If I Change My Hard Drive Do I Need to Buy Windows Again?

My current drive is too small in size, which is causing my computer to run slow. I want to buy a new one to change it. Do I have to buy another Windows 10 license when I install a new hard disk? Or is there a better way to solve this problem? Thanks!

Best Answered by

Jerry· Answered on Dec 20, 2023

You don't need to purchase a new Windows if you only change the hard drive.

You can reinstall Windows 10 anytime for no cost except your time. Since you had Windows 10 installed previously, it won't be a problem for activation. If you have a retail license for Windows, you can jump through a few steps and use it on the new hardware configuration.

Skip the steps when it asks you for a license during installation, and then select the option "I am reinstalling Windows 10 on this PC". A digital entitlement will be saved on the Microsoft Activation Server for your PC.

You can find the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft and the latest Windows 10 ISO. Select "Create Installation Media for Another PC" and create a bootable USB drive (at least 8GB) with the tool. Then, set the USB drive in the boot order of your BIOS as the priority and start the installation.

Note: It will be a different case if you are also planning to replace the CPU or motherboard. You won't be able to activate Windows on the new hardware if it's an OEM version in this case.

You can also download disk cloning software like EaseUS Disk Copy, which is an easier and faster way to migrate Windows OS from one hard drive to another. You don't have to reinstall the operating system during the process. However, you should always back up the important files before cloning to avoid unexpected data loss.

If you choose EaseUS Disk Copy as your solution, below is a related post for you to learn the detailed steps.

Related article: [Solved] How to Move OS to Another Drive Without Reinstalling Windows and Applications

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