Upgrade Windows 10 System Disk on an HP Computer (1 Viewer)

mdonnelly

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Last year about this time I bought a little HP Mini 300-240 ($240) desktop computer to replace our aging home-built tower PC. I liked the mini-PC, small footprint, no noisy fans, a little faster processor, but I found that the 32GB SSD system disk was just not big enough for Windows 10 and the required files.

So I bought a replacement 256GB SSD ($110) and an 8GB SODIMM memory module ($39) for the PC and tried to move the Windows 10 OS to that drive with no success. I tried a couple of different cloning programs that didn't work. Frustrated, I gave up for a while and lived with the old tower for another year.

I got the bug again last week and tried again, but even a new install of Windows 10 ($100) from a DVD failed because it needed drivers that it couldn't find. So I was ~$500 into a PC that wasn't usable for my purposes. I could have bought a better Dell or HP with that money.

Finally, I looked up HP Support on the internet (last resort of the incompetent is to read the book) and discovered a procedure that I hadn't tried yet.

Step 1: Create a bootable restore disk on a memory stick (I got a blank 64GB stick from Walmart, $22) using the HP Recovery Manager application that ships with the PC. That took about 2 hours.

Step 2: Take the old 32GB SSD out of the PC and replace it with the blank 256GB SSD. Helps to have a precision screwdriver kit.

Step 3: Boot from the memory stick and tell the Recovery Manager to install the Windows 10 OS onto the 256GB SSD from the recovery disk. This is the part I expected to fail. It didn't, and it took less time to install the OS than it did to create the recovery disk.

A little bit of time reloading Office 2016 and my documents and the PC was back in business. I realize now that I'm pushing 70 and a bit of a technological dinosaur. I'll have to put my ego in the back seat and not try to apply yesterday's solutions to today's problems.
 
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harshness

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It is typically required to use some sort of software to transfer a system disk in Windows 8 and later as the computers almost universally use what is called "Unified Extensible Firmware Interface" (UEFI) to store the "BIOS" of the computer. The BIOS used to be on an EEPROM on the mainboard but now it is so large that they put it in a hidden partition on the mass storage device.

There are dedicated programs out there that will image an old SSD to a new SSD (many quality retail SSDs come with one) so that you don't have to reinstall Windows. Windows Backup happens to be one solution but it is one of perhaps the slowest and most fearsome to use (but it seems to work reliably).

Mini computers have a very specific application and it typically doesn't involve 64 bit operating systems or machines that will ever be "upgraded". They are designed as client machines that are destined to run web applications, Linux or Android and aren't really for general home use.
 
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mdonnelly

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It does have a 64 bit CPU, with an Intel processor. I wouldn't have bought it at all if that wasn't the case. Granted it's only 2 cores, but hey, it's not used as a heavy duty machine.

HP and Microsoft are both pushing their "Cloud Storage" solutions. I'm nervous about putting my personal and sensitive documents in the "cloud", so I'm not using that.

I did notice a partition named "EFI" on the SSD. The good thing is that the HP Recovery Manager software was smart enough to copy all partitions from the old SSD to the new SSD, and allocated all the available space on the new drive to the Windows 10 partition. I'm happy, and I know how to do it again now if the new SSD craters.
 
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harshness

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It does have a 64 bit CPU, with an Intel processor.
Pretty much all computer CPUs are 64 bit these days. The issue with running a 64 bit OS is that it typically takes a lot more storage space and RAM that mini computers notoriously lack. Running 64 bit Windows on a 4GB machine can be rather cramped if you're using more than a web browser or e-mail client or trying to effectively multitask.

The other thing that you need to keep in mind that with an SSD as the lone mass storage drive, you shouldn't fill it more than say 75% full. Much more than that and it forces the drive to use the available storage cells frequently and that's less than ideal. SSD cells have a limited lifespan and only making a few cells available to recycle wears them out more quickly.
 

EarDemon

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Is there anything that would have prevented you from just downloading the latest ISO of your edition of Windows 10 from Microsoft using the Media Creation Tool, and just sticking in the new blank SSD and starting over from scratch?

At home I'm at HP guy, at work it's Dell. I have never ever used the OEMs recovery method. Bootable media with a pristine version of Windows with no OEM junk is the best way to go. Although MS is getting pretty good pimping Metro apps on Windows Pro with Candy Crush and a whole host of other nonsense. For drivers, I either download them from the manufacture directly. Sometimes that can get a little tricky. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but on all the HPs I've owed and seen, there is a folder in the root of the C: drive called 'SWSetup' that contains all of the original drivers and bloat crap that HP includes from the factory. Before a fresh install of Windows on a new HP, I always nab that folder because it can contain some useful stuff like HP Cool Sense software for laptops, and say what you want but I do like the Beats Audio Control Panel.
 

harshness

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Is there anything that would have prevented you from just downloading the latest ISO of your edition of Windows 10 from Microsoft using the Media Creation Tool, and just sticking in the new blank SSD and starting over from scratch?
If you don't have an appropriate license key, you can't run the Media Creation Tool.

Free upgrades to Windows 10 are still available if I recall correctly (if you meet some fairly insignificant conditions) and I'm not sure how that might work if you're not applying as an upgrade to a working system.
 

mruk69

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What you could of done is, windows a feature to do a system image backup. Todo the backup on a external drive, off at least 32gb same size as your original drive.
Then boot into windows setup and install the system image to the new drive.
 

