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I'm never sure about this sort of things so I prefer asking. I want to change a motherboard of a computer on which Windows Server 2008 is installed. There will be no other changes: the CPU, hard disks and network adapter will stay the same.

What will happen with Windows Server 2008? Will it require just to activate it on a new hardware? Or will it say that the number of activations expired, and stop working?

Note: the Windows Server I have is not an OEM version. At least, the second group in product id is '222', and not 'OEM'.

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closed as off topic by Scott Pack, voretaq7 Feb 11 '12 at 3:30

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What did Microsoft say when you asked them? – John Gardeniers Aug 4 '10 at 8:32
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Is it the same model motherboard? Because a drive controller change might leave your Windows installation unable to even boot without (unsupported) preparations.

If the activation fails, you call the hotline to get it working again, I don't really see how it should be much of an issue.

If it is indeed another motherboard model a wipe and reload would be my recommendation instead. Backup the data and reinstall the operating system and then restore from backups.

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+1. Thank you for telling that there may probably be a problem if the new motherboard model is different (which is my case). – MainMa Aug 4 '10 at 8:42
One mistake I've made in the distant past (with Vista admittedly, but the principle still stands), was swapping out the motherboard and CPU and going from single core to dual core. It really didn't like that. :-/ – Rob Aug 4 '10 at 8:47
No I would imagine it wouldn't ^^ It can also be fixed but, it's not a supported solution so reinstalling is the best way out, sadly ^^ – Oskar Duveborn Aug 4 '10 at 9:15
+1, even if Vista/2008 is a lot more hardware-independent than XP/2003, when a Total Hardware Change comes it's always better to do a full reinstall. – Massimo Aug 4 '10 at 9:18

You'll be fine if you replace the mobo, but you'll need to reactivate the installation of Windows.

I think you can do this 3 times before you need to call MS and explain why you've needed to reactivate the installation. This used to happen with me all the time when I was at school and used different computers for my Windows Server courses.

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