he responds ?

Thanks again for all your time...TRinAZ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2012   #18
Microsoft MVP


You'll be notified when Kari replies if you clicked on his profile message.

It sounds to me like you're due for a superior clean reinstall if you've already in-place Upgraded from Vista. However one of the other options to remove all of the drivers and prepare HD to boot on new hardware might work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2012   #19

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1

Thanks all...had to reinstall all programs on the Win 7 32bit system...that's OK cause she had puts lots of junk in this box and a clean install was probably best...had to resort to option '3' in the tutorial...but system is up and running fine !!

My Win 7 Pro 64bit however fired right up after new MB...only issue at all was Microsoft Office would not activation wouldn't activation wouldn't work...but finally figured out how to get a live person and that went smootly...

You guys are great...not to mention amazingly patient with the uninitiated

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2012   #20
Microsoft MVP


Thanks for reporting back. You can mark thread Solved at top.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Help changing motherboards on 2 current Win Pro systems

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