To comply with the EULA, which Microsoft seems to have no interest in taking steps to enforce.It may not be necessary. I would try to use the key again and see what happens. If I could not activate Windows 11, I would consider deactivate the other computer, otherwise why do that.
Well here is the thing - once a pc has a digital licence, you cannot deactivate old pc - it is impossible. So even if you use slmgr etc, the digital licence remains. So users cannot comply with EULA!You should deactivate the other computer if you plan to use both at the same time. According to Microsoft using two computers with the same license is not allowed. But if you have the other computer as backup, and not for everyday use, why deactivate it? Technically you won't be using both computers at the same time, you will mostly use Windows 11. I would not deactivate it. Nobody can come to your house and check without a Warrant, it's illegal. If you are a business, like a small office, things are different. But for home use I wouldn't care. Small business can purchase a genuine license for just 50€. Since it is medialess, there is no DVD or USB and package to pay for, you can only buy the key which is sent to you by e-mail. Then you download Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft's site and use the key to activate. Perfectly legal.
Not just whole PCs, there are well reported cases on Ten Forums of second hand motherboards that came with an unexpected digital licence.The really absurd case is if you wipe windows from old pc, and sell it (without windows), and user installs same edition it will activate - is new user guilty of piracy or just "lucky"?
As an atheist, the last sentence has no meaning to me.Let's not be paranoid. Your old PC could have died and you buy a new PC. Then what? You would also buy a new Windows license for it? Not me, I would use the existing license and activate by phone, if I cannot do so online. As long as it still activates, that's OK with me. If the key has reached the maximum activations, then I would consider buying a new key. As long as you don't sell or give away your old PC you are perfectly legal.
Before you judge me, answer this simple question... Haven't you ever done it (use an old key on a new computer)? I am sure you did! "The sinless let cast the first stone", as Jesus had said.
That is not true. The unique hardware ID is based 99% on the characteristics of the motherboard, and the other components do not make up enough of a percentage in the calculation to change the computer's unique hardware ID.Yes, but if the rest of the hardware is different from the original, it should ask again for activation. The new user will benefit only if he gets the PC as it is, not only the motherboard. Most will install Windows anyway before giving it.
@NavyLCDR is correct, the motherboard is the main part of the hardware ID. Kari explains it in detail here....but if the rest of the hardware is different from the original, it should ask again for activation.
The Windows 10 Digital License is based on HWID 3. As long as the Windows edition, motherboard and CPU remain the same, once the computer has been activated, all future clean installs on that computer also will activate automatically. Note that all HWIDs exclude storage media entirely. Thus, on a PC with Windows 10 activated, you can replace its storage (HDD / SSD) devices with one or more new ones and clean install Windows 10 on a new disk. Even so, the PC will activate automatically based on that machine’s existing digital license.
Microsoft does track the number of times a product key is used on different computers within certain time periods. Use a product key too many times on too many different computers within a certain time period and it will get blocked from automatic online use and then the user must call Microsoft in order to obtain activations with the product key until a certain time period of no use has passed and it will get unlocked. There is also a threshold where the product key will get blocked permanently. I do not know what it is, but let's say the same product key is used to activate 100 different computers in a single day - Microsoft is going to block it. There would be no legitimate reason for the owner of the product key to use it to activate 100 different computers in a single day.As the licensing mechanism is different, and there is (as far as we can tell) no record of what key invoked a digital licence, I very much doubt MS even bother keepingin a record of number of times key has been used to get a digital licence.