Can I migrate Windows 10 system disk to a different OEM licence?

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  1. itm
    Posts : 53
    Windows 7
       #1

    Can I migrate Windows 10 system disk to a different OEM licence?


    My PC motherboard just died, with what I believe was an OEM Windows 10 licence on it. I want to migrate the drives and ideally the whole Windows 10 setup (including apps) to my new machine, which will also have an OEM Windows 10 Licence on it. I believe that if I simply plug the old Windows boot drive into the new machine/motherboard it will allow me to run an restricted/unactivated version of Windows 10, but is there any way that I can use my new OEM key to re-activate the system, so that I can pick up where I left off?
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  2. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,410
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #2

    Is the new Win 10 and old Win 10 same version (Home or Pro)?
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  3. itm
    Posts : 53
    Windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Megahertz said:
    Is the new Win 10 and old Win 10 same version (Home or Pro)?
    Yes Windows 10 Pro on both I believe
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  4. Posts : 52
    Windows 10 64 bit
       #4

    Why did you buy a new product key??? if you have that written on the side then you should be able to use that for the new mobo or you can also boot the old HDD in the new mobo and it will act like nothing ever happened.
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  5. itm
    Posts : 53
    Windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #5

    GoldenDog said:
    Why did you buy a new product key??? if you have that written on the side then you should be able to use that for the new mobo or you can also boot the old HDD in the new mobo and it will act like nothing ever happened.
    I assumed that I wouldn't be able to use my old Windows licence on the new PC (it hasn't arrived yet), as OEM licences are tied to the hardware that they're installed on? So I asked for Windows 10 for the new PC (I'm waiting for it to arrive).
    I read somewhere that if I boot the old HDD in the new mobo it will only function in restricted mode until I activate Windows again.
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  6. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,410
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #6

    If the new computer comes with win 10, same version, you don't need to buy a license key.
    Windows license is tied to the MB.
    You can try just to boot from the old drive and see if it activate.
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  7. itm
    Posts : 53
    Windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Megahertz said:
    If the new computer comes with win 10, same version, you don't need to buy a license key.
    Windows license is tied to the MB.
    You can try just to boot from the old drive and see if it activate.
    But the old drive will have a version of Windows on it that is licensed for a different motherboard???
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  8. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,008
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #8

    Perhaps there is confusion between licensing for earlier ediitons of Windows, and Windows 10

    In versions of Windows previous to Windows 10, OEM licenses were tied to the first motherboard they were installed on and could not be moved to another system. Any upgrades other than the motherboard could be made without having to re-activate Windows.
    With Windows 10, Microsoft has changed the license agreement. The OEM license can now be assigned to a Microsoft Account instead of the motherboard. Once assigned to the MS account, it can be transferred to a new computer build and reactivated without issue. Of course, you can still only use one license on one computer at any given time.
    Will Windows 10 OEM work if I change some parts of my PC? | Tom's Hardware Forum

    After you add your Microsoft account and link it to your digital license, you can use the Activation troubleshooter to help reactivate Windows after a hardware change.
    Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10

    That said, I've never tried it, so it would be great to see someone contribute who has.
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  9. Posts : 264
    Windows 10
       #9

    itm said:
    But the old drive will have a version of Windows on it that is licensed for a different motherboard???
    Yes. Remove the old key from the system and activate it with the new one. If you are moving your old Mobo to the new system, you dont need to use the new key. If the new system has a different mobo, you do have to use your new key.
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  10. Posts : 638
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
       #10

    If you were already using a Microsoft account when the MB died, the Troubleshooter will walk you through activating the license on your new MB. I suspect it will also work if you were using a local account when the old MB died but had used a Microsoft account in the past. (I'm sure those more knowledgeable than I will confirm or deny this.)

    I use local accounts on my computers, but I needed to replace a (still functioning) MB so briefly switched to a Microsoft account while still on the old MB, shut down, swapped MBs, rebooted, used the Troubleshooter to migrate the license, and switched back to a local account.

    Depending on the computer's history, this process can be simple or convoluted. In my case the PC started life with an OEM Win7 Home license. A bit later I upgraded to Win7 Pro. Then 7 or 8 years later I did an automatic upgrade to Win10. Troubleshooter needed info about my old Win7 license but didn't say which Win7 license. The old sticker on the PC was obsolete because of my upgrade from Home to Pro. I don't remember now whether Troubleshooter needed both or just the upgrade license. Luckily I actually found the upgrade license.
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