Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Replace HDD on Win8 laptop - licensing issues?

  1. #1

    Replace HDD on Win8 laptop - licensing issues?


    I'm a 7 user currently, but shopping for a new laptop. Due to my work, I'll need to swap the hard drive out for an SSD immediately. Lappys that come with SSDs installed never seem to fit the rest of my requirements.

    I've heard that Windows 8 is somehow license locked to the hard drives of these machines, and I may have to purchase another license just to swap out the hard drive. That sounded kinda sketchy to me, but I thought I'd make sure before i pick up a Win8 laptop.

    If it's possible to swap the hard drive under the existing license, how would I go about doing it?

    Thanks!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


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


    Welcome to EightForums

    The licence key is coded in to the uEFI/BIOS firmware.

    information   Information

    We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
    & made the Startup Repair CD.
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8




    Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Quote Originally Posted by pob View Post
    I'm a 7 user currently, but shopping for a new laptop. Due to my work, I'll need to swap the hard drive out for an SSD immediately. Lappys that come with SSDs installed never seem to fit the rest of my requirements.

    I've heard that Windows 8 is somehow license locked to the hard drives of these machines, and I may have to purchase another license just to swap out the hard drive. That sounded kinda sketchy to me, but I thought I'd make sure before i pick up a Win8 laptop.

    If it's possible to swap the hard drive under the existing license, how would I go about doing it?

    Thanks!
    The first 5 paragraphs of this read may be of interest to you. And, see my signature. If you buy the new machine and want to swap the drives, then I think you will be OK if you follow the manufacturer's instructions for making a recovery medium. I have not yet done so. Something unexpected might come up. Read my "Recover System Image Backup" link so you can judge how things have to be in order for this approach to work for you. Still, unexpected things might come up.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8 Pro 32 & 64 bit w/ some Linux VMs


    I've heard that Windows 8 is somehow license locked to the hard drives of these machines, and I may have to purchase another license just to swap out the hard drive.
    Where did you hear this? As far as I know it is license locked to the motherboard and BIOS. Never heard of someone having a problem with hard drive swapping. It is pretty common to swap out a hard drive and if every time someone did that they had to purchase a new license I think the backlash against Microsoft would be huge. I think M$ realizes this don't you?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


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


    You can order OEM Recovery disks from your OEM manufacturer's website.

    Most OEM's will ship Recovery DVD's for FREE, (may be a postage fee)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by pob View Post
    I'm a 7 user currently, but shopping for a new laptop. Due to my work, I'll need to swap the hard drive out for an SSD immediately. Lappys that come with SSDs installed never seem to fit the rest of my requirements.

    I've heard that Windows 8 is somehow license locked to the hard drives of these machines, and I may have to purchase another license just to swap out the hard drive. That sounded kinda sketchy to me, but I thought I'd make sure before i pick up a Win8 laptop.

    If it's possible to swap the hard drive under the existing license, how would I go about doing it?

    Thanks!
    Hi there

    "Easy Peasy"

    Copy OS image to a USB ext drive using an imaging program like Acronis / Macrium etc etc.

    Now restore image to HDD you want to use.

    If Laptop now replace original HDD with the new one.

    If it's a desktop change the boot order.

    (For a laptop when creating a new image use a USB==>SATA connector for restoring to the new target drive - then open up laptop and replace HDD).

    9999 times out of 10000 you won't get asked to re-activate just on an HDD change. Even if it does it will activate automatically -- no probs.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pob View Post
    I'm a 7 user currently, but shopping for a new laptop. Due to my work, I'll need to swap the hard drive out for an SSD immediately. Lappys that come with SSDs installed never seem to fit the rest of my requirements.

    I've heard that Windows 8 is somehow license locked to the hard drives of these machines, and I may have to purchase another license just to swap out the hard drive. That sounded kinda sketchy to me, but I thought I'd make sure before i pick up a Win8 laptop.

    If it's possible to swap the hard drive under the existing license, how would I go about doing it?

    Thanks!
    Hi there

    "Easy Peasy"

    Copy OS image to a USB ext drive using an imaging program like Acronis / Macrium etc etc.

    Now restore image to HDD you want to use.

    If Laptop now replace original HDD with the new one.

    If it's a desktop change the boot order.

    (For a laptop when creating a new image use a USB==>SATA connector for restoring to the new target drive - then open up laptop and replace HDD).

    9999 times out of 10000 you won't get asked to re-activate just on an HDD change. Even if it does it will activate automatically -- no probs.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Good thought in general. Don't know about the second program you mentioned, but Acronis 2013, as I recall, can't yet deal with UEFI/GPT. I think it probably would work if he switched to legacy/MBR. Then after making a full backup he could probably restore to the new drive. If he wants to use UEFI/GPT, he'd have to switch back--assuming this is possible. I say assuming it is possible because I have not done so personally.

    Personally, I'd just forget about UEFI/GPT--install Win8 from scratch using a system builder full install DVD and legacy/MBR and get out of the clutches of MS/his manufacturer/crapware. His company might pay for the system builder version. But, whatever, it seems to me to be worth to price of system builder to escape from MS/his manufacturer/crapware.
    Last edited by znod; 30 Dec 2012 at 18:37.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Hi there
    Acronis 2013 supports UEFI Boot and secure boot.

    What it doesn't support is encrypted boot --I don't like the encrypted boot idea anyway -- turn it off in the BIOS -- enter the key requested (usually a 4 digit number) and it's fine .

    With encrypted boot enabled ( this is different from SECURE boot) in the UEFI you won't be able to boot from devices having an OS that the BIOS doesn't know about such as Windows 7 / Linux distros or even stand alone restore programs such as Macrium / Paragon / Acronis etc.

    Disable the ENCRYPTED boot option to perform your backup / restore --and afterwards if you want you can re-enable it again.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


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


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Hi there
    Acronis 2013 supports UEFI Boot and secure boot.



    Cheers
    jimbo

    Is that with the paid for version?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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