Question Migrating my hard drive to a new PC

willyj73

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I am going to update to a new PC (home built by me). Can I just move my current hard drive to my new system, or would/could this cause too many problems? I dread the thought of re-installing Windows and the updates, software, games, game mods, etc.
My Windows 10 install is about a year old on my current PC. I'm guessing I could have driver issues (Realtek audio, Intel, wifi and Bluetooth off the top of my head).
 

Lafong

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You can "transfer" to the new SSD by either cloning or imaging.

Both can work.

Both can fail.

Know what you will do if they both fail.

You may have licensing issues if you go to a new motherboard and CPU.
 

willyj73

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You can "transfer" to the new SSD by either cloning or imaging.

Both can work.

Both can fail.

Know what you will do if they both fail.

You may have licensing issues if you go to a new motherboard and CPU.
I am currently using my "old" PC, built in 2012 (3570k CPU, Asrock Z77 mobo, and other components). I put together a new rig with a 12600k and MSI mobo. I'm going to use the same video card (RX 5600xt). So, I would just remove the ssd from my current pc and install it in my new one. I wouldn't need to clone it.
 

Lafong

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That can work or fail.

Most likely it will start up.

Windows 10 is pretty forgiving of that, moreso than Windows 7.

You may have to fight a few issues which will take some time. How much time remains to be seen. You may end up wishing you had just done a clean install.

The two major roadblocks that will prevent just using the SSD from the old computer in the new computer:

1. Legacy BIOS (CSM) v. UEFI. Both computers should be set for the same type of booting. The drive can be converted to work, though, if needed.

2. SATA drive controller mode: IDE v. AHCI v. RAID. Ideally, both computers SATA controllers should be set for AHCI. If you had to switch modes for some reason, this would normally need to be done on the old computer to set Windows up for the switch when put into the new computer.


You may find automated repair sorts it out, or you can try running Startup Repair having booted your PC from a Win 10 installation medium, or boot your PC from Macrium Reflect's boot disk, and use its handy Fix Boot utility.
 

willyj73

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😦

If I have to do a clean install, I might get a new drive to try out the NVMe drives and use my old SSD for...whatever (maybe games). Just to make sure everything works OK...wondering if I can install W10 on new PC, register it, and keep my old PC offline just until I make sure everything is A-OK with the new one.

I have an older 1TB hard drive just laying around. Is it easy back up files, folders, etc (plus system images) in W10? When I did so on W7, the hard drive filled up and no longer backed up my PC. I think I didn't set it up correctly, I'm not sure. I might have set it up to back up files and folders, plus a system image. I've never learned a good way for backing stuff up. I want to back up photos, music, documents. But also want a system image in case something goes afoul. Is it best to use two drives--one for files, photos, etc. and then another HD for system image?
 

Lafong

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😦

wondering if I can install W10 on new PC, register it,

Is it easy back up files, folders, etc (plus system images) in W10?

I've never learned a good way for backing stuff up. I want to back up photos, music, documents. But also want a system image in case something goes afoul. Is it best to use two drives--one for files, photos, etc. and then another HD for system image?
You might have activation issues after a clean install on the new PC if you don't have a valid "retail" license. I'm not sure how strict Microsoft is about that these days.

Windows 10 has built in capability to back up, but it's clunky, finicky, and can be frustrating.

Macrium is a reliable tool for a system image. There is a learning curve.

It can also back your ordinary personal files....pictures, mp3s, Word documents, etc, but you may prefer a tool dedicated to that purpose ONLY...as opposed to something that can back up Windows and installed applications.

There's no reason to put photo backups on drive 1 and a system image on drive 2 per se...............although it is a good idea to have multiple backups of your personal files and you may as well have a second copy of your system image since it is an important file like any other.

Your backup strategy would likely be simplified if you had your personal files on a totally different drive.
 
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Wolfshadw

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wondering if I can install W10 on new PC, register it, and keep my old PC offline just until I make sure everything is A-OK with the new one.
Reactivating Windows after a hardware change

This tells you how to transfer your Windows 10 license to a new home-built computer.

For future reference. Microsoft no longer sells "OEM" or "Retail" versions of Windows 10 to home builders. They've removed that designation and limit "OEM" to licensing deals with pre-built manufacturers like Dell, HP, Acer, etc...

-Wolf sends
 
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willyj73

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Well, I got most of the PC together. Wasn't horribly difficult. Installed Windows 10 on the new pc, but did not activate the license on it yet. Even without the license activated, I was still able to install my drivers, download software, and use the PC as I normally would. I still have to figure out how to transfer my mods and Steam saved game files. Also, have to move my graphics card to new PC, wipe my old hard drive and install into new PC. It seems the RGB fad is dying down. I never got into it as I ran my current PC for nine years. Added some to this new one and was playing with the lighting for an hour. PC is on the floor, so I'll hardly ever see the lights, but it is something different.
 
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I recommend cloning your hard drive to your new one although I did have some problems when I ported my files from my laptop to my new custom built PC. My components did not match with my lap top(obviously) so the OS freaked out about that. However, tech support(I believe their number was shown when I tried finishing the driver and OS installation)and they were pretty helpful after explaining to them my dilemma.
 

willyj73

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Well, I called Microsoft and was told that I cannot activate my product key on a new device. I purchased a retail license of Windows from Newegg last year. I'm getting rid of my old PC.
 

Lafong

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Well, I called Microsoft and was told that I cannot activate my product key on a new device. I purchased a retail license of Windows from Newegg last year. I'm getting rid of my old PC.

??

Microsoft told you that you cannot active this retail license you bought last year from Newegg on "a new device"??

