Which SSD to buy?

PeterBJ

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After having decided that I wanted to install Windows 10 on my new SSD instead of doing a fresh reinstall of Windows 8.1 I finally got Windows 10 installed on the SSD in my main desktop computer and it is activated. But the process was not easy.

I first tried to install Win 10 on my new and empty Samsung SSD. For the install process to start I had to enter a valid key. I entered my Win 8.1 key retrieved by Keyfinder. The key was rejected and I checked and double checked that I had made no errors in entering the key. I then decided to do a fresh install of Windows 8.1 and accept that the W 8.1 key was not OK for the W 10 install or that the free upgrade had ended or only worked with W 7 (?).

I reinstalled W 8.1 from a DVD created from a downloaded ISO from Microsoft and installed a few programs more. Every thing was fine until I decided to check for updates from Control Panel. Even after having finished the checking with the result that no updates were available and the the update window was closed something seemed to cause a constant CPU load of 30%. Restarts did not change this. I thought that some system files had somehow become corrupted, but DISM and sfc /scannow from a command prompt found no errors.

As I had not installed very much more than OS and a few programs I decided to try if I could upgrade the W 8.1 install from the W 10 DVD I had made. I was asked if I would check for updates before the install. I accepted and the check started but ground to a halt at around 40%. After 10 minutes I cancelled the install and tried again. This time I refused the check for updates before the install. The install started and at some time I was again asked for checking for updates I accepted and this time the check progressed to around 60% before coming to a halt. After 10 minutes I tried running the install from the DVD a third time, this time refusing the search for updates during the install by checking "Later" or something like that. The install was successful and I was never asked for a key. Checking properties of "Computer" it was seen that Windows was activated. Windows 10 is running very well with this upgrade from a newly installed Windows 8.1. I think that what comes closest to a clean install is to install Win 8.1 and nothing more to an empty disk and then do the W 10 upgrade from Win 8.1.

Using "Keyfinder" on this new W 10 install I noticed that a new key different from my W 8.1 key had been used. The W 7 keys were not changed when upgrading to W 10.


I don't understand why I could use the W7 keys previously used on two other computers to do the W 10 install to reformatted HDDs and why the same procedure didn't work the W 8.1? Could it be because the W 8.1 computer has got UEFI and the W 7 computers have got the classic BIOS?
 
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The Hat

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Is having one of these SSD drives really worth it, and all the Feckin around you have to do to make sure is working properly, it’s like doing regular test prints on an inkjet printer, :eek: just give me the normal hard drives any day...
They hardly if ever let you down… :hide :idunno
 

stratman

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Looks like you've been having fun, @PeterBJ .

W 8.1 key was not OK
But the same Product Key worked when you freshly installed Windows 8.1?

What is the name of your keyfinder?

constant CPU load of 30%
Maybe one of those apps you additionally installed? What Processes (in Task Manager) were the cause for the CPU usage?

I was asked if I would check for updates before the install. I accepted and the check started but ground to a halt at around 40%. After 10 minutes I cancelled the install
I was again asked for checking for updates I accepted and this time the check progressed to around 60% before coming to a halt. After 10 minutes I tried running the install from the DVD a third time
Windows can seem capricious. You were probably fine even though the progress seemed stuck at 30% and then 60%. 10 minutes is not that long to wait while Windows does its thing. As in soaking print heads -- patience.

I think that what comes closest to a clean install is to install Win 8.1 and nothing more to an empty disk and then do the W 10 upgrade from Win 8.1.
Yes.

Using "Keyfinder" on this new W 10 install I noticed that a new key different from my W 8.1 key had been used.
When you upgrade to Windows 10 from 8 then you get a new Digital License. What you are able to find with a keyfinder depends on the app used, the type of Windows license you have and whether that key is stored in the EUFI or not. See below for more.

Could it be because the W 8.1 computer has got UEFI and the W 7 computers have got the classic BIOS?
See the following link:

https://www.techspot.com/guides/1760-find-your-windows-product-key/

It appears that the method you try to find your key or license affects whether you return anything at all, correct or incorrect. Ditto if using an app For instance, none of the iterations of command line or powershell keyboard inputs returned anything at all.

