locked
When to create recovery disks for OS upgrade and hardware changes RRS feed

  • Question

  • I ordered a new HP Desktop with Windows 7 Premium.

    I would like to do two upgrades once I receive it (cheaper to do the upgrades, rather than pay HP to "customize").

         a) Install a SSD primary drive.  Add 16GB ram.  Add 2nd optical drive.

         b) Perform an Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7 Professional.

    I have concerns about having license/activation woes after transferring the OS to another hard drive (SSD in this case). 

    HP allows you to create exactly One set of recover disks (due to oem license agreement with microsoft).

    I've also heard rumors that Windows Activation takes a hardware-signature and links that to your license.  MY concern

    is that changing the primary drive, ram, and adding a 2nd optical drive will freak out the hardware signature and the

    OS will deactivate.

    Here is my understanding of the upgrade sequence in order to protect my license and ability to restore the OS.

    Scenario #1)  Make recovery disks on Win 7 Home Premium.  Swap in SSD.  Recover Win 7 Home Premium to SSD.  Perform Anytime Upgrade to Win 7 Professional.

        My concerns are: 

             a) Will Windows Genuine notice the change in hardware (SSD) and invalidate my license for W7HP.  That would prevent me from doing Anytime Upgrade.

             b) I the SSD drive ever fails, would I have to recover W7HP and then pay for the Anytime Upgrade again?

    Scenario #2)  Perform Anytime Upgrade to Win 7 Professional. Make recovery disks on Win 7 Home Professional.  Swap in SSD.  Recover Win 7 Professional to SSD.

        This seems like a neater solution, but then I lose the ability to recover Win 7 Home Premium.  I won't be downgrading the OS, but are there any other drawback to this approach?

    Scenario #3)  Any way the Backup and Restore Imaging can help me here?   What about Ghost imaging?

    Thanks.


    • Edited by capndave Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:17 AM
    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:14 AM

Answers

  • It is the motherboard that would affect the license.  The hardware changes you are talking about will not invalidate the license but may require reactivation. 

    You have two issues.  One is the differences between how your hard drive controller handles HDDs and SSDs.  The second is your warranty.

    There is a potential problem with the SSD.  The recovery disk will copy an image to the drive.  It is not a standard Windows installation disk.  The problem is that SSDs and HDDs have very different drive geometries.  An SSD does not use cylinders, sectors, and tracks, for example.  You really need to reinstall Windows in order for the drive controller to use the correct geometry for the SSD.  An image copy will just transfer the same geometry used on the HDD.  Many people have experienced moderate to severe performance issues imaging an HDD to an SSD. 

    I suggest you order the computer with the SSD installed.  That way HP will ensure proper installation for an SSD equiped computer.  Also, that will keep the computer under warranty.  I doubt that HP will warrant the computer if you install the SSD and Windows.  You should at least ask first.

    One solution is to purchase Acronis True Image Home 2012 with the Plus Pack.  The Plus Pack adds the capability to transfer a system to a changed hardware configuration (the SSD is what matters).  In that scenario you would make your recovery disk when you first recieve the computer and use Acronis to transfer the system after the hardware upgrade and then make a full image backup.

    Another solution is simply purchase a full license copy of Professional and reinstall Windows after you swap in the SSD.

    If HP offers a recovery disk set for a fee I would purchase it and not rely on making recovery disks yourself.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:47 AM
    Answerer

All replies

  • When you create a set of recovery discs for an HP computer, it creates them from the image stored in the HP hidden recovery partition.   Therefore, it will only create the original HP supplied Windows 7 operating system and not a subsequent image of the Windows 7 upgrade to Professional.  If you wish to create an image after upgrading to Winfows 7 Professional, then consider using an imaging solution such as Acronis True Image.  Product activation should not be an issue as long as you do not replace the proprietary HP motherboard with a different motherboard.

    Carey Frisch

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:30 AM
    Moderator
  • It is the motherboard that would affect the license.  The hardware changes you are talking about will not invalidate the license but may require reactivation. 

    You have two issues.  One is the differences between how your hard drive controller handles HDDs and SSDs.  The second is your warranty.

    There is a potential problem with the SSD.  The recovery disk will copy an image to the drive.  It is not a standard Windows installation disk.  The problem is that SSDs and HDDs have very different drive geometries.  An SSD does not use cylinders, sectors, and tracks, for example.  You really need to reinstall Windows in order for the drive controller to use the correct geometry for the SSD.  An image copy will just transfer the same geometry used on the HDD.  Many people have experienced moderate to severe performance issues imaging an HDD to an SSD. 

