Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


reinstall on second hard drive -- product key issue

  1. #1


    Posts : 126
    windows 8.1 pro

    reinstall on second hard drive -- product key issue


    I tried to reinstall windows on a second hard drive, but it won't accept my product key, assumedly because I am already using it for the current windows installation on the first hard drive.

    How do I transfer my license to allow a reinstallation on the second hard drive? That's the best option, so I can go back to the first drive if I want to.

    Second option:
    If I wipe the current windows partition clean, will that enable me to reinstall on the second hard drive?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 467
    Windows 8 Pro


    Unless you want to get a clean copy , you could always put the 2nd hard drive on your system and clone it onto your 2nd disk using many freeware programs.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 126
    windows 8.1 pro


    I want a clean reinstall.
    what if I unplug the first drive when I install on the second drive?
    then will it accept my product key?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


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


    What do you mean by "won't accept my product key"? More specifically where and when in the install process do you get that message? The exact message your getting would help. The key shouldn't be blocked when installing on the same hardware it was originally used on. I've done numerous reinstalls on my PC's with no problems using the same key over and over again on that PC. Even after swapping out hard drives. Are you using clean unmodified install media, obtained from a reputable source?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 126
    windows 8.1 pro


    I am using the iso image provided by microsoft when I bought my windows8 pro 32 bit.
    I am installing by flash drive.
    right at the beginning of the process, before it does anything, it asks for my key. and the key doesn't work. I can't get to square one with the installation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    What's the exact wording of the refusal message? It sounds like you are mistyping in the code. Example typing a B when it should be an 8. I would double check your product code to be sure you have it read and written down correctly. Where your at, I don't believe it has done any activation check yet so its not that. Also make sure your not using a Media Center key, they won't work for installation, they only work in Add Features.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 126
    windows 8.1 pro


    thanks for the tips, next time I try I will look out for these things.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    Not sure what the OP is trying to do.

    The other thread:
    Convert dual installation into dual boot?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


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


    Good luck, hopefully you get it sorted. If you don't, please note the error message as that may tip us off to what's happening.
    Last edited by alphanumeric; 18 Dec 2013 at 12:54.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 126
    windows 8.1 pro


    in reply to theog:
    I already succeeded in my dual boot mission (i.e., the other thread), albeit the long way around. with a better boot-fix-it disk, I probably could have made life a lot easier.

    Now I am trying something a little more modest: simply to install windows on a second hard drive. I seem to remember that windows has a way of snooping around your computer and checking if you already have an existing installation, and if so, sorry: only one installation per computer. Is that not so?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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