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reinstall on second hard drive -- product key issue

shmu

New Member
Power User
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

Wullail

Active Member
Pro User
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
    Memory
    6 GB
    Screen Resolution
    1280 x 1024
    Hard Drives
    12 TB in 6 disks
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    TX650
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    G15
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shmu

New Member
Power User
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
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    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
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    Stock heatsink fan
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    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

shmu

New Member
Power User
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

shmu

New Member
Power User
thanks for the tips, next time I try I will look out for these things.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
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:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

shmu

New Member
Power User
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

theog

VIP Member
VIP Member
Gold Member
So you are trying to install & Activate Windows 8/8.1 three times.

3 times = 3 Product keys.
 

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  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
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    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
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?

No, not that I'm aware of. The Activation server keeps a record of what PC a Product code was activated on. Think of it as a hardware finger print. If it see's a second PC with different hardware using the same Product code it will likely block the second PC from activation. This all happens after installation. During installation Windows will look for a previously installed OS, but that's for situations were you want to fix the currently installed OS or setup a dual boot. As far as I know it doesn't go checking product codes etc of the previously installed OS during installation. Not unless Microsoft has changed things recently.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

SIW2

Well-Known Member
Team Member
Not sure why you are having that trouble. You can have two installs on the same machine if you want. Different partitions or hard drives or virtual hard drives should all be fine.

You only need one one product key as long as you only have one booted up at a time.

Perhaps you should try the default product key to get the thing to install:

CoreSingleLanguage=Y9NXP-XT8MV-PT9TG-97CT3-9D6TC

Professional=XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB

Core=334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT

You may then need to enter your purchased key to get it to activate.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

shmu

New Member
Power User
yep, that's what I thought.
but the clone-turned-dual boot did not have an activation problem, though.
question is: if I take out the drive with the other windows installation, will that work? I mean, then windows doesn't know I have an old dusty hard disk sitting around in my drawer, right? After all, I am allowed 1 windows installation on my computer, I would assume.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

Wullail

Active Member
Pro User
It won't install twice on the same PC as the same key will already be used there...

Remove the original drive and install on the 2nd drive will be the only way around this.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Memory
    6 GB
    Screen Resolution
    1280 x 1024
    Hard Drives
    12 TB in 6 disks
    PSU
    TX650
    Keyboard
    G15
    Mouse
    Intellimouse 3.0
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbits
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Trend Micro

shmu

New Member
Power User
right. it worked. but then after windows successfully installed, and it wanted to activate, it would not accept my product key at that point.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

Wullail

Active Member
Pro User
Did it say what was wrong ? , invalid key or it just wouldn't activate?

if it's the later , use the phone activation option.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Memory
    6 GB
    Screen Resolution
    1280 x 1024
    Hard Drives
    12 TB in 6 disks
    PSU
    TX650
    Keyboard
    G15
    Mouse
    Intellimouse 3.0
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbits
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Trend Micro

NiFu

New Member
Power User
You can have two installs on the same machine if you want.
Ofcourse. If you use two licences.

Different partitions or hard drives or virtual hard drives should all be fine.
Licence agreement says:
1. License Rights and Multi User Scenarios
a. Computer. In this agreement, “computer” means a hardware system (whether physical or virtual) with an internal storage device capable of running the software. A hardware partition or blade is considered a computer.
So I interpret this: Two (bootable) hardware partitions = two computer = two licences necessary
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

shmu

New Member
Power User
quite true. cloning is not detected, but reinstallation on a different drive is normally detected and is considered worthy of another license..
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

SIW2

Well-Known Member
Team Member
In that case, anybody using windows system image better get another license. That is a .vhd.

Strange how MS provide windows system image for you.

You can either boot your regular installation,or you can boot the .vhd file. You only have one instance, i.e one occurrence, i.e one at a time.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

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