So if the replacement hdd wasn't imaged I could put it in another computer or even sell it ?
A HDD drive makes no difference anymore. The license is stored in the Microsoft Cloud. If you add a HDD with the same edition of Windows 10 as was previously registered it will activate because the licensing service checks with the Microsoft 10 registration data, finds that the device is good to go, and the device activates Windows. If the HDD has a different edition of Windows 10 it will not activate.
The license key is stored on the mainboard in the case of OEM-shipped Windows licenses, not "in the cloud". It IS true the system then gets a digital entitlement with Microsoft's server "in the cloud", but it still requires the OEM license key embedded in the mainboard. Change that and Windows will no longer be activated.
Even when Dell replaces a mainboard under warranty. there is no coded license key in the replacement - the system board ships with a separate license key to the repairer - that has to be used to activate Windows the first time the system is turned on. Once that's done, as long as the mainboard is not changed, the activation will be permanent. Change the mainboard - or swap the drive to another system, and the activation breaks again.
If you put that hard drive in the Dell system it's intended for - no problem. Any other use -- will require the purchase of a new license key.
The OEM license key is only for - and stays with - only the system with which it ships.
So why did 2 used HDDs I bought online both work but never were tied to this mobo?
Because the HDD doesn't matter for activation. It did in previous versions of Windows but not in Windows 10. Microsoft defeated hackers by removing the activation files from the HDD. No files, nothing to hack. Now the device's unique identifiers are registered with Microsoft and that registration is what is used by the licensing service. Since the registration is stored by Microsoft and not saved on the HDD, the HDD makes no difference as long as the edition of Windows 10 installed on the HDD is the same as the edition that is registered for the unique hardware identifiers. The device can be registered for more than one edition of Windows 10. That is the reason for the product key request page during re-installation.
HDD's are not tied to motherboards. The WINDOWS VERSION and Product key are.
You can use diskpart to clean the drive and use it anywhere.
Use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu and select Command Prompt (Admin).
Connect the drive you want clean and format to your computer via USB Drive wire.
Type the following command and press Enter:
Type the following command to list all the available drives and press Enter:
Take your time and very carefully, on the output from the previous command, identify the drive you want to clean.
YOU NEVER CLEAN DISK 0. You can quickly determine the drive attached to the usb wire.
And because we're trying to clean an external drive, we can easily spot that Disk 2 or 3 is the drive we need to select.
Use the following command to select the drive and press Enter:
select disk 3
Remember to change 3 in the command with the number of the drive you want to clean.
If you fail to choose the correct number will erase all the data from the wrong drive.
You cannot transfer a windows installation or image from machine to machine EVEN IF ITS THE EXACT SAME MODEL.
The other issue speaks for itself when you move to a different model windows will die with
STOP: 0x0000007B (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4)
This is true for windows 2000, XP, VISTA, 7, 8, 10.
Changing from ATA TO AHCI OR IRRT will also cause this specific blue screen of death.
STOP: 0x0000007B INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE
There are several Options for SATA Operation
"“Your PC ran into a problem and it needs to restart” is STOP 7B Inaccessable Boot Device.
Advanced format Drives REQUIRE F6 drivers in order to install.
Clear the CMOS
Set Bios to ATA and Try that. If not working Set to AHCI and try that.
As a Last Resort Set to IRRT which would require F6 drivers and INTEL RST installed in order to work.
You did not mention what OS aka XP/VISTA/7/8/10
F6 drivers are required for ALL of these.
Drives are not tied to motherboards.
The encrypted Recovery Partition IS Tied to the Drive that has an OEM TATOO. If you clone the drive to a NON OEM drive and attempt to use the recovery partition, EVEN ON THE EXACT SAME MACHINE, it will fail because cloning breaks the encryption for the recovery partition.
WINDOWS KEY is tied to SLP KEY in BIOS. Activation is tied to specific motherboard. There is a hardware/key hash that is generated when booting for the first time.
If you erase a hard drive it can be re used on another machine including a MAC PRO or Linux Machine etc. I only buy 2.5 inch drives now because there is little difference in price and the smaller drives are faster and use less power. The R494D caddy converts a 2.5 into a 3.5 drive.