As far as I know, retail can always be moved to a new device, as long as there is no longer an "old device". One license, one PC.

Or do I misunderstand you?
 

willyj73

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??

Microsoft told you that you cannot active this retail license you bought last year from Newegg on "a new device"??

As far as I know, retail can always be moved to a new device, as long as there is no longer an "old device". One license, one PC.

Or do I misunderstand you?
I just found out today that the item I bought from Newegg--that was listed as a retail copy--is actually an OEM copy. I never noticed. I bought it from Newegg. Installed it, and used the product key. At the bottom of the product key, it's listed as "retail". However, it shows as OEM. "System Type" shows as "To be filled by O.E.M." Also, I did a Google search and found a command prompt which tells you what type of Windows license you have. Mine is O.E.M.
The seller no longer has an account on Newegg. I thought Newegg sold legit stuff. It seems they must be similar to Amazon in which they allow 3rd parties to sell stuff on their site. I'm guessing the seller had OEM product keys, packaged and listed them as retail, and made a few bucks by screwing people over.
 

Lafong

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Mine is O.E.M.

The seller no longer has an account on Newegg. I thought Newegg sold legit stuff. It seems they must be similar to Amazon in which they allow 3rd parties to sell stuff on their site.
Yeah, I think that is true about Newegg.

However.....I remember also being highly confused by Newegg's description of Windows 10 that they were selling directly, not through a third party. I wasn't sure myself which was OEM and which was retail and I could not get any clarity through SKUs like you could at one time.

It didn't help that Microsoft itself has apparently done away with the term "retail". My Windows 10 license still shows as "retail" using that command you mentioned because its pedigree dates back to my original Windows 7 license.
 

willyj73

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Yeah, I think that is true about Newegg.

However.....I remember also being highly confused by Newegg's description of Windows 10 that they were selling directly, not through a third party. I wasn't sure myself which was OEM and which was retail and I could not get any clarity through SKUs like you could at one time.

It didn't help that Microsoft itself has apparently done away with the term "retail". My Windows 10 license still shows as "retail" using that command you mentioned because its pedigree dates back to my original Windows 7 license.
This was clearly listed as "Retail" on Newegg's site. And, the barcode product key has "Retail" at the bottom.
Trusting Newegg, I did not scrutinize the product when I got it. Windows installed fine, and the key worked. The box looked legit at the time----with little scrutiny on my part. Now, I can see the red flag I should have noticed. As far as I know, Microsoft uses (or used to use) security features on their packaging. The card that has the product key on it does not have security features on the barcode--it's just a barcode with the product key above it.
 

willyj73

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Nevermind what the description said. Unless you are a large manufacturer of PCs (Think Dell, HP, etc...) Microsoft does not make the distinction between OEM and Retail any longer. If Microsoft says you cannot move your Windows 10 license, then why did they publish this article?

Reactivating Windows after a hardware change

-Wolf sends

Edit: Seems I said the exact same thing about 10 days ago.
On that link, it states if the steps don't work, then you need to purchase a license/product key.

Listen, I'm not lying. I bought a scammed product key from Newegg last year. I just found out last night that it was OEM sold as retail. Guy I talked to from Microsoft told me that I could not use my product key. I used this key to activate Windows 10 on my old PC. I had no problems with the activation. I bought the key as well as some other items from Newegg last April due to Windows 7 ending support. Below is a link to photos of the two PC's. My old one has the antennas on top. I removed the OS hard drive (Crucial) to use for games in my new PC. I haven't reformatted the drive yet due to problems activating the copy.


 
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willyj73

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Below are photos of the item I bought as well as a screenshot from my Newegg invoice. I blacked out certain info. As you can see, the packaging doesn't have Windows security items (holograms and other security features). I did not pay any mind to this last year as I had just assumed I purchased a legit item from Newegg. It was SORT OF legit as the product key worked; however, it was an OEM product key packaged as retail.




 

USAFRet

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Moving this drive to a new PC, there are two considerations. Activation and Operation.


For the OS license/activation...is it currently linked to your MS account?

For the OS activation, read and do this before you change any parts:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change


For the Operation....Anyone who says "Just put it in, it will work" is deluded.
Doing this, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It works just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It "works, but you're chasing issues for weeks/months.
I've personally had all 3.

Prepare for a full wipe and reinstall.
Try it....if it works, great. If it fails, you're prepared.

But there is NO "100% it always works".
 

willyj73

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Below are screenshots from my PC. You can see "OEM" listed in the descriptions. The PC which the license is assigned to starts with "U" and is circled. My current PC starts with "P". I blacked out my PC names for safety.



 

willyj73

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Again, that product key activated Windows 10 last year with no problems. If Windows isn't making a distinction between retail and OEM, then why can't I activate a "retail" copy of Windows 10 on my PC?
 

willyj73

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And if you purchased a scam license to start with...oh well.
You get what you pay for.
What do you mean, "I get what I pay for"???? What the heck is that?!!!!

I bought, what I thought, was a legitimate license from what I thought was a legitimate retailer. You are blaming ME???!! THATS ABSURD! I'm not the crook here.
 

willyj73

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Do you not see the receipt above????
It's purchased from Newegg. I paid FULL RETAIL PRICE for it. Now, I get what I pay for??
 
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USAFRet

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I was just going by this statement:
"Listen, I'm not lying. I bought a scammed product key from Newegg last year. I just found out last night that it was OEM sold as retail. "

If that was referring to a different buy, I apologize.


Now, back to the issue...

Did you see my Activation Troubleshooter link above?
 

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