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Thread: Question about changing hardware and/or reformatting with Wi




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Kinda new to this XP thing so here goes:

    I figure that when I enter my serial number in a new install of XP Pro, it checks the type of hardware I am installing it on and creates that long-@ssed number I have to tell MS about based on what I have on my computer(correct me if I'm wrong please).

    So now let's say I want to change the CPU and/or Mobo but everything else is the same, so in order to avoid hassles my best bet would be to reformat and then reinstall WinXPPro.

    Now, since I have to call MS again, but now my number would be different, won't it raise a red flag at MS, and them denying me the confirmation number?

    Reason I'm asking is this:

    I have 4 computers... AMD 2400, 1900, 1400, and 1000. I'm upgrading all of them to XPPro, and so far I've bought 2 licenses for the 2400 and 1900 and installed(no problems). I want to put licenses on the other 2 computers, but I feel that in the near future I will be upgrading their hardware(but just not yet!).

    Basically, I don't want to be forced to buy another license when I upgrade the 1G computer to a 2800. That would suck. And I wouldn't want to upgrade the CPU and Mobo without a reformat(been through that before).

    So, what's the deal here?

    And thanks for the help!
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  2. #2
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    You don't need to worry. If you upgrade your machines, as long as you have a valid license for each machine (i.e. a separately purchased copy of Windows XP), you can usually get them activated without any major problems. Read thisProduct Activation FAQ for more info, it should answer all your questions.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2003
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    Yeah, that cleared it up pretty well, till I got to the part about the OEM version not applying. Too bad I bought OEM disks for the machines.

    Don't know what to think now, but thanks for responding!
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  4. #4
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    Well, I have ran into this many times in the past... I do Retail sales of PC's and I make my own line... you OEM versions are valid IF they are being installed on each PC you have... now, if each has a license, you are ok. I have several PC's where I have to reimage them and reinstall... that is why I bought the MSDN version of XP and 2000 where it does not require a license. I then give the license to the person who is buying the pc. I have a reimaged disk for each person if they need to reinstall or add hardware. So in your case, you could do what I did, or you can call Microsoft and tell them you have OEM versions and you shouldn't have any problems. Just tell them you bought the PC's.
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  5. #5
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    I did buy the PC's. I built them myself. But I know what you mean by that.

    Well, when I buy the OEM license, I have to buy a piece of hardware also, and I think I read in that link above that the OEM license is tied to that piece of hardware, so legally it has to be hardware that will be part of that computer(I know it's really lame, but that is my interpretation of the legaleze).

    Anyway, I grabbed another OEM license, and picked up a CD-Rom drive too, so I'm going to try and keep it in the computer, regardless of any changes I make to it later. Since the CD-Rom drive is one of the things the verification checks for, at least I can always prove that the hardware I purchased along with the license has always been present.

    If MS wants me to jump through hoops, I guess I have to play their lame game. And it sure feels pretty lame indeed.
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  6. #6
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    In that case, tell the person you call at Microsoft to put in your file that you are a hardware tester... tell them you will be testing different hardware on that pc... but you will always use the same type of harddrive unless it is formatted. They honestly can't say anything... You bought the software, you have a legal right to install it on one PC... they didn't say in the license that you have to install it on one pc with this hardware and you can't change that at any time... therefore you have no issues...
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    Plexwrite 48X burner
    backup 120 gig ATA/133
    looking for the best graphics card
    Custom designed tower

  7. #7
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    Thanks Firewalker. Appreciate the responses.
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