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[–] Wise-Old-Man ago 

My experience with Windows activation is that it's mostly tied to the motherboard. Every single time I have to replace a motherboard Windows thinks it's on a new computer even with the same CPU and everything else. I have replaced CPUs and LOTS of hard drives without having to re-activate Windows. Replace a motherboard though and you WILL have to re-activate.

Usually doing a phone activation and answering the "How many computers has this copy of Windows been activated on" question as "One" resolves this problem.