Windows 10: Cloned drive to new pc possible?

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  1.    29 Sep 2016 #1

    Cloned drive to new pc possible?


    I have W10 which was upgraded from w7 ultimate.
    I cloned w10 to another hard drive and now have 2 drives bootable which i can use.
    I am going to be buying a new pc without an operating system,before i do can i:
    Put one of the drives into this new pc and boot form it?
    Will it W10 remain activated on the new pc
    If it is not activated how can i activate this?
    I also have a bootable clean install of w10 on a usb,which i could install but again this would need to be activated?

    Any thought or help for above appreciated before i buy a new pc..
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 1,743
    10 Home x64 (1607), Pro x86 (1511 & 1607)
       29 Sep 2016 #2

    Taking a hard drive that's cloned from one system and using it to boot another system is fraught with problems, not least of which is that all the wrong drivers will be loaded.

    The free upgrade from 7 to 10 granted you a digital licence that is tied to the hardware of the PC you upgraded. This is not a transferable licence. I'm afraid you need to purchase a new licence for the new PC.

    What's going to happen to the old PC? If you are keeping it as a spare or passing it on for someone else to use it still requires its digital licence. Even if it were transferable, you can't activate two machines with the one licence, each machine needs its own licence.

    PS: it may be possible with a lot of work to configure the clone drive to work in the new PC. I can imagine why you might want to do this, not having to reinstall all your software for one. It won't be activated though. If you decide to take this route, you can activate it later by purchasing its own product key.
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  3.    29 Sep 2016 #3

    Can i not deactivate the license on the first pc,and keep the license on the new pc? then it is one license.
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 1,743
    10 Home x64 (1607), Pro x86 (1511 & 1607)
       29 Sep 2016 #4

    mcgoo said: View Post
    Can i not deactivate the license on the first pc,and keep the license on the new pc? then it is one license.
    The first PC would appear to have been licenced by upgrading from 7 to 10. This licence is tied to the specific hardware of the original PC.

    For custom home built systems subject to major hardware upgrades (or even a completely new set of hardware) an original purchased licence can be linked to a Microsoft Account rather than the hardware. This can be transferred from an old machine to a new one. see:
    Microsoft Account - Link to Digital License on Windows 10 PC

    AIUI it is a breach of the EULA to transfer, say, the licence from a laptop (upgraded from the OEM W7 to W10) to a new-build PC in this way.
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  5. M4v3r1ck's Avatar
    Posts : 438
    Win 10 Pro x64 1607 (Build 14393.953)
       30 Sep 2016 #5

    Cloned drive to new pc possible?


    I upgraded from a Mac Pro 3.1 to 5.1 so a machine with different hardware.

    I ran EFI Windows 8 that I ported to the new Mac. Of course it would not activate. Called M$ and the lady I spoke kindly gave me a new license key for Windows 8. Upgraded to Windows 8.1 and atm running the Windows 10 AU 1607 release. Still going strong! "-D

    Good luck with your install!

    Cheers
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    30 Sep 2016 #6

    Bree said: View Post
    Taking a hard drive that's cloned from one system and using it to boot another system is fraught with problems, not least of which is that all the wrong drivers will be loaded..
    I respectfully disagree. Windows is extremely forgiving - you can plug your drive into almost any PC (or image it) and it will boot and in most cases install the drivers it needs (you get the "Getting Drivers Ready.." dialogue on your screen). You can delete the drivers you don't want from your old hardware after through device manager and install the ones that you are missing.

    The only issue I had (moving from Lenovo laptop to Apple MBP) was keyboard drivers being missing so the delete key didn't work so I couldn't log on but that was easily fixed by installing them on the Lenovo before imaging the OS.

    M4v3r1ck said: View Post
    I upgraded from a Mac Pro 3.1 to 5.1 so a machine with different hardware.

    I ran EFI Windows 8 that I ported to the new Mac. Of course it would not activate. Called M$ and the lady I spoke kindly gave me a new license key for Windows 8. Upgraded to Windows 8.1 and atm running the Windows 10 AU 1607 release. Still going strong! "-D

    Good luck with your install!

    Cheers
    I had exactly the same experience.

