Hi. I have a friend who is getting error "Hardware has changed", or a similar message and then it restarts when he selects "ignore or contiune". The hard drive has Windows XP and it is from a different PC. He is using a new motherboard and the drive is shown in the BIOS. He does not have a windows xp disc. Any suggestions?

12 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Rueful Rogue

You can thank Billy Boy...

When XP detects a different motherboard it automatically thinks PIRACY...

It requires a reinstall

I doubt a call to the Micro$haft Support Line would do any good


The bottom line for you (or your friend) is that Win XP can only be installed and activated on one PC. Bootlegging a copy does you no good. Here's a brief explanation from Microsoft. For the full details go to:

Microsoft Product Activation (MPA) is an anti-piracy technology that is designed to help verify that the product is valid. All customers who purchase retail packaged products or a new computer from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) have to activate the product. The products on a new computer that was purchased from an OEM may be activated in the factory.

MPA validates that the product's Product Key, which is required as part of product installation, has not been used on more computers than the product's end-user license agreement (EULA) allows. Generally, Windows XP can be installed on one computer. The Product Key information, which the Product ID contains, is sent with a "hardware hash" (a number that the computer's hardware configuration generates) to the Microsoft activation system during activation. The following 10 hardware characteristics are used to determine the hardware hash:
•Display adapter
•SCSI adapter
•IDE adapter
•Network adapter media access control address
•RAM amount range (for example, 0-64MB or 64-128MB)
•Processor type
•Processor serial number
•Hard disk device
•Hard disk volume serial number

In Windows XP SP1, the Product Key is also sent. Activation is completed either directly by using the Internet or by making a telephone call to a customer service representative. If you install Windows XP on the same computer by using the same Product Key, the number of activations is not limited.

MPA discourages piracy by limiting the number of times that a Product Key can be activated on different computers. MPA was designed as a simple way to verify the product license and to help reduce the spread of software piracy.

Consumers may use the terms of their license agreements to determine if transferring a license to another computer is allowed. If a transfer is permitted by the license agreement, the product has to be removed from the computer where it was first installed. Users may have to complete the activation on the new computer by phoning the Microsoft Activation Center.

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