Question about upgrading hardware in Windows 10


New Member
I'm about to upgrade some of my components, and by that I mean I'm basically building a whole new machine...I'm going to replace my motherboard/cpu, video card, RAM, and adding a second SSD for more storage. So essentially the only things I'll be keeping are my PSU and current SSD. When I do all this, I want to do a fresh install of windows on my existing SSD, and use the additional one for storage. So, on to my question...

Many moons ago I did the digital upgrade from windows 8 to 10, so I don't have a product verification key like we used to use for windows. To my understanding, the way windows verifies that I have a legit copy is through some sort of hardware scan that tells windows "Yep, this PC had windows before, go ahead and install it" (if this is incorrect, please let me know). If I change all my hardware, will windows give me trouble about reinstalling? If I do the fresh install of windows before I swap all the hardware, will windows then have a problem later after I make the hardware changes...?

Thanks for any info, I just want to make sure I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot with these upgrades.


Fantastic Member
Depends on what license you have. Sounds like it was an OEM from something like Dell. If so with changing that much hardware it will not carry over as a valid license. You could call MS they may get you a one time break, if not you will have to buy a new license.
If it was a retail license no problem.


Cloud Security Engineer
Staff member
If you login with a MS account you should be ok. If it doesn't activate you should just need to contact Microsoft and they should be able to activate it.