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Can I move a HDD from a laptop to a desktop and use the OS off it?

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July 22, 2013 9:53:41 AM

So that is my question really. The HDD is laptop-sized (2.5 inch?) and I was basically wondering if Windows 8 Pro could be booted off that and then possibly/ideally moved to a HDD/SSD in the desktop? (this is sounding less and less possible as I write it...). I still have the license key.

Also, could Office 2010 be moved to the SSD (off the laptop HDD)? I still have the license key...?

What about other games? Could they be moved if I still had the keys?

Thanks in advance :) 

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a c 750 G Storage
a c 258 D Laptop
a c 369 * Windows 8
July 22, 2013 10:04:38 AM

If you have the license keys, do a full reinstall. You'll thank yourself later.

1. You can't 'move' a running installation (or Office install). At best, you can clone it to the new drive.
2. The current install was done on a laptop. Completely different motherboard and chipset from the desktop.
3. If you're talking about physically moving the drive from the laptop to the desktop and just booting it, that only works 'sometimes'. And no way to predict success or failure until you try it.

As always, i recommend just do a regular installation on the new PC. Much cleaner, easier, and far fewer issues.

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July 22, 2013 10:06:26 AM

Games may be movable. The OS will not. The license key, when used, associates with the processor of the computer that it was first used on. It checks for that processor at boot-up and if it's not there it'll give you either an error message, or it'll boot into Windows and prompt you for a new license. I think the newer Windows OSes give you a 30-day grace period though. Office 2010 I believe would also be moveable.
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July 22, 2013 10:09:43 AM

Thanks both of you.

How would I go about moving games; just drag and drop the folder with the game inside it?

And I downloaded Windows 8, is there any way I can re-use that (I don't have the disc)?
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July 22, 2013 10:37:27 AM

Mattios said:
Thanks both of you.

How would I go about moving games; just drag and drop the folder with the game inside it?

And I downloaded Windows 8, is there any way I can re-use that (I don't have the disc)?


Really, the best way to "move" a game is to re-install it. When you install a game it sets up folders based on how that particular computer's file structure is set up and we can't guarantee that moving the folders will result in a functioning game client. The only way to be sure of that is to re-install on the new pc.

As for re-using a download of Windows 8, that can be tricky. You can try it, but it's going to depend on the type of file that you downloaded. If it's a .ISO file you could burn it to a dvd and then you'd have a hard copy of the disc for future use.
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July 22, 2013 10:40:15 AM

Zooshooter said:
Mattios said:
Thanks both of you.

How would I go about moving games; just drag and drop the folder with the game inside it?

And I downloaded Windows 8, is there any way I can re-use that (I don't have the disc)?


Really, the best way to "move" a game is to re-install it. When you install a game it sets up folders based on how that particular computer's file structure is set up and we can't guarantee that moving the folders will result in a functioning game client. The only way to be sure of that is to re-install on the new pc.

As for re-using a download of Windows 8, that can be tricky. You can try it, but it's going to depend on the type of file that you downloaded. If it's a .ISO file you could burn it to a dvd and then you'd have a hard copy of the disc for future use.

Okay, thanks again - I suppose it would depend on different games, if I had license keys for them, they probably couldn't be re-used?

Really appreciate the help.
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