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From time to time I have used XP licenses from computers which are being decommissioned on other machines, It usually passes validation without any problems.

What are your thoughts is it wrong to use them on other machines? Some might call it stealing (Which it's not because I own the licence) but I call it recycling.

asked Oct 20 '10 at 08:49

markd12's gravatar image


edited Oct 20 '10 at 08:50

If you bought the machines, they are your licenses and you can do whatever you want with them. As long as you aren't using the same key for 2 separate computers, I see no problem doing it.

answered Oct 20 '10 at 09:10

Josh_M's gravatar image


Seller: "If you give me $20 extra I'll throw in this copy of Microsoft Windows 7."

Buyer: "... but that says 'Not for resale'!"

Seller: "It's the 'collectable edition'. Still in it's original seals."

(Oct 20 '10 at 20:33) Seb Seb's gravatar image

That would be in a different context. If he owns both PC's yet one is not in use, he can use the license from one PC on the other. He never makes mention that he is selling the computer that is recycling the key. Maybe it is a brand new build for personal use and he just doesn't want to spend any more money on it than he has to.

(Oct 20 '10 at 23:30) Josh_M Josh_M's gravatar image

@Josh_M I do. Once an OEM key has been installed on a motherboard, it cannot be moved/reinstalled/magicated onto another machine with a different motherboard.

Note: Microsoft won't stop you from doing it and it installs as normal even if it is a different machine (as long as the old one is removed and not connected to the internet it will register O.K). But it is not considered "Legal" by the Microsoft EULA.

answered Oct 20 '10 at 18:33

Ross%20Walker's gravatar image

Ross Walker

If what your saying is true, then if I have to replace a motherboard in a computer, when I reactivate it, I am breaking their EULA? No. Once you purchase your license, it is yours to with what you want... unless you are reverse engineering the software or something similar. You are not renting the license key from Microsoft, so transfering the license to a new computer does not break the EULA.

(Oct 20 '10 at 19:02) Josh_M Josh_M's gravatar image

Once you purchase a licence, it grants you permission to install the software but only if you meet the requirements of the Microsft EULA for that product. For example, if you're a business person and you buy a copy of Office 2010 meant for students. The EULA will say that the licence for you to use that software is only "legal" if you are a student. He can install it but it would break the EULA, therefore invalidating the licence for his use.

(Oct 20 '10 at 19:10) Ross Walker Ross%20Walker's gravatar image

But will Microsoft really care if he is not a student?

(Oct 20 '10 at 19:14) markd12 markd12's gravatar image

If it means they can charge him £300 pounds instead of £34 pounds they will. That's why I love being a student ATM

(Oct 20 '10 at 19:33) Ross Walker Ross%20Walker's gravatar image

I just open office and save myself the money

(Oct 20 '10 at 19:37) markd12 markd12's gravatar image

Brilliant Idea, I do the same here. I do have a copy of office 2007 lying about somewhere though :D

(Oct 20 '10 at 19:42) Ross Walker Ross%20Walker's gravatar image

It's great to now I can hang on to keys when decommissioning a machine. I see this is the EULA for XP does the same apply to vista and 7?

(Oct 21 '10 at 08:17) markd12 markd12's gravatar image

@markd12 TRUE TRUE!!...

(Oct 21 '10 at 08:57) JohnK JohnK's gravatar image

I would assume that it would.

It does.

(Oct 21 '10 at 09:17) Josh_M Josh_M's gravatar image
showing 5 of 10 show all

If the key is yours you can do what ever you like with it.

answered Oct 21 '10 at 11:01

Patxi's gravatar image


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Asked: Oct 20 '10 at 08:49

Seen: 2,063 times

Last updated: Oct 21 '10 at 11:01