Cant reactivate windows after changing Mobo?

shen.matt92

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Aug 4, 2018
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I purchased USB version of Windows at my local computer store back in June of this year and it was my first build. So long story short I screwed up a bunch, learned a lot over the past few months and changed motherboards 2 times already since the first one.

My first board was an open box ASUS Prime Z370-A. My second board was the same board, but brand new, not open box. My third board which I got a few days ago is an ASRock Z370 PRO4.

So like I said I had a ton of problems learning how to correctly build the PC and install Windows, so over the course of the past 3 months Ive installed Windows about 10-15 times.

With the first two MBs, no issues with activation. All of a sudden when I get the ASRock board, I cant activate anymore and Microsoft is telling me to go buy another copy of Windows. I feel like they just legally stole from me.


I called support and the lady told me I have to buy another copy. Whats weird is, why wasn't this happening on the second ASUS Prime board? Even though its the same make and model as the first MB, its still a different board with a different serial number. In theory then, every person with an ASUS Prime board can have the same copy of Windows without activation issues which obviously makes no sense.

Windows even gives me the option to select "I recently made a major hardware change" yet it doesn't allow me to activate despite saying this.

I can go buy another copy of W10, but what about the future? So every time I mess up and corrupt the BIOS or bend the pins on my MOBO or mess up something up and don't know how to fix it to the point where I have toi buy a new MB I gotta buy a new copy of Windows EVERY single time?


This is seriously frustrating because its 2018 and I feel like they still don't have their act together...like why cant I just log in on my Microsoft account on their website and just like switch the computers Windows is activated on or disable the first one?

I heard buying a physical copy of Windows from a store causes this issue. If you buy it from Microsofts website via download, you eliminate this. Is this true? If I buy W10 from their website can I freely install it from one MB to the next without issue?

Sorry I sound PO like hell but super frustrated here because for months all Ive been doing is troubleshooting and Im so distracted by that I cant focus on what matters, using my PC, mostly for gaming.


 

LinuxDevice

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May 20, 2017
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The license is tied to the CPU. The only way to update the mobo without a new license is if the original CPU is still there. That's the way MS works. They will allow reactivation if the CPU did not change. This is the way it works for most versions of Windows.
 

Phillip Corcoran

Titan
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The licence is tied to the motherboard mate - - not the CPU. It's changing the motherboard too many times which has caused the activation refusal. There's a limit on how many board changes you can have - - board brand has nothing to do with it.
 

shen.matt92

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Aug 4, 2018
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Its the same CPU 8700K
 
License is tied to the motherboard as mentioned above. Not the CPU. Is your copy of W10 retail or an OEM copy? The retail should be able to be transferred as many times as you like. It's just only allowed to have one system configuration running at a time. In other words, once license is transferred, it can't go back. I'm surprised the automated activation isn't working for Microsoft 800 number.
 

shen.matt92

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Aug 4, 2018
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damn I just talked to a different person and they solved it. other tech didn't know what they were doing and told me to buy another copy
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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As often happens. The frontline help desk people are often clueless.
 

LinuxDevice

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I am going by the content of the registered refurbisher program and the test which must be passed to be in the program (I have helped with the certification process for a retail shop). Perhaps an OEM edition is different, but no retailer is allowed to pass a license on if the CPU changes. On the other hand, changing a motherboard is allowed if and only if the socket type is the same. Meaning a motherboard can be replaced to repair, but not as a CPU upgrade path. Granted, one would have to talk to Microsoft to get the license reactivated, but I know for a fact they allow motherboard replacement when CPU remains constant (I have done this several times).

The requirements of the registered refurbisher test material regarding motherboard are sometimes subtle. However, I know that within this test (which goes into detail about reusing licenses) there is no chance (with this context) that a new CPU socket upgrade would ever be accepted. I know from actual experience that a changed motherboard, after requiring new activation, will be accepted for activation.

I would be very interested to hear about people who have called Microsoft to get a license reactivated using an upgraded CPU. I am not trying to be harsh, but I know what the written material says for retailers who must study this to be allowed to resell refurbished PCs or to repair an existing PC.
 

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