Reinstall windows 10 after hard drive failure and replacement. Can I image drive of near identical PC?

Previously performed the free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 on my Dell home laptop.  Just had a hard drive failure and replacement drive is ordered.  Can I image the drive of my second near identical laptop (both Dell Latitude D630) to the drive I am replacing, and assume the Microsoft win10 server will figure out the product-key of the laptops Win10 ID?  Doing a image of another drive would save me the time of loading many drivers.

PS I just installed a new screen and cable with slightly lower resolution.  I hope that along with a new drive will not cause the Win10 server not recognize the product-key of the laptops Win10 ID.  

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Answer
Answer
Hi Robert, activation will not be an issue when you re-install Windows 10, it is only when you replace your motherboard that issues arise

Since you previously had Windows 10 installed and activated on that PC during the installation process skip the steps which ask for a product key and select the option 'I am Reinstalling Windows 10 on this PC', and activation will not be an issue, your PC will have a digital entitlement stored on the Microsoft Activation Servers

I would clean install Windows 10 and then install clean drivers, since the drivers in your other drive may not be compatible with the new version of Windows 10

Click this link:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-downlo...
to download the Media Creation Tool (Click on Download Tool Now), with that you can download the latest Windows 10 ISO (Select Create Installation Media for Another PC), you can create a bootable USB flash drive (min 4GB) using that tool or create the ISO file which you can later burn to DVD

Then, Boot your PC from the Installation Media you just created (change Boot Order in your BIOS)

If you have problems booting from a boot disc, you may have UEFI BIOS, go into your BIOS and make the following changes:
1. Insert the Bootable Media
2. Disable Secure Boot
3. Enable Legacy Boot
4. If Available enable CSM
5. If Required enable USB Boot
6. Move the device with the bootable disc to the top of the boot order
7. Save BIOS changes and restart your System

NOTE: during the installation process, your system will reboot, at that point, you may need to go into your BIOS and change the boot order so your system boots from your Hard Drive, otherwise the installation may start all over again - do not remove the installation media at this point
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Small changes like HD change should not make the activation invalid. Even if it does, you need to go to Settings>Update and security >Activation and run the troubleshooter.
Select I recently changed hardware on this device and you are good to go.
Sumit
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Last updated April 21, 2021 Views 9,737 Applies to: