Question Windows License on Old Laptop

Jan 5, 2021
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Hey, all,

So here's the dilemma:

Upgraded a buddies old HP laptop from native Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 (Home I believe it was?) with the still-available-to-upgrade option.

Months later his main 500gb hdd just died. Was an old 5400 hdd. He's ordered a new one and comes in soon.

Now here's my main thought before installing the new hdd and reinstalling Windows: we don't have the Win 8.1/Win 10 key to reactivate after installing to the new hdd. Do I need to reinstall Windows 8.1 and then it'll Activate by itself and then upgrade to Win 10 again? Do I just reinstall Windows 10 Home and it'll re-Activate? Do I need to contact Microsoft for them to Activate it? The machines over 5 years old so any warranties it had are long gone.

Any and all info is appreciated!
 

Math Geek

Champion
Ambassador
it should auto-activate for you. there is no key involved with the upgrade, it is based on a hardware signature which won't change with the new hdd.

if it does not, then a call to ms will get it fixed. takes a few minutes but not a big deal to do.
 
Jan 5, 2021
13
0
10
0
it should auto-activate for you. there is no key involved with the upgrade, it is based on a hardware signature which won't change with the new hdd.

if it does not, then a call to ms will get it fixed. takes a few minutes but not a big deal to do.
Awesome. Thanks for the info!

If we do need to call Microsoft, which # or department are we looking to call to help with Reactivation?
 

Math Geek

Champion
Ambassador
if it does not activate, there will be a number listed to call on the system info page. it'll also give you the long key to give to ms all in the same spot. it'll be in the settings app where the activation info is shown
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Agree with the above.
A reinstall in this same laptop should incur no issues with activation.
A replacement HDD or SSD is no problem.

 

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