Question Switching hard drives

Jan 17, 2021
Hello, the pc I built has been running fine for a few years, some time ago I added a second hard drive to increase storage space, now I'm realizing my first hard drive is starting to fail. While I get a replacement is it possible to just remove my failing drive and reinstall windows on my second drive as if I just finished building the pc or do I have to reformat it? I'm a bit confused on what to do, any info is greatly appreciated!
Most would prefer any sort of SSD (NVME or SATA, depending on your system's age/capabilities) to any actual spinning drive, especially for the OS and most applications. (Systems with SSDs boot in as little 5-10 seconds compared to 20-30 with a spinning drive, closer to 40 seconds if a typical laptop spinning drive at 5400 rpm)

In any event, installing WIndows (make USB flash drive installer media from MS's Media creation tool ) to an SSD takes all of 5 minutes these days (vs. 15-20 minutes installing to a spinning drive). Gather all your needed chipset and graphics appropriate drivers ahead of time.

As your system was already Win10 activated, simply choose 'I don't have a key' at time of installation, and, during handshakes w/ MS later, it will reactivate automatically due to a unique hardware coding (like a model/serial number equivalent) stored at MS's vast databases.