reinstalling windows 10 after hard drive crash

will i be able to install windows 10 for free after i change mt hard drive/ it crashes?
 

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Last updated October 23, 2018 Views 82,554 Applies to:

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This sounds great.

I discovered my SSD (OS drive) has an unrecoverable issue (it will not initialize - tried multiple computers). Can the OS Drive and Graphics card be different?

I am thinking of replacing the OS Drive with a new SSD. Hope it works.

The hard drive is not 1 of the identifying items in continuing activation.  I am swapping out the HDDs to SDDs on my fleet.  You should have no issue.  The activated W10 PC should stay activated.

sofspra

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This sounds great.

I discovered my SSD (OS drive) has an unrecoverable issue (it will not initialize - tried multiple computers). Can the OS Drive and Graphics card be different?

I am thinking of replacing the OS Drive with a new SSD. Hope it works.

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What about it?  Just re-install Windows!

Windows 10 does not use a product key, it uses digital entitlement.  There are not activation files on the hard drive at all.  The unique hardware identifiers of your device (the motherboard) are registered with Microsoft the first time Windows 10 is installed.  The licensing software looks this up on Microsoft's servers when you re-install and when it finds the registration data it activates Windows.  MSFT removed activation files from the local machine because of activation hacks by pirates.  No activation files, nothing to hack.

Colin Barnhorst

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What if the hard drive had to be replaced since the original was toast?

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You don't need a product key.  Just re-install and when the request appears for a product key click on the link in the lower right that says "I don't have a product key" and installation will continue.  The first time the device connects to the internet Windows 10 will activate.  Your license is registered in the Microsoft Cloud and the licensing software will just find it.  If you need installation media, download the ISO file from 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

create media and use the media to start the computer.

Colin Barnhorst

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Its the same hard drive and everything I just had to wipe the hard drive to remove the virus

No issue.  The PC is already W10 activated.  Use Media Creation Tool to get W10.  When asked for Product Key, just  choose SKIP. 

You should have clear sailing.  Product key is just not required on a PC already activated.

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Its the same hard drive and everything I just had to wipe the hard drive to remove the virus

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Im wondering how to install the windows 10 without a product key? I had windows 10 then I got a really bad virus and had to wipe the hard drive so I lost everything how do I get windows 10 without having to pay for it? The windows 10  hzc was the free version.

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You're welcome.  That's why I'm advising you to make installation media now.  If you had done that before you could've used it to simply install Windows.  Not only do that but make sure you have the capability to make regular backups of your system.  This requires a backup and restore program (use internet search) and an external device, such as usb hard drive, a network, or the cloud.  Good luck.
Colin Barnhorst

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