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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'd like to switch the Windows 10 drives I'm using in two PCs. I would like to clone an NVMe to a SATA SSD and then clone a different SATA to that NVMe, with neither cloned drive running on two systems at once. Will I be able to do that, or does Windows 10 not allow the cloned copy to activate or something like that?

I was hoping to use the cloning facility in the Corsair SSD Toolbox software, but if that won't work can anyone recommend something that will?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Overclock Failed...
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That plan won't work.

Oh. it will clone, but if you do it wrong all the drive letter will be different and Windows won't be able to find anything, to say nothing about the registry pointing to stuff that isn't there.

Cloned copies should work with your original keys.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That plan won't work.

Oh. it will clone, but if you do it wrong all the drive letter will be different and Windows won't be able to find anything, to say nothing about the registry pointing to stuff that isn't there.

Cloned copies should work with your original keys.
Thanks for the reply :)

Ok, so the new install should activate but run badly? What if I was to do the clone, run Windows once with the new drive to make sure the new install activates, and then do a manual clean reinstall of Windows? I would probably prefer to reinstall Windows 10 anyway, what I want to avoid is needing to buy a new Win 10 copy/key. I should have explained better in my original post.
 

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Padawan Overclocker
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Thanks for the reply :)

Ok, so the new install should activate but run badly? What if I was to do the clone, run Windows once with the new drive to make sure the new install activates, and then do a manual clean reinstall of Windows? I would probably prefer to reinstall Windows 10 anyway, what I want to avoid is needing to buy a new Win 10 copy/key. I should have explained better in my original post.
Clone works like this : clone the source, remove the source, cloned hdd will work in the same pc and windows will activate. (it may even activate if it's a retail copy on a new machine, it may or may not try to reactivate on the same hardware/case/pc)

Now i can't remember how hdd ids work on windows. New windows may be a bit more relaxed because i didn't run into any issues last time i cloned my win10. Maybe the app i used handled that. However, i had trouble with a win7 clone which I used the both hdds at the same time and i couldn't boot from the cloned disk. (had to use a remote registry editor to alter the cloned disk's windows registry for the hdd id)
 

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Thanks for the reply :)

Ok, so the new install should activate but run badly? .
If you could do that Microsoft would never sell another copy of Win 10 - everyone would just clone a copy.

For one, the boot sector on the boot drive will point to a boot loader that's on a drive that doesn't exist. If you boot the original install, it will point to a boot loader that doesn't include the new install.

People don't know this:
You can install as many copies as you want of Win 10 on a computer and the original key will activate and authenticate on them all. I've run 4 copies. The machine I'm typing this on has 2 copies on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you could do that Microsoft would never sell another copy of Win 10 - everyone would just clone a copy.

For one, the boot sector on the boot drive will point to a boot loader that's on a drive that doesn't exist. If you boot the original install, it will point to a boot loader that doesn't include the new install.

People don't know this:
You can install as many copies as you want of Win 10 on a computer and the original key will activate and authenticate on them all. I've run 4 copies. The machine I'm typing this on has 2 copies on it.
I am not cloning Win 10 in order to have copies on different computers, I just want to move the install associated with each machine onto a different physical drive within the same machine. I'd never have two instances of one install running on two different computers. I'm sorry it seemed like I was asking how to pirate copies of Win 10, that's not my intent at all.

When you say you can have as many copies of Windows running on the same machine as you like, can you have two copies on different drives within the same machine? If so, that might suggest a simpler answer to this problem. I could add the new drive to the system, put a new copy of Win 10 on it, boot from it and erase the old drive. Does that seem viable?
 

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Padawan Overclocker
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I am not cloning Win 10 in order to have copies on different computers, I just want to move the install associated with each machine onto a different physical drive within the same machine. I'd never have two instances of one install running on two different computers. I'm sorry it seemed like I was asking how to pirate copies of Win 10, that's not my intent at all.

When you say you can have as many copies of Windows running on the same machine as you like, can you have two copies on different drives within the same machine? If so, that might suggest a simpler answer to this problem. I could add the new drive to the system, put a new copy of Win 10 on it, boot from it and erase the old drive. Does that seem viable?
Yep that'll work. To be safe, just disconnect the data cable from the mainboard for the old drive, reconnect after you installed windows on the new one. (when the machine is off ofcourse :D ) And set the boot order for hdds in the bios so you don't boot from the old one accidentally.
 

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I am not cloning Win 10 in order to have copies on different computers, I just want to move the install associated with each machine onto a different physical drive within the same machine. I'd never have two instances of one install running on two different computers.
You can have as many activated, authenticated copies of any flavors of Windows running at the same time as you want.

Yep that'll work. To be safe, just disconnect the data cable from the mainboard for the old drive, reconnect after you installed windows on the new one. (when the machine is off ofcourse :D ) And set the boot order for hdds in the bios so you don't boot from the old one accidentally.
That leads to many, many unintended consequences.

To change OS's you have to boot twice, once into the BIOS and the to the OS drive you set in the BIOS. Neither OS will be able to access the files on the other because the permissions for accessing the files (on the other OS) will not be present in the currently running OS.

If there will be to OS's It's always best to do a complete install of the second (newer) OS from an install disk. The new OS install will see the other one and install accordingly. Then you'll get a boot screen that lets you choose which install to boot (or you can set either to be the default and automatically boot to that one). Anytime later you can use EasyBCD to delete either OS.

But. yes, your cloning scheme will work, it's just not the best way to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can have as many activated, authenticated copies of any flavors of Windows running at the same time as you want.

That leads to many, many unintended consequences.

To change OS's you have to boot twice, once into the BIOS and the to the OS drive you set in the BIOS. Neither OS will be able to access the files on the other because the permissions for accessing the files (on the other OS) will not be present in the currently running OS.

If there will be to OS's It's always best to do a complete install of the second (newer) OS from an install disk. The new OS install will see the other one and install accordingly. Then you'll get a boot screen that lets you choose which install to boot (or you can set either to be the default and automatically boot to that one). Anytime later you can use EasyBCD to delete either OS.

But. yes, your cloning scheme will work, it's just not the best way to do it.
Ah ok, thanks for explaining. When you say the second install is best done from an install disk, would a drive created from the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool do it, or is it best to use a purchased Win 10 installation DVD or Flash Drive?

Would you be willing to suggest a better way to do this?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep that'll work. To be safe, just disconnect the data cable from the mainboard for the old drive, reconnect after you installed windows on the new one. (when the machine is off ofcourse :D ) And set the boot order for hdds in the bios so you don't boot from the old one accidentally.
Ah ok cool, good points, I'll keep those in mind :)
 

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Ah ok, thanks for explaining. When you say the second install is best done from an install disk, would a drive created from the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool do it, or is it best to use a purchased Win 10 installation DVD or Flash Drive?

Would you be willing to suggest a better way to do this?
Either. Windows doesn't know from where it was installed.
 

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