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Transferring existing windows copy to new build

Oyooy

3 months ago

I'm sure this question probably gets asked a lot so sorry. My current PC has windows 10 installed on a HDD. I'm planning on doing a new build with both a new SSD and my original HDD (with the OS on the SSD) (the new build will have a new motherboard).

What I'm currently thinking of doing is putting the SSD into my current PC and transferring the entire contents of my HDD to it. Then, when I do my build, I boot from the SSD and can then delete everything left on my HDD to start it out fresh again. Will this work generally and will it work with my windows key since, from it's perspective, it's in a new storage device in a new computer.

If this doesn't work, are there any alternatives I can do so I don't need to rebuy windows (my original purchase was windows 8.1 if that helps).

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

8.1 Full or OEM?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Full version.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Easus has a software for doing that but it wasnt working out the way i wanted it. uefi kept giving me issues. i used the windows backup feature to backup up my entire drive c as an image unto my external drive then i restored it on my new ssd.

it was the same pc though. not different build. just upgrade from 120gb ssd to 500gb ssd. Maybe someone can give you a better solution or you could look up my method.

cheers.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

what I would do is write down your license information from the windows 10 installation on the HDD. You can even go into settings and associate your copy of windows to your user account.

Next unplug the HDD and place it on a shelf for now. Then Plug in the empty SSD and proceed to install Windows 10 (from a usb flash drive you can make for free with their installer). When you get to the activation screen you just log in with your user account and if you linked it then it will activate on it's own. otherwise enter the needed info.

Once it is all running fresh like you want, start installing your programs on the SSD. Next you can plug your HDD back in as a secondary drive, and copy anything you want from it to the SSD for saved files etc. Once you are confident that it is all good and no files missed, you can format the HDD and remove the boot partition etc. to make it clean for new use.

You will be much better with a fresh install vs the old bloated upgraded version. And new hardware swaps like your upgrade are a good trigger for you to take advantage of the fresh install.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Just to clarify you're moving the HDD with WIN 10 to a newbuild but want to boot from the new SSD....

FIRST - back up your HDD to an external drive!! Build your computer, install the HDD and SSD, set BIOS to boot to the HDD. Boot into windows. Right click windows/start, select disk management and find your new SSD - itll be in black and say unallocated. Right click it and select initialize disk, select GPT format and go. Now download something like acronis true image, free here www.crucial.com/clone select clone disk and automatic, select source and destination drives and go. Now boot to bios and change boot order to your new SSD - done. To wipe your HDD - open command promt by typing CMD in search bar. Type diskpart. now type list disk. now type select disk (and the disk number). Youll know which to choose based on storage size. Now type clean. Close CMD and go back to disk management and format/initialize your clean HDD like you did your SSD. Move your files to the HDD manually. Leave OS and programs on the SSD for max speed. Feel free to PM for help. Good luck BACK UP BEFORE STARTING - I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR LOST INFO :)

If you are going WIN 8.1 to 10, do what the other guy said - fresh install 10 on SSD and move your files manually and redownload all your programs.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I've had pretty good luck putting Windows 10 drives in new PC's and having them working fine.

Just make sure you use proper cloning software, most SSD manufacturers provide a tool, but there are general purpose cloning tools available. I've used Samsung's and Intel's cloning tools just fine (to clone OS drives). This is not something where you can just ctrl-x and ctrl-v from one drive to another.

Although I've not tried it with Windows 8.1, but I would give cloning a whirl and if it works, great, and if not you still have the option of doing a clean install. I'm all for saving myself the work of reinstalling software and reconfiguring. Why bother if you can comfortably just pick up where you left off?

Some folks may disagree because it runs contrary to the dogma they've lived by for years and years. But I'm someone who used to do fairly frequent clean installs back in the Win98/XP days. And I'm going to have to argue that in 2019, doing it when you don't really need to is just religious ritual.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought the OS was tied to the motherboard?

I'm in the same situation. I have a full version key for 8.1 (upgraded to 10 ofc), but it's tied to my Alienware Aurora R4. I transferred that SSD to my new Ryzen build and everything works fine except now I have that annoying "Activate Windows" water mark in the lower right hand corner.

  • 3 months ago
  • -1 points

So what your actually doing is just pulling the c drive out of a older PC and putting it in a new PC. Yes I know your transfering it to a SSD first but still same thing.

I don't think the new PC will even boot. In general you do a fresh install of windows.

To keep you from writing to the SSD for nothing you can hook your C drive up to the new PC first.

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