Question Pre and Post operations after assembling the PC (Windows Licence transfer, Backups, etc..)

Sep 1, 2019
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Hi All!

While waiting for all the ordered components to arrive, I would like to organize myself a bit so I do not forget to do something before and after assembling my new PC or, even worse, make some irreversible mistake. I would really appreciate your feedbacks and suggestions. (i am not worried about assembling the PC, but about the "software" part).

Overwiew: I'm building most of the PC from scratch but i am going to reuse the VGA (ROG 1080ti OC), the SSD where i would like to reinstal from zero Windows and 2 HDD (Not partitioned) where i have copied all the files I need to keep (photos, documents, etc...).

Questions:

1) I don't have the Windows 10 pro disc anymore (the new case, Cooler Master Mastercase H500M, doesn't have slots for optical driver anyway), so I will do the installation from USB.
But what should I do to make sure i can reinstall the OS in the new PC without need to rebuy the license? at the moment I can see from the settings the following message: Windows (pro) is active with a digital licence and it is linked with your Microsoft account.

2) Firt boot up: should I insert the USB (with the windows installer) or set up the Bios first? what's happen if the pc wrongly try to start the system using the SSD instead?

3) How do I do a totally clean installation of the SO on the SSD (so example: no Windows.old folder created,etc...)?

4)MOST IMPORTANT: How can I make sure I won't need to format the HDDs to use them after installing Windows and lose all my files/backups? If I am not mistaken, i tried to do something similar in the past and even if Windows was installed only on the SSD I couldn't access the HDDs until i formated them. I have to many files in them and work stuff i can't lose.

Anything else you think I should make sure to remember?

Thank you!
 
1. You may find this handy for reference: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

2. They'll be nothing on the SSD to boot from. But enter BIOS to change the boot order for this first one to the USB with Windows installer on it.

3. If you're installing from the USB you have no old Windows. You're not installing Windows 7 and then upgrading to Windows 10; or even cloning a drive which this was done.

4. I'll leave this one, but sounds like something went wrong previously for you. Personally I'd set up the boot drive first, turn off, then reconnect the old drives.
 
Reactions: Mandark
Sep 1, 2019
16
0
10
0
1. You may find this handy for reference: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

2. They'll be nothing on the SSD to boot from. But enter BIOS to change the boot order for this first one to the USB with Windows installer on it.

3. If you're installing from the USB you have no old Windows. You're not installing Windows 7 and then upgrading to Windows 10; or even cloning a drive which this was done.

4. I'll leave this one, but sounds like something went wrong previously for you. Personally I'd set up the boot drive first, turn off, then reconnect the old drives.
Thank you for your reply. :)

4)Do you mean I should install windows with only the SSD connected (which is where i want to install the OS) and then connect the HDDs after it is all done?

I hope someone else can also help with this.
 
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You should back up everything on those disks in any case because it sounds like they’re not backed up and hard drives fail often

Once they are fully backed up and verified you can format them and do whatever you please
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
1) You can run Windows without rebuying the license, but you will have to run it in unactivated mode until you are able to purchase a new license. You will have to have a license either way.

2) Set up the BIOS first - especially which drives you want in what boot order. If you have an M2 drive it will disable the SATA-0 and SATA-1 ports automatically.

3) Just do a clean reformat of the drive. But on SSDs, NEVER, EVER do a full format. Just a quick one will erase all your data and any partitions on the drive that you may have.

4) Easy - unplug ALL drives but your primary during the actual OS install. That will insure that Windows does not install any critical boot sector files on your second / third drives. Then once the OS is fully installed and operational, then plug your drives back in.
 

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