Windows 10: Moving Current HDD with Win10 to another PC (different motherboard)

  1.    14 Aug 2015 #1

    Moving Current HDD with Win10 to another PC (different motherboard)


    Hello,

    I am in the process of moving from Europe to Canada and because of the ridiculous cost of shipping a PC across the ocean I will only move some parts (leaving mobo, case, power supply). I thought I could carelessly put my old hard drive in a new mobo but after some research it's apparently not so simple.

    I therefore ask for your help, the almighty people of this forum, to help me find a way to escape the 100+ $ of buying windows again (and maybe even a new hard drive). Thank you in advance!

    Relevant information?

    current HDD: No idea (1tb 7200rpm... seagate possibly?)
    cpu: i7 4770
    gpu: gtx 770 (2gb evga)
    ram: No idea (currently 2x4gb, will add two more 4gb)
    possible new mobo: Asus Z87-Pro ATX LGA1150
    possible new SSD: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    14 Aug 2015 #2

    The Windows license indicates that it's free for the "life of the device". Some have interpreted this to mean that you can't then transfer it to another device; others have interpreted it as you CAN.

    Either way, hardware hashes, which are used to activate Win10, include the motherboard -- so changing motherboards will be seen by MS as changing "devices".

    Also, a Windows install is tied to the hardware in terms of drivers, and switching motherboards means that the current driver set of the install on the HDD is most likely, NOT going to work.

    So, even if it does boot (which it might not), there is likely to be a problem with activation.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    14 Aug 2015 #3

    If you upgraded to 10 from a retail copy of Windows 7 or 8, I believe that you could transfer the old OS to new hardware. You could then upgrade the new system to 10 using the free version.

    Transferring the old OS may not be simple. In principle, you could just move the HD, and Windows might boot and change out the motherboard drivers.

    Another option might be getting rid of the drivers with sysprep. One use of the utility is genericizing (is that a word?) a Windows installation so that it can be placed on diverse hardware (in a Corporate environment).

    There are third-party utilities that claim to be able to move Windows onto new hardware. I own one (Acronis True Image, which has an add-on for that), but I've never tried it.

    You could also buy a motherboard that's twin to your current one. It wouldn't activate Win 10 (if only because the MAC address of the Ethernet controller would be different), but you could use it with the old OS and re-activate with your key.

    If you think I'm trying to dissuade you from trying to transfer a Windows installation to new hardware, you are correct.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 2,033
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       14 Aug 2015 #4

    Unlike Windows 7. Windows 8/10 is very forgiving. If you take out the HD and put in another MB, Windows will boot and recognize the missing drivers and will attempt to install them. You will be getting a message: Getting Your Devices ready.... You don't need any third party to migrade to the new MB ( This is just marketing hype, all they did is to remove the drivers in your current MB). However, you won't be able to activate it. I know for fact, I replaced all kind of devices, HD's, SSD, Video Card and this will not affect the activation, only when the MB is replaced.

    Why can't you diassemble your PC. Just take the MB, CPU, video Card &HD and put in your suite case, that's is all you need.

    EDIT: Looking at your SPECS. All you need is a new SSD which you can buy later and clone your HD to it and that would make Windows flies....
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    14 Aug 2015 #5

    Thank you for your answers

    Why can't you diassemble your PC. Just take the MB, CPU, video Card &HD and put in your suite case, that's is all you need.
    For two reasons; first is that, as you can imagine, a motherboard is somewhat big to put in my suitcase (since I believe it to be somewhat fragile I will need to put it in it's original box).

    However the main reason is that my current motherboard doesn't support SLI, which is something I want as an option. I could take this one for now, however I am only delaying the problem, since I will one day end up buying a new one.

    EDIT: Looking at your SPECS. All you need is a new SSD which you can buy later and clone your HD to it and that would make Windows flies....
    Could you expand on that? I'm not sure that I understand.

    edit: I realized that my current mobo is practically the same as the potential new one; same brand and it's BIOS is identical, does that make any difference?
    Super edit: Found it: B85M-E/CSM https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/asu...board-b85mecsm

    Another option might be getting rid of the drivers with sysprep. One use of the utility is genericizing (is that a word?) a Windows installation so that it can be placed on diverse hardware (in a Corporate environment).
    There are third-party utilities that claim to be able to move Windows onto new hardware. I own one (Acronis True Image, which has an add-on for that), but I've never tried it.
    How realistic is this option? By realistic I mean does it take extensive knowledge in this practice or could I easily do it? And how viable/safe is it?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    15 Aug 2015 #6

    Owlsome said: View Post
    I realized that my current mobo is practically the same as the potential new one; same brand and it's BIOS is identical, does that make any difference?
    Super edit: Found it: B85M-E/CSM https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/asu...board-b85mecsm
    According to specs, your current board will only support AMD's Xfire and not NVidia's SLI. Erring on the side of caution, I would say SLI will not work and if it does, will not work properly.

    What you can try to do:

    If you plan on getting an SSD, use that as your boot and program drive. Assign the HDD as your data drive. This keeps things 'clean and organized' and another safe guard for your data.

    Use the Media Creation Tool to get Windows 10 (get the version you have).

    Do you have a valid Windows 7/8/8.1 key? Use that to install on the SSD. Activate it. If it doesn't activate, you can call MS to activate. Then use the media tool to perform the upgrade (saves time to download install updates you don't need now).

    If everything goes well, you should have Windows 10 activated. Now to really give you a 'clean' slate, perform a clean install. I don't recommend cloning drives as it dumps garbage and junk which can cause issues and defeat the purpose of the clean install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    15 Aug 2015 #7

    I have to admit, it seems somewhat complicated as I am not very experienced with this. It also seems somewhat hypothetical with all the ''should'' and ''might'' .

    I will have to abandon the Idea of SLI for now and take my current mobo, seems more logical.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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