Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Switching from HDD to SSD and clean installing Windows 8

  1. #1


    Minnesota
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1

    Switching from HDD to SSD and clean installing Windows 8


    Hey guys, wondering if anyone could help me with an issue im having. I have been googling things for hours trying to find someone in my situation but I can't find anything and I'm fairly sure there is a simple solution I am missing.

    I recently Installed windows 8 over my windows 7 on my laptop. And after a few months I decided to switch over to an SSD and swapped them out thinking the bios would recognize my registered key but I have windows 8 installed and now I need a key and it is rejecting the one I already used. It is quite obvious to me that since the other HDD still has my windows 8 with the working key installed, i understand that it wouldn't accept it on this one.

    My question is, what steps can I go through to get my OS registered on my SSD, with the key that is on my HDD.

    I only want a fresh install and do not want to migrate my old data over, which I would hope would be easier.
    My laptop has 2 hard drive bays So I can have both in at once if thats of any help. I will update my Specs page shortly. Just wanted to get the thread up.

    Any help would be extremely appreciated. Thanks!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Matt, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    If this is a retail copy of Windows 8, then you could just remove the HDD for now, then do a clean install of Windows 8 at boot to the SSD. Afterwards, you could connect the HDD, and format it to use as a data drive or what you like with it.

    You should be able to activate as usual. If it won't activate online as usual, then you could always activate by phone.

    Clean Install - Windows 8

    UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 8 with

    Clean Install with Windows 8 Upgrade

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Minnesota
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    It is a retail copy.

    I already installed Windows 8 onto the SSD, it is currently unactivated.

    So all i need to do is reinsert my HDD with the activated Windows 8 (along side my SSD), and it will activate the one on my SSD?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Minnesota
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    I just inserted my HDD both drives are recognized, but I tried entering the key again, and it still wont work.

    do I have to format the HDD first? will that make the key usable again?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    Nar, you'll basically need to format the HDD to remove Windows from it since you have it on the SSD now.

    You should be able to activate by phone while running Windows from the SSD.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Minnesota
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    I'm sorry this response is so late, i have been swamped by work and school for a while... but I still need a bit of assistance, after the first method didnt work, I looked at your guide by activating by phone and unfortunately when I tried Step 5(B), there was no "Activate by phone" button. Nor was there a "Contact Microsoft Support" link. Is there any other way to find the right number to call? Don't want to have to sit through 100 different transfers while they try to find the person that can help me. But if I must I suppose I will
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Switching from HDD to SSD and clean installing Windows 8
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