Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Hard Drive Swap?

  1. #1


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8

    Hard Drive Swap?


    Some time ago I replaced an IDE hard drive with Windows 8 installed for an SSD drive onto which I installed Windows 7. I would like to know if I can temporarily swap back to the IDE drive (Windows 8) while I obtain the Windows Product Key (embedded in BIOS apparently) and then replace the SSD drive (Windows 7), or boot from an external docking station and if so how do I do that?


    I am totally confused about the BIOS. Does a different OS change the BIOS details? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    RWEverything RWEverything | Read & Write Everything will retrieve the BIOS key without having swap drives. Under ACPI tables, you can find MSDM table (on Windows 8/8.1 OEM PC). Note down the serial. It reads it right out of the BIOS so it doesn't matter what OS is installed as long as it Windows. There is a portable version listed in the downloads that doesn't require installation to work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    Some time ago I replaced an IDE hard drive with Windows 8 installed for an SSD drive onto which I installed Windows 7. I would like to know if I can temporarily swap back to the IDE drive (Windows 8) while I obtain the Windows Product Key (embedded in BIOS apparently) and then replace the SSD drive (Windows 7), or boot from an external docking station and if so how do I do that?


    I am totally confused about the BIOS. Does a different OS change the BIOS details? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    If your PC came with a IDE HDD, you do not have a embedded in BIOS Windows Product Key, as the PC would be to old.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    Some time ago I replaced an IDE hard drive with Windows 8 installed for an SSD drive onto which I installed Windows 7. I would like to know if I can temporarily swap back to the IDE drive (Windows 8) while I obtain the Windows Product Key (embedded in BIOS apparently) and then replace the SSD drive (Windows 7), or boot from an external docking station and if so how do I do that?


    I am totally confused about the BIOS. Does a different OS change the BIOS details? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    If your PC came with a IDE HDD, you do not have a embedded in BIOS Windows Product Key, as the PC would be to old.
    He calls it an IDE drive but its likely just a regular (spinner) SATA drive as his other drive is an SSD. He just doesn't know the difference.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Tezza, no a different OS will not change the key stored in the BIOS. It will change the product code stored in the Windows Registry though. A lot of the utilities like AIDA32 or Belarc advisor will read it out of the registry. If you didn't swap drives they would read out your Windows 7 key as that's what's installed. Swap drives and they would likely read out your Windows 8 key. RWEverything cuts to the chase and retrieves it right from the BIOS, that's why I recommended it.


    Just so you know, official Microsoft Windows 8.0 install media will retrieve the embedded key automatically and install the matching version without prompting you to enter it. That's why its not printed on the COA sticker. The only glitch with that is if your installing Windows 8.1. It won't use that code and ignores it. It wants an 8.1 product code.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8


    Thank you for all the information alphanumeric!!!


    P.S. Thank you all others. Yes I should have stated "SATA"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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