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Unique Problem - Replacing pirated copy of widows 8.1 with a genuine version, while changing the boot drive to a new SSD

Hello readers,

I built this pc for gaming about 6 months ago now (my first build) and have found it to be very rewarding and i am becoming quite a fanatic. Current specs;

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Killer ATX AM3+ Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
Storage (HDD): Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 270X 2GB DirectCU II Video Card
PSU: Cooler Master V650 semi modular
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro

With some money now saved up (I am a university student with limited income), I have purchased some things to improve my build. these include another pair of RAM modules, CPU cooler, a 120 GB Samsung SSD and windows 8.1 OEM (genuine). I have made this purchase in order to go from using a pirated copy of windows 8.1 pro (which cant update) to a genuine one and furthermore, have the SSD as the boot drive for this new copy of windows. I have searched thoroughly around the web to find someone who has had a similar challenge but I have had no luck. There are many tutorials for creating a boot SSD with a HDD as a storage drive (I intend to use current HDD as a storage device) but my unique issue of changing my OS while changing my storage setup and boot drive is extremely confusing for me.

My current thought is that i could move the contents of my HDD (~300GB) to an external drive and reformat it to a default state, put in SSD and load genuine windows to it, replacing files to HDD later. However I assume the files on the HDD are already tied to the processes and OS (note my lack of knowledge in the area) and would not function as intended. Other than this brief idea, I am lost as to the order or the process by which I can do this. Any help would be hugely appreciated as I want to get this thing running right!

Thanks for reading - Ethan
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about unique problem replacing pirated copy widows genuine version changing boot drive ssd
  1. Best answer
    Nope, I'v carried multiple HDD's across Windows installs before. All you need to do unplug it, install Windows on the new drive, plug back in. Delete the ~30GB of Windows files (now you can delete System32 :D) on the old drive and your done pretty much.

    Some programs may not work on the new OS and need to be re-installed, but in my experience they generally work fine.
  2. Awesome! thanks so much for the help, parts should arrive soon so i'll give it a go and hopefully pick you as solution.
  3. manofchalk said:
    Nope, I'v carried multiple HDD's across Windows installs before. All you need to do unplug it, install Windows on the new drive, plug back in. Delete the ~30GB of Windows files (now you can delete System32 :D) on the old drive and your done pretty much.

    Some programs may not work on the new OS and need to be re-installed, but in my experience they generally work fine.


    Hi there, parts arrived and i have the system booting to the SSD and can access files on the HD, however i cant delete any of the windows files on the HD because of permissions. Furthermore, none of the applications or games on the HD work either. How do i delete all of the windows folders and how do i renstall my games/applications in a way that allows me to use them while they are on the HD? Thanks for any suggestions :)
  4. Deleting Windows folders...
    If its a permissions issue then you might just need to twiddle with your user account settings and make yourself Admin if it isn't already. Its also possible that only some of the files are protected and others not, so you might be able to get rid of the majority.

    Although considering that the programs dont work (which is weird, I'v had programs work across very disparate hardware sets before, talking AM2+/Vista to Z77/Win7), you might as well just format the thing. Pull out all the files and data you want to keep (game saves are something I always forget to do, and is a pain when you fire it up later and remember) onto that external you mentioned, wipe the drive. From there just install everything normally.
    If you use Steam, you can copy the game directories (in Steam/steamapps/common) into a new Steam install, it will detect the files and save you having to download them all again,
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