can i remove my hdd with windows 8 on and use it at a later date ?

Hi everyone i bought myself a new laptop with a 1tb hdd and it has windows 8 installed. I understand the product key is encoded into the bios now and would like to know some basic things. What i want to know is if i remove the hard drive then plug it back in will the product key automaticly register with the oem hard drive and still be activated in windows 8. The reason i ask this is because i want to put my 120gb ssd in the laptop and install my copy of windows 7 ultimate on it but would like the be able to use the windows 8 hard drive again. The problem is im not sure if it will still be activted on that hard drive if i remove it and plug it back in.


Hi Nathan,



Thank you for posting your query in Microsoft Community.


Based on the information you have provided, I understand that you have Windows 8 installed on your computer, you want remove the hard drive and use it again at a later point of time. I will certainly help you with this issue.


Yes, you can re-connect the hard drive on which windows 8 was installed, but it will prompt for activation since there is a change in Hardware on your computer. You will have to reactivate Windows 8.


Refer to the link.


How to contact a Microsoft Product Activation Center by telephone


If you face any more issues while working with Windows do post on Microsoft Community Forum.


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Question Info

Last updated March 24, 2018 Views 80 Applies to: