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Windows 7 key


iqs

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Hi, My toshbia laptop died last year ,which was running w7 Can I use this licence key with my retail version of w7 on another pc ? Thank you

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Forum Editor

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"It's a shame you can't reuse an oem key"

The whole point behind the original OEM was to enable computer suppliers to preinstall Windows on new machines - it was a very clever marketing strategy on the part of Microsoft, because it ensured that millions of new computer users were locked into the Windows family of operating systems, and - initially - Microsoft's web browser.

Some years ago I mounted a campaign here in the forum to get Microsoft to clearly define the situation as far as home users of OEM Windows installations were concerned. At the time it was a breach of the OEM agreement for a software supplier to sell an OEM version of Windows to individual consumers, but quite a few companies were doing so.

I had lengthy email exchanges with Microsoft's licensing people, both here and in America, and we finally got some clear information.

The company said that consumers may buy OEM versions of Windows, provided the software is installed on a brand new machine - one they have built themselves.

The software may only be used by the machine that it was first installed on. Once the computer 'dies' the OEM licence is no longer valid. You may not install the software on a second machine, even though it is no longer being used on the one for which it was purchased.

That information, although very clear, led to discussions about what the definition of 'computer' was for licencing purposes. What happens if the hard drive fails, and you have to buy a new one, for instance?

I went back to Microsoft, and after some delay this is the answer I got:-

As far as the OEM licence is concerned, it is 'tied' to the original motherboard. The software may be reinstalled on a new hard drive, provided the motherboard is unchanged. Once the motherboard changes the licence expires, and no further installations may take place.

Finally we had a clear understanding of the OEM licencing situation, and as far as I'm aware nothing has changed since - all of which means that you may not use an OEM licence key for installing any version of Windows on a second computer once the original machine (or motherboard) dies.

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