Dumb question Windows 10 OEM versions

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Hugh, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Hugh macrumors 6502a

    Hugh

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    #1
    Okay I am kinda new when it comes to OEM versions, I have a dumb question about them. If I got a OEM version of Windows (by mistake, I didn't know I ordered an OEM version); Is it true that once it's installed it's stuck on that one machine no matter what. If the machine dies, I am SOL and would have to buy another Windows 10 install (may it be another OEM or Full Retail package). There is no re-installing the Windows on the same machine twice but with a different hard drive or memory. And of course there is NO way of transferring that license over to another computer.

    -Hugh
     
  2. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #2
    Yes if you abide by law.

    But if you have a license sticker I know many have moved to another machine.

    But moving key to another machine is not allowed under OEM rules.

    I know many who have done it though.
    There is a long thread somewhere here about OEM keys.

    Guy was selling OEM on ebay and there is a thread here, might be worth a read.
     
  3. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    Activation is no longer tied to the hard drive (I believe that this change applies to version 1607 and later).
     
  4. supermariofan25 macrumors regular

    supermariofan25

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #5
    Isn't OEM licence tethered to the Mother Board meaning that most parts of the machine can be replaced. I highly doubt that an OEM licence would have been tethered to the hard drive as that's the most likely piece of hardware to fail in a computer. Or is Microsoft really that greedy. "Oh, your hard drive seems to have died, well your licence is now invalid so you need to buy a new copy Windows"
     
  5. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    The activation considers various pieces of hardware, and there's a limit to how many you can change before it fails activation. Previously, while simply changing the hard drive alone didn't cause activation to fail, changing too many things could.

    With the current version of Windows 10, the hard drive is no longer considered when working out the activation status so you can change it as many times as you like without worrying about it failing activation. That's all that I was getting at :)
     
  6. supermariofan25 macrumors regular

    supermariofan25

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #7
    Oh, that makes more sense.
     
  7. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #8
    I had to take a class in Windows Licensing because it's very confusing. Here's what you need to know.

    Windows 10 OEM activates for a single computer.
    Windows 10 Retail activates for one computer at a time. When you use the product key on a new computer, you have to deactivate the old one, or call Microsoft on it.
    Windows 10 VLK is a key that is generated for up to x number of installs (pricing varies). Same rule above applies when you reach the max number of keys.

    The way Windows licenses a computer is by sending the motherboard information to Microsoft during activation. This binds the product key to the motherboard so you can replace any other component (not the motherboard) without having to re-activate. If you replace the motherboard, you'll need a license or call Microsoft and tell them why you replaced the motherboard. They are usually pretty good about it and as long as you aren't replacing the entire computer, you should be fine.

    To Microsoft, a computer is the motherboard as it is what all the peripherals connect to, if a motherboard dies within a short period of time, it's usually excusable by their licensing agreement, but you have to call them and tell them whats up.

    When you do a fresh install from a disk, as long as it is the same edition of Windows 10 as previously activated, your computer will automatically activate shortly after you sign in. This means you should be able to bootcamp Windows 10, remove it after a while, wait months, reinstall it, and it should activate without asking for a key, I have not tested this so it's just theory to me.

    Pro tip* if it isn't you can grab a generic license key for your version and it will configure windows then activate with the product key assigned to the motherboard for the edition it changed to.
     

Share This Page