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Windows 7: Moving a hard drive with OA key to new motherboard, new retail key?

21 Dec 2015   #1
JayArr

Windows 7 home premium OA
 
 
Moving a hard drive with OA key to new motherboard, new retail key?

Hi

I've been reading threads here for about a couple of hours but haven't found anyone with my exact problem. I hope this is not a common question that will get me flamed.

Here's all the background, please bear with me, I want to be as complete as possible...

I've got a customers Acer laptop with a bad motherboard, it won't boot.

The hard drive has Windows 7 Home premium OA.

Now I know from reading that that version of 7 is tied to the MB it was first installed on and I'm OK with that. I'm not whining about having to buy a new OS or trying to find a way to make it work on a new board without paying for it.

The laptop is loaded with thousands of dollars worth of industrial software to diagnose large factory machines. The software is designed to run only on Windows 7. There is no upgrade available for windows 8, just a fresh version at $6000.

I went out and bought another Acer laptop almost exactly the same, the hardware is identical except for a slightly slower graphics chip.

The new laptop had windows 8 but since it was the demo model at Staples it has now been upgraded to 10.

I want to try to put the HDD from the failed laptop into the new one, I did it once already and it boots but it came up with a screen talking about versions or mismatches or something and I powered down without entering anything, I didn't want to do any damage.

So now I know that it won't transfer on it's current licence but the tutorial by Kari assumes you still have a working computer to do sysprep with on the drive before you put it onto the new MB. I don't have any way of doing sysprep because the only MB that this hard drive would boot on has failed.

I've already ordered a retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium. This will give me a good transferable key.

I could use the new DVD and a fresh drive from Staples and load a clean install but then I'll have hours and hours of software loading and configuration to do and if you think talking Microsoft into allowing you to install a package twice is tough you should try Rockwell International/Allen Bradley.

Here's the question:

Is there any way - without the original motherboard - to get the OEM drive to accept a new retail key on a new motherboard?

Thanks
JayArr


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2015   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Hi JayArr, welcome to the Forum.

You should be able to change activation key. This tutorial show you how.

Product Key Number - Change
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2015   #3
JayArr

Windows 7 home premium OA
 
 

Thanks for the welcome Ranger4

How am I going to get into the control panel to change the product key if the computer won't boot because the product key is wrong?

Remember the only motherboard this hard drive will boot on is dead.

This is beginning to feel like a chicken and the egg conundrum.


JayArr
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2015   #4
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Having the wrong product key should not stop it from booting, if that was the case there would be no way of changing it.

Your problem is probably due to the new computer being set up with a UEFI BIOS. You will need to get into the BIOS settings & change it to Legacy & disable Fast Boot.

Check that your existing hard drive, the one that you will be using, is recognised in the BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2015   #5
JayArr

Windows 7 home premium OA
 
 

OK, I'll do that in the morning.

Thanks Ranger4!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2015   #6
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Where I said Fast Boot it should be Secure Boot that needs to be disabled.

Post back if you have any problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2015   #7
OvenMaster

Win7 Pro 32bit; Zorin OS 9 Core (in VM)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JayArr View Post
I've already ordered a retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium. This will give me a good transferable key.
Where were you able to order a retail copy of Win 7 Home??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2015   #8
JayArr

Windows 7 home premium OA
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2015   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

This may or may not be a good copy - matter of trying. This is not something one buys from Ebay - too many scams.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2015   #10
JayArr

Windows 7 home premium OA
 
 

I've had more good success off eBay than bad with software but I have been burned a few times..

This guy had a whole string of people who bought the exact same item that said it worked. I'll know more in a couple of hours, he's sending me the a photo of the key# before he ships the package so I can get started today.

If he burns me I'll just buy from someone else, it's only $80.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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