Two Laptops, Windows Installed on Both, SSD Swap?  

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  1. Posts : 11
    Windows 10
       #1

    Two Laptops, Windows Installed on Both, SSD Swap?


    I just purchased a laptop that has a 256GB SSD installed in it.

    I own a laptop with a 500GB SSD installed on it.

    I want to use the new laptop I just purchased.

    If I swap both hard drives in each computer, will they both activate with the licenses on their current motherboards?

    It sounds like a really easy way to move a 500GB SSD into my new computer, without having to format everything and without having to move all my stuff over

    Would that theoretically work? Would I have to activate the digital license to my email on the new laptop BEFORE I swap the ssd's? Or will I get major errors after the switch?

    PS: The two laptops:
    New laptop: Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha, 256GB SSD

    Old laptop: Lenovo Yoga 6, 500 GB SSD (Samsung Evo 970)

    I'm just wanting the Evo 970 with a larger SSD in the new computer, which will keep me from having to reinstall stuff.

    Thanks!

    Zach
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 13,324
    Win10 Version 22H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro and Home
       #2

    Don't have a direct answer but will say that changing the drives pretty much guarantees the warranty will be voided. I just replaced a 1TB 2.5" drive in a Notebook and checking the serial number at the drive makers site only show taking it back to the Notebook maker or seller for adjustment, not to the make of the drive.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 2,015
    Windows 11 Pro (latest update ... forever anal)
       #3

    I have always found Windows 10 very forgiving when swapped between devices, as long as the internet is connected on first boot.

    Just try it, there's nothing to lose ... it'll either work, or it won't. Meh.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 36
    Windows
       #4

    I try this occasionally and while it initially works (after doing driver updates), I always
    find the laptop will have strange lockups and in every case, I end up reinstalling Windows.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 1,496
    win10 home
       #5

    If the licences are OEM,that licence is tied to that machine.
    With Retail,drives can be changed.
    Licence details are found using command>run as administrator< as follows:
    slmgr /dli checks activation status.
    slmgr /dlv gives FULL licence information
    slmgr /xpr tells whether activation is permanent or the expiry date.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 18,357
    Windows 11 Pro
       #6

    joeandmarg0 said:
    If the licences are OEM,that licence is tied to that machine.
    With Retail,drives can be changed.
    Licence details are found using command>run as administrator< as follows:
    slmgr /dli checks activation status.
    slmgr /dlv gives FULL licence information
    slmgr /xpr tells whether activation is permanent or the expiry date.
    Unfortunately, just about everything in that post is erroneous in this situation. slmgr /dli or slmgr /dlv will not reliably disclose whether the license is retail or oem. In many situations, an OEM license will activate via the retail channel. If both licenses for both computers are for the same edition of Windows 10 (IE: Home or Pro) there is no problem. The OEM license for Windows 10 Home on computer A will continue to activate Windows 10 Home from computer B if the hard drive/SSD from computer B is moved to Computer A.

    There are two major roadblocks from moving the SSD from computer B to computer A. One is UEFI v. legacy BIOS (CSM) boot modes. UEFI Windows 10 installations are normally done to a GPT partitioned drive which is simply impossible to boot in a legacy BIOS computer. Conversely, most UEFI computers cannot boot from an NTFS partition which is the common format for booting in legacy BIOS (CSM). If both computers are booting in UEFI (or legacy BIOS [CSM]mode), that won't be a problem.

    The second roadblock will be the disk controller mode: NVMe v. SATA v. AHCI v. RAID. The most common is SATA in AHCI mode. If both computers are the same, there shouldn't be a problem.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 11
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    That's the point though!

    The license is tied to the machine. Theoretically, it turns into a "digital license" once you sign into your microsoft account,

    The question is: when I swap ssd's, won't it realize that it's another machine, and won't it change the activation key automatically to the activation key for that machine?

    Therefore, this should theoretically work, especially if I activate the new laptop with my microsoft account.

    I wanted to verify this with other people that have tried it before I open up my device though.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 18,357
    Windows 11 Pro
       #8

    zomboromano said:
    That's the point though!
    The license is tied to the machine. Theoretically, it turns into a "digital license" once you sign into your microsoft account,
    The question is: when I swap ssd's, won't it realize that it's another machine, and won't it change the activation key automatically to the activation key for that machine?
    Therefore, this should theoretically work, especially if I activate the new laptop with my microsoft account.
    I wanted to verify this with other people that have tried it before I open up my device though.
    The Microsoft Account has nothing to do with the digital license for Windows 10. There will be a link created to the digital license in the Microsoft Account, but if you never sign into that computer with a Microsoft Account and only use a local account, the digital license and activation will work exactly the same.

    The first time you activate Windows 10, either by entering a product key or by Windows 10 reading a product key from the computer's firmware, a digital license for that version of Windows 10 on that particular computer gets saved on Microsoft servers. The digital license is linked to the computer by the computer's unique hardware ID, not by the product key nor by a Microsoft Account.

    When you move the SSD to a new computer, Windows 10 will detect the change in the unique hardware ID and will become inactive. When Windows 10 connects to the internet the first time on the new computer, it will send the unique hardware ID for the new computer to Microsoft activation servers. If a previously saved digital license is found matching the edition of Windows 10 installed and the computer's unique hardware ID, then Windows 10 will reactivate itself with no user intervention required at all, and with no Microsoft Account being involved.

    If there is no previously saved digital license for that edition of Windows matching that computer, then the user must intervene to activate Windows 10 with either a Product Key or by moving the license from the old computer to new computer if it was linked to a Microsoft Account.

    And yes, I have done this many times in real world.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 1,496
    win10 home
       #9

    For navylcdr.
    Please inform Microsoft their built in tool---slmgr---is giving "erroneous" information.
    Would appreciate reading their response.
    Thanks,
    Joe
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 40,988
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #10

    If you have an OEM version you can uninstall the product key.

    Then you can reactivate.

    Upon reactivation you may no longer see OEM.
    You may see retail.
      My Computer


 

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