Windows 10: Move Boot drive between 2 identical computers.

Discus and support Move Boot drive between 2 identical computers. in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; In the near future I may have to spend many months in a row at 2 different locations (let's say about 8 months in Asia and 4 months in Europe) for many... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by tacchan23, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. tacchan23 Win User

    Move Boot drive between 2 identical computers.

    In the near future I may have to spend many months in a row at 2 different locations (let's say about 8 months in Asia and 4 months in Europe) for many years to come.
    As I don't want a notebook, I was considering building 2 identical computers at the 2 locations and just bring the boot (&data) SSD with me while traveling (and so Windows will keep being updated on one machine, then moved to the other and so on).
    Assuming I have a retail Windows 10 license (and so I should not face any problems with Windows licensing system), do you think this solution is possible and hassle free? or I may run into drivers/etc problems anyway? mostly considering that it wouldn't be a "one and done" kind of thing but something I would have to repeat about 2 times a year.

    Thanks in advance *Smile

    tacchan23, Sep 25, 2016

  2. Windows 10 Pro hd to move back and forth between two computers (Devices)

    Hello, I have a licensed activated Windows 10 Pro computer

    I would like to move the Solid State Hard Drive between the original computer

    and an Identical hardware computer (Mother board, CPU, Video Card, Memory).

    I do not want to move the activation -

    I want to purchase a second Windows 10 Pro activation

    so that the same hard drive can be used back and forth between the two different computers (Devices)

    without activating the Hard Drive each time I boot it up back and forth between the two different computers (Device).

    Please enlighten me how this can be done?
    movingWin10, Sep 25, 2016
  3. SVI1 Win User
    swapping hard drive between 2 computer

    Thanks for the reply. I am going to set laptop 2 to upgrade to windows 10 now.

    Laptop 1 has the 32 bits version of windows 10 pro at the moment (laptop 1 has hardware that can run 64 but unsure why dad has 32 bits installed in the first place) and laptop 2 is going to be the 64 (as current windows 7 on laptop 2 is 64 now), is it free
    to upgrade from 32 bits version to 64 and what is the best way of doing so?
  4. pbcopter Win User

    Move Boot drive between 2 identical computers.

    Even with "identical" computers Windows will see a difference in the motherboards and require reactivation. At some point, this will cause you to use telephone activation.
    Drivers would only be an issues if you use different components in the two computers.
    Other installed software that is licensed, would also require activation on the different machines each time, e.g. Microsoft Office.
    pbcopter, Sep 25, 2016
  5. tacchan23 Win User
    Do you maybe have any idea how often would I need to do the telephone activation with a Retail license? if it's something like once every 4 times (so once every 2 years in my case) that wouldn't be too bad.
    Thanks a lot *Smile
    tacchan23, Sep 25, 2016
  6. GAS
    Gas Win User
    Bring also the motherboard with you.
  7. Haxcid Win User
    This seems like a ass backwards way to do things. Why not just build a small computer like a NUC and carry it with you.
    Haxcid, Sep 25, 2016
  8. Kbird Win User

    Move Boot drive between 2 identical computers.

    OR get that laptop and just use it like a NUC with external Monitor and Keyboard etc.

    Retail win10 can be moved to other Machines with no problem , but you may still need to call in every time you swap machines....

    If the two machines were absolutely identical you could perhaps just Image one Machine to the other too ?
    Kbird, Sep 25, 2016
  9. But the Anniversary Update now links your MS account on hardware changes to activate without having to make a call to MS.
    orlbuckeye, Sep 25, 2016
  10. I agree with this. Or just get a light laptop.
    DeaconFrost, Sep 25, 2016
  11. pbcopter Win User
    I would, personally, get a good laptop and have a decent monitor, keyboard and mouse at each location.
    pbcopter, Sep 25, 2016
  12. tacchan23 Win User
    Yes, I heard about this too. But still looking for confirmation to make sure it's true or at least reduces the number of times a phone activation is required.

    Anyway looks like everyone is only concerned about Microsoft license and there should be any other kind of problems (drivers/updates/etc).
    I don't want a NUC or similar because I need a lot more power than that. A high end laptop could be an idea but just recently I had a bad experience with Windows scaling connecting a notebook with 4k display to an external monitor. Also for my job I need at least 32GB of RAM and was actually planning on 64GB for a future build.
    I was also thinking to build a mini ITX case to carry on board of the plane but this sounds like an hassle too...
    tacchan23, Sep 26, 2016
  13. Fafhrd Win User

    Move Boot drive between 2 identical computers.

    I don't think the primary concern is Microsoft licensing rather than the potential loss of functionality due to activation problems, caused by repeatedly switching hardware bases using a retail product.

    I think the solution is called "Windows to Go" (WTG): I believe it is a feature using Windows Enterprise or Windows Education editions, rather than Retail. These editions are effectively equivalent to Windows Professional. Since the WTG is designed to be portable and for use on a range of hardware, the configuration of device drivers and any updates are handled when the base computers and the WTG storage device are put together for the first time, and subsequently by the routine WUAU technologies.

    It would be worth comparing rates for MSDN Subscriptions with Enterprise costs, or whether your situation would qualify as an Educational use.

    If your basic portable unit is an SSD (or two SSDs in case of a failure or other loss) these could either be hooked up by USB or external SATA connections.

    If you are looking for 2x high end base units at either end of your journeys and something you can use during your travelling, WTG solutions would only consume a single licence - the cost of the license in this case would be negligible compared to outlay on hardware.

    I have to say that having your data and system files moving around with you sounds like a more risky strategy than having your data backed up via a secure cloud solution, and accessing it through a VPN, but that is just my opinion.
    Fafhrd, Sep 26, 2016
  14. cereberus Win User
    That works for digital licences. It is not the same for a retail licence product key activated version. Having said that, it may well work now for OP if on AU as it seems you get a digital licence as well now if you install with a retail key.

    Simple traditional telephone activation will always work using slui 4 if you have a retail key.

    To be honest, it is no big deal if it fails to activate anyway, as Windows 10 does not ever go into reduced function mode as far as we can tell. It just goes into notification mode, which is seemingly less intrusive than on 7/8 which starts to nag you after a period. MS seem to have softened it to just a watermark. I have run one in a vm for nearly six months without a single nag -all I cannot do is personalise it.
    cereberus, Sep 26, 2016
  15. tacchan23 Win User
    Thanks a lot for the replies so far everyone.

    About the concerns on Safety of data while traveling, of course I would also have a Cloud backup (as well as physical backups at every location). But in both locations (particularly in the one in south east Asia) internet speeds are pretty bad still so I would prefer it to be just a safety solution over using it actively (as also the overall size of my data is quite large with many big graphic files)
    tacchan23, Apr 4, 2018

Move Boot drive between 2 identical computers.

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