Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Keeping old OS while changing mobo and processor

  1. #1


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8 x64

    Keeping old OS while changing mobo and processor


    Hi guys,

    I am going to change my motherboard, processor and RAM. However, I will be using the same HDD. Is it necessary to re-install the OS after I have set up the rig? I am using the drivers that come with Windows 8, so driver compatibility ought not to be a problem.
    Thanks in advance!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Short answer--New Motherboard=New License Key if you have an OEM OS version. Sorry

    The reason is your license key is embedded in your BIOS, and the BIOS is embedded with the MOBO.

    If you paid for a license key separately then you can use the OS with the new MOBO but you should do a clean install because all the drivers will be wrong and it probably won't even boot.

    EDIT:
    You could try to put the drive as-is into the new machine, boot off the Win8 installation media, and do a repair install. This will search for drivers that match the current hardware
    Three notes:
    1) Clone the drive first so that, in case of damage, you still have your data.
    2) You will probably have to phone Microsoft to re-activate the copy of the OS. They've been decent about it with others.
    3) If it works, immediately go to the Microsoft Update site and see what updates are needed for the drivers that you just installed
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    If you paid for a license key separately then you can use the OS with the new MOBO but you should do a clean install because all the drivers will be wrong and it probably won't even boot.
    Windows 8 is very forgiving. You should not have to do a fresh install. If you boot from your old HD, Windows will start off with:
    "Getting Devices Ready..." but you have to re-activate Windows due to MB replacement.

    NOTE: Advantage is you don't have to re-install all third party applications.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Short answer--New Motherboard=New License Key if you have an OEM OS version.
    The reason is your license key is embedded in your BIOS, and the BIOS is embedded with the MOBO.
    That's not really the reason. The reason is because the terms of the EULA dictate the OEM license MUST stay with the "O"riginal "E"quipment, and we as the users, agreed to abide by those terms when we decided to keep using that license with the original equipment. And that makes it legally binding.

    And with home or custom built computers, the key is not embedded in the BIOS. That is only with factory built computers using UEFI BIOS with Windows pre-installed at the factory. But again, it is the terms of the EULA we agreed to abide by that how we can use the license. And the terms of the OEM licenses dictate they cannot, under ANY circumstance, be transferred to a new computer (or upgraded computer using a new motherboard).

    Windows 8 is very forgiving
    Yes, Windows 8 is forgiving, but just because you can run a Stop sign and not get caught, that does not make it legal. Same thing here. A new motherboard is considered a new computer and therefore requires a new license - regardless if W8 is forgiving or not.

    There are two notable exceptions. (1) If the motherboard is being replaced as part of a "repair" action, BUT it must be replaced with an identical board from the same maker, or a replacement recommended by the maker if the original model is no longer available. You cannot "upgrade" to a better board, even as part of a repair. And (2) if the original license it more expensive, full "boxed Retail" license, purchased separately.

    So bottom line, if the old license is an OEM/System builders license (and if factory installed, it surely is) then the right and legal thing to do is to buy a new license to go with this new "E"quipment - even though should you decide to violate the terms of the License Agreement you previously agreed to abide by, you will probably get away with it.

    Those are the facts - its in your EULAs and I'm just the messenger.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    @Itaregid
    Windows 8 is very forgiving Yes, Windows 8 is forgiving, but just because you can run a Stop sign and not get caught, that does not make it legal. Same thing here. A new motherboard is considered a new computer and therefore requires a new license - regardless if W8 is forgiving or not.
    1. Did you understand what I meant by: Windows 8 is very forgiving ? this got nothing to do with licensing. just Windows Installation so that you don't have to do a fresh install + Applications that you already installed
    2. If you replace your MB. Of course you need to re-activate Windows and No, it does not have to be the same make and model. The Licence is good for 1 MB, 1 PC. All you need to do is call MS and tell them you have a MB replacement then they'll re-activate your licence with the new MB. Let's take a scenerio: If I had a 5 year old MB and installed Windows and it is now broken and cannot find a replacement for it then I have to buy a different brand MB. Do I need to buy a new licence ? the answer is NO.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Yes, I understand. And you even quoted me where I said it is forgiving.

    No, it does not have to be the same make and model.
    With OEM licenses, yes it does! This is widely published the MS site, and in the EULAs.

    I say again, just because it will technically let you, that does not mean it is legal.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Transfer of OEM Licenses

    You are required to support the license on that original PC, but you cannot support a license that has been moved from a PC that you manufactured to one that you did not. This is one of the key reasons why an OEM System Builder License can’t be transferred. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    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

    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.

    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.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Itaregid View Post
    Transfer of OEM Licenses

    You are required to support the license on that original PC, but you cannot support a license that has been moved from a PC that you manufactured to one that you did not. This is one of the key reasons why an OEM System Builder License can’t be transferred. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    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

    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.

    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.
    Please read this post:
    windows oem reinstall
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    There's nothing said or anyone of authority in that post who said anything that changes the facts.

    We don't own the software. We own a license to use the software in accordance with the terms of the license agreement. Microsoft owns the software and as the owners, THEY set the terms of use. Not us! And I posted links to Microsoft official pages which clearly show those terms. And we, as consumers, agree to abide by those terms when we decide to keep using the software.

    If we don't want to agree to the terms, we have the option to use Linux. That's how the law works.

    I say again, just because you can run a Stop sign and not get caught, that does not make it legal. Same thing here.

    "OEM/System Builders" licenses are considerably less expensive to purchase than full "Retail" licenses for two main reasons. (1) The "system builder" (Dell, HP, yourself) assumes responsibility for Windows tech support for 1 year. And (2) the license is NOT transferable to a new computer!

    With a full "Retail" license you are legally able to install Windows on as many computers as you like, as long as it is installed only on one computer at any given time. OEM licenses are legally bound to the "O"riginal "E"quipment. Period.

    I am not saying I like how it is, I am just saying that is the way it is with OEM/System Builders licenses. And I showed where it says that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Keeping old OS while changing mobo and processor
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