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Old 07-04-07, 08:43 PM   #1
Ambrose
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Default Vista Ultimate OEM Question

Ok, so I am getting a new computer and I am considering installing Vista Ultimate on it. I would like to get the OEM edition since it's significantly cheaper but I have a pretty important question.

Here it is: if I make a hardware change to my computer (like replacing the video card or adding memory) is there ANY chance that my license key will quit working and I will have to call Microsoft to get a new one?

I know you shouldn't believe everything you read, but this guy on Newegg says that he changed some hardware under Vista and his key ended up becoming invalid and he had to request a new one from Microsoft.

Now I did my reading and I know you may have to re-activate the OS if you change something major (like replace a motherboard) but I just want to confirm that the OEM version is just as stable with regard to activation and whatnot as the retail version?
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Old 07-05-07, 12:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

No, you will most likely have to re-install the o/s though.

I haven't been able to make any major change to my rig (other than swapping out a video card) w/o the whole setup acting up. I guess it's a security feature.

I haven't had to call and re-activate or anything and I have installed my copy probably about 4 times now.

I will probably make it 5 if I bite on that QX6600 deal @ fry's
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Old 07-05-07, 01:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

Once you activate it with the motherboard it will not transfer to another motherboard. I have changed cards, cpus, drives, etc. with no problem.
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Old 07-05-07, 01:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rytr
Once you activate it with the motherboard it will not transfer to another motherboard. I have changed cards, cpus, drives, etc. with no problem.
That's kinda poopy! So a major upgrade...u have buy another OEM version of Vista?
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Old 07-05-07, 01:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

Yep, that's what they told me. I asked if I could buy a key and they said no. Not at this time, not for an OEM.
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Old 07-05-07, 01:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

I've changed all my components. All you have to do is call them and tell them you are installing it on 1 hard drive and only 1 drive and they will give you the activation code.
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Old 07-05-07, 08:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

The WPA system checks ten categories of hardware:

* Display Adapter
* SCSI Adapter
* IDE Adapter (effectively the motherboard)
* Network Adapter (NIC) and its MAC Address
* RAM Amount Range (i.e., 0-64mb, 64-128mb, etc.)
* Processor Type
* Processor Serial Number
* Hard Drive Device
* Hard Drive Volume Serial Number (VSN)
* CD-ROM / CD-RW / DVD-ROM

WPA asks for ‘votes’ from each of these ten categories: ‘Is the same device still around, or has there never been one?’ Seven Yes votes means all is well — and a NIC, present originally and not changed, counts for three yes votes! Minor cards, like sound cards, don’t come into the mix at all. If you keep the motherboard, with the same amount of RAM and processor, and an always present cheap NIC (available for $10 or less), you can change everything else as much as you like.

http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.php
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Old 07-05-07, 09:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

There definitely is a limitation on what you can do. Like I said, I ran into it with the motherboard. I did do a lot of changing with the same OEM install though. I used three deferent e6600 processors, ram (PC8500 Mushkin, PC6400 Patriot, PC6400 G.Skill all 2GB), various HDD setups (Raid 0 w/ WD Raptors, WD250, WD350, 300GB Seagate), 4-5 DVDs, 3-4 PSUs, but the Asus P5N-E would not transfer to the MSI P6N or the Ultra motherboard. I had to install a new purchased Vista.
I quit running the P5N-E back in April.
Almost 3 months later I pulled the P5N-E off the shelf put in a new e6600, ram, HDDs, PSU, etc. and fired it up with the original Vista OS and it is running in my sig with no questions asked.
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Old 07-05-07, 12:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rytr
Once you activate it with the motherboard it will not transfer to another motherboard. I have changed cards, cpus, drives, etc. with no problem.
bull****

i went from 4400+/Asus A8N-SLI to e6600/680i on OEM vista, and it worked just fine. Installed called MS, spoke to someone that didn't speak English and bam i'm activated.
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Old 07-05-07, 02:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

Good for you, You were able to transfer an OEM copy. They told me no dice.
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Old 07-05-07, 02:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

wow, you are a mod? how come you are never around


I would call them again.
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Old 07-05-07, 04:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: Vista Ultimate OEM Question

I would just recommend to pay the extra amount to get the Retail Upgrade Version of Vista. You can almost treat it as the full version because there is a fairly easy workaround to get it to activate. The 64-bit version upgrade is basically a full installation disk as well because you cannot upgrade 32-bit windows to 64-bit so it allows a clean install and activates just fine. I'm not sure if you need XP already installed for it to allow this, so it is possible you will still have to go through the method below. Generally having XP installed first is a good idea anyway if you intend to dual boot (which is wise because there are compatibility issues).

With the 32-bit version, you need to install Vista without putting the key in (when you install without a key you must select the proper version of Vista to install, ie the one you bought. This treats it as a 30 day trial until you activate) and then "upgrade" to Vista when already booted in Vista. You can then put your key in, install, and activate. In essence you are installing it twice. And it takes over two times as long to do. But hey, you save like $100...

Last edited by JasonPC; 07-09-07 at 04:48 PM.
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