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Thread: Will a new hard drive be able to use the same windows key?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Will a new hard drive be able to use the same windows key?

    Can I replace my current lame, small hard drive with a larger hard drive and reinstall windows using the same key? I don't want to have to set it up as a second hard drive or anything like that, I just want to pull the old hard drive and reinstall windows from scratch on the new one. Thanks

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Rocketmech's Avatar
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    Yes . The worst that would happen is XP , if thats your OS , might ask for you to reactivate . A simple thing to do .

  3. #3
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    ok good, yea I'm using xp I just didn't want them saying that the key is already active being that it was being used on the old hard drive

  4. #4
    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    You don't have to reinstall Windows. Just clone the old drive to the new one. New retail drives come with a utility just for that.

    If you buy an OEM drive, you can still download the utility.
    MS MCP, MCSE

  5. #5
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    A coupla things I ran into:

    (1) If I cloned XP using Ghost, I could not boot from the cloned drive until I ran FDISK with the /MBR parameter.

    (2) When I re-installed XP on a new HDD (in an existing machine for which that copy of XP had already been activated) I was able to re-activate over the Internet, no questions asked.

  6. #6
    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daverme
    (1) If I cloned XP using Ghost, I could not boot from the cloned drive until I ran FDISK with the /MBR parameter.
    Actually, all you need to do is boot one more time from the old hard drive, go into Disk Management and set the new drive as "Active". The only problem with that is that the drive will not be "C:", but whatever it was when it was set as active. You way is the best way - boot to Recovery Console with the first drive removed and run FIXMBR and FIXBOOT.
    MS MCP, MCSE

  7. #7
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    It is easier with Ghost to create an Image
    and then Restore that Image to your new
    Drive ... it should then work with no problems
    at all ... at least it does ok when I need to restore
    my image due to some problem .. just run Ghost,
    pick the Image to Restore From & To and let it
    run .. pc will boot up normally then

    I never tried to use the Clone Feature

  8. #8
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Using Ghost with a BartPE CD works as you would expect. You boot to the CD, do a driv to drive copy in Ghost, then remove the old drive and reboot to the new drive.

    All drive letters and settings are exactly as they need to be.

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