I haven't put it in yet but does it have Win 10 on it like I had? Can I just copy all my contents from my current drive into it? Do I have to come up with a product key or other numbers? What is missing in it if anything? Should I just clone my current drive to it? It's a 1TB spinning Barracuda drive like the one I have in it.
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I haven't put it in yet but does it have Win 10 on it like I had? Can I just copy all my contents from my current drive into it? Do I have to come up with a product key or other numbers? What is missing in it if anything? Should I just clone my current drive to it?
It's a 1TB spinning Barracuda drive like the one I have in it.
AFAIK, this is not a common practice.
We can't tell from here. If you want to know these specific answers, I suggest you ask the Dell technician that sent it to you.
Unless this was a fluke, there is now a support-ticket open. There is a whole series of events that need to happen next ... you'll see.
Imaged means it'll have a factory image of Windows on it - the license key is bound to the system board, so that will allow activation.
You can copy your data back but will need to reinstall all applications you installed after purchase - those cannot be copied.
Product keys are NEVER on the hard drive. They are in the Bios.
It means you swap out old with new drive and it should boot and work.
Data files will need to be recovered from the old drive via a USB drive wire.
Applications like word etc will have to be reinstalled.
I meant do I have to enter product codes etc from elsewhere and does it have win 10 (like I have now) on it and is it just like adding a new drive but it has win 10 on it? Could I just clone it since I already have the OS on the original drive (win 10).?
You do not have a product key unless you purchased Windows 10 separately someplace. Windows 10 product keys do NOT work the same as any previous version of Windows so forget everything about them that you learned from earlier versions.
Your Dell is a registered Windows 10 device for the edition originally installed (a new concept starting with Windows 10). That means the unique hardware IDs (of the motherboard) are registered with Microsoft. You can reinstall that same edition by any manner as often as needed without need of a product key. If requested for one, click the link at the bottom right of the product key page that says "I don't have a product key" and continue installation. Windows will automatically activate when the device next connects to the internet.
The product key is now only used to register the device with Microsoft. That is a one-time, permanent registration. The device then activates Windows 10, not the product key. The only product key present in the system is a generic one which cannot be used to register new devices. It is there so Microsoft can parse the type of Windows license in use and the channel through which it was obtained. There is no product key in the BIOS.
If you change motherboards, the new one will not be registered with Microsoft and will not activate Windows until further steps are taken.
Check with Dell Support about the extra drive. I have never heard of that being done.
So the drives are tied into the motherboard now? But what if you want to use a hdd with windows on it in another computer?
You cannot transfer a license from an OEM install (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc.) to non-OEM hardware -- it's a violation of the license agreement (and has been for a long time).
I was thinking like transferring a hdd to another dell I own.
If you do that, be prepared to buy a new license key -- the activation will break and Microsoft won't re-activate it.