Reinstalling OEM

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by obx, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. obx macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    I think that I know the answer, but want to double check. If I install an OEM version of Windows XP Home SP2 on my Macbook, can I reinstall it when I upgrade my hard drive on the same Macbook?

    I think that OEM software is only installable on one motherboard, but that you can change hard drives as needed. Is this correct.

    As always, thanks.
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I didn't do a reinstall, but did move the partition from one drive to another. No reactivation was required.
  3. Crash-n-Burn macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2007

    Yes, per Microsoft as long as you don't change the mobo you can use it on the same machine as many times as you want.
  4. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    It's a bit more complicated than that. IIRC. The hardware config code that is generated takes into account your 5 major subsystems, mobo, CPU, video card, HDD, RAM, and lets you make two changes without activation, any more and it'll scream for reactivation. Which usually just means a phone call to MS in which you will get a code, regardless of what you are doing complies with the letter of the EULA.

  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    A scenario I've been thinking about: If I were to install an oem copy of Windows on my MacBook, and then my MacBook was replaced by AppleCare, would Microsoft allow reactivation, or would I need to purchase another license?

    I'm trying to figure out if going to oem route is worth it.
  6. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    I don't have any experience with this, but I'm going to be using an OEM version under the assumption that Microsoft would be amenable to an explanation that the motherboard failed.
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I have reinstalled the same OEM version of Windows twice because of hard drive upgrades. I did not have any activation issues whatsoever.
  8. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    I've reinstalled the same version of Windows XP Professional several times (greater than 5) on the same Mac Pro because of drive changes, software upgrades that require scrapping a particular virtual machine, using XP via Boot Camp and Parallels, stuff like that.

    2nd or 3rd times weren't a problem, 4th time, the activation process required I call Microsoft's Activation Center. There, I spoke to a recording, read it my numbers. It asked me to "press three if you've had a significant hardware change as a reason for reactivation". I pressed three, the recording read me about a 26 digit number, which I entered in the activation screen and I was good to go. Fifth time, same thing. Sixth time (installing Leopard and new Boot Camp partition), I just clicked "activate" and it went through. Go figure.

    Talking to the Activation Center and getting XP activated takes about 6 minutes. No time on hold.
  9. Nordichund macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    I have just done this on my replacement iMac. It was not a problem re-installing XP in Bootcamp, just when I installed Parallels I had to give MS a call and I explained that I had already installed it in Bootcamp, but it needed an authorization code in Parallels. I did not mention that I had re-installed it on a different machine even though it was a replacement for a defective machine which was only a couple of weeks old, because I believe legally an OEM version is meant for just one machine.
  10. lil'homunculus macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2007
    vancouver, bc
  11. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    OEM is definately worth it. I've reinstalled over various motherboard upgrades in the same system. The system is not as strict as they say.

    To annoy you :D

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