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Upgrading to SSD: How to transfer Windows 7 License?

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October 31, 2011 1:21:12 PM

Hello,

I am pretty sure these questions have been posted before so I apologize in advance. I am upgrading my gaming PC (64bit Win7Pro, EVGA X58 SLI3 Mobo, Core i7 920, GTX 570 SLI, G.Skill 6GB 1600, WD Caviar Black 3Gb/s) and I plan on putting in one (1) SSD for a main drive for windows boot and essential programs/games.

1. I currently have Windows 7 Pro 64bit installed into a single WD Caviar Black hard drive. I do not want to transfer my HDD partition onto the SSD and want to do a clean install. I have the Win7 in a CD and I can easily boot and install from it. My question is with the license. If I clean install to SSD and activate using the existing license code... will microsoft's activation servers allow this? Win7 will still be residing within the HDD and obviously you cannot have two drives holding the same windows license. Is there a method to deauthorize the license on my previous HDD? Do I need to reformat the HDD first? How does this work?


2. I plan on purchasing a 128GB or a 256GB. I am interested in the Crucial M4 due to positive reviews. Does anyone have recommendations on a better drive? I am looking for performance (duh) as well as reliability.


3. I am concerned over the errors people get with BSOD when using SSDs. Is this still a valid concern? Are some drives and manufacturers more prone to this problem than others?



Thanks in advance!
a b G Storage
October 31, 2011 1:34:17 PM

1. Not sure but interested to know about moving/obliterating, windows licenses.

2. Good choice in ssd. Price/gb/performance/lack of issues all points to the m4. There is always a chance you will get a bumb drive but... any component could have a flaw.

3. New Sandforce based drives on particular platforms have potential bsod issues. Intel 320 drives had a potential issue which was resolved... i'm sure. My feeling on sandforce drives is that they provide unmatched performance and reasonable price. The bsod issue seems to revolve around specific setups and combinations of hardware. If you are not affected..Great! If you are, trade the drive in for something samsung/intel/marvel/sandforce first gen based.
October 31, 2011 2:03:44 PM

You shouldn't have a problem reusing your windows license, the registration goes off of the montherboard, not the drive.

You should have the old HDD disconnected while you are installing Windows on the SSD and you should probably remove windows from the old drive if you are going to keep it in the system as a storage drive. I'm not sure what problems having it installed on both would cause.
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October 31, 2011 2:51:02 PM

akopp21 said:
You shouldn't have a problem reusing your windows license, the registration goes off of the montherboard, not the drive.

You should have the old HDD disconnected while you are installing Windows on the SSD and you should probably remove windows from the old drive if you are going to keep it in the system as a storage drive. I'm not sure what problems having it installed on both would cause.



Oh really? So theoretically, I can have like 5 hard drives all installed with Win7 with the same license key?

Another thing... if registration goes off the mobo... I recently had to swap out my motherboard about 3 months ago. I merely plugged everything back including the hard drive and everything was fine. I didn't have any reconfig of windows license to do...
October 31, 2011 4:21:43 PM

Theoretically, as long as each install is going off of the same mobo it should work. It would be like you are just reinstalling on the same system.

It should let you switch mobo's once or twice, after that you might have to call Microsoft to get it to work again. The OEM version is supposed to be tied to the first mobo it is registered to, but I've seen others on here say it still let them change boards and still worked.

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a c 351 G Storage
October 31, 2011 4:48:42 PM
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NO problem on the License
(1) Disconnect all Drives except the SSD you want windows on.
(2) Verify bios is set to AHCI (If using an Intel system the SSD should be attacted to one of the two Intel SATA III Ports. If only sata II, then the intel sata II
(3) Insert windows installation disk and install windows 7. Set boot Priority to SSD in BIOS.
Don't for get to down load the latest Intel RST driver and install after windows installs. This will change the driver from the default msahci -> iaSTor.
Link to ver 10.6: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Se [...] Technology

Once done, and happy with windows 7 installation, then power down and reconnect other hard drives. You can leave windows 7 on the old HDD for a couple of weeks till you are sure ssd is working OK. You will be able to dual boot to the Old HDD by simply hitting the key that brings up boot memue (F12 on my Gigabyte and F11 on my Asrock MB). (Not this is not goining into bios and changing Boot priority)

Added:
3 Things that I normally do for an SSD:
.. (1) disable hibernation - save 4 -> 6 gigs
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920730
.. (2) Set page file (virtual memory) min and max to the same value, ie 4 gigs ram set it to 1024 mb. > 4 gigs ram set to 512mb. And you can redirect it to the HDD to save alittle more (Very slight performance hit). This save upto 6 gigs
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US [...] ual-memory
.. (3) manage restore points. limit the number of restore point or disable. This one if not done can eat up space in the long haul.
http://mintywhite.com/windows-7/7m [...] windows-7/
.. (4) One Final Important step: Use windows 7 backup (Under Control panel -> System & Security) and creat a image backup for your “C” drive. You can place on your internal HDD (and as a added precaution copy to BU drive). As long as you have the Windows Installation disk, you do NOT need to create the “Restore Disk” when prompted.

October 31, 2011 5:24:52 PM

Thank you guys!! Toms hardware rocks!
October 31, 2011 5:26:07 PM

For those of you who personally own Crucial m4's... how do I check the firmware version? I know the newest is Rev 009 and it boosts speed... I just want to confirm that my new m4 came shipped with that version. How does one check the installed version?
a c 351 G Storage
October 31, 2011 5:46:16 PM

Simple. After installing windows; download, install and run AS SSD - Do not need to run benchmark.
In the Upper left, it will Show
SSD part Number
Firmware Revision (should be 0009)
Driver Should be iaSTor if you have installed the Intel RST driver, if Not will show msahci
Partition alignment (Should state OK)

AS SSD: http://download.techworld.com/3248894/as-ssd-benchmark-...
October 31, 2011 5:58:04 PM

Best answer selected by mynameisjacob.
a b G Storage
November 1, 2011 8:33:38 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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