A Windows-7 laptop was upgraded to Windows-10 during the Microsoft free upgrade period when they were nudging users to migrate away from 7 to 10.

The system is sluggish and crash prone: I would like create a fresh install with a new SSD from a Windows 10 install .iso burned to a USB drive. Is it possible (and how can) the the license-key from the old drive be recovered and migrated to a fresh install?

If this is not the right question to ask, I would appreciate edits to the questions: thank you.

Only changing the hard disk won't change your activation status. Just boot from installation media to complete the installation with skip the type the product key process. After installation, Windows will activate automatically once it connect to internet if you have activated Windows 10 installed on this computer ever.

  • Not necessarily. We don't even know whether the machine is BIOS or UEFI. – user772515 Apr 10 at 8:41

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