What Happens to Win 7 After Changing a Motherboard


By Damien for

I’ve been hearing the same question again and again lately from people who are going to replace their motherboards: What’s going to happen to my Windows 7 installation? And why not worry? Microsoft certainly didn’t do a good job of preventing Windows XP from getting screwed up when you replaced the motherboard of a system running the OS. I figured that, instead of answering the question 1000 times, I’ll answer it once right here. The truth is that the result normally depends on what type of Windows installation you have; namely, whether you have an OEM or retail version.

How to Find Out Your Windows License Type

First of all, many people don’t understand the differences associated with Windows license types, except for the fact that OEM versions are cheaper. An OEM version of Windows will allow you to install the operating system within one system’s specifications. The retail version allows you to move Windows to a different computer. We’ll talk more about this later, but let’s first learn how to find out your windows license type if you don’t know what installation you have already. Often times, if you bought your computer from a PC manufacturer, you will have an OEM version. Still, you can never be sure.

Click the “Start” menu, right-click “Computer” and click “Properties.” Once there, you’ll see a product ID at the bottom of the screen. If it contains the letters “OEM,” you have an OEM version of Windows. Otherwise, you have a retail version. Quite simple, isn’t it?

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