Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

I want to place a cloned drive to another identical PC

  1. #1

    I want to place a cloned drive to another identical PC

    I have 2 identical HP i5 desktops running 8.1 which was updated from 8.
    I want to put a cloned drive from computer A in the other computer B so they will appear identical with all the apps etc.
    I am told that I will get a configuration error in computer B because the product key in BIOS won't match.
    If this is true how can I solve this.
    Will the computer even run with this error to allow me to fix it?
    I am told to get a toolkit called the Microsoft toolkit which allows extraction and insertion of keys.
    I think that approach would let me make computer B product key be the same as A.
    But in doing this I would lose the valid key in computer B.
    I would like to change the product key in the cloned drive to be correct for computer B.
    Can someone tell me how to do this please?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 467
    Windows 8 Pro

    you can change manually change the product key in Windows 8

    "Change product key" link is not available in Windows 8 or in Windows Server 2012

    as to whether the system, will initially run to allow you to do this....I'm not sure.....I guess if you keep the original boot disk and try with a new cloned drive , if it doesn't work you've lost nothing...just put the original disk back in.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,374
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there

    Cloning a drive for Backup or to replace a faulty one or a newer faster bigger one in the SAME computer is fine. Cloning to another machine is NOT ALLOWED by the EULA unless you have a Multiple Activation version of Windows (Enterprise / corporate copy).

    You can TRANSFER to a new machine also if it's a RETAIL copy of Windows -- you are NOT allowed to keep it on the original machine.

    If you are using say W7 then you CAN use it on another machine until activation is required (30 days) -- you need to disable the protected boot and enable legacy boot though. Although even this is not really allowed by the EULA you DO get 30 days before you need to activate W7 so you can basically use it for TESTING purposes -- I doubt whether Ms wuld have any problems with that.

    Cloning W8 to a whole slew of identical machines rather sounds like something a factory in the back streets of Shanghai might do. I'm sure it's highly illegal so don't do it.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Jimbo45 I agree with you BUT no harm in cloning to another pc as a backup provided it is not used live on both machines. I just wish I had taken my own advice 2 weeks ago as it would have saved me a LOT of grief, time and hair.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

I want to place a cloned drive to another identical PC

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