Originally Posted by Slaymate
You answered your own question already. Though you came to a confused conclusion. You replace the hard drive, video card and memory so, motherboard and cpu aside, it's a completely different computer.
Bear with me while I explain my reasoning
Here is how I understood the original post:
- Ayses's friend has a computer with a toasted CPU (unknown manufacturer or home built & unknown windows installation type & version)
- Ayses took the hard drive from the dead computer and put it in his XPS with the OS still intact (as in he didn't re-install)
With that understanding in mind, here is the reason I asked my original question:
What copy of windows was installed on the hard drive?
Retail? OEM? Dell OEM?
Also what version? XP, Vista, 7?
When you swap a system board/cpu without re-installing, Windows sometimes forces you to re-activate(anti-piracy reasons I'm guessing). Now, OEM installations usually wont allow you to activate over the network on a foreign machine (such as a Dell OEM install with a Dell Key on a home built machine). With an XP installation, you could easily contact Microsoft and have it activated over the phone. However, if it were Vista or 7 it might be a different story. Companies now have the ability to have their own activation servers at their location which Microsoft doesn't deal with. For instance:
I work at the University of Minnesota. We have educational versions of Windows Vista and 7 for university machines. When we do an install on a machine, it doesn't call out to Microsoft's activation servers, it calls out to our own on-campus activation server. And if there is ever an issue, it is dealt with internally.
With all that said, if Ayses's friend's broken machine was a Compaq with their OEM of Vista installed on it, it is very possible they could have their own activation server. End result would be HP/Compaq declining his Windows activation because their OS is running on a Dell and not on an HP/Compaq machine.
Then again, this is ONLY if I understood the original post correctly =/
Edit: Apologies if I wasn't clear earlier