Windows 8.1- Using activation key that was preinstalled on computer

PaladynJasio

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Apr 13, 2015
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Hey guys,
I have a Dell Inspiron computer and the only hard drive in it is a normal mechanical HDD. I want to put an SSD into it for my boot drive. This computer came with windows 8.1 preinstalled and I'm wondering will it be ok to download a Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit ISO from the Microsoft website and use the product key that came installed on the Dell (I can see the product key when I go into computer properties but the computer didn't come with a windows 8.1 disc)?
 

festerovic

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Jul 16, 2008
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Highly doubt that will work, the keys are very specific to different versions (oem in this case). Best bet is to get migration tools, like those that come with most SSDs, or Clonezilla, and copy the working OS from the HDD to your SSD.
 

PaladynJasio

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Apr 13, 2015
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Ok I'd like to get it clear. I get the SSD i take it out of the box. Then I go onto my Dell and recover windows using the hidden recovery partition to factory setting (just to have a clean new system). I clone the system onto my new SSD and then format my old 1tb mechanical drive. So by now I am booting from my SSD and all is working fine but I have one more question from this point. When I completely format my 1tb drive, what happens to the hidden recovery partition that was there before? Does it still stay there or those it move to my SSD with the migration? Or does it get completely deleted and I need to make a new one. If so, how do I go about doing this? Cheers!
 

festerovic

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No, thats all wrong. Read this article to get a handle on the steps.
http://www.howtogeek.com/97242/how-to-migrate-windows-7-to-a-solid-state-drive/

Once you have cloned the OS to your SSD, take the 1TB drive and put it somewhere safe, its your only legitimate installation of windows you have, and it also has the recovery drive on a separate partition. If you erase the entire HDD you will lose your backup OS and also the recovery partition. You may be able to format JUST the portion that has the OS on it, and not the partition with the recovery stuff, they will appear like 2 separate drives from within windows.
 

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