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Old 02-10-2018, 06:05 PM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
9,069 posts, read 6,394,613 times
Reputation: 9360

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Well, my hard luck with laptops continues as the hard drive in my 14-month old HP just bit the dust. Won't boot and won't recover because the recovery files are in a second partition of the failed HD.

I've never opened up a laptop, but having built several desktops in years past (like the one I'm using now), I'm sure I can replace the drive myself.

My question is about re-installing Windows 10. I've read that you can download it to a USB drive and re-install from that, but I'm seeing conflicting reports on whether you have to pay for another license. You shouldn't have to for replacing a dead HD in the same computer. And, back in the day, you would just re-install from your original OS disk and there would be no problem. But today, you typically don't have an OS disk as the backup is on the same internal HD.

Has anyone done this and/or knows for sure whether you can download and activate free of charge in this scenario?

Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:12 PM
 
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download it from microsoft's webpage, a disc iso version

install it and use the key on the sticker of the laptop
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Old 02-11-2018, 07:59 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
9,069 posts, read 6,394,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
download it from microsoft's webpage, a disc iso version

install it and use the key on the sticker of the laptop
Thanks for your reply.

Problem is, I have no sticker anywhere that I can see, inside or out, with a windows key. Where would this normally be found?
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:11 AM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
2,210 posts, read 1,254,904 times
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I have an Acer Aspire, and mine is on the bottom.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:53 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
9,069 posts, read 6,394,613 times
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There was an answer posted here just half hour ago or so that I liked a lot, because I have no sticker or any documentation of a windows key on the original installation.

To that poster - was the info you posted not valid? Just wondering why the post is gone.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Florida & Cebu, Philippines
2,808 posts, read 2,516,639 times
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If it is not on the computer then contact HP or whoever sold you the unit, they should have the number you need.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:10 AM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
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Not sure how it works today, but a few years back I had the same problem. After downloading and installing windows, I called MS, and they reactivated it for me free of charge.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:25 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
9,069 posts, read 6,394,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIcenter View Post
Not sure how it works today, but a few years back I had the same problem. After downloading and installing windows, I called MS, and they reactivated it for me free of charge.
Yep, that's the way it should work....or not even have to call at all, since it's just a hard drive replacement. I'm hoping that other poster was correct.

I'll find out soon, as I got the case open and removed the old drive. Now just have to go down to Best Buy and pick up a new HD and a couple of flash drives. With luck, I'll have it up and running later.

One other question occurred to me. What about formatting the new drive? Years ago I formatted many a drive using other installed drives or disk media. Will the Windows 10 download take care of that as well?
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,204 times
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On many newer machines the product key is embedded in the UEFI BIOS by the OEM.

Simply reinstalling Windows should cause it to find the key.

As for formatting, on a new installation Windows has always just prompted to format the drive if it's raw (or offered options to create / delete / format partitions on an already formatted drive). It's been a few years, but I'm sure that the feature was in the last Win10 installation that I installed one.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:53 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
9,069 posts, read 6,394,613 times
Reputation: 9360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
On many newer machines the product key is embedded in the UEFI BIOS by the OEM.

Simply reinstalling Windows should cause it to find the key.

As for formatting, on a new installation Windows has always just prompted to format the drive if it's raw (or offered options to create / delete / format partitions on an already formatted drive). It's been a few years, but I'm sure that the feature was in the last Win10 installation that I installed one.
Now that you mention it, I do remember the formatting prompt on new Windows installations. I also added additional new drives to existing computers on several occasions and I guess that's what I had in mind when I asked the question.

Sounds like the activation should be easy and automatic.

Thank you.
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