Win10 hard drive transfer / license key / activation?


  1. Posts : 292
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
       #1

    Win10 hard drive transfer / license key / activation?


    Hi all!

    I have a very odd question...

    I have an older lady who I help with computer issues from time to time. She has an older Toshiba laptop that just bit the dust, and bought a new laptop. The old Toshiba and the new laptop both run Win10 Home.

    Now...she has a lot of software on the older machine she's had for years that she no longer has the installers for so has no way of getting the software onto the new laptop without buying it again (and it's expensive software).

    I am aware you can swap hard drives from one machine to another with Win10 (and YES, I know it's not the smart way anybody should do it) and then re-enter the license key to activate it again...I've done it before.

    Would it be possible to take the hard drive out of her old laptop, put it into the new one and then re-activate Win10 so she could keep her software? Win10 is very good at auto-installing hardware drivers, so I am not worried about that at all, I would just like to know if I would be able to activate Win10 on the new machine with the old hard drive containing her previous Win10 install...?

    I know on newer machines that come with Win10, the license key is embedded in the BIOS....would the new machine just activate Win10 on the old swapped-in hard drive using the license key in the BIOS?

    Thanks! :)
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 928
    Win 10
       #2

    she has a lot of software on the older machine she's had for years that she no longer has the installers for so has no way of getting the software onto the new laptop without buying it again (and it's expensive software).
    As long as the software is not system/motherboard aware due to licensing (for example Office knows when it has been moved and needs reactivation) you should be OK.

    What software are we trying to keep??

    I would just like to know if I would be able to activate Win10 on the new machine with the old hard drive containing her previous Win10 install...?
    You might run into MBR/UEFI and secure boot issues. But if that is not an issue, You should have no issues with Windows activation. Do it all the time.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 8,131
    windows 10
       #3

    It depends on the old hard drive is it SATA or IDE if sata is it same as new pc sata3. You may invalidate warrenty doing this. PCmover could possibly move the software over
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 292
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #4

    OK, thanks for the info peeps! :)
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 1,788
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    Samuria said:
    It depends on the old hard drive is it SATA or IDE if sata is it same as new pc sata3. You may invalidate warrenty doing this. PCmover could possibly move the software over
    +1, no, +2 for PC Mover.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 31,874
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    Darkstrike said:
    The old Toshiba and the new laptop both run Win10 Home. ... I am aware you can swap hard drives from one machine to another with Win10 (and YES, I know it's not the smart way anybody should do it) and then re-enter the license key to activate it again...I've done it before.
    The activation is by a digital licence linked to the hardware ID of the PC. In this case both machines have their own digital licence for W10 Home. You can swap disks and the old disk will activate automatically from the new machine's digital licence.

    I have actually seen this work, I took a disk from (as it happens) an old Toshiba and put it into an old Dell. Both were legacy bios MBR machines though, your new machine is likely to be UEFI.

    Not that I'm recommending you swap disks (I was doing so to test the hardware and swapped the disk back afterwards). PC Mover is probably the better solution for you.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 292
    Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Thanks all - I didn't actually go through with it due to the issue of it voiding the warranty. Ended up doing a fresh install of all her stuff and she decided she would go out and buy the newer versions of the software she uses anyway. :)
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 928
    Win 10
       #8

    Darkstrike said:
    Thanks all - I didn't actually go through with it due to the issue of it voiding the warranty. Ended up doing a fresh install of all her stuff and she decided she would go out and buy the newer versions of the software she uses anyway. :)
    Good choice.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 43,204
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #9

    Now your challenge- try to persuade her to use disk imaging routinely...
      My Computers


 

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