I have a failing hard drive which won't boot, that has Windows 7 Home Premium installed. I have a replacement hard drive on the way.

My question is will I run into problems trying to install Windows 7 using the same cdkey and DVD on the new hard drive? I assume activation will find that the cdkey has already been activated and fail, especially if a hardware ID is checked which will probably be different because even though the other hardware is the same, the hard drive will be different.


4 Answers 4


Probably not.

Microsoft allow a certain number of reactivations of both Windows and Office (for example) to cover situations like this.

The only time you might get into trouble is if you try to activate within a short time of your previous activation. This might indicate that you are trying to activate Windows on more than one machine at time.

Even if you do have a problem you can ring up Microsoft and explain the situation.


No. It won't. You can activate windows 5 times without any problem. After that, you have to call microsoft for phone activation.(but you can still activate it.)


The serial of the HDD is one of many factors that are taken into account. Only when enough of those factors are different does Windows fail trying to activate itself. This doesn't mean you cannot activate Windows by calling but the automatic process cannot be used.

You shouldn't have any problems, and even if you do, all it takes is a call to the number listed when the activiation process indicates a problem.


NO problems, go ahead and that must not be a problem, I have done it many times.

  • Why are you talking about Windows XP SP2 when the author is asking about Windows 7. You didn't even have to "activate" Windows XP until SP2 really.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 18, 2012 at 10:47
  • @Ramhound Though I am off the topic about Windows XP-SP2, but sp2 needed some activation after re-installation to different machine, and could not follow automatic activation and I had to upgrade to SP3 to activate(tried activating by phone as well, did not produce the ID).This lists Microsoft products that has to be activated.
    – tough
    Oct 18, 2012 at 12:22

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