1.    24 Jan 2015 #1
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 5,793
    Win 10 Pro (1607)

    Reinstalling Win 10 starting from a Win 8 license

    Hi, I have a Win 8 license, am running 8.1. If I upgrade to Win 10, then need to reinstall from scratch, where would I start?

    Starting from Win 8 would be horrendous!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    24 Jan 2015 #2
    Join Date : Feb 2014
    Posts : 472

    Although I've never used them (because I prefer total clean installs from scratch) Windows 8 introduced 'Refresh' and 'Reset' options, so I assume Windows 10 final version will have those options as well.

    A poster asked yesterday what about if their harddrive failed, so I may as well just copy and paste my reply from there regarding ISO's. When I've reinstalled Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update 1 from scratch using Windows ISO's, there is no need to install your previous OS first, just load Windows straight from the DVD/USB you burnt and it uses your Windows Product Key to activate it.

    Originally Posted by ARC1020

    ...but, what would happen after the 1st year when the free upgrade offer lapsed & your hd crashed with lose of os.

    I've never found backups of drives with operating systems too successful when restoring often with errors that require the installation disk to be inserted into the dvd drive.

    Would you be able reinstall your original os & then upgrade to windows 10 for free again; i doubt it
    It's the Product Key that's the important bit, not the actual Windows software itself. When you upgrade to the final version, that computer will then have a valid Windows 10 Product Key (Licence Key).

    Going back to when I first upgraded to Windows 8, it was possible to get Windows 8 ISO's, but was a bit of a pain and you had to run through some hoops. However, Microsoft have since provided a tool called 'Windows Installation Media Creation Tool' that can be used to download Windows 8 ISO's. These ISO's can then be burnt to DVD or USB stick and used to [re]install Windows. I use the same DVD created from that ISO to install/re-install Windows on my own computers and also family computers (saves a 4GB download on every machine every time). As they're all 64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro, the ISO is the same for all of them, it's only their Product Keys that are different. There's no need to install your previous OS first either, just load Windows straight from the DVD/USB you burnt.

    So, hopefully Microsoft will do the same for Windows 10 when it comes out and therefore you'll be able to just re-install from ISO if needed and use your Windows 10 Product Key to activate it. I guess we'll find out nearer the time, but I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't continue allowing people to download ISO's for [re]installation purposes.

    I'm not a fan of cloning/disk imaging either. The problem with disk imaging software is you really need to create the disk image straight away on a clean, guaranteed infection free computer. That's fine, however software/drivers are constantly changing and updating, therefore that image soon goes out of date. Therefore, I just stick with a totally clean install from ISO and as all my files and software are on a seperate (and backed up!) hard drive anyway, it's just a case of re-installing the software from that drive, which doesn't really take long anyway. Each to their own though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    24 Jan 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 5,793
    Win 10 Pro (1607)

    Hi, thanks, so it rather depends if somehow by upgrading to Win 10 MS will acknowledge that some people only have a Win 8 key, and somehow provide a Win 10 license on upgrade.

    If not, as you say, after the free year, maybe then having to buy a license would be one way MS will recoup its outlay. (Another being your subsequent new PC purchases with Windows installed, of course).

    As you say, disk imaging (which has saved me on several occasions) could become even more significant if there is no Win 10 license provided in that case, given the 1 free-to-upgrade year.

    I do regularly update my disk image, as reinstalling my many programs is very time consuming, and this has saved me a number of times. Noteworthy is how Win 8- as will Win 10 in all probability I gather- attempts an automatic repair and goes into a restart loop after a relatively simple event.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    24 Jan 2015 #4
    Join Date : Feb 2014
    Posts : 472

    I would wait until Microsoft actually release Windows 10 to the general public before looking too in-depth, because who knows what will change between now and when they release it. It's when you're about to agree to the terms and conditions of the upgrade that you need to be sure what the upgrade actually entails, and at the moment there is no Windows 10 upgrade, therefore it's all speculative until release.

    I'm not sure why Microsoft made the whole '1 year' part so confusing, but they have said "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost." Going by that statement, it seems to imply there will be no hidden charges, you just need to upgrade within a year to take advantage of the free upgrade. I.E. It sounds like it's the offer that expires after 1 year, not the actual upgrade (Licence Key).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


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