Kari, one more question? Of these 3 or so PC's you reported as activated with windows 10, how many of them were done by conventional installs? A clean install, or an upgrade install, no sysprep or imaging etc? And before that, was the windows 10 insider preview ever installed and activated on them?
MS has stated, If you upgrade from a retail version, it carries the rights of a retail version. You can transfer it.
More like a short story than a post but here's my tests detailed:
All in all I have described a series of tests with five machines, three of them physical machines (laptops) and two Hyper-V virtual machines. Let's call them PC1, PC2, PC3, VM1 and VM2.
To start with the PC1 had UK English Windows 8.1 Pro Retail, the operating systems in PC2 and PC3 are irrelevant because before starting I wiped both empty.
Using another computer, not included in these tests in any way I signed in to Insider site and created the UK-EN x64 USB install media using the MS tool the Insider site provides. Using this install media I started the in-place upgrade on PC1.
I do most things around Windows by the book. Microsoft has made the OS transfer process quite clear and I do it as they recommend, not using any third party tools (quote from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...h825033.aspx):
Hence, when the in-place upgrade was done and my main purpose was to test the transfer process to completely different hardware I generalized the newly upgraded Windows 10 Pro with Sysprep. About generalizing:Important
You must use the Sysprep /generalize command to generalize a complete Windows installation before you can use the installation for deployment to a new computer, whether you use imaging, hard disk duplication, or another method. Moving or copying a Windows image to a different computer without running the Sysprep /generalize command is not supported.
NoteWhat does Sysprep generalizing do to my Windows setup?
- All system specific information is removed or uninstalled
- Security ID (SID) of your hardware setup is reseted
- All system restore points are deleted
- All event logs are deleted
- All personalization is removed (taskbar, toolbars, folder options, start orb etc.) if the CopyProfile component is not set TRUE in answer file
- Built-in administrator account will be disabled if it was enabled
Using the SHUTDOWN switch with Sysprep command Windows was automatically shutdown after the generalizing process was done. I now booted the PC1 with Macrium boot disk and captured the image, created a system image.
I booted PC2 now with Macrium boot disk and restored the generalized image from PC1, containing as told earlier a Windows 10 Pro upgraded from 8.1 Pro Retail. When a generalized Windows is booted, on the machine where the generalization was done or as in this case on another machine, this happens:
NoteWhat happens when booting first time after sysprep generalizing?
- First boot configuration is run (OOBE)
- New SID is created
- Re-arm counter is reseted if not already re-armed three times
- Windows is booted using first boot default drivers and settings
Windows on PC2 was automatically activated after the OOBE phase, when finally on desktop. At this point I decided to use the MS Media Creation tool again to make a "universal" install media, containing both 32 and 64 bit versions of UK-EN Windows 10 Pro. When the media was created, I wiped the PC1 hard disks empty and booted it with this new install media, installing Windows 10 using my MS / Insider account. Windows was activated.
Now I decided to test the Media Creation tool to create a third install media, this time an ISO image with both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 10 Pro. Created VM1, a new Hyper-V virtual machine and using this ISO installed Windows 10 Pro using my MS / Insider account. Windows was activated. Repeated the above told process, generalizing VM1 and capturing it as an image and restored said image to PC3 with Macrium. Windows on PC3 was activated.
Used Microsoft's (Sysinternal) Disk2VHD tool and created a virtual hard disk of the Windows setup on PC3. Created VM2 selecting "Use an existing VHD" option, used the VHD created from PC3 setup. Windows on VM2 was activated.
The five machines involved in this test, clean installs at the moment on PC1 and VM1. An upgrade install on PC2, a deployed activated image on PC3 and VM2.