Reactivating Vista after changing motherboard

I have had Vista Home Premium (English) on my PC for about a year. It was an OEM version. Recently, the motherboard and VGA card had to be changed because it was damaged by moisture when my son knocked coffee onto the computer and it seeped inside. I purchased a new motherboard because I could not get a replacement. I tried to activate Vista but it said my CD key was already in use. After calling TW Microsoft Support, they told me that I could not be given a new Key Code because having a new motherboard was the same as having a new PC and that the OEM was only licensed for this “old” PC.

Naturally, this really pissed me off because a simple accident has led to me not only having to replace hardware, but also the OS. After snooping around, I read that in my case, Microsoft USA will usually offer me a new key because of the manner in which the motherboard was replaced. So, I tried to find an email for support. However, the MS USA website doesn’t have an email anywhere. Also, I cannot find a telephone number that allows me to speak to an advisor. The only number given is for an automated service that keeps asking me for a code that my computer gave me. If I type this, it will recognize it as an OEM code and I will likely be back to square one again.

Does anyone have any idea what I can do to resolve this?

Well, when you work in a computer company where you regularly setup test PCs then you soon find out everybody uses a tool to circumvent the activation, which otherwise might ruin the test scenario. Usage of those tools might be illegal, at least for unlicensed OS installations (ours are licensed on a mass-license basis) and Google should help there. Beware of malware sites though. So use a well updated firewalled computer of a friend. I do not have a Vista tool at hand as I am only dealing with XP (and nowadays Linux) installations. Works like a charm for XP.

Perfect opportunity to UPGRADE to xp.

Right. Need CD (that friend of yours who never goes out has one), drivers (can download them from the websites of board and graphics card) and there you go… [One has to bootup from CD to downgrade].

RJ…torrents…Win7 or XP Pro dl’s…'nuff said.

Bugger it… I am gonna get Win 7 from MS website, pay to DL it and just keep CD image with genuine full key. It’s 6400NT equivalent. Unless anyone knows somewhere I can get it for a similar price. Oh, one other thing… I get an error 132 when my new RAM is in matching slots (XP) and BSOD (Vista). Switched to non-matching slots and its OK. On my old MOBO with different RAM it wouldn’t boot with RAM in matching slots. I get the impression that the RAM sold at the computer market or the motherboards have quite a few bad batches.

There’s always Linux…

In deed, Windows XP kept its domain in my home only where connection to TV is involved, openSUSE Linux is not so good there it seems (works, but…). OpenSuse or Ubuntu are fine to replace Windows for all but gaming.
However it is best to migrate step by step like having a 2nd computer with Linux on it or to make a double boot system…

I am having difficulty ordering it online. The MS website has no option for international addresses, even when opting for a download delivery. It seems they don’t do international delivery in order to combat fraud. I have an Aussie credit card but won’t order it to my Aussie address cos Aussie is the most ridiculously expensive country. It’s like 8, 500 NTD over there. How much have people been paying for the full Win7 Home Premium over here in English and where did you get it?

Win7 Home Premium is ca 5000 NT$ at GuanHua Market.

You’ll have trouble finding it in English when just walking around on GuanHua.
As posted in another thread:

You go to the basement stores on Bade-Xing Sheng (still called GuanHua)
on B1, you will find (between 11 AM and 6 PM) a store, piled up with any genuine soft you can think of (i even saw OS 3.1 once :laughing: )
the lady speaks a bit English, but she’ll certainly find you ANY thing you want. OEM or genuine at lower price than on-line.
I would certainly not go back to vista when you run W7 for a while.

good luck

Is that in English? If not, how much is the English version. I still have my OEM XP Pro, but I think I heard somewhere that its valid for 3 subsequent system installs and this would be my 4th.

Not necessarily. I have been doing gaming on Linux, both native and Windows games. Only Windows games not using the Windows API calls require a “real” Windows to run. There are btw. some really nice (and open source) cross-platform games…

I found that this usually makes people stick to Windows. Wipe the harddisk, install Linux and quickly learn where to find and how to do what. After that, install Virtualbox with a Windows guest for those few stupid Windows-only applications like home banking with (ahem) IE6 and a Win-driver only card terminal etc…

I love this, only Windows users can ask this question. :noway: All other arguments aside, from a plain linguistic vector Windows is the most backward desktop OS on this planet, being the only mono-lingual one. All Unix-related OS (Linux, BSD, OS X, Solaris) have been multilingual for long years. Getting one of these OS would solve all UI language problems at once. They also don’t require “re-activation” after a hardware change.

Just mentioning…

If you go through the Activation prompt and choose “activate by phone” it gives you an option to choose the country you’re activating Windows in. Choose the US and there will be a phone number to call. Go through the automated prompt and activation will fail and you will be connected to a rep.

Is that in English? If not, how much is the English version. I still have my OEM XP Pro, but I think I heard somewhere that its valid for 3 subsequent system installs and this would be my 4th.[/quote]

Yep, that’s an English version. I bought it around 2 weeks ago at GuangHua Market, 3.floor, if you come up with the esclator, the 2. or 3. shop on the right side. They have the chinese version in display, just ask them for english version. They have it in stock.

People should also consider the benefits of Linux, like basically don’t care about viruses (only auto-update and turn on the firewall, that’s all there is to do), having 4 or more desktops at a mouse-clicks and having a real stable environment. Like someone just gave me a USB flash drive with Chinese Traditional file names (or actually Japanese I think), but my XP system immediately had explorer crashes and opened up a “send report to Bill” window, stalling the whole system. Well, I just copied the files to my Linux box on the desk and then changed the file names to avoid trouble with darn Windows boxes. Was good to have a stable and multi-culture machine in that moment.