XP OEM Clarification
OEM Microsoft Windows (including XP Pro and XP Home) Licensing Changes You Need To Know About!
Link to Blog for the Microsoft Small Business Channel Community explaining the OEM licensing changes. No password is needed to access this blog.
The OEM licensing changes makes the below information obsolete as far as purchasing OEM software, but the information is still relevant pertaining to OEM versions obtained before the license change and OEM media supplied by system builders.
The link above is for registered OEM builders.
Another reply from The Microsoft OEM System Builder Licensing Team posted below from an inquiry initiated by myself says essentially the same.
Reply from The Microsoft OEM System Builder Licensing Team to a query I posted 9/11/04 and was answered 9/20/04
Thank you for your post, Michael. Generally, you may upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on your customer's computer and the customer may maintain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software, with the exception of an upgrade or replacement of the motherboard. Unless upgraded or replaced under warranty, if the motherboard is upgraded, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required. The original Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to another computer. Please visit https://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?PageID=552862for more information regarding used and refurbished computers. There is no difference between pre installed OEM operating system software and OEM operating system software acquired after the purchase of a PC. Regardless, the OEM operating system must remain with the device that retains the motherboard. To activate Windows XP over the telephone, you can simply call a toll-free number displayed on your screen. A customer service representative will ask for the installation ID number displayed on the same screen, enter that number into a secure database, and return a confirmation ID to you. Once you have typed the confirmation ID, the activation process is complete. We hope this information has been helpful. Please take a moment to review a comprehensive group of OEM Licensing Questions and Answers which are specific to you as a system builder at: https://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?pageid=514341. Thank you, The Microsoft OEM System Builder Licensing Team
>I would like to know the Microsoft policy on
>upgrading/replacement of mother boards on systems that
>were installed with OEM versions of XP. Can a computer
>with OEM XP replace or upgrade the mother board? Is there
>a difference if it is a direct replacement of a defective
>MB from a pre installed OEM or a OEM + non peripheral
>What is the activation policy when a phone call is
>Michael StevensYou will need to register with your passport to access the above links.
New OEM restrictions initially affecting the top 20 Direct multinational OEM's.
As of February 28th 2005, all COA keys affixed to the computer case will
have internet activation disabled. A mandatory phone call will be prompted
to receive an override key after answering a series of questions which manually
verify them as legitimate.
This does not affect unbranded OEM versions purchased with authorized hardware through legitimate vendors. Branded OEM versions [I.E. Dell, HP, Gateway, etc..] purchased from eBay and other similar vendors will be affected and may lose the ability to activate the questionable copies.
1. If prompted for a phone call activation after upgrading to a non OEM motherboard on an OEM system, a new activation code would likely be denied, but feedback from newsgroup posts seem to show the activation on a MB swap is routinely granted a new activation code. Please read notes #2 and #3 for further understanding of OEM activation.
2. If the motherboard is a factory replacement for a defective Motherboard, you can speed up the phone call activation process and avoid confusion by stating [if asked] you made upgrades in compliance with the OEM EULA. As stated above, I would considered the replacement of a defective OEM motherboard in compliance with the OEM EULA. Replacing a Motherboard with anything other than a direct replacement or upgraded Motherboard would fall into the category of a new system and a license for new operating system software is required.
Quoted from MS System Builders
"If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do NOT need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC. The replacement motherboard must be the same make/model or the same manufacturer’s replacement/equivalent."
A system builder it seems would determine what constitutes as a qualifying motherboard"
My take on the above MSB quote.
As I see it, the purchaser of a generic OEM XP version of XP becomes the system builder and can determine what hardware upgrade becomes a system that the OEM is the sole support by the OEM.
This pretty much leaves it open to the OEM system builder.
As the OEM system builder they can define what hardware was upgraded in compliance with the OEM EULA when prompted for activation.
This would also seem to satisfy Microsoft's requirement that the OEM assumes all support of the OS for the reduced price of the OEM license. I am sure that generic OEM versions are still priced higher than the big system builders pay for each OEM license.
Systems shipped with the big box (HP, Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Gates, etc. ) OEM versions would need to upgrade hardware supported by the vendor and would be limited by their licensing restrictions .
3. If changing to a new hard drive involves cloning the old hard drive to the new hard drive and the old drive is removed from service, I would make sure the image was a success before "FIRST" removing XP from the hard drive. After verifying the system move to the new hard drive is stable, you can safely format, delete, partition, etc the old drive. Make sure your backup image is safely stored on other external media.