Question Can I migrate Windows 10 system disk to a different OEM Windows licence?

itm

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My PC motherboard just died, with what I believe was an OEM Windows 10 licence on it. I want to migrate the drives and ideally the whole Windows 10 setup (including apps and settings) to my new machine, which will also have an OEM Windows 10 Licence on it. I believe that if I simply plug the old Windows boot drive into the new machine/motherboard it will allow me to run a restricted/unactivated version of Windows 10, but is there any way that I can use my new OEM key to re-activate the system, so that I can pick up where I left off? Or am I stuck with having to re-install everything from scratch? I also have a Macrium Reflect image backup of my boot drive, if that helps in any way??
 

wpgwpg

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That is not likely to work because drivers and settings are customized to a given configuration, so it's likely that you will have problems if you simply move the HDD to a different system and try booting from it. Also OEM licenses are not transferable to other systems, so you wouldn't be able to activate it even if you did get it to boot and run. Reinstall your apps and data on the new system.
 

onespeedbiker

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First using a Windows OS drive on a different computer often leads to one of the three results; success, failure, or partial success while chasing problems for weeks/months. Second, the OEM Windows 10 license on your original computer resides with your MS account now (since a couple of Windows 10 upgrades ago) and you will likely be able to be used on your new system, but it may require a call to MS.
 
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itm

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That is not likely to work because drivers and settings are customized to a given configuration, so it's likely that you will have problems if you simply move the HDD to a different system and try booting from it. Also OEM licenses are not transferable to other systems, so you wouldn't be able to activate it even if you did get it to boot and run. Reinstall your apps and data on the new system.
I read somewhere that Windows 10 is smarter than previous releases in this respect, in that it will spot new hardware/inappropriate drivers when it first boots, and will attempt to download appropriate drivers for the new hardware when it first boots - effectively going into a similar routine to a new install.
I'm sure I'll need to download and install chipset drivers, but was hoping that post-migration there would be just enough in place for me to work with.
There are alot of applications installed that would be quite complex to reinstall, and some that I have lost the installation media for, so a clean install of Windows would be a major headache for me.
 

onespeedbiker

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I read somewhere that Windows 10 is smarter than previous releases in this respect, in that it will spot new hardware/inappropriate drivers when it first boots, and will attempt to download appropriate drivers for the new hardware when it first boots - effectively going into a similar routine to a new install.
I'm sure I'll need to download and install chipset drivers, but was hoping that post-migration there would be just enough in place for me to work with.
There are alot of applications installed that would be quite complex to reinstall, and some that I have lost the installation media for, so a clean install of Windows would be a major headache for me.
As I said before, it might work, but then again... The loss of a motherboard is not an issue commonly prepared for, as the only real fix is to replace the dead MB with the exact same MB. However Windows 10 File history comes close, as it saves personal files independent of a specific install and will be available to through the File History of any Windows 10 install.
 

itm

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As I said before, it might work, but then again... The loss of a motherboard is not an issue commonly prepared for, as the only real fix is to replace the dead MB with the exact same MB. However Windows 10 File history comes close, as it saves personal files independent of a specific install and will be available to through the File History of any Windows 10 install.
Files aren't a problem, as I have backups. It's the apps that are the problem,
 

Mr.Spock

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Make some images using Acronis so you can restore the original drive that'll give you several options. Using Acronis (and even Windows 7 Image Backup !) it's been possible to restore to different configs. I've done them from an i5 H110 ITX board to a Ryzen/B450m with no issues so it's possible (and that was Win 7).

It may ask you to reactivate but Win 10 will work w/o it so you can experiment a bit to make sure it's stable before using the new OEM key.

I read somewhere that Windows 10 is smarter than previous releases in this respect, in that it will spot new hardware/inappropriate drivers when it first boots, and will attempt to download appropriate drivers for the new hardware when it first boots - effectively going into a similar routine to a new install.
I'm sure I'll need to download and install chipset drivers, but was hoping that post-migration there would be just enough in place for me to work with.
There are alot of applications installed that would be quite complex to reinstall, and some that I have lost the installation media for, so a clean install of Windows would be a major headache for me.
 

itm

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Apr 10, 2004
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Make some images using Acronis so you can restore the original drive that'll give you several options. Using Acronis (and even Windows 7 Image Backup !) it's been possible to restore to different configs. I've done them from an i5 H110 ITX board to a Ryzen/B450m with no issues so it's possible (and that was Win 7).

It may ask you to reactivate but Win 10 will work w/o it so you can experiment a bit to make sure it's stable before using the new OEM key.
I do have an image made with Macrium Reflect. I suspect that it'll restore but then leave Windows un-activated.
 

USAFRet

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I read somewhere that Windows 10 is smarter than previous releases in this respect, in that it will spot new hardware/inappropriate drivers when it first boots, and will attempt to download appropriate drivers for the new hardware when it first boots - effectively going into a similar routine to a new install.
I'm sure I'll need to download and install chipset drivers, but was hoping that post-migration there would be just enough in place for me to work with.
There are alot of applications installed that would be quite complex to reinstall, and some that I have lost the installation media for, so a clean install of Windows would be a major headache for me.
Win 10 is better than previous versions, but by no means 100% when trying this.

AS above, 3 possibilities:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely.
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks.
I've seen all 3.
 

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