Solved Salvaging an old HDD from surge-damaged PC

January 12, 2014 at 01:00:44
Specs: Win 7 home 64 bit, I5 4570s

I'm using parts from a surge damaged computer (hard drives, optical and a few other bits). One of the hard drives I intend to use has a lot of data on it that I want, it also had my windows on it from the old computer (win7 home 64bit)

I don't suppose I can just connect this drive and have windows work again in the new setup? If no what is the best way to get this drive back in action (I have another spare drive that I can use, either permanently side by side with my data holding drive, or as a bridging drive for new install)

The most important thing is that I want to salvage my data off of my main drive (assuming it's not already gone) and not have to pay for windows and office again.

Thanks in advance and feel free to offer tips or warnings not specifically requested. I'm a noob at computer building and so may stumble into easily avoidable problems.

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January 12, 2014 at 03:50:14
✔ Best Answer
The Windows installation on your old hard drive will not run on a different computer, it will only run on the computer where it was installed.

Moreover, if Windows was pre-installed by the computer manufacturer on the now damaged computer , that copy of Windows cannot legally be used on another computer anyway. That pre-installed copy of Windows "dies" when the computer dies.

So you will have to buy a new copy of Windows with a new Product Key and Licence for your new rig.

You can get data off the old drive (assuming it still works) by either installing it as a second internal drive on your new rig, or by putting it into a hard drive enclosure which plugs into a USB port.

message edited by phil22

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January 17, 2014 at 10:49:08
Thanks for the advice which is clear.

A question occurs to me in respect of the OEM Windows though, a bit of an existentialist one.

When is the original computer dead and to what precisely does the license attach? The hard drive? The motherboard?

I am replacing parts but still essentially have the same computer, is there a clear way of knowing where one stands from a licensing point of view.

It's a bit like Trigger's broom....

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