Questions regarding Win10 Digital License and Cloning

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  1. ArthurDent's Avatar
    Posts : 215
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (OS Build 19042.630)
       #1

    Questions regarding Win10 Digital License and Cloning


    Hi folks,

    I upgraded an 11-year old laptop to a new SSD just before Christmas and used the Win 7 key to activate the clean install of Win 10.

    I'm putting in a bigger SSD and going to use Macrium Reflect to copy the Win 10 machine (so that all M$ Office and all of the other software won't have to be installed a second time and my WiFi printers will also be set up).

    I understand that the easiest way to clone the existing drive is to put the new drive in the pc and put the old drive in a USB caddy and get the pc to boot from the external hard drive (the old one). That's correct isn't it?

    Assuming that the BIOS of my 11-year old lappy allows me to boot from USB, that should be fine.

    If it doesn't, I'd have to put the new drive in the external USB caddy ans use Macrium Reflect to clone from the internal SSD to the external (new) SSD.

    If you then swap the drives over (so that the new one is now in the pc and the old drive is in the external caddy), there are a couple of additional steps to go through so that the new SSD will boot. That's correct isn't it?

    I'll ask about those steps if I need to. Going to try the first method to start with.

    Now to the Digital License question.

    The new install of Win 10 just before Christmas 2020 used as I said before, the Windows 7 key and is activated. If I clone the SSD I presume that the license is simply carried over to the new SSD.

    What happens if I decide to go for a clean install of Windows 10 in this new SSD. Will M$ pick up that apart from the larger SSD, the pc is the same (same processor, mobo & memory) and Win 10 will pick up the digital license?

    I ask this because I had several (legitimate) copies of Windows 7 and I can't remember which licence key I used. Or could I use Belarc Advisor (or similar) to dig out the key?

    Thanks in advance,

    Art

    PC in question is runing Windows 10 version 20H2, build 19042.867
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,927
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, are you using a Microsoft account or local? Could be easier if the former.
    Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License

    But as it's the same hardware anyway (disks don't count here in the evaluation of the hardware id- nor does RAM) - should be no problem.

    If there is, there's
    Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10
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  3. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,402
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #3

    ArthurDent said:
    I'm putting in a bigger SSD and going to use Macrium Reflect to copy the Win 10 machine (so that all M$ Office and all of the other software won't have to be installed a second time and my WiFi printers will also be set up).
    OK

    I understand that the easiest way to clone the existing drive is to put the new drive in the pc and put the old drive in a USB caddy and get the pc to boot from the external hard drive (the old one). That's correct isn't it?
    No. Windows won't boot from an external drive.

    If it doesn't, I'd have to put the new drive in the external USB caddy and use Macrium Reflect to clone from the internal SSD to the external (new) SSD. OK
    If you then swap the drives over (so that the new one is now in the pc and the old drive is in the external caddy), there are a couple of additional steps to go through so that the new SSD will boot. That's correct isn't it? No. Just swap the drives.

    Now to the Digital License question.
    What happens if I decide to go for a clean install of Windows 10 in this new SSD. Will M$ pick up that apart from the larger SSD, the pc is the same (same processor, mobo & memory) and Win 10 will pick up the digital license?
    Your computer ID was stored when you activated after the downgrade from Win 7 to Win 10. When you do a clean install, it will activate as it has the same ID.
    If you boot the existing drive, you must put the new drive into the caddy, boot windows normally and clone the internal drive into the external. When finished, shut down and swap the drives.

    I suggest you install Macrium reflect and make a Macrium reflect boot able rescue drive.
    Boot from the Macrium reflect boot able rescue drive and clone the existing drive to the new one.
    In this case the existing drive can be on the caddy and the new on on the computer or vice versa.

    Don't forget to resize the C: partition during the clone.
    Last edited by Megahertz; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:49.
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  4. Winuser's Avatar
    Posts : 6,987
    Windows 10 Pro Insider
       #4

    When I move my OS to a new drive I start by making sure I have a Macrium boot disk. Then I make a image of my drive to a USB drive large enough to hold the image. Then I shut off the computer and swap out the old drive with the new drive. After that I start the computer with the Macrium boot disk and do a image restore to the new drive.
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  5. ArthurDent's Avatar
    Posts : 215
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (OS Build 19042.630)
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thanks dalchina for the info and links:

    dalchina said:
    Hi, are you using a Microsoft account or local? Microsoft Account
    Could be easier if the former.
    Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License

    But as it's the same hardware anyway (disks don't count here in the evaluation of the hardware id- nor does RAM) - should be no problem.

    If there is, there's
    Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10
    Thank you Megahertz

    Megahertz said:
    If you boot the existing drive, you must put the new drive into the caddy, boot windows normally and clone the internal drive into the external. When finished, shut down and swap the drives.

