Question Windows and a laptop drive

Dec 7, 2021
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Good day, wondering how this situation will pan out, I have a laptop with an m.2 SSD in it, and am now building a new computer. I bought another SSD, a SATA drive as additional storage. My question is, if the m.2 SSD should already have windows installed and fully functional in the new computer as I'm using it right now, or if I will have to use windows media creator on the SATA SSD, boot it up, and then insert the m.2 SSD into the case to access my files. Thanks in advance for any help.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

You use Windows Media Creation Tools on any donor system(be it a laptop or a desktop) and use the bootable USB installer to install the OS onto your new drive(that you intend to drop into your new build). You don't install the OS with the SSD in donor system, you install the OS with the SSD populating the motherboard/PC/system that will see the build.
 

punkncat

Distinguished
Ambassador
It is highly unlikely that the M.2 on the laptop would be able to be transferred into a desktop PC build and boot properly. It might, but even if it does will likely mess with activation and likely give loads of issues down the road (buggy).

Your best bet if you wish to utilize the M.2 in the new build would be to:

Use the laptop as it to create the USB installer from Microsoft (assuming Windows here). Use an external drive, cloud storage, or even one of the drives you purchased inside a caddy or enclosure to transfer off the things you wish to keep. Shut down the laptop, remove the storage. Install the M.2 in the desktop machine, do not connect any other drives. Boot and go straight to the boot order menu (should come up on your splash screen what button to hit for that). Set boot order to the USB that you made. Use the advanced install feature to wipe all the partitions currently on the M.2 until the whole thing says unallocated space and then hit 'next'. The installer will put a fresh install of Windows and create all the system partitions it needs.
You will likely need to purchase a new license for the desktop build.

As to the laptop, you might be able to put in another M.2 and/or perhaps a 2.5" drive of your choosing. As long as you install the same version of Windows that is on it now, it should stay activated by hardware id.
 

QwerkyPengwen

Splendid
Ambassador
Unfortunately you cannot use the M.2 drive and boot from existing installation of windows on it.
But, this is only if the windows that is installed is the one that came pre installed when you bought the laptop new.
If this installation on the laptop was done clean and manually at some point then you can try to boot from it in the desktop in order to transfer files over to the SATA SSD then do a clean install.

Otherwise, I recommend making a live Linux USB, putting both M.2 and SATA into new PC, then boot from USB and transfer files from one drive to another, then you can disconnect the SATA drive, and do a wipe and clean install of windows onto the M.2 in your new system assuming you want to keep and reuse the M.2.

If all you really want is to get the files, then do the Linux USB option whether you intend to reuse the M.2 or not. But only for transferring files.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Good day, wondering how this situation will pan out, I have a laptop with an m.2 SSD in it, and am now building a new computer. I bought another SSD, a SATA drive as additional storage. My question is, if the m.2 SSD should already have windows installed and fully functional in the new computer as I'm using it right now, or if I will have to use windows media creator on the SATA SSD, boot it up, and then insert the m.2 SSD into the case to access my files. Thanks in advance for any help.
While the laptop is still working, locate and save all your personal files to some other storage location.
Not the Libraries they may live in, but just the files within.

And no, you cannot use the existing OS on the laptop drive in your new desktop.

Your desktop WILL need a fresh OS install.
 

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