How do I transfer a hard drive with Windows 10 from laptop 1 to laptop 2 and use the Win 10 license from laptop 2?

CaffeineMan

Limp Gawd
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Nov 29, 2013
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175
I have several identical laptops all licensed for Windows 10. (they are actually parts some without keyboards and some without monitors, I bought from my employer but it does not really matter).
When one laptop failed for better uptime I moved the drive to a spare laptop but this brings up the issue, the Win10's license fails. Both laptops were licensed for Win10.
Also worth noting: when I get a working part I may want to fire up the damaged laptop with a new Win10 install.
Windows 10 License question transferring a hard drive from a licensed laptop to a licensed laptop. What is the best practices?
How do I transfer a hard drive with Windows 10 from laptop 1 to laptop 2 and use the Win 10 license from laptop 2?
 

CaffeineMan

Limp Gawd
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Nov 29, 2013
Messages
175
I found something like this, but I do not actually have a key, It is one of the Win10 cloud activation things.
So when I get to step slmgr.vbs /ipk <Your new Windows product key> I have nothing to enter.

Edit. I am not trying to transfer the license key. If I transferred the key I would lose the key on Laptop 1. I would like to disassociate the key from the install.
 
Last edited:

Shoganai

Gawd
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Dec 5, 2018
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You should still have the product key. You can retrieve it via the COMMAND LINE. I'm also not sure what you mean. Transferring the license would be disassociating it from the old computer, would it not?
 

CaffeineMan

Limp Gawd
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Nov 29, 2013
Messages
175
You should still have the product key. You can retrieve it via the COMMAND LINE. I'm also not sure what you mean. Transferring the license would be disassociating it from the old computer, would it not?
Explaining this because I am not sure how win10 cloud Activation and keys work so it is difficult to ask. I will also explain what I know works and what I know does not work.
What I did and know works.
The laptops were updated from Windows 7 (back when Microsoft allowed it). The Windows 7 key does not work in a Windows 10 fresh reload. BUT when installing a new fresh win10 I tell Microsoft I do not have a key on a reload that allows for the install. Then when MS is installed the device will activate after I connect it to the internet. (I disconnect the internet when installing so I do not need to set up a Microsoft account).
What I did that breaks the license.
I moved a drive with registered Win10 into a different laptop. This broke the activation. I factory reloaded windows (like I explained above with no key) and the laptop activated. (I did not want to move the activation to the new laptop because I would lose an activation seat. For example, if I moved laptop 1's activation was moved to laptop 2 (already allowed to be activated) I could not be able to activate laptop 1 any longer, so I would go from 2 activation capable laptops to 1 activation capable laptop.

I figured based on how the Win7 key does not work I could "disassociating it from the old computer" or inactivate the laptop then move the HDD and ask MS to activate it. This guess is based on how if I do not have a key and the devices activate automatically.
I had hoped someone else when through this before me, also I hope it makes sense.
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
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18,265
If both laptops are activated with a digital license, when you move the drive into the 2nd machine it should just re-activate.

However, if I were you I would perform a clean install.
 

CaffeineMan

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Messages
175
If both laptops are activated with a digital license, when you move the drive into the 2nd machine it should just re-activate.

However, if I were you I would perform a clean install.

I did move the drive once and it said the laptop was not genuine. Reloaded Windows and it registered no problems.

Did you try it? If you know it works perhaps my experience was a fluke.
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
18,265
I did move the drive once and it said the laptop was not genuine. Reloaded Windows and it registered no problems.

Did you try it? If you know it works perhaps my experience was a fluke.
The activation is tied to the motherboard (essentially). You may have needed to uninstall the product key first to remove the activation before transplanting it. But you got it working so that's what matters.
 
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