    I suggest you install Macrium reflect (already done) and make a Macrium reflect boot able rescue drive (on a USB stick or on a CD/DVD - I guess it doesn't matter as long as I can boot from it??)

    Boot from the Macrium reflect boot able rescue drive and clone the existing drive to the new one.
    In this case the existing drive can be on the caddy and the new on on the computer or vice versa.

    Don't forget to resize the C: partition during the clone. No, I won't - I already had that in mind as something to do during the process - but thanks for the reminder!
    Thanks Winuser

    Winuser said:
    When I move my OS to a new drive I start by making sure I have a Macrium boot disk. Then I make a image of my drive to a USB drive large enough to hold the image. Then I shut off the computer and swap out the old drive with the new drive. After that I start the computer with the Macrium boot disk and do a image restore to the new drive.
    Just a query. Bit in blue - will this copy all of the partritions??

    The drive I have is a Crucial MX500 500GB SSD and is a dual-booted with Linux Mint (the pc boots into Windows by default). Will the image copy all of the partitions including the Linux partition and the boot loader (GRUB)? The new drive is a 1Tb Samsung 870 EVO.

    Currently the 500Gb drive has 85% free space and I have a 128Gb USB stick that is empty at the moment.

    It has this much free space because I haven't yet migrated all of the data (documents, pictures, etc) from the old Hard Disk!

    Cheers

    Art
    Last edited by ArthurDent; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:27.
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  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,511
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #6

    I've done hardware cloning of like sizes drives and also from one size to a larger size [which left unallocated space such as 250GB to a 500GB which allowed setting as Drive D] but haven't done it larger to small. Haven't had any Activation issues.
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  7. ArthurDent's Avatar
    Posts : 215
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (OS Build 19042.630)
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Berton said:
    I've done hardware cloning of like sizes drives and also from one size to a larger size [which left unallocated space such as 250GB to a 500GB which allowed setting as Drive D] but haven't done it larger to small. Haven't had any Activation issues.
    Hi,

    I'm cloning from smaller to larger.

    Art
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  8. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,402
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #8

    You can choose to clone the entire drive or some partitions (drag and drop).
    Partitions drag and drop has the advantage that you can change the order and resize.
    It will clone any kind of partition format (NTFS, Fat, etx4 etc)
    Last edited by Megahertz; 2 Weeks Ago at 13:26.
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  9. MisterEd's Avatar
    Posts : 491
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit v20H2
       #9

    Old drive: M.2 SATA 500GB SSD (internal to laptop)
    New drive: M.2 SATA 1TB SSD (in USB enclosure)

    I don't know about Macrium reflect but I have Acronis True Image Rescue Media on a USB flash drive. I booted the laptop using the USB flash drive. I cloned the old SSD to the new one. Acronis automatically resized the new drive so that the whole drive was used. In other words the C: partition was resized to do this.

    Even if the cloning software did not resize the C: partition during the clone that still would not be a problem. After the new drive was put in the computer and booted, I would have used my drive partitioning program to resize the C: partition. The program I use is EaseUS Partition Master (free).

    I have done this a couple times. Each time the Windows 10 digital license and all installed programs were intact.
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  10. ArthurDent's Avatar
    Posts : 215
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (OS Build 19042.630)
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Megahertz said:
    You can choose to clone the entire drive or some partitions (drag and drop).
    Partitions drag and drop has the advantage that you can change the order and resize.
    It will clone any kind of partition format (NTFS, Fat, etx4 etc)
    Hi again Megahertz

    I'm curious as to how this would work with a dual-boot (original) SSD if you didn't (for example) drag & drop the Linux partition across the the new SSD. Would this screw the boot process up??

    Currently the pc boots into the GRUB loader and gives me 30 sec to choose to boot into Windows (the default) or select Linux Mint.

    MisterEd said:
    Old drive: M.2 SATA 500GB SSD (internal to laptop)
    New drive: M.2 SATA 1TB SSD (in USB enclosure)

    I don't know about Macrium reflect but I have Acronis True Image Rescue Media on a USB flash drive. I booted the laptop using the USB flash drive. I cloned the old SSD to the new one. Acronis automatically resized the new drive so that the whole drive was used. In other words the C: partition was resized to do this.

    Even if the cloning software did not resize the C: partition during the clone that still would not be a problem. After the new drive was put in the computer and booted, I would have used my drive partitioning program to resize the C: partition. The program I use is EaseUS Partition Master (free).

    I have done this a couple times. Each time the Windows 10 digital license and all installed programs were intact.
    I have used Acronis True Image many, many times, that is until I tried to clone a m.2 drive when it couldn't see the second drive. Macrium Refelct was recommended and it saw both drives with no problem.

    I also have EaseUS Partition Master.

    Art
      My Computers


 
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