How to re-use an old hard drive with an OEM OS to a new PC without reusing that windows OS.

In a month or two, my motherboard and processor are going to be moved to my parent's PC. Problem is, I had used an OEM Licensed Windows 8.1 (Now Windows 10) CD and Key on that PC. So the OEM is permanently stuck onto that Motherboard. I have many files, games, pictures, ect on that Hard Drive and I don't want to redownload everything again. That will take me days to do.

So, is there a way to use that same Hard Drive without having to keep the windows 10 files in it? And, how can I do that without deleting all my other files in that Hard Drive? (Games, pictures, documents) I'm getting a new Motherboard, Processor, and windows 10 OS soon.

Also, how can I reuse that code again for my parents new hard drive?
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  1. It's not worth it to try to keep installs. What you can do however, is simply transfer all your files to another disk, reformat, and then transfer everything back. Steam and Origin can "reinstall" games without needing to download much (or anything at all), so the only issue will be other software like Office. In total, it shouldn't take you more than 8 hours to get everything back to 100% even with >50 installed steam and origin games.
  2. For installing windows on your parents PC, just install windows 10 as normal and skip all the windows where it asks for a key, once you get to the desktop, providing it as access to internet, windows will be activated automatically. (I use an online account so this is how it's always worked for me, I'm not 100% sure if it's the same for a local account but i don't see why not).

    As for your pc, backup everything you want to keep to another and then do a clean windows install onto your HD.
    Steam doesn't actually need to be re-installed, simply copy and paste the entire steam folder and you will be good to go, the first time running steam after installing windows you will get an error window pop up, just close the window and rerun steam and that's it, all your games will still be there, no need to reinstall any of them.
    Any programs will need to be manually reinstalled, there is no easy way to copy over programs.
    You can use ninite.com to grab most of the commonly used programs from one easy location using a single downloader/installer.
  3. basroil said:
    It's not worth it to try to keep installs. What you can do however, is simply transfer all your files to another disk, reformat, and then transfer everything back. Steam and Origin can "reinstall" games without needing to download much (or anything at all), so the only issue will be other software like Office. In total, it shouldn't take you more than 8 hours to get everything back to 100% even with >50 installed steam and origin games.


    Do you know if it would work if I first install my motherboard and cpu onto my parents new computer with all my data that is still in my old hard drive? Then after that, I transfer those games and files to an external hard drive which will later be reinstalled into my new hard drive?

    They will be using my RAM, motherboard, and Processor if that helps.
  4. RedBadRooster said:

    Do you know if it would work if I first install my motherboard and cpu onto my parents new computer with all my data that is still in my old hard drive? Then after that, I transfer those games and files to an external hard drive which will later be reinstalled into my new hard drive?


    The most likely scenario is that it just fails to boot. Transfer the files now with everything as-is, then clean install on the new system.
  5. I have a similar question. I was told I cant boot a XP drive into a custom new PC bc of driver issues and such. So if I use it as a data drive, can I copy and paste my browser folder along with all its data and other programs. Will it work the same as it has on the Old drive?
  6. Novakane_ said:
    I have a similar question. I was told I cant boot a XP drive into a custom new PC bc of driver issues and such. So if I use it as a data drive, can I copy and paste my browser folder along with all its data and other programs. Will it work the same as it has on the Old drive?


    Not sure what you mean there. If you are asking if you can copy files from an old XP drive to a new one, yes, as long as your computer supports the disk connector (if it was a machine from after 2005, chances are it uses SATA and you'll be fine). If you are asking if you can do something to make XP work, no you can't, and no you should never try to do it without professional IT help (XP is dead, do NOT use it outside of offline scientific devices)
  7. basroil said:
    Novakane_ said:
    I have a similar question. I was told I cant boot a XP drive into a custom new PC bc of driver issues and such. So if I use it as a data drive, can I copy and paste my browser folder along with all its data and other programs. Will it work the same as it has on the Old drive?


    Not sure what you mean there. If you are asking if you can copy files from an old XP drive to a new one, yes, as long as your computer supports the disk connector (if it was a machine from after 2005, chances are it uses SATA and you'll be fine). If you are asking if you can do something to make XP work, no you can't, and no you should never try to do it without professional IT help (XP is dead, do NOT use it outside of offline scientific devices)


    I mean booting the drive is likely not workable, so I just want to transfer the programs over.

    Its pre 2005 and uses SATA...

    I don't know why everyone is so against XP. Its been working fine for me Online even after support for it ended. I havent had a virus in years if youre saying its susceptible to that. Every program works on XP. I'm not saying if youre building a PC to buy XP but if you have an older computer XP will still be great for it. I honestly dont see the point in upgrading to 7 or above with it (Which isnt free). XP cant die, its basis is pretty much used in every new OS after it.
  8. Novakane_ said:
    I mean booting the drive is likely not workable, so I just want to transfer the programs over.

    Its pre 2005 and uses SATA...

    In that case no issues, it'll be as easy as plugging the drive into the computer.

    Novakane_ said:
    I don't know why everyone is so against XP. Its been working fine for me Online even after support for it ended. I havent had a virus in years if youre saying its susceptible to that. Every program works on XP. I'm not saying if youre building a PC to buy XP but if you have an older computer XP will still be great for it. I honestly dont see the point in upgrading to 7 or above with it (Which isnt free). XP cant die, its basis is pretty much used in every new OS after it.


    XP is functionally dead, it's not just because it no longer receives software updates, but because modern software often no longer supports it. A lot has changed since XP, and people being stupid about not updating to a newer OS is actually holding back performance for newer machines. Just look at the Blender development team stupidity about not updating to OpenGL4 simply because they need to support XP and other decade old equipment!
  9. basroil said:
    Novakane_ said:
    I mean booting the drive is likely not workable, so I just want to transfer the programs over.

    Its pre 2005 and uses SATA...

    In that case no issues, it'll be as easy as plugging the drive into the computer.

    Novakane_ said:
    I don't know why everyone is so against XP. Its been working fine for me Online even after support for it ended. I havent had a virus in years if youre saying its susceptible to that. Every program works on XP. I'm not saying if youre building a PC to buy XP but if you have an older computer XP will still be great for it. I honestly dont see the point in upgrading to 7 or above with it (Which isnt free). XP cant die, its basis is pretty much used in every new OS after it.


    XP is functionally dead, it's not just because it no longer receives software updates, but because modern software often no longer supports it. A lot has changed since XP, and people being stupid about not updating to a newer OS is actually holding back performance for newer machines. Just look at the Blender development team stupidity about not updating to OpenGL4 simply because they need to support XP and other decade old equipment!


    Tell ya what send me a CD of 7 maybe ill be less "stupid"

    As if its possible to upgrade EVERY XP in the world

    As if its free.
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