Windows 10: Is the free upgarde transferable? I think not.

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  1.    01 Aug 2015 #41

    Kari said: View Post
    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:

    Note   Note
    What 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 is done or as in this case on another machine, this happens:

    Note   Note
    What happens when booting first time after sysprep generalizing?

    • First boot configuration is run
    • 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 version 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.
    IMHO, there is a flaw in that process, that Microsoft hasn't picked up on yet. Correct me if I've wrong, you've obviously done this before. But wouldn't you normally be prompted to enter a product code on the first reboot after doing a sysprep? Isn't that the point? If you did that with windows 8.1 and used the same product code over and over on multiple PC's, wouldn't activation fail? Assuming its not a VL key of course? Also is the ISO downloaded via the Insiders page an insider build? Does it install as an insider build is what I mean? If it does that makes a big difference because insider builds can be installed on multiple PC's no problem. That's one of those we're not sure with 10240, no watermark etc. You'd have to look and see if accept insider builds is enabled. They are if you upgrade install with an insider build. The ISO from the other site, http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softw...load/windows10 my be different and automatically opted out on an upgrade install. I am sorry for the pirating reference, but you have to admit, what your doing isn't something that average joe does very often, if at all.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    01 Aug 2015 #42

    DavidY said: View Post
    But had PC2 or PC3 had an Insider build activated before on them? If so then the hardware signatures may already be recorded in the Activation Servers, regardless of whether you wiped them.
    EXACTLY! I think I asked that question but it got lost in all the posts and counter posts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    01 Aug 2015 #43

    Kari said: View Post
    Yes, both had Insider Preview build installed and used on them, at the moment of me wiping them empty one had clean installed 10240, installed two weeks before the launch, and one 10166 upgraded to 10240 also two weeks before the launch.
    Ah see that throws another wrinkle into things. That hardware is already tied to your Microsoft Account, may be why they activated when they really shouldn't have. Hard to say if they were just running preview builds, may depend on whether it was a clean install or an upgrade from a qualifying OS? This is all clear as mud now.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 11,250
    Windows 10 Pro
       01 Aug 2015 #44

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    IMHO, there is a flaw in that process, that Microsoft hasn't picked up on yet. Correct me if I've wrong, you've obviously done this before. But wouldn't you normally be prompted to enter a product code on the first reboot after doing a sysprep? Isn't that the point?
    In all installs mentioned in this thread, by "automatically activated" I mean that I have entered the generic Windows 10 Pro key every time I have been asked for it, start of a clean install and first OOBE boot after generalizing, and that Windows has then been automatically activated when the setup / install has ended and Windows has booted to the desktop first time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    01 Aug 2015 #45

    Kari said: View Post
    In all installs mentioned in this thread, by "automatically activated" I mean that I have entered the generic Windows 10 Pro key every time I have been asked for it, start of a clean install and first OOBE boot after generalizing, and that Windows has then been automatically activated when the setup / install has ended and Windows has booted to the desktop first time.
    Ah but it shouldn't do that right? Think about it, that means unlimited free installs on as many PC as you want? That's not right. Like I said, with any other OS you'd have to enter a different product code for each PC to be legal. That was one of uses of sysprep. You did your install, customized it etc, syspreped it, and then deployed it on your other PC's. Then entered your product code for that PC on first boot up. If it was a VL edition they could be the same code, if Retail they would be different for each PC. I think what happened for you is not by design, and as soon as Microsoft finds out they will kill it. IMHO.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    01 Aug 2015 #46

    I need to borrow a PC that has never had Windows 10 on it to test on. May have to borrow a junker from my bother in law.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    01 Aug 2015 #47

    Interesting thread, this...

    Assuming the image installs were activated via Insider, not upgrade criteria, makes sense.

    Just a point that Dude touched on - The Win10 upgrade does not have tranferability rights (it obviously can't as it's device locked - that's a misnomer) - I posted on another thread the underlying licence rights are contained and not consumed - some were worried that they would lose that with the upgrade)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    01 Aug 2015 #48

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    IMHO, there is a flaw in that process, that Microsoft hasn't picked up on yet.
    Kari said: View Post
    Everything points to MS being quite generous with Insiders, almost every install and upgrade path seems to work and activate.
    [SPECULATION]
    Remember Gabe Aul's blog post of 22 June? The one that got edited twice. The original version said:
    I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Windows Insiders about how this will work if they clean installed from ISO. As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated. Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.
    My speculation is that the original said this because the activation process that the developers had built did exactly that.

    Then the lawyers saw it, threw their hands up in horror, and got the blog changed. But maybe it was too late to make a software change in the activation process without risking everything going wrong on 29 July?

    Which doesn't mean they may not change it later of course...
    Kari said: View Post
    Yes, both had Insider Preview build installed and used on them, at the moment of me wiping them empty one had clean installed 10240, installed two weeks before the launch, and one 10166 upgraded to 10240 also two weeks before the launch.
    I seem to remember that the activation rules changed around build 10166 or 10162? The thing about needing an MS Account to upgrade? So if you installed 10166, and activated it, my bet is that the software activation process will currently let you keep the activation status.

    Remember Gabe Aul's later blog post around the release of build 10166, which said:
    For those of you on older builds – now is definitely the time to upgrade to the most current build.
    I'm wondering if this should really have said:
    For those of you on older builds – now is definitely the time to upgrade to the most current build.
    But I also assume that 10166 and the like won't activate any more. So unless you had an activated 10166 build, on a machine which the activation servers already know about, it's probably too late to get one. And therefore any loophole isn't exploitable by new machines.

    [/SPECULATION]
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 1,841
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10
       01 Aug 2015 #49

    I activated 1 OEM windows 8>8.1 Home PC and 2 windows 7 home oem PC's and got windows 10 Home on all 3 with same windows 10 Home key on all OS"s..

    Just clean install windows 10 Pro on two of the PC's that had an activated Windows 10 Pro Preview.. Both are NOW activated as Pro..
    So two of my PC's are activated as both windows 10 Home and Pro PC's

    Home via OEM OS upgrade and Pro via preview release..

    No MS account or MS login - just activated as local user

    So if you had an activated 10260 preview release - your PC is already activated as a Windows 10 Pro PC

    So transfer your Retail Keys and OS to a non-qualifying PC > phone activate the OS / Key transfer > then upgrade the now qualifying OS to 10

    I now have 3 Retail Keys that where once used to upgrade to windows 8 that are not needed.. Or activated as windows 10 keys..
    Basically IF you purchased windows 8 retail Keys - it was all for NOT..
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    01 Aug 2015 #50

    Kyhi said: View Post
    I activated 1 OEM windows 8>8.1 Home PC and 2 windows 7 home oem PC's and got windows 10 Home on all 3 with same windows 10 Home key on all OS"s..

    Just clean install windows 10 Pro on two of the PC's that had an activated Windows 10 Pro Preview.. Both are NOW activated as Pro..
    So two of my PC's are activated as both windows 10 Home and Pro PC's

    Home via OEM OS upgrade and Pro via preview release..

    No MS account or MS login - just activated as local user
    Two separate licenses, on the same PC, which is allowed. The no Microsoft account is allowed, might be an issue on a clean install of 10 after the free upgrade though? So many questions not answered by Microsoft, that just leads to speculation by us here. I'm sure I'm getting on some peoples nerves with all my questions etc. Not meaning to get anybody upset. Just trying to figure some stuff out. I am now wishing I had left one or two of my machines un upgraded so I could do some testing, namely clean installs on PC's that never had Windows 10 installed on them. instead of pestering other members for answers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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