What’s the best way to install Windows when upgrading components?

Snowy

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Hi all,
I’m upgrading my PC for the first time in just under 5 years. I’m wondering if there is a best/preferred method for getting Windows on my new machine. Can I just install via a thumb drive and use the product key in my current system settings? Or should I clone my existing SSD to my new SSD? Is there any downside to cloning versus a fresh install?

for reference my new components are:
AMD 3900X
Asus ROG Strix B550-E
Samsung 980Pro PCIe 4 SSD
Crucial Ballistix 2x16GB 3600Mhz CL16
 

Brian_B

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Fresh install using existing product key is usually your best bet. I would only clone if you have other stuff that can’t transfer any other way, as drivers and stuff tend to get confused at best if you change underplaying hardware.

if you have linked your product key to your Microsoft account it can transfer over after you dereigster your original PC without needing the product key

If your older computer is an OEM the license is not eligible for transfer
 

Snowy

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I have a Windows 10 "Education" license from college that I've been using for the last 5 years... Trying to figure out whether or not I can get use that to do a clean install of Windows on the new hardware..
 

Brian_B

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I have a Windows 10 "Education" license from college that I've been using for the last 5 years... Trying to figure out whether or not I can get use that to do a clean install of Windows on the new hardware..
Can always try it - the worst thing that can happen is it will tell you it's having trouble activating and make you call into the 1-800 number -- where they may or may not authorize the license transfer depending on what you tell them on the phone.

"My other computer broke and I had to replace the motherboard" usually will work.
 
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