Question How does installed software work when changing hard drives?

aronbchek

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Nov 29, 2017
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I run a lab with a bunch of out dated computers. The problem is they have licensed software that wasnt taken care of too excitingly well. Some codes were taken down but others weren't. Left untouched and the only tech savvy person in the building, eventually we are going to upgrade computers but I'm afraid of losing the licenses that are already activated with those computers. I used Macrium Reflect before, but I never tested it on the hard ware simply because I dont want to risk losing the software yet. But if I got the upgraded computers and put the hard drives into them, would the programs still register it as the same computer? Licensed software is photoshop cs6. Don't know the adobe account they were assigned to so we just leave those computers Frozen to avoid damage.

Anyone have some experience?
 
some software can be device dependent; they will create a serial or tech ID based on specific components. many claim the license is tied to a specific system and use outside of this designated system configuration is a form of piracy.

but most have a user account or serial number that was tied to them during installation or registered afterwards.
a user could very easily be using second hand hardware with the software pre-installed and never actually purchased these programs to begin with, so this can help avoid this type of piracy.

you would have to check each individual software to see what types of activation were used. do internet searches or contact the developer support. Adobe has toll free telephone support available.

contacting support for each piece of software should allow you to validate and reinstall if needed but you would have to prove ownership in most cases.
some software developers, like with Microsoft's Windows 10, will just offer you a new product registration on new hardware and will deactivate the previous one.

your best option is probably to go ahead and do the transfer(s). see what continues to work and just purchase the updated versions of each program when necessary, register based on the lab and not a specific user, and make sure you keep the information available for the next time this situation arises.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I run a lab with a bunch of out dated computers. The problem is they have licensed software that wasnt taken care of too excitingly well. Some codes were taken down but others weren't. Left untouched and the only tech savvy person in the building, eventually we are going to upgrade computers but I'm afraid of losing the licenses that are already activated with those computers. I used Macrium Reflect before, but I never tested it on the hard ware simply because I dont want to risk losing the software yet. But if I got the upgraded computers and put the hard drives into them, would the programs still register it as the same computer? Licensed software is photoshop cs6. Don't know the adobe account they were assigned to so we just leave those computers Frozen to avoid damage.

Anyone have some experience?
You don't want to stick the old drives in new systems. A they have a good chance of not booting due to hardware changes, B they may boot but run slow or crash, C you are using old drives with higher chance of failure and that are slower in new systems.

Gather all the info on the software, work with the software vendors and the managers of the lab to get media and license information. This is a fairly common issue with places that are run without proper IT staff, no-one keeps track of things or they keep using out-dated and unsupported versions of software and don't have any disaster recovery plans.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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A clone/migration tool like Macrium is good for changing drives within the same system.
Not so much with all updated hardware.

This upgrade will require a lot of upfront planning before any hardware is changed.

Belarc Advisor can retrieve a lot of license keys and application serial numbers.
 

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