Using old Hard Drive with a New PC

M0dar

Commendable
Aug 8, 2016
22
0
1,510
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So I am building a brand new pc and I have a hard drive with windows 10 oem installed. I know I can't use it and use the same windows 10 on the new pc which replaces all parts except for the hard drive. How am I able to keep all my files and reinstall a new copy of windows 10 on it without any problems? Explain the steps to installing windows 10 to the old hard drive when I first boot up the new PC. Thanks!
 

Colif

Titan
Moderator
Microsoft have changed the way activation works
Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change

In Windows 10 (Version 1607 or later), you can link your Microsoft account to the Windows 10 digital license on your device. This can help you reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter if you make a significant hardware change later, such as replacing the motherboard.
But we don't know how many parts can be swapped and still keep it activated as they say later
If you’re signed in using the correct Microsoft account, here are some additional reasons why you can’t reactivate Windows:

- The edition of Windows on your device doesn’t match the edition of Windows you linked to your digital license.
- The type of device you’re activating doesn’t match the type of device you linked to your digital license.
- Windows was never activated on your device.
and its the bottom one which I think you fall into, but we don't know as this only began to apply on the 5th August this year (a few days ago).

you need to read this to link your current install to the email address you gave Microsoft originally:

Re activating Win 10 after hardware changes



How does this effect you? Well, I would backup anything you cannot afford to lose, and just put old hdd as it is right now into PC and see what happens. It might activate, it might not, it might not even boot due to other fun detail, brand new hardware everywhere.

most of time it won't boot but you should still link your digital entitlement to your email address as that is worth trying once win 10 installed. It may not work but its worth a try. Would save you the money for a new copy of windows.

You can download win 10 from Here and use that tool to make a win 10 installer on USB or DVD
change boot order in BIOS so it is USB first, hdd second
boot from installer and follow this guide: http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1950-windows-10-clean-install.html

when you reach screen asking for licence, click "Skip" and win 10 will install. Then you need to run that troubleshooter mentioned in the Re activating win 10 after hardware changes link and see if it works. If it doesn't you have 30 or so days to buy a new licence.
 

M0dar

Commendable
Aug 8, 2016
22
0
1,510
0


Amazing answer, gives great info. But before I pick u as the solution, basically what you are saying is that I should just build my pc and install my old hard drive normally like any other, boot up and hope I can activate with the linked Microsoft account? It seems simple enough, but my hard drive has win 10 installed currently, will that cause any conflicts or will it just erase and reinstall/activate Windows 10 automatically without any problems? Basically just building a brand new PC, same steps?
 

Colif

Titan
Moderator
It seems simple enough, but my hard drive has win 10 installed currently, will that cause any conflicts or will it just erase and reinstall/activate Windows 10 automatically without any problems? Basically just building a brand new PC, same steps?
Thais the mystery part, it won't erase/reinstall but it might not boot. It all depends how it reacts to all the hardware changes it has to cope with. You will need to uninstall as many drivers before swapping the HDD (i would remove graphics drivers and maybe sound, at the very least) as then there will be less conflicts. You might find it boots but you get stacks of errors in which case I would fresh install using the win 10 download I linked above.

People recently have swapped HDD without reinstalling win 10 and its worked fine.

It may not reactivate either, as like I said, we don't know how many parts can be swapped before they go, nope.. its a new PC, you pay again.

You are sort of a guinea pig as we don't know what will happen,

The last two paragraphs are only needed if you do need to reinstall win 10. Not needed if it works.

Don't mark this Best Post until you sure it worked :)
 

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