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Clean install with windows 8.1 oem disc on new ssd before formatting old hdd

Last response: in Windows 8
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March 5, 2014 10:18:14 AM

I have an HDD with windows 8.1 on it using a OEM disc. I now want to do a clean install on a new ssd. Tell me if I can do it this way:
1. Back up data on HDD. Unplug hdd and plug in ssd
2. Do clean install of W8.1 on ssd.
3. Hook back in hdd and format it.
4. Move backed up data onto ssd.

My main worry is whether there is a problem with installing W8.1 on ssd while it is still on HDD. Will there be an product key problem? I thought I heard license agreement changed with 8.1. Any other thoughts are also helpful. BTW I'm doing a clean install not clone/migrate.
March 5, 2014 10:40:28 AM

If you format the HDD, all files and everything will be deleted, you wont be able to move the backed up data back onto the SSD. You should be able to move the files back to the SSD without requiring a format.

I think the BIOS will ask you what drive to boot from instead of having a key conflict, but if you end up using the same key, it'll tell you it's already in use.
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March 5, 2014 11:00:17 AM

I should've clarified I am backing up the HDD data on an external HDD. In response to your second advice, are you saying I can use my W8.1oem disc to install Windows on my ssd even though it is still on my HDD?
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a b * Windows 8
March 5, 2014 1:19:56 PM

This works fine, and is exactly what I did. Just install on the SSd and then blow away the old HDD
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a c 392 * Windows 8
March 5, 2014 1:47:09 PM

There will not be a key problem. As you noted, the licensing has changed for Windows 8 and up. You can install on whatever hardware you want.
Only one at a time.
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March 5, 2014 2:19:06 PM

I may be getting annoying but USAFRet you said "only one at a time." What do mean? One hard drive or one running at a time, i.e. I can't use the key to install on 2 separate computers and run them at the same time.
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a c 392 * Windows 8
March 5, 2014 2:25:32 PM

Spaumi10 said:
I may be getting annoying but USAFRet you said "only one at a time." What do mean? One hard drive or one running at a time, i.e. I can't use the key to install on 2 separate computers and run them at the same time.


Right. One license, one PC. When you install on a new "PC", you are required to remove it from the old PC.
"PC" basically = motherboard.

But to your original statement...
Install with only the SSD installed
After everything is up and running, verify the boot order is only the SSD
Connect the old HDD
Wipe it.

You don't have to go through any formal uninstall. It might say "This is already installed on another PC"
If so, you'll have to go through the phone robot to activate the new install. Pretty painless. I've had to do it a couple of times.

If you try to game the system, and have it installed on 2 actual PC's and run them only one at a time...it will choke at some point and deactivate one of them.
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July 29, 2014 8:03:02 AM

Spaumi10 said:
I may be getting annoying but USAFRet you said "only one at a time." What do mean? One hard drive or one running at a time, i.e. I can't use the key to install on 2 separate computers and run them at the same time.


You could use 1 disc to install on 2 computers, but you would need either 2 keys from microsoft or to use a key generator like Microsoft Toolkit to activate it. I wouldn't recommend the second piece of advice I gave you there however because it is more likely than not illegal.
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