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I would like to license a copy of Windows XP and Windows 7 for four to five PCs. Purchasing legal content is expensive, especially for those living in a poverty-stricken state; if an individual decides to spend such money, it is a real discouragement if one has to buy new license every time his motherboard needs to be changed. (Because of extreme hot weather, hardware components go bad frequently in my region.)

From what I understand, there are many ways shown on the Microsoft site for Volume Licensing, but I am interested in purchasing a lifetime license for each PC separately.

Suppose in the near future that the motherboard of the PC gets burnt! Will the existing license for that PC work with a replaced/new motherboard, or will I have to purchase a new license?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This will depend on your location and local resellers. However, a Retail copy of Windows 7 would likely be the best fit. The MS site has a number of resources to assist you in picking the right version for you. Win 7 Buying Questions The retail boxed product can be moved to new hardware but with any version, that may require a call to MS to activate again. It is a simple process and would happen with any version moved to new hardware.

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+1 I have never found it nesssiary to purchace a new 'single user licence" for any software, when I have had to replace an aspect of the hardware on the same Computer. It is understood that hardware is not perfect, the licence goes on the case :-) and it IS the same "computer". thus is the rules. Even if they might require a telephone call, if you have legal, legit, paid for, and registered licence on file for the computer, and are honest and not trying to screw people, the worst that can happen is getting herassed about it for to long on the phone. – Psycogeek Feb 3 '12 at 18:48

The Microsoft licensing system will accept a new mobo, although you will probably need to reactivate. This works even on OEM copies.

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Motherboard upgrades or replacements, for reasons other than a defect replacement with an identical series motherboard, require a new operating system license.

See here for more details.

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thanku for pointing it out with the link to OEM licensing. – Doopy Doo Feb 4 '12 at 7:48
This is a good point -- a motherboard is the only component you cannot replace in with the OEM license unless there is a defect. However, from the sounds of the OP's post they are not buying new computers, just Windows licenses. If this is the case, you cannot apply an OEM license to a computer if you are not an authorized system builder selling it with an original machine. – shufler Feb 10 '12 at 20:55

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