Best way to test my backup will work & MS license

  1. Is there a way to test my backup other than restoring to a 2nd PC (which I don’t have) ?
  2. If I restore to different hardware, won’t that violate Microsoft’s licensing agreement?

That depends. What kind of license agreement do you have? OEM/Volume License/Partner Licenses?

As for testing the backup one option might be to just throw a black hard drive in your computer and test it on a new drive. That’s what I’m doing today.

I’m a home user running Win10 Pro on my one and only PC, so I have a single license. But if this PC gets fried and I want to move my OS & files to a new PC, won’t MS complain that the hardware is different and prevent me from booting?

How do I boot from this “black HDD”, I don’t have a dual boot manager program - is that what you use?

Thanks for your reply,

When one of my laptopts died, I used a Clonezilla image to reinstall on a new laptop. I had to activate again, but otherwise no problem.

Microsoft won’t actually do anything to you. But regarding the license, the OEM license is for the device, and I believe the key is tied to the SSN of the motherboard – so you would be fine.
To boot to the second drive you would, remove your current hard drive -> Install a new one -> Boot from the UrBackup restore iso -> Restore your system and verify the restore worked by restarting your computer and logging in.

Even back in the days of Windows 2000, before Microsoft started that stupid activation stuff, Windows did not like being moved to different hardware. You could do it, but you either had to be a guru, or just plain lucky. Many programs (paid, of course) tried to make you think they could handle it. Norton Ghost, Acronis TrueImage, etc. Occasionally they could, but there were so many reports of “The backup worked fine, and verified, but the restore failed.” Now, with Microsoft’s activation stuff, I shudder to think of the mess that would ensue.

I would buy a second hard disk and install that in your computer. Actually, I would just switch to Linux. You can take the OS disk out of a Linux box and plug it into just about any other computer and it will boot just fine and dandy. But some people don’t want to try Linux. Second best would be to buy yourself that new hard disk and continue with Windows. Disks are cheap.

Thanks, but not up for learning a new OS.
Windows 10 is robust and reliable enough for me though I do appreciate what Linux has to offer.
Just not enough time to learn it all.
Looks like the 2nd HDD is the way to go.

I do believe that you’re right about the license being tied to the mobo and having to contact M$ for them to do their thing to allow moving to a different PC to prevent running the same license on 2 different machines. That’s fine, just am unsure what I would need to provide them.

I’ve never used UrBackup so I’ll have to read up on why an iso file needs to gets created. Other backup products create a bootable HDD with your data on it.

Thanks for your reply,

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