Hi all.It\’s my understanding that, starting with Windows 8 and thus for Windows 10 as well, Microsoft changed the way the Windows Product Key works, in that it\’s now encrypted in BIOS (for OEM machines). This would seem to indicate that the OS has become tied to the hardware. If this is true, then if someone owned such an OEM system that was preloaded with Windows 10, does this mean it\’s no longer possible for that individual to swap out the motherboard (and CPU, should it matter) with higher performing hardware and still have the OS activated with the original Product Key? (Prior to Windows 8 there would not have been a problem because the Product Key wasn\’t in the BIOS).I did see a few threads here on Tom\’s HW pertaining to Windows 10 Product Key but they mainly had to do with recovering it, and in this case that isn\’t an issue.Couple of final points ᎓ I anticipate the possibility that the OEM can "fix" that issue for a fee, but what I\’m wondering is if Microsoft\’s new Product Key methodology has essentially blocked the upgrade of major hardware components unless a fee is paid. Finally, no doubt hacker-type solutions of questionable legality do exist (and some whose illegality is obvious), but I\’m asking what the situation would be for the average legality-minded technologically-challenged (lol ) individual.
An OEM license was always tied to that original hardware. Going back to at least Vista.As of the recent Anniversary update (v 1607), you can associate a Windows license with a Microsoft account, rather than being tied to particular hardware.Read more here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html#18490019