EarDemon

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If you don't have an appropriate license key, you can't run the Media Creation Tool.

Free upgrades to Windows 10 are still available if I recall correctly (if you meet some fairly insignificant conditions) and I'm not sure how that might work if you're not applying as an upgrade to a working system.

Why not? The OP already had Windows 10, so that doesn't matter. As long as you have a PC that came with Windows 10 pre-installed or one that was upgraded for free with Digital Entitlement that computer is good for life and it doesn't matter if you swap out hard drives or solid state drives. When asked for a serial key during the installation of Windows, just click the skip button and after the installation is complete, as long as the computer is connected to the internet, Windows will activate within seconds.

Ever since the free upgrade officially ended, you could still get Windows 10 for free by using the serial key from a Windows 7 or 8.1 licence. This past summer I did this on about a dozen Dell Precision laptops. To breath new life into them, I pulled their 500 GB HDDs with Windows 7 Pro, popped in blank Intel 480 GB SSDs, installed Windows 10 Pro from an ISO created from the Media Creation Tool, when the prompt for the serial key came up I used the WIN7 OEM licence key on the COA on the backside of the laptop. Some of the PCs activated within minutes, some took a few hours to show activated, but I have a dozen extremely happy users running 10 with no activation issues.
 
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harshness

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Ever since the free upgrade officially ended, you could still get Windows 10 for free by using the serial key from a Windows 7 or 8.1 licence.
Technically, the free upgrade wasn't entirely ended as you could still upgrade if you claimed to be using shortcut keys or some alternative entry methods. When that window closes, I'm betting you'll need a conventional key.

The advantage to transfer software is that you don't have to re-install anything. This can be a big deal if you've spent a lot of time trying to keep Cortana quiet and removing the apps you don't find appealing or useful.

Since the TS's computer was never upgraded, it doesn't qualify under the conditions you presented.
 
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TheForce

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I just added a new SSD to my windows 7 video edit computer. I downloaded the OS from Microsoft for free and installed it. I then went on line and bought a license key for $20 and it was sent to me via email with receipt of pay pal. I ran the Microsoft registration with no problems to activate the OS. It's been working great and I even get automatic updates. I had heard horror stories about these keys being used and not allowing activation so caveat emptor. Get references and use a PayPal account you can get refunded if the seller doesn't deliver. I now have a windows 7 hard drive and a windows 10 drive on the same computer working. I needed windows 10 to use the stitching software for my 360 VR editing. I have other video editing software that has problems with win 10 but runs fine on windows 7.
 
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EarDemon

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Technically, the free upgrade wasn't entirely ended as you could still upgrade if you claimed to be using shortcut keys or some alternative entry methods. When that window closes, I'm betting you'll need a conventional key.

The advantage to transfer software is that you don't have to re-install anything. This can be a big deal if you've spent a lot of time trying to keep Cortana quiet and removing the apps you don't find appealing or useful.

Since the TS's computer was never upgraded, it doesn't qualify under the conditions you presented.


You missed the first part. His computer has an OEM license from HP, that activation is good for the life of the machine. I still get computers in from Dell with 1703, I reformat them and do a clean install using a 1709 image from the media creation tool and there is no problem.


We are talking about different things. Today, 12/31/17 is last official day to upgrade to Windows 10 from 7 or 8.1 using the Assistive Technology loophole. Entering in an valid WIN 7 or 8.1 serial key, or skipping the option to enter the serial key and having it activate automatically does not require using Assistive Technologies.
 

harshness

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I have OEM licenses on a pair of HP 8200s. One I did a free upgrade on and another I left with Windows 7 Pro. When I use the Windows 7 Pro key, it doesn't allow me to install Windows 10.

I don't think Microsoft's (or Dell's or HP's) business model ever entitled users to use newer versions of Windows in perpetuity as you seem to be suggesting. In fact, there was a time when there were different upgrade versions at different prices to go to later versions of Windows depending on whether you had an OEM or a retail installation.
 

mdonnelly

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It's all working well now with the new SSD. The only problem I ever had with the system is trying to run the Windows 10 OS that it came with in the 32GB SSD system disk. It almost immediately dropped to only about 3GB available space on the SSD.

Backing up the system onto the 64GB stick and recovering to the 256GB SSD did exactly what I hoped it would do. It dropped from 90% disk utilization to 10%.

And I learned something about M.2 SSD technology. :lovecomputer
 

EarDemon

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I have OEM licenses on a pair of HP 8200s. One I did a free upgrade on and another I left with Windows 7 Pro. When I use the Windows 7 Pro key, it doesn't allow me to install Windows 10.

I don't think Microsoft's (or Dell's or HP's) business model ever entitled users to use newer versions of Windows in perpetuity as you seem to be suggesting. In fact, there was a time when there were different upgrade versions at different prices to go to later versions of Windows depending on whether you had an OEM or a retail installation.

Yes, I know there's always been a distinction between OEM and Retail. While according the Paul Thurrott doing what I did isn't supposed to work, it clearly does. If you look at point 2 from the user Agizmo near the bottom of the comments section, that is the exact procedure I used back in the summer at work.

Yes, You Can Still Clean Install Windows 10 with a Windows 7/8.x Key - Thurrott.com

Skip the entering in the serial key and activation during installation, and use the OEM key post-installation. Like I said a dozen Precision 46/4800s at work have new life thanks to doing that.
 

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