Want to upgrade Windows, but it thinks I have a pirated copy

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I have a current copy of Windows Vista on my laptop and I understand Windows 8 is lighter and might make things run a little better.

  • Pentium dual 1.47 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM

Windows upgrade assistant didn’t flag any problems with upgrading.

I however switched out my hard drive a while back by cloning the drive (needed more space). Everything worked great except Windows now thinks I have a pirated copy. And I cannot read my product key on the back of the computer anymore.

So my main question is: Will I be able to use the upgrade key to Windows 8 or will I have to buy a full version?


Switching the hard drive out could have been the last straw of changes that the MS hashing alogrythm uses to define if it is different hardware or not for an OEM licencing. This would require re-activation and possibly even a telephone type activations. It should not cause a “genuine” fail , but the system is not perfect so it indeed Has for people, I have seen it myself.

Ignore what a computer tells you, get the product key from the system using one of the utilities that gets it right out of the registry on the system, and go from there. MS knew of 80% of my licences even though I did not take time to register any of them. I assume the info was aquired at the time of purchace. Move foreward, with as much information, and reciepts as you have, and see where you run into troubles first. There are humans still, records at where you purchaced it. If it was some faked up licence , printed on a jet-ink put on your computer, you will find out soon enough, and it will not really change anything.

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