Swapping Hard Drives from Laptop 10 to Windows 7 Laptop


  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10, Version 1903 (OS Build 18362.1016)
       #1

    Swapping Hard Drives from Laptop 10 to Windows 7 Laptop


    I am not sure if the other posts mention anything like this before but:

    Recently, my Wins10 laptop malfunction and I am not sure exactly how; laptop made beeps relating to CMOS battery (fixed) and cannot read hard drive (or something; not fixed). Anyhow, I acquired another laptop, an older version with Wins7. My genius idea was to simply swap out hard drives, since I saw the system info of Wins 7 laptop fits the requirements necessary for Wins10. I thought since Wins10 is in the hard drive, I swap it out so I can use it from Wins7 laptop; however, there was an error and I forgot what it said again.

    Any ideas?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 27,173
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #2

    Hi wins10n00bi3 and welcome to Tenforums.

    Maybe not so crazy idea

    Check, if laptop has secure boot enabled in BIOS and disable it. If hardware is not too different it may boot. But it would run much better, if you clean install.

    If you have access to any other computer, make backup image of drive in question (to external hard drive), erase it and clean install. But it could boot and run in new laptop.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #3

    My main concern is whether Windows 10 would activate on the older laptop.

    I believe that OEM Win10 commonly uses a license code embedded in the laptop's BIOS. That obviously won't be present on the second laptop.

    I presume that you want to swap drives so that you can, in effect, resurrect the Win10 laptop. If that's right, I'm not sure how to do that, without buying a new Win10 license. (That's assuming the Win10 will boot in the Win7 machine. I'd bet that it will.)

    I hope that the Win10 laptop still is alive enough that you can back up (image) its drives. If so, I recommend that you do that before doing anything else.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 25,024
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    wins10n00bi3 said:
    ...My genius idea was to simply swap out hard drives, since I saw the system info of Wins 7 laptop fits the requirements necessary for Wins10....
    bobkn said:
    My main concern is whether Windows 10 would activate on the older laptop.
    I believe that OEM Win10 commonly uses a license code embedded in the laptop's BIOS. That obviously won't be present on the second laptop.
    All machines built for Windows 8 and above and supplied by the OEM with Windows pre-installed will have a full Windows key embedded in the firmware. This is only read and used by Setup when doing a clean install. Activation of this 'swapped in' W10 disk would not look for this key in the firmware, rather it would require the PC to already have a digital license for W10 stored on the Microsoft activation servers.


    For Windows 7 machines there was an SLP marker embedded in the bios which was not a key. It was just a marker which, together with the generic OEM key in the OEM W7 image, would activate the pre-installed OEM W7 without needing to contact the activation servers.


    For W10 to activate on this old W7 PC the PC would already have to have a digital license for W10. It could gain one by upgrading its existing activated W7 to W10. Note that a digital license is only for one edition of W10, Home or Pro. Which license it gets on upgrade depends on which edition of W7 it had.

    If the disk to be 'swapped in' is W10 Pro, but the PC only has a digital license for Home, then it will not activate.

    If the 'swapped in' disk is W10 Home and the PC's digital license is for W10 Pro that may not activate either, but the installed W10 Home could be upgraded to Pro by entering the generic Pro key, then it would activate.


    The main problem in getting the 'transplant patient' to boot would be if the donor machine was UEFI with a gpt disk, but the old W7 PC was a Legacy bios machine that only supports booting from an mbr disk.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 6,963
    windows 10
       #5

    If you replaced to bios battery and didnt enter the bios after and set it up its possible that is the only problem as it would resort to defaults and may not see the drive or its set to the wrong type
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #6

    Bree said:
    (snip)

    For W10 to activate on this old W7 PC the PC would already have to have a digital license for W10. It could gain one by upgrading its existing activated W7 to W10. Note that a digital license is only for one edition of W10, Home or Pro. Which license it gets on upgrade depends on which edition of W7 it had.

    (snip)
    Let me get this scenario straight: the Win7 laptop is upgraded to Win10, generating a digital license. Let's say that it is Win10 Home.

    The boot drive from the sick Win10 laptop is swapped in. It has Win10 home, with an OEM license.

    Win10 sees the hardware change. You're sure that installation will then use the digital license from the upgraded Win7 PC to activate the transplanted OS?

    I'm not trying to be contradictory. It's just a slightly startling concept.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 17,344
    Windows 11 Pro
       #7

    bobkn said:
    Let me get this scenario straight: the Win7 laptop is upgraded to Win10, generating a digital license. Let's say that it is Win10 Home.

    The boot drive from the sick Win10 laptop is swapped in. It has Win10 home, with an OEM license.

    Win10 sees the hardware change. You're sure that installation will then use the digital license from the upgraded Win7 PC to activate the transplanted OS?

    I'm not trying to be contradictory. It's just a slightly startling concept.
    Yes. As long as a digital license exists for the same version of Windows 10 (Home or Pro), the Windows 10 installation "swapped into" the new computer will retain activation. OEM v. Retail does not matter.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #8

    NavyLCDR said:
    Yes. As long as a digital license exists for the same version of Windows 10 (Home or Pro), the Windows 10 installation "swapped into" the new computer will retain activation. OEM v. Retail does not matter.
    Far out.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 3
    Windows 10, Version 1903 (OS Build 18362.1016)
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions! Unfortunately for me, I have been swamped with work, traffic, and school, so I have no idea when I will be able to start the process. But for now, I want to show gratitude to all of you in here. Thanks again!
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 25,024
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    wins10n00bi3 said:
    Unfortunately for me, I have been swamped with work, traffic, and school, so I have no idea when I will be able to start the process....
    Take your time, you don't want to rush it. Just come back to this thread and we'll still be here to answer any questions when you do have the time to start.
      My Computers


 

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