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Swapped hd in my computers - buy Windows again?


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#1 mwarrior

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 05:24 PM

My Dell Inspiron 64 bit running Windows 7 Home Premium fried the motherboard... twice.  The last time was 2 wks after warrantee expired. Our old faithful Toshiba Satellite 32 bit  (running Vista, I think) had a hd with some issues and was becoming unstable. We put the Dell hd in the Toshiba. 

 

Everything works except recording with Audacity (on board sound vs Dell sound drivers, I'm guessing), but the big problem is that Windows says it's not a legit copy.  How can I fix this? 

 

I have the key from both hds.  I read about reactivation on another post.  It doesn't give me a phone number to call - just the cost to buy the software. 

 

How can I reautorize this hd in this computer?  I bought both original computers from Best Buy - ie no pirated software.
 

Thanks,

 

Marcy


Edited by hamluis, 03 October 2013 - 12:37 PM.
Moved from System Building to Windows 7 - Hamluis.


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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:32 AM

If you replaced the motherboard with an identical motherboard, or a similar motherboard if the other isn't made or readily obtainable, you can do a manual phone activation.  Have you tried the steps on this page to activate?  If you still have the same motherboard, but replaced other hardware, Windows compares a list of your old hardware and new to see if enough has changed to warrant a new activation.  If you swapped Windows install drives, that can be problematic as there are low-level motherboard specific drivers Windows installs which may not work on the new system.  It is usually best to do a complete reinstall of Windows if drives are swapped and activate Windows again.


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#3 mwarrior

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:53 PM

Thanks for your answer.  Since the hd was in a 64 bit system and is now in a 32 bit system, will I be able to reinstall correctly off the partition?  (It's kind of amazing that most everything works now.) Is there a good tutorial somewhere about reinstalling from the partition?  It's been a long time since I've reinstalled windows, and I only did it once, with disks.



#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:14 PM

Which partition are you referring to?  If you have the discs, you can tell the setup program to install to a specific logical drive.


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#5 mwarrior

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 04:58 AM

I'm sorry for not being more clear.  I'm using the Toshiba 32 bit with the Dell hard drive (Windows 7 Home premium).  The Dell was originally in a 64 bit system.  If I reinstalled Windows (don't have disks) by, I'm assuming, a partition on this Dell hard drive...will it work on this 32 bit system?  In other words, will the partition reinstall only be able to install a 64 bit version of windows? Or does this matter?  It's working now...but Windows doesn't think it's genuine. :(  Will a partition reinstall fix this problem with Windows not thinking it's genuine?



#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:48 AM

Let me make sure I have this clear.

 

You have a Toshiba PC with a swapped hard drive from a Dell.  The Dell was Windows 7 64-bit and the Toshiba was 32-bit?

The partition you are referring to is the recovery partition?

 

You cannot simply copy Windows 7 from one PC and put it on another, you have to do a full reinstall for it to work properly.  You can go from 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa, but it will have to be a complete reinstall.  Which version that gets installed depends on the version of Windows you are installing.  If the recovery disc/partition is 32-bit, that is what gets installed.  Keep in mind that some recovery partitions are locked to the manufacturer or model of PC.


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#7 mwarrior

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 12:52 PM

 

You have a Toshiba PC with a swapped hard drive from a Dell.  The Dell was Windows 7 64-bit and the Toshiba was 32-bit?

The partition you are referring to is the recovery partition?

 

Yes.

 

You cannot simply copy Windows 7 from one PC and put it on another, you have to do a full reinstall for it to work properly.

 

I'm not copying it since it was already installed on the hard drive from my Dell with the fried motherboard. I just swapped out the hard drive, and thus, the OS.  It is working properly except for Microsoft saying it's not genuine.  Before that, it was good.

 

You can go from 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa, but it will have to be a complete reinstall.  If the recovery disc/partition is 32-bit, that is what gets installed.  Keep in mind that some recovery partitions are locked to the manufacturer or model of PC.

 

How do I do a complete reinstall?  So, the recovery disc/partition is probably 64 bit since that hard drive was in a 64 bit system, right?  If the recovery partition is locked to that particular pc, what do I need to do?  Can I call or online chat with someone at Microsoft to fix this? 