I now tried both NirSoft ProduKey and the ShowKeyPlus. Both returned the same "Installed Key" and Product ID but they differed from a "Product Key" that was saved in 2016 using ProduKey when my OS was Windows 8.1. Note that in 2016 the real Product Key was found. Now, with Windows 10 installed as an upgrade from Windows 8, the old Windows 8 Product Key is GONE and in it's place is a completely different "Installed" Key. (Note that the current keyfinder software says "Installed Key" not "Product Key" when checking Windows 10)

Are your computers all OEM, ie a Dell, or were any of them built part by part from you? If from an OEM manufacturer then maybe the original Product Key is stored within the UEFI/BIOS and is why you can read it still with your keyfinder despite having done the Windows 10 upgrade.
 

stratman

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Is having one of these SSD drives really worth it, and all the Feckin around you have to do to make sure is working properly
Yes and usually no feckin' around at all. PeterBJ's experience is an anomaly.

Boot time and apps loading is silly fast. Your graphics app will seem snappier, too. Your son can do the job in the time it takes you to down a pint. And, it's so easy he can have a pint with you at the same time.

In conclusion, maybe not for you but for the rest of us yes.
 

PeterBJ

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Is having one of these SSD drives really worth it, and all the Feckin around you have to do to make sure is working properly, it’s like doing regular test prints on an inkjet printer, :eek: just give me the normal hard drives any day...
I'm convinced the the problems had nothing to do with the type of disk, SSD or HDD. Instead I think they were caused by Microsoft, UEFI being different from Legacy BIOS or my "operator errors".

I think the upgrade procedure caused the problems somehow. Now that the install is OK I think it was worth it. The computer is now much quicker to boot and programs are also quicker to load and seem to run faster.
They hardly if ever let you down… :hide :idunno
They do. I have had to replace more than one mechanical harddisk.
.
 
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PeterBJ

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...But the same Product Key worked when you freshly installed Windows 8.1?

What is the name of your keyfinder?...
I didn't have to enter a key for the W 8.1 install on the SSD and I checked the key with "Magical Jellybean Keyfinder v 2.0.1" after the install and the key was the same as used earlier.
Maybe one of those apps you additionally installed? What Processes (in Task Manager) were the cause for the CPU usage?
The problems started when I from Control Panel asked for a check for updates. Sadly I couldn't pinpoint the offending app or program from Task Manager. I guess I should have tried to make a screenshot.
Windows can seem capricious. You were probably fine even though the progress seemed stuck at 30% and then 60%. 10 minutes is not that long to wait while Windows does its thing. As in soaking print heads -- patience.
You might be right. Maybe I wasn't patient enough?
When you upgrade to Windows 10 from 8 then you get a new Digital License. What you are able to find with a keyfinder depends on the app used, the type of Windows license you have and whether that key is stored in the EUFI or not. See below for more.
True, I checked my two W7 computers just after the W10 and the keys found were the W7 keys, but now both the former W7 computers, the former W8.1 computer and the one that had W10 reinstalled show the same (generic?) key starting with T49TD when checked with Keyfinder. All four computers now have Windows activated via a digital licence linked to my Microsoft Account. BTW on the Keyfinder website a paid program "Recover Keys" is also offered. This program has more capabilities, it can also retrieve keys from BIOS (UEFI?) and more.

Thank you for the techspot link. There is a lot of things I didn't know and which I should study.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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retrieving the key(s) is one thing, but the question remains when and whether you would need these keys - for a new W10 installation from scratch on existing or new hardware or with a re-installation of Win 7/8.1 or ?
 

stratman

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BTW on the Keyfinder website a paid program "Recover Keys" is also offered. This program has more capabilities, it can also retrieve keys from BIOS (UEFI?) and more.
A number of key retrieval sites talk about an app called Belarc Advisor, such as this site. It is also free. :)

I didn't have to enter a key for the W 8.1 install on the SSD and I checked the key with "Magical Jellybean Keyfinder v 2.0.1" after the install and the key was the same as used earlier.
Again, are the old Windows 8 and 7 machines pre-built OEM by a manufacturer or did you build them? If they are OEM manufacturer computers then the Product Key may indeed be stored in the UEFI/BIOS. If so, then you do not need to enter the Product Key when installing the same operating system again, even with a clean install, as the Product Key is retrieved from the UEFI/BIOS. Sounds like this is what happened with your Windows 8.1 machine.

