Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What is the correct way to activate an upgrade HDD clone?

  1. #1

    What is the correct way to activate an upgrade HDD clone?


    Hi,

    Having an issue with Windows activation after copying a drive.. what is the right way to fix this?

    After I installed Windows 8 last year, my ancient 160GB drive started to creak, so I bought a new 2TB one that should do me for the forseable. While I would personally rather do a fresh install, loosing all the installed programs and personalisations would seriously cheese off the missus, so I opted to clone it.

    I used Minitool Partion Wizard Home Edition to copy the entire drive from one to the other. It worked seamlessly and after changing the BIOS boot sequence I went straight up onto my new disk. So far so good.

    However, I am now getting a Windows activation notice, telling me the product key is already in use.

    Can I deactivate my old copy to retrieve the key? How do I do this? What is the proper way to go about an HDD upgrade?

    Cheers

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


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


    You should already have your product key--no reason to retrieve it, right? To be EULA consistent, you'll need to uninstall from the old drive. I have used the same key when reinstalling so I am somewhat surprised that you are getting the "already in use" notification. In your position, I would uninstall from the old drive and use the refresh procedure mention in Clean Install with Windows 8 Upgrade--assuming you are willing to do the needed reinstallation, etc. Also, you could, after uninstalling, try phone activation as described in Windows 7 - Activate Windows 7 by Phone (works on Win8 also).

    Refresh Your PC in Win8—Attempts to solve system problems by replacing system files without affecting user data files. Such files still should be backed up. Installed programs will have to be reinstalled except those from the Windows Store. A list of uninstalled programs is provided on desktop. You personalization settings will be maintained. System settings will be set to defaults. A Windows.old folder will be created at C:. You can delete it once you have everything you want from it--Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Yes I still have my key; what I meant by "retrieve" was to remove the key from the old drive so I can use it in the new one (actually since it is a clone, the key copy is already "there").

    That refresh option didn't appeal to me, due to the necessity to re-install programs i.e. several hours work, constant nagging from the missus as to how long I am going to be, why she can't see her old favorites anymore, why everything looks different blah blah blah.... That’s why I used a clone instead! It took 5 mins to set up, 1-2 hours to let it clone (and go do something else useful), 5 mins in the BIOS to re-direct the Boot and that was that.

    To be honest, cloning is such a simple procedure, I am surprised Microsoft don't have their own tool for it, especially with the emergence of SDD as OS storage.

    I'll try phoning Microsoft tonight.. when I called them at midnight (UK) yesterday I put in all the long numbers then it told me it didn't work. It passed me though it's call handling system and then hung up on me. TWICE.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


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


    Good luck on your activation. See the center link in my sig.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzonator View Post
    Yes I still have my key; what I meant by "retrieve" was to remove the key from the old drive so I can use it in the new one (actually since it is a clone, the key copy is already "there").

    That refresh option didn't appeal to me, due to the necessity to re-install programs i.e. several hours work, constant nagging from the missus as to how long I am going to be, why she can't see her old favorites anymore, why everything looks different blah blah blah.... That’s why I used a clone instead! It took 5 mins to set up, 1-2 hours to let it clone (and go do something else useful), 5 mins in the BIOS to re-direct the Boot and that was that.

    To be honest, cloning is such a simple procedure, I am surprised Microsoft don't have their own tool for it, especially with the emergence of SDD as OS storage.

    I'll try phoning Microsoft tonight.. when I called them at midnight (UK) yesterday I put in all the long numbers then it told me it didn't work. It passed me though it's call handling system and then hung up on me. TWICE.
    System Image - Create in Windows 8
    or
    I would look for a 3rd party Partitioning,Backup & Cloning software, which fully supports Windows 8, uEFI, GPT & Secure Boot.
    Which is signed by Microsoft.



    How to Migrate OS to new Hard disk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 65
    Microsoft Windows 8 Pro with Media Center 64-bit


    Call microsoft, tell them what happened, they will sort it in a few mins.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    To be clear, what I meant was why don't they have a "I've bought a new Hard drive, please hold my hand while I transfer Windows to it" button?

    Disk image is useful as a backup and ultimately I will use the old drive for that, but it's not the same as cloning.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    Reasonable question. Seems to me that quite a few are having move-to-new-drive difficulties. I've even had problems restoring my system images to the same drive. Never have figured out what that was, and still is, all about.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    UPDATE!

    I have to report that getting through to Microsoft is a tortuous experience! I called the activation number, and after a couple of attempts to input the long numbers, which didn’t work, I was passed through to customer support which promptly hung up on me! AGAIN!

    I tried some of the advice posted on this forum and elsewhere which is to ignore all messages and prompts and wait to be passed though.. a less tortuous route sure, but with the same end result; they hung up on me! I tried that particular route every 1m 34 seconds for half an hour, then I started to get annoyed.

    So finally I resorted to duplicity and pretended I was trying to activate different software, and hey presto, straight through to a call centre!

    He call was answered by a lovely lady from India. We got chatting and she was very understanding of my plight. Before I knew it, I was giving her my number, then she gave me here number, but all too soon it was over.

    Solved.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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