Windows 10: Cloning with a new key and 8.1 key activation

Discus and support Cloning with a new key and 8.1 key activation in Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade to solve the problem; I have a Windows 10 machine that has the same configuration that I want for another machine that I have purchased without an OS. What I am... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade' started by bluesmanuk, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Cloning with a new key and 8.1 key activation


    I have a Windows 10 machine that has the same configuration that I want for another machine that I have purchased without an OS.

    What I am considering, to make life easier is to clone the drive of the configured machine to the new one and then, with a new Windows key hat I have, simply activate it with this key and therefore essentially have 2 identically configured machines, albeit with different drivers and product keys.

    The other part of this is that the spare key that I have is for Windows 8.1, so if the first part is possible, can activation for 10 be carried out with the 8.1 key?

    :)
     
    bluesmanuk, Nov 26, 2015
    #1
  2. 'Mike P Win User

    Rebuild Computer

    You might want to understand that the motherboard serial is the key to your
    activation.
    A new motherboard will loose activation.

    If you have a retail key for windows 7 - 8.1 or even 10 you can use that for the activation key maybe, if its key has never been activated before.

    You might need to install your 8.1 and phone activate it, to transfer the registration from the old motherboard to the new ... then install win10 and its key will work for activation during this free period.

    Other than that snafu, you can clone it - disk copy it - or install it fresh. It doesn't care about other hardwares being replaced. Going from a hard drive spinner to a SSD you would probably want to run a command prompt (admin) WinSAT Formal once up
    and running the new stuff.
     
    'Mike P, Nov 26, 2015
    #2
  3. Cloning OEM Windows 10 Pro to OEM Windows 10 Pro

    I have a few new PC's that I purchased off Newegg for a great price. All are the same make and model with identical specs and Windows 10 Pro OS. I want to run updates and install programs on one of the machines, and then clone the first machine using
    Clonezilla and then add that cloned image to the other 3 machines. Each PC has it's own specific OEM activation key. Can I add the cloned image to the other 3 PC's and then activate windows with the key originally assigned to the PC? Each PC will have it's
    own Windows 10 OEM activation key.
     
    Jim1Hurley, Nov 26, 2015
    #3
  4. NavyLCDR New Member

    Cloning with a new key and 8.1 key activation

    Version 1511 Windows 10 is supposed to allow activation with a Windows 8.1 key. Run winver to see if you have version 1511 installed.
     
    NavyLCDR, Nov 26, 2015
    #4
  5. KACI Win User
    The same configuration doesn't necessarily mean the same components. Laptops are nortorius for switching components. They may have the same specifications but use different drivers to make them work. So don't be surprised if you run into issues. Good luck though.
     
  6. Thanks for the replies.

    Yes I do currently have 1511.

    I plan on using imaging software with restore to dissimilar hardware in the functionality.
     
    bluesmanuk, Nov 26, 2015
    #6
  7. spapakons Win User
    Run your laptop with Windows 7 or 8.1 and see here how to obtain the activation token. Then you can try cloning the disk of one laptop to the other. If the hardware is similar it should load and looking for drivers for any device different from the original laptop. Install the drivers and you should be OK. You then need to activate Windows 10 which would have deactivated due to the different hardware. Use the token to activate (copy at the appropriate folder, see tutorial in the link above, and REPLACE when asked).

    PS: I haven't done it with Windows 10 yet, but have done it many times with Windows 7 and 8 and it worked. You have nothing to lose. If by chance it doesn't work, format the hard disk, clean-install Windows 10 and use token to activate.
     
    spapakons, Nov 26, 2015
    #7
  8. Cloning with a new key and 8.1 key activation

    Well it worked and better than I expected.

    I cloned the machine and when booting into the other with different hardware, windows loaded without any BSOD's due to the difference.

    Updated the correct drivers and was then able to use my 8.1 Pro key to activate 10 pro.

    Very impressed.
     
    bluesmanuk, Dec 4, 2015
    #8
  9. spapakons Win User
    Been there, done that.
     
    spapakons, Dec 4, 2015
    #9
  10. Nice to see it working in a reliable fashion though after failures trying the same thing with older Windows versions.
     
    bluesmanuk, Dec 4, 2015
    #10
  11. spapakons Win User
    I have successfully done it since Windows 95! In Windows 9x family (95, 98 and ME) you have to boot into safe mode and then delete ALL devices from Device Manager, to avoid a BSOD because of different hardware. When booting in the new computer it will start discovering the devices and will ask for Windows CD-ROM. Since the CD-ROM device may not be yet usable, I was keeping a copy of Windows setup files in a folder in the hard disk and pointed there. In Windows XP and newer you do it by simply installing new drivers and reactivating Windows. As long as both computers have similar hardware you don't get a BSOD.
     
    spapakons, Apr 4, 2018
    #11
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Cloning with a new key and 8.1 key activation

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