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Windows 7: What happens to old disc licence after new install?

12 Mar 2016   #1
hazel123

Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 7 32 bit and Xubuntu
 
 
What happens to old disc licence after new install?

This might sound like a silly question but - if I put a new hard drive in my laptop and do a clean install with a retail Windows 7 disc I have, and then activate it (hopefully) with the OEM product code of the laptop, will the old disc with all the software and files on, become inactive if I then needed to put it back (ie if for some reason my laptop didn't run well with the new drive)?

I'm asking because I need to put a bigger drive in and have decided to do a clean install because cloning didn't work well, and it's a Sony Vaio and refused to let me install a system image onto a new drive. So it wouldn't surprise me if the new drive runs too hot or has some issue.

If that happened to be the case and I have then activated the new drive with the OEM product key, does that mean if I put the old drive back in, the Windows software will be invalid? Just confused myself!

What I can't work out is how I could have two copies of Windows on two drives with the same product code - which presumably isn't allowed - and so one of them must then become inactive I guess. I wouldn't want to risk my old drive becoming inactive before finding out if I have any issues with the new drive/install.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Mar 2016   #2
Pauly

Win7 Ultimate X64
 
 

You should be fine, the licence code is tied to the machine (in particular the motherboard) not the harddrive so swapping back or reinstalling at a later date will be perfectly legitimate
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #3
hazel123

Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 7 32 bit and Xubuntu
 
 

Thanks! So if I keep my old hard drive with Windows and all my files on as a kind of back up drive, and then the new drive dies in say 3 months, I can just put the old drive back in again?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Mar 2016   #4
Pauly

Win7 Ultimate X64
 
 

You can do whatever you like as long as the motherboard doesn't change your licence key will activate any install on that machine regardless of what drive it is on
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #5
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hazel123 View Post
I'm asking because I need to put a bigger drive in and have decided to do a clean install because cloning didn't work well, and it's a Sony Vaio and refused to let me install a system image onto a new drive.
I've never had a problem using Macrium or Acronis Imaging to restore/transfer an image to a new HD/SSD.
From what I've read, cloning is more "iffy" than imaging.
I don't have a Sony Vaio.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #6
hazel123

Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 7 32 bit and Xubuntu
 
 

Thanks - it probably needed a clean install anyway. Well that went well - it activated straight away when I changed the product key to the OEM one on the back of the laptop. So activation is fine. Windows updates didn't come up with the list of drivers I expected. Just Atheros - so I still have a stretched screen. Hope some more drivers come through. I have them all on an sd card but didn't expect to need them.

It was my first attempt at cloning a drive and all seemed to go well but still not sure if I used the right cable and something wasn't right afterwards so I gave up. Maybe something in the Sony firmware affected it, as it wouldn't accept a system image either. Anyway I've backed everything up and hopefully all will go well with the clean install. I've done clean installs before but every machine is different (and this one has its annoying things but isn't as bad as the old Packard Bell!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #7
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Everything Pauly said is true, as long as you`re only using one install at a time you can use your key from the COA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #8
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hazel123 View Post
Windows updates didn't come up with the list of drivers I expected. Just Atheros - so I still have a stretched screen. Hope some more drivers come through. I have them all on an sd card but didn't expect to need them.
Look in Device Manager to see if you have any devices with errors (you'll see an error icon for any devices with errors).
To get to Device Manager, in the Start Button / Search Box type in device manager and select it in the list displayed.

You can check your Driver Update settings using this tutorial:
Device Installation Settings

If the screen is not displayed correctly and you have the latest drivers WU offers, you might need to manually install a different video driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #9
hazel123

Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 7 32 bit and Xubuntu
 
 

Thanks - I did have an error in device drivers. I opted to let Windows install device drivers and icons straight away and an error came up, but then proceeded with Windows updates.

The error that came up was driver for Base System Device is not installed. Have done the troubleshoot on this and it's searching for device driver but couldn't install it. It's probably the card reader showing up as unknown device. I'll check it out.

Quite a few Windows updates failed as well but Service pack 1 is installed now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #10
hazel123

Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 7 32 bit and Xubuntu
 
 

I have a list of four Sony things to install to get function keys operating as well - SPEF, Shared Library and so on but waiting till all Windows updates are done.

The driver seems to be Ricoh memory stick.

Just wondering if I should download Internet Explorer 11 before doing more Windows updates. It's currenly on IE8 and Windows Update searching for a long time.

Laptop is now running very hot. I had this problem when I put the new drive in before, when cloned - put the old drive back in and it stopped overheating last time. I have had this on an older Vaio laptop - I think the overheating ceased when everything was finally installed, so fingers crossed it settles down.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What happens to old disc licence after new install?




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