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Associate

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Africa
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Hardware ID Change

09/19/2010 2:59 PM

Hi there

After changing the Motherboard on a laptop and installing a larger HDD, a few new ( re) installations fail, saying: " you are not licensed to use this software on this computer".

It appears, that the program license must somehow match up with the serial number of the chip, the HDD, or both.

Is there a way to change values ( in the BIOS ? ) to the original (serial?)-number to avoid having to buy new software?

Would the Serial # stored in the BIOS be the same as the computers serial number on the label underneath? If not, how can I read it out from the BIOS?

I did make a HD Image using acronis, but loading this does not solve the problem.

Any help for a non-specialist?

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Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Allen, TX
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#1

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/19/2010 8:13 PM

Have you tried contacting the original vendors and getting their help in reregistering the software?

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Sep 2010
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#2

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/19/2010 11:43 PM

With the advent of Windows XP, the OS is tied to a hardware signature (derived from motherboard/hdd/mac address combinations) based on a unique product key. If you can PROVE it is on the same machine, you can call Microsoft for a release code. However, with that much hardware being changed, I doubt it will happen.

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Commentator

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pune, India
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 12:15 AM

I believe Microsoft has changed its policy recently. If the motherboard was changed because it was blown they will allow you to use the old license. However, if you have changed the motherboard because you wanted to upgrade it they will teat it as a new system and will not allow reuse of the old license.

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Power-User

Join Date: May 2007
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#4

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 12:48 AM

Microsoft for our purposes here sells its software in two versions. OEM and retail. Oem is tied to a specific machine and hardware signature. Basically you can change anything in the machine but the motherboard without having to purchase a new OS. You can get around this if the motherboard is under warranty and typically the same model. This requires talking to a live body. Upgrades to a different motherboard usually won't fly. Not all Micresoft reps are as hard nosed as some others so make a phone call on their dime and see what happens.

Retail versions purchased at a much higher price than OEM's are able to be transferrred from one machine to the other but cannot be used on two or more macines at the same time.

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Associate

Join Date: Nov 2006
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#5

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 2:50 AM

Thanks

Spoke to MS - It is My Software, which was originally purchased with the computer, so how can they make it so difficult to continue using it on my computer?

Nowhere in the EULA does it say that the software becomes invalid if your computer is repaired.

Anyway, in order for this to be sorted out, I need to read out the current serial numbers of HDD and motherboard to them. The HDD serial I found on a label, but there's nothing on the board as far as I can see. Can I read the Number using DOS?

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#6

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 3:39 AM

All the motherboards have a serial number on them. You may have to send an e-mail to the manufacturer and ask them where it is.

Here is what Microsoft has to say:

"An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a "new personal computer" to which Microsoft® OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required."

The reason Microsoft gave for this term is that "Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define that original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the "heart and soul" of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created."

I personally think they're a bunch of jerks and believe you bought the license but they claim it is only a right to use the software and that you don't own it.

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Associate

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 7:48 AM

As far as I am concerned, I own a legal computer and paid for the software when I bought it. ( Dear customer, you had your clutch replaced, now please pay for a new drivers license..)

Is there a way for

  • me,
  • a computer shop, or
  • the distributor of the motherboard

to change the serial number of the replacement mobo to the original one?

Would still be legal - I own the computer and I own the right to use the OS on this computer.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 9:55 AM

If the new and old motherboards are identical AND the BIOS chip(s) are removable you may be able to put the old chips(s) in the new board and fool MS. I do not believe this invalidates the license as you are not 'upgrading' the motherboard.

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 10:53 AM

Hangwaiter,

I had to do something like what you are trying to do on an older IBM Thinkpad laptop. I was able to find a utility via Internet, that allowed me to change the electronic Motherboard Serial Number. Try a couple of different searches via Google, to see if you might find a similar program for your laptop. If you want some help searching, post the manufacturer/model of your laptop.

I like your comparison of the clutch and drivers license! I have gotten very aggravated with Microsoft when having to deal with their "validation" issues!

Tom D.

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#10

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 1:27 PM

Microsoft and their licensing is one of life's most frustrating experiences. Until my retirement, I owned a small computer company which was a so called Microsoft Partner(for $299 per year). We built several hundred computers per year so we occasionally had one with a bad motherboard and we ran into the same problems as you are having and we had the same thoughts about ownership. Even though we were one of Microsoft's partners we were treated the same as everyone else; like a bag of dirt. It took a firm attitude and perseverance to sometimes convince someone in some far off country that the we were changing the MB under warranty and that it wasn't the same type of MB (we did this if we lost confidence in that particular MB or the manufacturer discontinued it as they were prone to do every few months)

If your old MB was still under warranty and had problems and you couldn't get an exact replacement, you might push that at them. To me, a MB that didn't perform as to the customers expectations was a warranty issue and we did fight the battles over that. I don't remembering ever losing a fight with them but I do know that at times it would have been cheaper because of the wages I was paying to just take a lose and put in a new OS.

I do wish you well as I know how frustrating it is.

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#11

Re: Hardware ID Change

09/20/2010 2:39 PM

I must say that I've run into similar issues with microsoft in the past and they've usually been fairly liberal about issuing new product keys for this sort of problem. My advice would be to give the licensing group a call and explain the situation and you might just find that they'll work with you on it.

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