My daughter's laptop hard drive is failing so I bought a new on. Do I need to buy a new windows operating system now? When we bought the laptop a few years ago there were Windows 10 on it. But now with the new hard drive do I really need to buy a new windows license?

  • "Do I need to buy a new windows operating system now?" - No; Your license is not connected, to the HDD, Windows is installed on
    – Ramhound
    Jan 26 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


If the original Windows has either an OEM or Retail license then no, you don't need to buy another license.

Since Windows 8.x and the new UEFI that replaced BIOS more than a decade ago, the Windows license is stored in the motherboard itself, not in the systrem drive.

All you have to do is reinstall Windows and it'll automatically activate using the original license.

  • 2
    And if you're not sure what type of key you currently have, (and the computer is still operational) then you can run slmgr /dli in command prompt to display the license type
    – Cpt.Whale
    Jan 26 at 21:15

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