Questions about Windows licence, BitLocker & Installation


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Hi Everyone,

I've a few questions about the Win licence, BitLocker, Installation etc.
Sorry for the dumb questions, it's been a long time since I bought new parts and reinstalled Windows.

1. My Win11 licence key is retail so I can use it with my new parts (MoBo, CPU & GPU).
But is it best to deactivate it, before I use it before clean install Windows again (on the same drive), or don't bother?

2. Currently my C and D drives are encrypted with BitLocker. Would you decrypt both or either when installing Windows again?
For the C drive, I plan to format it during the Windows installation, but don't know if it's best practice to decrypt first.
For the D drive, which is storage. I'm not sure if the new install of Windows would recognise the drive if I didn't decrypt it. It should do, but I thought I'd ask.

3. Do I still need to disconnect all spares drives when installing Windows? Does it still put boot data on those spare drives, so that if they were removed, Windows wouldn't boot?

Thank you very much :-)
 

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Berton

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#2 and #3 kinda go together, Yes, decrypt both drives as any action on the boot/system drive can lose the ability to access other drives and Yes, disconnect everything not needed except the boot/system drive. Leaving a internal drive connected has the ability to create a RAID system and removal of that second drive later can break the boot process, had it happen to me a few years ago, fortunately it was not my main/production computer.
 

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#2 and #3 kinda go together, Yes, decrypt both drives as any action on the boot/system drive can lose the ability to access other drives and Yes, disconnect everything not needed except the boot/system drive. Leaving a internal drive connected has the ability to create a RAID system and removal of that second drive later can break the boot process, had it happen to me a few years ago, fortunately it was not my main/production computer.
Thank you. I appreciate the advice :-)
 

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Berton

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You're welcome. Main thing is to pay attention to the prompts on the install process.
 

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    Dell Vostro 3400
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    256GB SSD NVMe
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    Dell Vostro 5890
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Bree

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1. My Win11 licence key is retail so I can use it with my new parts (MoBo, CPU & GPU).
But is it best to deactivate it, before I use it before clean install Windows again (on the same drive), or don't bother?
Don't bother. Actually you can't revoke a PC's Windows 10/11 digital licence on the MS activation servers even if you wanted to.

To comply with the retail EULA it's sufficient to stop using Windows on the old machine - which you will be doing any way, just by rebuilding it as a new one.
 

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    Windows 11 Home
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    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
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    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.
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    Dell Lattitude E4310
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    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.

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Don't bother. Actually you can't revoke a PC's Windows 10/11 digital licence on the MS activation servers even if you wanted to.

To comply with the retail EULA it's sufficient to stop using Windows on the old machine - which you will be doing any way, just by rebuilding it as a new one.
Thank you for advice :-) I didn't realise that.
 

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Berton

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I'll disconnect my LAN cable too. Then install O&OShutup as well.
I ran into a new kink about that over the weekend with a clean reinstall of Win10 on a 3-year-old HP Desktop computer given me that had big problems when the client tried an Upgrade to Win11, even disconnecting that cable didn't accomplish anything because the computer also had a Wireless adapter on the motherboard. Seems more OEMs are including that on Desktops, my Vostro Desktop from April has it, my ASUS from 2016 had it as a PCIe X4 add-in card which I had removed to give room for a card with USB 3 ports I needed.
 

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  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
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    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    8GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    21"
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I ran into a new kink about that over the weekend with a clean reinstall of Win10 on a 3-year-old HP Desktop computer given me that had big problems when the client tried an Upgrade to Win11, even disconnecting that cable didn't accomplish anything because the computer also had a Wireless adapter on the motherboard. Seems more OEMs are including that on Desktops, my Vostro Desktop from April has it, my ASUS from 2016 had it as a PCIe X4 add-in card which I had removed to give room for a card with USB 3 ports I needed.
Thanks for the help.
If I disconnected the LAN cable, the WiFi card on the MoBo wouldn't be configured to my WiFi network, so Windows wouldn't have internet access during the installation.
 

