Windows 10 PC users often ask us how easy or difficult it is to activate Windows 10 after replacing HDD with SSD, or SSD with another SSD. I recently replaced HDD with SSD on one of my old PCs, and here is my experience.
I have a seven years old Dell Studio laptop. The laptop served as my primary PC until I bought a ThinkPad back in 2015 soon after the release of Windows 10.
The Dell laptop is working flawlessly but showing its age now. It has Centrino CPU and 4 GB of RAM. The laptop is mostly used by my family to browse the web, and therefore we use a local user account instead of Microsoft account to sign-in to Windows 10.
Replacing HDD with SSD and then activating Windows 10
Over the last weekend, I decided to make the Dell laptop a little more faster by replacing the hard drive with solid state drive (SSD). So, I bought a new Samsung EVO 850 (250 GB) solid-state drive, removed the old 5400 RPM 320 GB Seagate HDD, and installed the new SSD myself.
After replacing HDD with SSD, I downloaded Windows 10 using Media Creation Tool and then used the same tool to prepare bootable USB of Windows 10.
Turned on the Dell laptop, connected it to the power source (hardly get two hours of backup), and installed Windows 10 on SSD from the bootable USB. The installation process took a little over 20 minutes and was considerably faster than installing on an HDD.
After installing HDD, I was curious to know if Windows 10 will be automatically activated as I had not linked Windows 10 license to my Microsoft account on this PC before replacing the HDD with SSD.
Luckily, as soon as I connected the PC to the internet, Windows 10 got immediately activated. I didn’t have to use the Windows 10 activation troubleshooter or contact Microsoft support to activate Windows 10 after replacing HDD with SSD.
In short, if you have a properly activated Windows 10 PC, you can replace the internal drive without worrying about activation. Windows 10 will be automatically activated once you connect the PC to the internet.
If you encounter issues, you can use the built-in Windows 10 activation troubleshooter or contact Microsoft support to activate Windows 10.
Did you encounter any activation issues after replacing the drive on your PC? Do share your experience by leaving a comment below.