General Question

GeorgeGee's avatar

If I change the motherboard on my computer, can I still use the same copy of Windows XP?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4920points) July 22nd, 2010

If so, how about if I change both the motherboard and the processor?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

wgallios's avatar

not if it’s an OEM License.

If its a retail license yes.

jaytkay's avatar

How to install a new motherboard without reinstalling Windows
http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/09/how-to-install-a-new-motherboard-without-reinstalling-windows.ars

How to replace the motherboard on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824125

MaryW's avatar

Yes, but I had help from Dell and my son, AND I backed up absolutely everything onto my Seagate independant drive. I have loads of power now and it was well worth it. I love XP

ETpro's avatar

Sure. Back up everything first. If you are on a network, dump the HD to a Network Drive.

I was able to swap out MBs with XP and not reformat the drive or reinstall any applications. It was a huge project though, because the registry has to pick up all the new hardware settings. I still had MS support, and they helped me through it. Withiut their expert help, it would have been tough.

But give some through to switching to Windows 7. If you’re going through the hassle of switching MBs you might as well tackle cleaning up the old registry entries and reinstalling your applications under the new OS now. With XP SP2 support now dead, the clock on all XP support is ticking.

the100thmonkey's avatar

In my experience, it’s not a great idea.

It’s feasible, sure, but it’s probably quicker (depending on how much stuff you have on C:\ ) and definitely easier to just back everything up and do a clean install. There are just fewer things that can go wrong.

Besides, like @ETpro says, Win7 is just so much better. However, installing Win7 will probably depend on the specifications of your computer – if it’s an old machine (like 2002 old), for example, I doubt you have the hardware to support an OS which is by XP standards a mighty hog.

you could always try Linux – great support for older hardware.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I used the same copy of WinXP Pro on no less than six totally different computers. Of course, there are two catches:

1) I never had more than one active copy at a time. (That would be illegal!)

2) I have a retail version.

OEM licenses are locked into the first hardware profile that they are validated under, so it won’t work withan OEM disc. Retail licenses are a bit looser, but that is also why they cost more.

That said, I am pretty impressed with Win7 after a little bit of a learning curve. And figure, a netbook that runs WinXP cannot run Vista, but it can run Win7 Starter without a hitch, I would recommend upgrading if you can.

@ETpro That is true of XP SP2, but SP3 is good until 2020

Andreas's avatar

@jerv “but SP3 is good until 2020”. I had wondered about that just today. Thanks for the link.

ricardo811's avatar

Yes, you can use your windows XP even the motherboard is change. Windows and any operating system is stored in hard drive not in the motherboard.

wgallios's avatar

@ricardo811 That is not true. OEM versions of the Windows operating system, once activated log the MAC address of your computers motherboard. Therefore should you change your motherboard, windows will no longer be activated. This prevents the OEM versions from being installed on multiple computers, since OEM versions are designed to be distributed through hardware providers like gateway or dell.

jerv's avatar

@wgallios True, but retail versions lack that restriction, so it depends on how you acquired Windows. That said, most people get their copy pre-installed and that is often (I’d guess about 90% of the time) an OEM version and therefore non-transferrable… but “often” is not the same as “always”.

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