Question Windows 10, using old SSD with windows works fine in totally different PC

tacticalkali

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Oct 16, 2019
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I was always taught trying to boot a HDD with a windows installation from an old PC in a new one would cause it not to load because of the difference in HDD.

I was going to install Linux on my old PC. As I reused the ssd from that one in my new build, I used another SSD with windows on it from an older dell. I plugged it in expecting it to crash but no! Windows 10 loader perfectly fine with no issues. Is this normal for windows 10?
 
Took an ssd with windows 10 from a Dell optiplex and put it in a custom built PC. Totally different motherboard , ram cpu etc.
OK.

Yeah.....that can work. Or not.

I've never done it, but my understanding is that it would likely at least boot on first startup. Not always of course.

If I were to build a new machine tomorrow, I'd probably just try to move my Win 10 drive over just like you did. Maybe I get away with it forever. It obviously is a serious time-saver if it works and you can always give up and do a clean install if necessary.

Do a bunch of your standard tasks. Check out the BIOS and Device Manager for anything weird. See if Windows Update runs properly. Maybe you are good to go?
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
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Jun 12, 2015
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you can getr 3 reactions swapping windows into a new PC
  1. it works fine
  2. it works but has odd problems
  3. it doesn't work at all
You could be on 1 or 2. Its hard to tell without using it more.

Yeah, it will deactivate based on hardware.
 

geofelt

Titan
If the old and new processors were similar, (intel vs. Intel) then the likelihood of a successful boot is higher.
If you can boot, install the appropriate drivers, particularly motherboard and device drivers and you may run well.

Unless the old windows was a retail version, you will need to activate.
But, running an unactivated windows gives you a faint watermark reminder on the monitor that is really not obtrusive.
 

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