XP and license / upgrade

  Flaco 00:48 30 Jun 2003

How far can I upgrade my desktop unit before Lord Gates insists that I need to pay him for a new load of XP Home?

Right now I'm just thinking of adding a TV tuner card, but in the near future I will probably want to change my graphics card and CPU, and possibly add a second HDD, DVD RW, etc.

I'm aware that, initially, Microsoft were sort of going along with things and allowing reactivation of XP despite significant h/w changes. My understanding is that this is no longer the case.

Can anyone give an informed or authoritative answer to this from recent experience?

  powerless 00:57 30 Jun 2003

click here

How does product activation determine tolerance? In other words, how many components of the PC must change before I am required to reactivate?

Common changes to hardware such as upgrading a video card, adding a second hard disk drive, adding RAM or upgrading a CD-ROM device will not require the system to be reactivated.

Specifically, product activation determines tolerance through a voting mechanism. There are 10 hardware characteristics used in creating the hardware hash. Each characteristic is worth one vote, except the network card which is worth three votes. When thinking of tolerance, it's easiest to think about what has not changed instead of what has changed. When the current hardware hash is compared to the original hardware hash, there must be 7 or more matching points for the two hardware hashes to be considered in tolerance. If the network card is the same, then only 4 additional characteristics must match (because the network card is worth 3, for a total of 7). If the network card is not the same, then a total of 7 characteristics other than the network card must be the same. If the device is a laptop (specifically a dockable device), additional tolerance is allotted and there need be only 4 or more matching points. Therefore, if the device is dockable and the network card is the same, only one other characteristic must be the same for a total vote of 4. If the device is dockable and the network card is not the same, then a total of 4 characteristics other than the network card must be the same.

  Forum Editor 01:03 30 Jun 2003

got that?

  woody 01:58 30 Jun 2003

So in my case 3 network cards -twin cpu thats ?

Dont bother i will just wait till it fails!!

I have lost count of the number of "upgrades" that my machinehas had and still I can install XP with no problems.

For example, New CPU, New HDD's, New Motherboards, new Network cards, the list goes on...In fact, on one occasion we mistakenly installed XP on a totally different computer (We had XP on order but it had not arrived - I installed my copy and was going to use the 30 day activation period until the new copy arrived when my "mate" decided to press "Activate over the internet now" which it did with no problems)

On each occasion that internet activation has failed a quick phone call to Microsoft (free) and I have been up and running in minutes. The only question was "Have you activated this product before? to which I answered "Yes" and he gave me a new code!

I have yet to hear of a genuine case where upgrades or even new computer installations have been refused.

  Flaco 10:20 30 Jun 2003

...to Powerless for being able to disseminate MS's info to that degree (FE, surely that's gotta be worth a free T-shirt).

I'll probably end up going down Woody's route and wait until rain stops play.

Thanks all.

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