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Questions come up after reading the article about the new method Microsoft uses to License windows 8 computers. Let say I bought a Brand new laptop with windows 8 preloaded. Not like the old way, there is no OEM sticker in the back of the computer which can be used for reloading system.(new product key is stored in BIOS as mentioned in the article, the key can be pulled out by using a software anyway). Is it possible to install windows 8 on another computer with that particular key in case the computer is totally damaged?

Here is what i tried:

First, I extracted the key with a software name "windows 8 key viewer". using the windows 8 upgrade tool to determine what copy of windows 8 I should download for the installation. The tool did correctly recognized the key as a legitimate one. but it claims that key can not be installed with a retail media (Since it is an oem key). Does this mean the only way to do it is to use an OEM CD from the manufacturer? Will ISO from MSDN source do? or it is just not possible??

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

According to Microsoft, an Windows 8 Key provided from am OEM is not transferrable:

Q: My customer bought a new PC and wants to move the OEM software from the old PC to the new one. Can't users do whatever they want with their software?

A: No, the OEM software is licensed with the computer system on which it was originally installed and is tied to that original machine. OEM licenses are single-use licenses that cannot be installed on more than one computer system, even if the original machine is no longer in use. The End User Software License Terms, which the end user must accept before using the software, state that the license may not be shared, transferred to, or used concurrently on different computers


That's the legalese behind it. As far as technically, can you do it, Windows 8 OEM licenses seem to be tied to hardware hashes that include the motherboard:

manufacturers will be required to write a unique Windows product key -- which is associated with the hardware hash -- into the system's BIOS


So no, it would appear that even with the original OEM key and installation media, the key is bound to the hardware it is installed on.

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This is a big change compare to the old windows way. legally, I believe that one license is supposed to be used on one computer. technically, I still think there is a work around. – user180671 Dec 16 '12 at 22:02

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