    I suggest you order the computer with the SSD installed.  That way HP will ensure proper installation for an SSD equiped computer.  Also, that will keep the computer under warranty.  I doubt that HP will warrant the computer if you install the SSD and Windows.  You should at least ask first.

    One solution is to purchase Acronis True Image Home 2012 with the Plus Pack.  The Plus Pack adds the capability to transfer a system to a changed hardware configuration (the SSD is what matters).  In that scenario you would make your recovery disk when you first recieve the computer and use Acronis to transfer the system after the hardware upgrade and then make a full image backup.

    Another solution is simply purchase a full license copy of Professional and reinstall Windows after you swap in the SSD.

    If HP offers a recovery disk set for a fee I would purchase it and not rely on making recovery disks yourself.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:47 AM
    Answerer
  • The HD->SSD geometry issue is something I didn't anticipate.  You are right it's a valid concern. 

    If I do a clean install of a retail Windows 7 Pro, my concern is the pre-configured drivers.  I'm not sure I can rely on a fresh Win 7 Retail.

    I was thinking I could update the drivers post-os installation, using either the recovery disk drivers ... or drivers downloaded from HP.

    The problem is, whether the HP driver installation program will still "see that my computer is the HP" and allow the install to proceed.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:41 AM
  • Is there any way to get an Win 7 OEM install and use the key purchased already via my HP desktop.

    Ie., DigitalRiverContent image, use my existing OEM HP Key for Win7 Premium.  Then Anytime upgrade to Pro.

    Guessing NO.

    Also wondering if the HP Software Recovery (not OS) disks would allow me to re-install some of the pre-bundled

    software onto a fresh OS retail install of Win 7.

    I would have had HP do all this but they wanted $400 for an SSD upgrade that I got for $100.


    • Edited by capndave Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:19 PM
    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:58 AM
  • Yes, if you obtain a Windows 7 Home Premium standard dvd you can install using the product key on the COA label affixed to the computer.  (It is a different key from the one embedded in the OS at the factory and is provided for back up should the embedded key fail for some reason.)  That would work. 

    If HP provides a seperate dvd for the bundled software then you can install the bundled software just fine.  It is not an image.  If it is all on one dvd then the bundled software is part of the recovery image and you will have to ask HP about how to seperately installed the "extras".

    The HP utilities and device drivers are available on the HP website and you should download them to a usb stick before starting anything.

    You really should be talking to HP about all this.  Why not?


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:30 PM
    Answerer
  • Yes, I just got off the phone with HP.  They said the drivers should install on the fresh Win 7 installation.  They were less sure about the bundles extras, so I'll roll the dice there.

    They also confirmed any change would void the warranty.  So if I have any major hardware issues, I'd restore to original OS to the original hard drive for warranty purposes.

    I'll create my recovery dvds for warranty armagedeon, install fresh Win7HP onto the SSD, AnytimeUpgrade to Win7Pro, and go from there ...

    Many thanks for your assistance.  Cheers.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:50 PM
  • You're welcome.

    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:07 PM
    Answerer
  • Nice job Colin!

      I hadn't experienced (or even really thought about) the effects of using OEM recovery software on an SSD (I build my own computers and install Windows fresh when I upgraded to an SSD).

      Have you seen first hand the results of installing OEM recovery on an SSD? I am curious if it would cause any symptoms similar to any Non-genuine problems we may have seen in the forums and just didn't know it could have been OEM/SSD related. 

    Thanks,


    Darin MS


    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:32 PM
  • Thanks!  I haven't used an SSD yet.  Obviously imaging prevents proper prep of the drive for a different geometry by the SSD controller. 

    The effect is on performance.  I suspect that race conditions that appear as intermittent non-genuine symptoms could occur due to the performance issues.  Other than that I don't know of anything that would affect the activation technology. 

    Results of imaging from a HDD to an SSD appear to vary greatly because I have seen posts in other forums that report a range from no effect to slow access to failure to even boot.  IIRC HDD manufacturers have developed some things to compensate.  The best advice I can think of for users is to do the system transfer with a sophisticated tool like Acronis True Image Home with Plus Pack.  It is the tools in the Plus Pack that facilitate moving the contents of a HDD to a different hardware configuration.  The standard ATIH might be able to but I would be surprised if it did.  ATIH is fine for moving the contents to a different sized HDD but I suspect the Plus Pack is needed to change to a drive with different geometry.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.


    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:59 PM
    Answerer
  • So, most likely not Genuine effecting, Good to know. Thank you!


    Darin MS



    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 6:01 PM