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Solved!

Windows Product Key Validation After Hardware change (New SSD)

HP Recommended
Pavilion x2
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

I own a Pavilion x2 Notebook with a 64 Gig SSD.  It came with Windows 8.1 but it now runs Windows 10 - of course.  I have decided to upgrade the SSD to 256 Gig.  I have purchased the proper module (a Sandisk).  I recently contacted Windows support to enquire about the procedure for validating the OS once I make the hardware change.  I wasn't sure how it would work since my Pavilion x2 has the Product Key embedded in the BIOS.  Microsoft informed me that because I would be making a hardware change I would require a new Product Key (in other words my Notebook's existing Product Key would be "blocked").  I was able to retrieve the Product Key from my Pavilion x2 (the OEM and Installed keys - what's the difference??).

 

Does anyone have any experience in this area?  Once I replace the SSD and perform a clean install of Windows 10, will the BIOS-embedded Product Key validate the OS or will it reject it?  Since I am NOT buying an HP SSD (with preloaded OS) and since my Pavilion x2 is now long out of warranty?  Will I really have to pay over a hundred dollars for a new Windows OS license?

 

Thank you in advance for any advice/help.

 

Francis

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Level 15
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HP Recommended

Hello,

 

If your computer initially arrive with Windows 8 and if it was later upgrade to Windows 10 [note upgraded from 8 to 10, not clean installation of 10], then you no longer need product keys. Your computer's Win 10 lic is activated using new activation method called Digital Entitlement.  Digital entitlement will automatically activate your PC as long as hardware configuration is the same.

 

I cannot comment on behalf of Microsoft but to my knowledge and what it used to be, SSD/HDD change is not usually considered huge change. I am not sure if Microsoft support understood you well, but SSD change is not considered huge change - it happens on daily bases and there are hundreds of people who replace faulty HDD/SSD with new ones and reinstall Windows. However, you may need to verify this with MS support.

 

More info >> https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12440/windows-10-activation

>> http://www.thewindowsclub.com/digital-entitlement-activation-methods-windows-10

>> https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO

 

You can now download an ISO image from Microsoft web site [make sure you download the correct version/edition] , use it to reinstall Windows, do not enter any product keys and eventually it should activate itself without codes because it will detect the same product, same motherboard, same serial number, same hardware configure despite bigger SSD.

 

There is a new feature in Windows 10 coming with the latest Anniversary update  (do you run with Anniversary update?) that can help you link your Win lic with your Microsoft account. Therefore, if you do it and next time after reinstallation with new SSD it will probably help you verify its you . More info >> http://www.windowscentral.com/how-re-activate-windows-10-after-hardware-change

 

 

Let me know if this helps you.

** I am an HP employee *** I express personal opinion only *** My location: Europe *** HP Expert - Volunteer
** Click below on Accept As Solution and ThumbUp+ buttons if my comments helped or to say thanks.
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Settings indicate I have a digital entitlement so with a bit of luck when I change the SSD and install Windows 10, the machine should validate without any fuss.  I did try to see if I could link my Validation to my Microsoft account but I don't have that option on my Settings (although in the past when I did re-install Windows 10, the OS did link validation to my Microsoft account so I am assuming it works.  I am also assuming I have the Anniversary Edition since my machine updates automatically.

 

If all else fails, I will see how it goes after the SSD upgrade and deal with Microsoft if I have to.  I also agree with you that changing the SSD (essentially the "hard Drive") is NOT a significant hardware change and should not require a new Product Key but then, nothing surprises me anymore.

 

Your advice was useful and I thank you.

 

F

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Hi,

 

You are most welcome !

 

Check if you have anniversary update (AU) - methods 1 and 3 (not 2) here >> http://tunecomp.net/how-to-check-if-the-windows-10-anniversary-update-is-installed-or-not/

 

Make sure you apply it and try to link your Windows to it.  If you do not have this options, probably you do not have AU.

>> https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/08/02/how-to-get-the-windows-10-anniversary-update/

 

 

 

You can also check if you find Win 10 subscription linked somewhere in https://account.microsoft.com

 

Do not hesitate to post again if something is not clear.

 

Cheers!

 

 

If you find the answer solved your issue, please, mark it solved to help other users searching for the same/similar issues.

** I am an HP employee *** I express personal opinion only *** My location: Europe *** HP Expert - Volunteer
** Click below on Accept As Solution and ThumbUp+ buttons if my comments helped or to say thanks.
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