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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Angry Replacing HD on Windows 7

    I have replaced my HD on my WINDOWS 7 64 bit machine twice. Once the HD went bad, and the second time I replaced it with a SSD. Both timed I had no activation issues, although I may have reactivated one time
    A few weeks ago, my friend's HD went bad on his Windows 7 64 bit machine. I took an image backup with Acronis, replaced the WD with a new WD Black, and restored the image. The old drive was 640GB. The new 500GB. I adjusted the partition size.
    Everything was fine for 30 days when he received a message that he was not activated and might be running an invalid copy. It was a Dell machine bought from Dell.
    I researched and went though everything I could find in Google. We reactivated with the key on his machine. It said activated, but MGADiag showed an error code.
    He call MS Activation, and they spent 2 hours dialed into his machine. Not sure all they did, but they got an MGADIAG code of 0, but could not get windows update working.
    2nd level Tech Support Called back a day later and apparently installed the Intel Rapid Storage Driver or some such. This advice was on Google in various places.

    What was done I don't know, and why it needed an update to the Intel driver is a mystery.
    Apparently this issues happens a lot, but is not universal as my one experiences attest. It is ridiculous not to be able to replace a faulty HD without this hassle.

    So my question is: The next time I replace a HD, what precautions do I take to avoid this issue from happening??
    Can the drive ID be cloned for example. There should be more instructions out there, but only the issue is well documented with people often struggling. I could find no preventative instructions.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    So my question is: The next time I replace a HD, what precautions do I take to avoid this issue from happening??
    Can the drive ID be cloned for example. There should be more instructions out there, but only the issue is well documented with people often struggling. I could find no preventative instructions.
    Ensure the OS is healthy with a legitimate product key, and that the chipset drivers are up to date.
    (Verify that the same product key on the label matches the one buried in the OS)
    There really shouldn't be anything else that one would need to do for just a HDD change out.
    Of course, things like this occasionally crop up, but it's not the norm, and there isn't really anyway to know beforehand.
    Re-activation after a hardware change-out may be needed, possible even a HDD, depending upon the OS.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-11-20 at 20:14.
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  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    My guess is that the old drive used 512 byte sectors and the new drive is an advanced format drive that uses 4 KB sectors. And possibly that the old copy of Windows had not been updated to service pack one, and/or the copy of Acronis used to make the image was too old to understand advanced format drives.
    So in future what I'd do is -
    1. Make sure that Windows is updated to the latest service pack and that the chipset and SATA drivers are the latest version.
    2. Use the drive manufacturer's utility, the latest version of Acronis (or something similar) to clone the drive rather than image and restore. (The Western Digital version is here but most of the drive makers have something similar).

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    CLiNT (2013-11-21)

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