I have a friend I build a computer for who lives out of state. Apparently during shipment the hard drive became defunct and does not work. Now when i was building mine and his computer I used the same exact model mother board for both. Would it be possible to install windows 7(his product key) on a new hard drive on my computer, get all the drivers and updates for him, and then ship it to him, which would allow him to just plug and play and have no product key banning?
Yes, that would work. Don't activate it on your computer; have him do that when he installs the drive on his machine. Your storage controller has to be the same as his for this to work and it has to be in the same mode in BIOS (AHCI or IDE) and since you use the exact same model of motherboard, as long as your BIOS settings are correct you should be good to go.
It should work, only problem I ran into swapping out ASRock boards with the same model was that windows can tell from an hardware ID, and then asks to be reactivated, thinking its a different system. But I could be wrong.