[ubuntu-uk] Dad's Computer - for want of a better subject

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Wed Jun 22 17:07:27 UTC 2011

On 22/06/2011 09:14, Sean Miller wrote:
> On 22 June 2011 08:59, Avi Greenbury <lists at avi.co 
> <mailto:lists at avi.co>> wrote:
>     Jon Reynolds wrote:
>         1. Why on Earth did they choose to put Vista on there??
>     Perhaps because a new board supposedly means a new install of
>     Windows and you're not supposed to be using XP licenses any more.
>     Perhaps they're also tired of supporting an OS that's way past
>     end-of-life.
> You sure about that?
> I always believed that even an OEM licence was tied to "the machine", 
> but if you had to replace a motherboard you could still re-install 
> legally.   The "automatic activation" facilities in XP might tell you 
> too many aspects of the machine has changed, but a call to Microsoft 
> can resolve that.
This is a blog post about what Microsoft class as the machine nowadays...

"4.1 We grant you a nonexclusive right to distribute an individual 
software license only with a fully assembled computer system. A "fully 
assembled computer system" means a computer system consisting of at 
least a central processing unit, a motherboard, a hard drive, a power 
supply, and a case."

You will notice the loophole that people have been exploiting (the 
former language which stated that an OEM desktop Operating System 
license could be sold with "non-peripheral hardware,") is no longer in 
place. It is now very simple and straightforward: an OEM license must be 
sold "only with a fully assembled computer system." Loophole closed.


Seems pretty strict, last I heard it was tied to the motherboard and case.

> Anyway, I wouldn't be inclined to re-install because I changed a 
> motherboard anyway.  I may have to install new graphics/sound drivers 
> etc. after changing the mobo (if they were using onboard) but I don't 
> see why a re-install would be necessary.

In the olden days Windows could be more fussy about hardware changes, 
such as changing from one motherboard to another.  I guess this still 
can be the case if you're using the built in Windows disk drivers.  I 
found that for instance going from a Pentium 4 to a Pentium 2 didn't 
work.  A place I used to work at used to do images of Windows for 
deployment, they found that creating the images on newer hardware 
wouldn't work on older hardware, in the end we had to use the oldest 
hardware we had such as a P2 and install what we wanted, and then run 
Sysprep with the hardware drivers available for newer disk controller, 
otherwise the machines wouldn't boot.

I gather in Vista and Windows 7 things have improved greatly and if the 
machine can't boot you have the option of loading a gui recovery mode 
and adding drivers that way.


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