Windows 10 hardware refresh

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  RicklesP 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • RicklesP
    Participant
    #610139

    Replacing son’s PC guts as a present this year.  Same case, PSU, DVD, SSDs; new mainboard, CPU, RAM.  Since the existing machine was Win7 with the upgrade to Win10, I realise I have to buy a new license for Win10.  My question is: can all the new hardware be installed and Win10 started with the existing SSDs in Safe Mode,  so I can remove/install drivers without having to nuke the boot volume & start over?  I know the commands to change the installation key for the new license so it can activate again, I’m simply hoping to avoid a complete wipe.


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #610580

    Win 10 is pretty good at recognising new hardware TBH.

    If you want to keep all the apps and things backup the profile and run sysprep and generalise it to remove the drivers.


    RicklesP
    Participant
    #610634

    Thanks, haven’t used sysprep since I stopped using Ghost for imaging (10 yrs?).  Late last night I found some MS articles which tell you about doing just what I’m doing.  It appears that licensed Windows 10 hardware can be upgraded without buying a new Windows license, with a couple of precautions.  Now I just have to check the backups, etc.  Cross fingers!


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #611158

    Just make sure the backups work and then take a backup of the backup :P


    RicklesP
    Participant
    #611495

    Always!  NAS on home network just for that, itself with a mirror array for redundancy.


    RicklesP
    Participant
    #612905

    FYI for anyone who’s interested: you can replace major hardware (mainboard, CPU, RAM) and not have to buy a new Win10 license.  As long as you A) have the license key for your install and B) have added a Microsoft online account to the existing activation on that PC (mine was a gmail acct), you can re-activate once you’ve installed all the new hardware.  But, if you took advantage of the free rollout of Win10 on a Win7 machine, your re-activation key is the original Win7 key.  If you use something like Magic Jelly Bean KeyFinder to get your Windows key from the registry before the h/w change, what you’ll get is the current Win10 key.  But that key won’t work for activation, only the original Win7 key you installed Win10 on top of will work.

     

    I replaced the mainboard, CPU & RAM in a single pass.  At next bootup I installed the various drivers, and then re-activated.  At first the process failed, reporting that the MS site was offline and try again later.  Or just go to the MS store and buy a new license.  Using the Activation Troubleshooter, there’s an option to change the license key–that’s where you re-enter the original key that activated Windows with the old OS.  Once that key’s in, you should be prompted to re-activate.  Barring any issues, you should be done at this point.

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