    It will not be activated (as you say) but you just call them (I had to call twice as the first person didn't seem to understand). I've also moved licenses from one VM to another and from VM to real PC and back which is all the same thing - different hardware. Normally but not always telephone activation is required. I've not tried the method @Bree mentioned in post #4 but I guess that would also work. Whatever license you have (as long as you do obviously) they'll let you transfer it if you are polite and persistent. In my experience anyway.

    Worst case you can still install 7, activate it and then clean install as described in the tutorial below as while the free upgrade has ended it still works. Well, last week it did anyway.

    Clean Install Windows 10 Directly without having to Upgrade First - Windows 10 Forums
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  7. M4v3r1ck's Avatar
    Posts : 438
    Win 10 Pro x64 1607 (Build 14393.953)
       30 Sep 2016 #7

    lx07 said: View Post
    I've also moved licenses from one VM to another and from VM to real PC and back which is all the same thing - different hardware. Normally but not always telephone activation is required.
    I first clean installed Windows 10 1511 and later upgraded to AU 1607 in several test VM's (alpha/beta testing software) on the same Mac Pro 5.1. Just a few weeks ago I upgraded my Windows 8.1 SSD to Windows 10 AU1607. Now all Windows 10 VM's and SSD are activated by the digital license, so I'm very happy with the M$ Windows OS atm.

    Cheers
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    30 Sep 2016 #8

    M4v3r1ck said: View Post
    I first clean installed Windows 10 1511 and later upgraded to AU 1607 in several test VM's (alpha/beta testing software) on the same Mac Pro 5.1. Just a few weeks ago I upgraded my Windows 8.1 SSD to Windows 10 AU1607. Now all Windows 10 VM's and SSD are activated by the digital license, so I'm very happy with the M$ Windows OS atm.

    Cheers
    I hope this is not too off topic but I have a question/observation to make here. Do you dual-boot or use Fusion or Parallels or something? I use Fusion. I found that for any upgrade situation the digital entitlement would only work with the one you upgraded - so if you got a digital license for bootcamp partition it would not not work for VM (or v.v.).

    The nice MS guys swapped my digital license for a Windows 10 retail key which does work for both but it was a bit of a shag to hang on the phone for 2 hours to get it. I can now boot into an activated Windows either from VMWare or native but still have the problem of having to re-authenticate my MS account when switching as otherwise all the new MS Metro apps just crash. I think it confuses the system somewhat having 2 hardware running (even if they are the same).

    I have the same issue booting native from vhdx (I have different VMs for different banks) but they at least pick up the underlying hardware and normally just activate.
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  9. M4v3r1ck's Avatar
    Posts : 438
    Win 10 Pro x64 1607 (Build 14393.953)
       30 Sep 2016 #9

    Hi @lx07,

    1. I dual boot:

    a. 840 EVO SSD for Mac OS X 10.10.5
    b. 840 EVO SSD for Windows 10 Pro AU 1607 (EFI both native and as VM in Fusion <- ran all updates while booted as in VM)

    Both SSD's are installed on the Apricorn Velocity DUO x2 PCIe adapter in my Mac Pro 5.1 for SATA-3 (6 Gb/s) speeds. The internal SATA are just SATA-2 (3 Gb/s)

    2. My original Windows 8 DVD & key are OEM. But nevertheless I could install and activate all VM's and SSD for Windows 10 Pro AU-1607.

    Very happy with my Mac Pro and dual OS configurations atm!

    Cheers
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10.    30 Sep 2016 #10

    mcgoo said: View Post
    Any thought or help for above appreciated before i buy a new pc..
    I agree with lx07 that you won't have any problems with drivers moving a Windows 10 hard drive from one computer to another. I've done it no problem and Windows 10 handles it very well.

    The question becomes activation and licensing.

    1. Was the old computer an OEM or retail license? Did the Windows 7 come with the computer or did you purchase an OEM system builder's edition of Windows 7? If yes, then that Windows license is OEM and cannot be transferred to any other computer. You will have to purchase a new Windows license for the new computer.

    2. If the old computer Windows was a full retail version that you purchased separately and installed yourself - then you can legally MOVE not copy the Windows to the new computer. Windows must be completely removed from the old computer before you use it on the new computer. Since the Windows 10 came from an upgrade, you will have to call MS to activate it, explaining to them that you are MOVING not copying a retail licensed copy of Windows to the new computer and that you have removed it from the old computer.

    3. If you want Windows on both computers - then you have to buy it for the second computer.
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