 

I don't mind buying replacement reinstall disks (I have the keys/activation numbers), but I don't have the money to buy Windows all over again.  It just seems wrong that I should have to buy it again since both of these computers were bought by me. I'm not pirating anything.  I'm just trying to use part of one of my computers with another one. Both legal.  If I built this pc from scratch wouldn't I have the option to swap hard drives whenever I want without having to buy Windows again each time?  I don't see the difference here.



#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

By copying, I meant moving the drive from one different PC to another without reinstalling the operating system.  This is effectively a copy even though the hard drive itself is moved.  The reason for this is due to the hardware differences between the Dell and Toshiba computers.  There are drivers and other low-level software that are modified when Windows is first installed or run, this can cause stability problems or cause Windows to think the sofware isn't genuine.

 

The easiest way to get Windows again is to find someone with the discs, the product key is what determines which version is installed.  If you have a friend with a copy of Windows 7, you can use that install media and your product key.  You will probably have to do a manual activation over the phone once installed.  Alternatively, you can go to Newegg and buy a system builder copy of Windows 7 or 8 for $99 and treat that as a fresh install.

 

Building a PC yourself and using the system builder edition of Windows is far less expensive, but the license on that edition of Windows locks it to the motherboard.  This isn't a technological limitation, but rather a licensing one.  If you move Windows to another PC with a different motherboard, you can activate manually and get around it, but you are technically violating the license.  This is caused by how Microsoft defines a PC, to them, a PC is based on the motherboard, so, for licensing purposes, if you change motherboards, you are using a different PC.   With system builder editions, you may not have the same activated copy of Windows on two different PC's, thus, attempting to do so will cause the activation process to fail.  A full, boxed retail copy of Windows may be moved from PC to PC but a manual activation may be required.


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#9 mwarrior

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:02 PM

Thanks for the help.  I haven't decided what to do yet, but I appreciate you mentioning the Newegg option.



#10 mwarrior

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

Can I buy disks from some place like ebay and then use my Vista product key (from the Toshiba, since this is the Toshiba mother board but Dell hard drive) to reauthorize?  Everyone I know bought their computers with Windows already installed and don't have install discs.

 

If I do it this way - installing off discs and using the Toshiba mother board's Vista product key - should I completely wipe this hard drive first and can I even do that with the mfg partition?  Is it possible to wipe the rest of the drive and operate with that partition still in tact without it causing issues?  Any tips on this part of the process?

 

Thanks,

 

Marcy



#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

Product keys are tied to specific versions and editions of Windows, so a Vista product key will not work if you're trying to install Windows 7.  In fact, if you are going to install Windows 7 Home Premium but have a Windows 7 Home Basic key and try to use it, the key will not work.  The simplest solution to this would be to buy a system builder/OEM copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit here.


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#12 mwarrior

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 04:06 PM

Since I bought both of these computers, I have the keys from both original OS:  vista home basic 2007 and 7 Home Premium.

 

Vista was originally on this Toshiba until I swapped hard drives.  I'm just running 7 (because it was on the hard drive) until I can get this figured out.  I'm not tied down to running 7.  So do you think an ebay purchase will work to install Vista on the hard drive that originally had 7 running on a 64 bit system?

 

Anything I need to be aware of when wiping the hard drive, installing and reauthorizing?



#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 10:20 PM

Technically, those keys from the original OS' are already in use, you would need to do a manual activation over the phone.  Out of curiosity, why are you wanting to use eBay for this?  I don't understand why you would want to use Vista when Windows 7 is more streamlined and less resource intensive.  When performing a clean install of Windows, it will generally wipe everything off the C: so backup everything.  As for reactivating, it is simple but since your keys are already used, you will have to call Microsoft and be reissued new ones.


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#14 TheChunkWorld

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

If you cannot get the keys to work, provided you DO own them, you can phone up normal Microsoft support from their contact page and ask that they reauthorize your keys on their end, they will ask for the product key and then they will send you an e-mail with the authorization details.



#15 mwarrior

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:26 PM

Why would I want to use Vista?  Because you said Microsoft says that the OS goes with the motherboard.  This motherboard originally had Vista running on it.  The original hard drive is corrupt and unstable.  It won't be running any OS.  I'm hoping to get my pics off of it by putting it in an external hard drive case, but that's it.  That original hard drive is eventually trash.

 

Why ebay?  Because it's the cheapest option I can think of to just get the install disks.

 

TheChunkyWorld, thanks for the info.  (And yes, I do own them if buying the computers at Best Buy with Windows already installed means I own the product keys.)






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