Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Ebay hard drive booted to 8.1 pro and is activated?

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    8.1 pro

    Ebay hard drive booted to 8.1 pro and is activated?


    I bought a used sata drive for an optiplex 755.
    I put drive inside and turned on pc.
    I see windows booting up!!??
    So I think what is going on, let it finish, it say discovering new devices, setting up your pc, finally says Hi,
    and the desktop is there, someone else's desktop with all their programs.

    So I go to system page, and what !!??
    It says it is activated.

    I did not think windows would do that, reconfigure itself on an entirely different PC and still remain activated.
    So now I have a win 8.1 pro PC for $15 from an ebay drive. I saw from history person may have been a NASA employee. Is this some kind of NASA PC drive, or some kind of volume licensing OS? How can I find that out?

    And if I run Belarc to retrieve the key, can this be upgraded to win 10 pro and remain activated??

    Could i move the drive to another PC and it redetects again and also still remain activated?

    screens show activation and drive



    I will likely just use it as is. It has Avast, so likely not infected.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    That is what you get with used drives. You need to nuke it to remove all traces of any previous software install.

    Also do not think that it is not infected. I would never use a hard drive bought off of ebay, until it was sterilized of any previous use and S.M.A.R.T. info was checked.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    8.1 pro


    Thanks, I ended up doing a system reset.
    I tried resizing since I wanted another partition but windows afterwards could not scan the drive.
    So It said repair on next boot, well next boot, was the last boot!
    windows could not repair the drive.

    First before all that, I ran Belarc to get the key which is needed on a reset.
    Then I downloaded win 8.1 pro from MS
    On the failed boot screen, there was menu option to refresh or reset your pc.
    Refresh failed, so it was Reset your PC which wipes out old personal data and files.
    Took a long time to figure all that out.

    So it reset like a new PC and is working again.

    My idea is to clone the reset drive, and upgrade to win 10 on one of them. That way I can play with both OS versions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Cross Plains
    Posts : 255
    Windows 10 Pro


    Like what broe23 said, I would have wiped the drive clean using a disk wiping program such as Dariks Boot And Nuke before using it. Who knows what could have been put on the drive before it was sent to you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Quote Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
    Thanks, I ended up doing a system reset.
    I tried resizing since I wanted another partition but windows afterwards could not scan the drive.
    So It said repair on next boot, well next boot, was the last boot!
    windows could not repair the drive.

    First before all that, I ran Belarc to get the key which is needed on a reset.
    Then I downloaded win 8.1 pro from MS
    On the failed boot screen, there was menu option to refresh or reset your pc.
    Refresh failed, so it was Reset your PC which wipes out old personal data and files.
    Took a long time to figure all that out.

    So it reset like a new PC and is working again.

    My idea is to clone the reset drive, and upgrade to win 10 on one of them. That way I can play with both OS versions.
    You cannot legally use the OS license that is on that drive, unless you were given a COA. Nuke the drive with what Arazel Eternal stated to use. Otherwise you are risking private financial and personal info, if there is a Keylogger or Bot on that drive.

    Resetting the OS only sets it back to its original installed state. It does not get rid of any traces of possible baddies.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Ebay hard drive booted to 8.1 pro and is activated?
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