I think I have a new twist on this; after upgrading all hardware (based on advice from this forum), I started performing a clean install on my new SSD using the W7 CDs. Low and behold after entering the key, I got a message that they were not valid as I did not enter them within 30 days of purchase (2009)....WHAT!
So, I managed to boot from my old drive....how can I get this OS on the SSD without running into this unexpected key problem?
Contact Microsoft to get it cleared up, for now I would just inistal it and not enter a key. I think there is a 30day grace period if I recall correctly and than just get ahold of them. From what one of my friends tell me it's not too painful to get these issues cleared up, he had to deal with some of these key issues with installing windows before.
One question when you say upgrade all hardware, are you also talking about the motherboard as well. If so you probably had an OEM key which is tied to the mobo to my understanding. If so and they don't want to work with you just setup your old system real quick with win7 and than do the win8 pro upgrade for $40. I believe the upgrade is to retail version to my knowledge so you should be able to transfer the keys. I would double check with MS when you call them if you couldn't get the situation cleared up first.
And from what I recall vaguely I think there is an issue with putting an image of a regular HDD onto a SSD if I remember correctly. I can't remember what type of issue may pop up from doing that, but in general it I think it would work but it caused some type of issue in the background. Go onto the storage part of the forums and ask about it, or look it up. Hopefully I am wrong on this.
Use activation backup and restore software. Saves a lot of activation headaches. Just google it, there are plenty of guides and a few different freeware tools.
Basically it backs up the activation keys from the registry, you rebuild PC, and then run the restore of the registry keys, reboot and done. I recommend doing this before connecting new install to internet.