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Berton

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Thanks for the help.
If I disconnected the LAN cable, the WiFi card on the MoBo wouldn't be configured to my WiFi network, so Windows wouldn't have internet access during the installation.
That should be true but don't rule out the possibility of any open Wi-Fi in the area.
 

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    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    8GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
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bobkn

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I ran into a new kink about that over the weekend with a clean reinstall of Win10 on a 3-year-old HP Desktop computer given me that had big problems when the client tried an Upgrade to Win11, even disconnecting that cable didn't accomplish anything because the computer also had a Wireless adapter on the motherboard. Seems more OEMs are including that on Desktops, my Vostro Desktop from April has it, my ASUS from 2016 had it as a PCIe X4 add-in card which I had removed to give room for a card with USB 3 ports I needed.
The HP doesn't have a BIOS provision to disable the onboard WiFi?

Haven't bought an appliance desktop in years. My Asus motherboard's BIOS has a setting to disable WiFi.

I wouldn't expect it to automatically connect to the wireless router during a new Windows install, regardless. I assume that WiFi passwords are not retained in CMOS. Am I mistaken about that?
 

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    Intel I9-12900K
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    Ryzen 9 5950X
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    Asus Tuf Gaming X570-Plus
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Berton

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The HP doesn't have a BIOS provision to disable the onboard WiFi?

Haven't bought an appliance desktop in years. My Asus motherboard's BIOS has a setting to disable WiFi.

I wouldn't expect it to automatically connect to the wireless router during a new Windows install, regardless. I assume that WiFi passwords are not retained in CMOS. Am I mistaken about that?
No entry for either the NIC or the Wireless.

And I don't think passwords used after the OS is loaded are saved in the CMOS/BIOS, only those to enter the BIOS and to start the booting.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    8GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    21"
    Hard Drives
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bobkn

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(snip)

And I don't think passwords used after the OS is loaded are saved in the CMOS/BIOS, only those to enter the BIOS and to start the booting.
Then the PC's WiFi shouldn't automatically connect to the router.
 

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    Windows 11 22621.598
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    homebuilt
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    Intel I9-12900K
    Motherboard
    Asus RoG Strix Z690-E
    Memory
    64GB Kingston DDR5-5600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte RTX 3090 ti
    Sound Card
    none (USB to speakers), Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viewsonic XG320U
    Screen Resolution
    3840 X 2160 @ 144Hz
    Hard Drives
    WB Black SN850 1TB M.2 NVME SSD
    Seagate Iron Wolf 8TB
    PSU
    eVGA SuperNOVA 1300 GT
    Case
    Corsair 5000D AIrflow
    Cooling
    Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE CAPELLIX Liquid CPU Cooler
    Keyboard
    Logitech K120 (wired)
    Mouse
    Logitech M500s (wired)
    Internet Speed
    1200 Mbps
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    windows 11 22621.598
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    homebuilt
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 5950X
    Motherboard
    Asus Tuf Gaming X570-Plus
    Memory
    64GB DDR4 3800 (@ 3600)
    Graphics card(s)
    Zotac RTX 3080
    Sound Card
    built in Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus PA329C
    Screen Resolution
    3840 X 2160
    Hard Drives
    Sabrent 1 TB PCI-E 4.0 X4 NVME M.2
    4 GB Seagate Ironwolf
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    eVGA SuperNOVA 850 G6
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    Phanteks ENTHOO Pro M
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    iCUE H115i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler
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    Logitech M500s (wired)
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Winuser

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Thanks. I'll double check. I think everyone close by has their networks locked down.
If you're clean installing Windows 11 you might need to do one of the hacks to install without internet.
Edit: One of the things I don't like about doing a clean install of Win 11 is that MS wants to force us to have internet access so we can setup a MS account. I don't mind the account. What I do mind is that we can't choose our username. MS uses the first five characters of our email address. If MS would stop wasting time and effort worrying about new emoji's and desktop stickers maybe they could fix this.
 
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    PowerSpec B746
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    Intel Core i7-10700K
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    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
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    Logitech M185
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    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
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    16 MB DDR 4-2666
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    1920x1080
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    PCIe NVMe M.2 512GB
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