The article I linked above states that this feature was not available with Windows 7 machines, but maybe machines built after the posting of the article in 2017 this function was possible. :idunno

One way to tell if these Windows 7 machines have the product Key embedded in the UEFI/BIOS is if your could clean install Windows 7 or 10 onto that machine. If so then yes the Product Key is embedded in the UEFI/BIOS.
 

stratman

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I installed Belarc Advisor. It is free and seems quite thorough in examining your computer, in fact it alerted me to a June 27th Windows update I apparently do not have. Definitely worth a try if you like this type of information.

It computed the same Windows Key as the other apps I tried - NirSoft ProduKey and the ShowKeyPlus.
 

PeterBJ

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Again, are the old Windows 8 and 7 machines pre-built OEM by a manufacturer or did you build them? If they are OEM manufacturer computers then the Product Key may indeed be stored in the UEFI/BIOS. If so, then you do not need to enter the Product Key when installing the same operating system again, even with a clean install, as the Product Key is retrieved from the UEFI/BIOS. Sounds like this is what happened with your Windows 8.1 machine.
Sorry, I forgot that question. Yes all four computers are factory built consumer grade computers.

My main desktop computer is a Medion Core i5 @ 4 x 3.1GHZ and 8GB RAM. IT came with Win 8 and was later upgraded to Win 8.1. It has got UEFI/BIOS and a Win 8 sticker on the back with no key. I could do a clean install of Win 8.1 on the new and empty SSD. I was never asked for a key. This computer was bought at a sale in 2013 and probably manufactured in 2012. 64 bit versions of OS is used.

My best laptop is a Medion Core i3 @ 2 x 2.13 GHz and 4 GB RAM (useable 3.43 GB) It came with Win 7 Home Premium 32 bit. and has twice been upgraded to Win 10 when the upgrade was officially free. Due to a failing harddisk or corrupted OS I decided to try a 240 GB budget SSD. No key was needed for the install, but this was a reinstall. This computer was bought in 2010 and has a Win 7 Home premium sticker with Key attached. I think it has got traditional Legacy BIOS.

I have one more desktop computer which I salvaged when Microsoft had ended support for Win Vista. It is also Medion brand with a Core 2 Quad CPU @ 4 x 2.5 GHz and 4 GB RAM. I upgraded it from Win Vista 64 bit to Win 7 64 bit and now to Win 10 Home 64 bit. I don't know when it was manufactured but it has got a Win Vista sticker with key attached. When upgrading to Win 10 I installed the OS to the harddisk I had formatted. I had to enter a key and the key I had used when I upgraded it to Win 7 from Vista was accepted and the Win 10 install started and Win 10 is activated.

I also have one more laptop. It is a entry level Packard Bell model with a Celeron 1000M CPU @ 2 x 1.8 GHz and 4 GB RAM of which only 2.58 GB are useable with a 32 bit OS. It came with Win 8 or 8.1 installed but the harddisk had failed during the free upgrade to Win 10. It has a Win 8 sticker without key attached. I offered the owner a free repair by installing a smaller harddisk and Win 7 for free, I couldn't install W 8.1 again as the owner had never created the restore disks that was possible to make when the harddisk worked. The owner was not interested in a downgraded computer so I could keep the laptop, he would buy an Apple McIntosh tablet instead. The BIOS looked like a typical laptop bios, I think It is a legacy bios. I installed Win 7 on the laptop and later upgraded it to Win 10. I installed Win 10 to a formatted harddisk and had to enter a key. The Win 7 key I had used was accepted and Win 10 is now activated.

The free program Speccy finds some hard- and software info from computers. It also finds the Windows key. I tried that on the Win 8.1 desktop and it found the same key as the Keyfinder did.
 
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