Author Topic: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?  (Read 1716 times)

Offline dta

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will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:53:07 AM »
Just wondering, will changing say, the internal hard disk of a system to a SSD cause Windows 7 activation to do a reactivation check?
 
I remember doing a motherboard change (original motherboard became defective, so I had it RMA'd, in the meantime, I used a different motherboard so the system will be up and running), which necessitated a Windows reactivation check -- it asked to reactivate online, but passed the check. But when I reverted to the original motherboard (after the original motherboard got back from RMA), it asked again to reactivate but won't pass the check online. Instead, have to use the phone activation, and then it passed the activation check.
 
I'm wondering if say changing the hard disk to an SSD (eg. cloning the hard disk system with licensed Windows 7) will also ask to reactivate or not?

Offline juke

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 02:19:56 AM »
IRRC, it won't. The motherboard is a different story because it has many components in it, thus reaching the maximum allowable hardware change permitted per OEM license. If your OS license is legit, you only have to call the hotline in case you encountered activation issues.
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Offline josekym

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 01:23:58 PM »
^^I agree.  An HDD change, assuming the same image of the original Windows installation is loaded on, will not require re-activation.  I myself have successfully done it (i.e. HDD upgrade) on WinXP, Vista and 7.

Offline dta

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 07:09:09 PM »
Ok, how about this scenario (this is probably "stretching" the licensing terms... but just like to ask theoretically):

Say I have a hard disk with licensed Windows 7 (it's an OEM license instead of an FPP license).

I cloned the said hard disk on an SSD.

I remove the hard disk, and only install the SSD on the same system, so it now contains the cloned licensed Windows 7 (it's installed on the same system -- so it's only a hard disk change -- the existing hard disk change is untouched and NOT installed on any another system, just left "AS IS").

Now, say I'd like to do some benchmarking, thus I swap in and out the old hard disk with the SSD and vice versa several times (the same copy of Windows 7, and installed on the exact same system).  Any idea if this may trigger the Windows activation mechanism to "phone home"?

Offline juke

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 09:20:40 PM »
^I'm not sure about that, it sounds kinda weird to keep swapping two drives. But I think it's allowed since MS will record the serial number of each hardware changed. A friend who works with Microsoft once told me that OEM allows up to 5 hardware changes (IIRC) before it locks up. Then you have to call MS hotline and justify that it is still the same machine before they reset the count.
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Offline dta

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 11:11:37 AM »
Quote
A friend who works with Microsoft once told me that OEM allows up to 5 hardware changes (IIRC) before it locks up.

I see.  Perhaps my previous experience re: swap motherboard->replacement motherboard->motherboard (specifically, from an Asus P7P55D-E Pro that developed intermittent issues, swapped out with a temporary replacement Gigabyte GA-H55MS2-H motherboard, and then when the P7P55D-E Pro came back from RMA, I reinstalled it on the system; Core i5-760 processor)

Actually, if I know the RMA'd motherboard would have arrived in less than a month (it took about 3 weeks actually), I probably would have set it to "30-days temporary license" instead of activating the Win7 license again over the Internet (so that when the original motherboard is back, the previously-activated license should recognize it's the same motherboard as before..

Re: the SSD<-->HDD, I'll probably try out once I've gotten an SSD. ;-)

~~~~~

I wonder for those benchmark review sites (eg. testing different graphics cards or hard disks or whatever parts on the same "test-setup" system -- I wonder if they use the 30-day trial license (since the benchmark testing won't take that long anyway) or they use a FPP (retail full product) version that allows keeping on changing system configurations?
~~~~~~
 
OT:
juke, I notice your "G-Skill ECO 2x2GB + 2x4GB DDR3-12800 1.35v"  Is there a G.Skill Eco 2x4Gb DDR3-1600 @ 1.35v or some other brand?

Offline Louie

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 12:42:38 PM »
I would think they would use the 30 day license. Mosy benchmarks are done in a day or two

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Online splerdu

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2013, 02:31:58 PM »
^ the bigger sites have the Enterprise/Corporate editions that have unlimited activation, or don't require activation at all.
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Offline Louie

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2013, 04:12:49 PM »
Ah, you mean non-OEM?

Online splerdu

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 04:22:25 PM »
Yep. I saw a version of Windows Server exactly like that. Doesn't ask for a CD key on install, doesn't ask for activation, and all the online updates work.

I recall reading somewhere that Anandtech and Tomshardware use the Enterprise versions.

Yarrr! Win 8 versions are out in the wild!

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Twenty-four hours after Microsoft's new Windows 8 finally reached the Release To Manufacture (RTM) milestone and was handed over to OEMs, the Enterprise-N Edition reared its head on various file-sharing sites. Now there are reports that Windows 8 Pro and Server 2012 -- also build number 9200 -- have appeared on file sharing sites, just days before their expected legit appearance on MSDN this August 15th.

PC Advisor reports that numerous versions of Windows 8 platforms can be downloaded, and include the following (*=new):

Windows Server 2012 Datacenter (Volume License, 64-bit only)*
Windows Server 2012 Standard (Volume License, 64-bit only)*
Windows 8 Enterprise-N (the EU version, without Windows Media Player)
Windows 8 Enterprise (the international version, 32 & 64-bit)*
Windows 8 Professional (non Volume License, 32 & 64-bit)*
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Offline MtnDew

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 05:24:11 PM »
Reactivating your Windows OS is easy. I had reinstalled my copy in several virtual machines thinking the auth server might just detect they're all the same machine, hence only one activation for all those VMs, but I was wrong. If you are going to reactivate by phone, call the international number instead of the local one. The girl who helped me had a british accent and a very pleasing demeanor, I actually intentionally stalled to talk to her longer.  :lol:

Offline bravoexo

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 07:05:18 PM »
I just upgraded from a XFX 790i Ultra (LGA775) to a Z77x- UP5 TH (Z77),  i was expecting to reinstall the OS, but when I first booted off my SSD OS, Windows booted just fine... 

but ofcourse I need to re-activate, but nothing happens when I click the link on the computer properties page... hmm.
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Offline dean

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2019, 11:35:28 AM »
bringing this up...plan to do the same thing but what cloning software should i use?
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Offline bravoexo

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2019, 05:41:11 PM »
Target Samsung SSD -> Samsung Data Migration Software for Consumer SSDs  (works only with samsung drives)
Other known free ones -> Acronis Backup, EaseUS Todo Backup

Last one I've used was the Samsung one coz the target was an Evo 970.  But I've used both Acronis and EaseUS before, but definitely Samsung was the easiest to do since I had a UEFI boot drive, while i only had a MBR disk to clone back when I used the other two.
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Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2019, 08:02:51 PM »
Macrium Reflect is also good.

Online splerdu

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2019, 08:07:30 PM »
+1 Macrium Reflect

No need for boot drives, just install the free version and you can clone the OS drive to the new one within Windows.
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Offline borgy_t

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Re: will changing hard drive cause Windows activation check?
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2019, 11:23:10 AM »
just remember to disconnect the old drive before you boot into the ssd the first time. you can reconnect it afterwards.
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