OEM Recovery Images are blank as far as the Key and must pickup the BIOS KEY during first boot.
OEM's and Enterprise Customers run Sysprep to "RE SEAL" an image so that it's activated when its put into a system and boots then goes online to register.
There are three steps to Windows activation.
First, during the Windows installation, the operating system creates a unique product ID from the product key.
The second step for the Windows activation is the Hardware Identification (HWID). HWID is a unique number that is tied to our PC's hardware, and it is also calculated during the Windows installation.
Every component of our PC, from the CPU to the GPU to the Network Adapter, has a unique serial number. Windows runs a mathematical formula on each serial number and creates a hash, in a way that it is impossible to find the original serial number from the hash (a one-way hash).
Between four and ten bits are used from each component's hash, depending on the part.
Component Name Example Hash Value (#o of bits)
Display Adapter 00010 (5)
SCSI Adapter / SAS adapter 00011 (5)
IDE Adapter / SATA Adapter 0011 (4)
Network Adapter MAC Address 1001011000 (10)
RAM Amount Range (i.e. 0-64mb, 64-128mb, etc) 101 (3)
Processor Type 011 (3)
Processor Serial Number 000000 (6)
Hard Drive Device 1101100 (7)
Hard Drive Volume Serial Number 1001000001 (10)
CD—ROM / CD-RW / DVD-ROM / DVD-RW 010111 (6)
"Dockable" 0 (1)
Hardware Hash version (version of algorithm used) 001 (3)
Only internal PC components count, not peripherals, such as the monitor, keyboard/mouse
From all the above Hash values, through an algorithm, an 8bit HWID is created.
On Windows activation through the Internet, a "handshake request" is sent to Microsoft.
This request contains the product ID, the HWID, the activation technology version, and the request header data,
with a request ID that ties all the information together.
Through the Windows activation, the product ID (which represents the unique product key) is tied to
the particular hardware ID on Microsoft's servers.
This prevents the product key to be reused for Windows activation on a different PC.
The one-way hashing for the HWID guarantees our anonymity. It is impossible to identify our hardware components'
serial numbers from the information that is sent to Microsoft.
If the Windows activation is successful, the confirmation is sent back to our PC as a digital certificate, signed by Microsoft.
The telephone Windows Activation - to activate Windows without an internet connection - works similarly.
This must be done every 180 days or an Activated system will become DEACTIVATED.
What happens to the Windows activation when we change hardware?
The check for the Product ID and Hardware ID doesn't happen only during the installation.
At each login, Windows recalculates the HWID. It then compares the current HWID with the HWID on Microsoft's servers,
to see that it is running on the same or similar hardware where it was activated.
If the HWIDs are "substantially different", we lose the Windows Activation, and Windows needs to be re-activated.
If you do not access the Microsoft Licence Servers Every 180 days the system will drop out of activation into
REDUCED FUNCTIONALITY MODE.
Microsoft has predicted the upgrade scenario. That is why the HWIDs need to be "substantially different" for us to lose the Windows activation.
But, what does "substantially different" mean?
First of all, the ONBOARD network adapter has a superior weighting as a hardware component.
If we have the same network card, we need to change a few more hardware components before reactivation is required.
If the Processor ID changes and nothing else this does not Deactivate.
If the RAM is Upgraded or Down Graded and nothing else this does not Deactivate.
So why did my new 850 Samsung Evo SSD clone fine from my main HDD with the OS on it 6 months after I owned my XPS 8920?
Cloning Drives is not supported by Dell or Microsoft.
Norton GHOST does not support windows 8 or 10 only
XP Vista and 7
You keep throwing things out there as though you know something that is contrary to what I am saying.
Cloning Drives work but OS recovery partitions will fail with specific Cryptic message Error 0x4001001300001002 or "An error occurred while creating the factory recovery media"
Dell Backup and Recovery Also had this issue.
The other additional Gotcha is that USB 3 ports cannot be used when you have a USB Flash Drive as recovery media. If you try you will receive "
This error can occur if one or more of the following scenarios are true: