Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetHardwareLaptops & Notebooks · 1 decade ago

I salvaged the parts of 3 dead Dell PCs to make 1 good one. Which Windows COA sticker do I use?

Which one of the 3 Windows(OEM) COA stickers do I keep??... And which 2 are "invalid" and need trashed? -I feel like I'm throwing away $100s (I see these COA stickers in my hand as $100 bills each)!!

Do I salvage the COA associated with the:

1st PC's salvaged hard drive?

2nd PC's salvaged mainboard? or,

3rd PC's salvaged case/RAM/CD-drive?



Or can I salvage ANY of the 3 COAs (like the one with the best/latest Windows version).

Update 2:

John C:

All 3 COAs were loaded on (or associated with) this "frankenstein" PC. Please elaborate...

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Mainboard. The HDD, RAM, CD-drive, and case don't matter. The OS records your CPU's hardware ID when it registers and the CPU is on the mainboard (unless you swapped CPU's). This applies to a fresh installation of Windows, if you're trying to use the installation that is already on the hard drive it probably won't work (because it will see that the CPU is not the same CPU that it was originally installed on) so you'll have to reinstall again to make it register under the good CPU. Windows licenses allow you to change hard drives (because you can get a bigger one and reinstall just fine) but not CPU's (which are the core of your PC) since then it would be easy to move it to an entirely different PC.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would say the hard drive. The COA sticker really is useless because all it could be used for is verification with Windows support. If you've already done a repair and salvage operation, it doesn't matter too much, but once again, just in case, use the one that came from the salvaged hard drive.

    Source(s): Years of technical experience.
  • 1 decade ago

    It won't matter what COA you use. Since you combined all the parts, Windows will read this as a completely different computer. You should be able to use any of the three AND be able to use the other two at a different time.

    Source(s): I have about 10 XP COA's myself and have done this.
  • Bjorn
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You should salvage the one that came off the system that you pulled the motherboard from.

    When you reinstall the operating system, it will detect hardware changes and require you to re-activate windows anyhow. But the motherboard is where 80% of the devices the system recognizes are located.

    It is really not going to matter which one you use, but it might end up being a bit easier if you stick to the one the motherboard came out of.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It HAS to be the one that has the OS loaded on it or it won't work, no matter how much you think they are worth!

  • 1 decade ago

    they all should be valid so use any one of them and save the others

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