Windows 10: Need some confusion cleared up about migrating to a new system. Solved

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  1.    16 Sep 2015 #1

    Need some confusion cleared up about migrating to a new system.


    So I've made the mistake of upgrading to 10 on two of my systems when I had the intention of building a new computer this winter and cycling them so I'm stuck in a bit of a predicament.

    Basically, I own a recording studio and one of the things I do is cycle my computers as I upgrade. The recording studio gets the new machine, I adopt the recording studios previous machine and give my current machine to my wife. My wifes computer is the only one I didn't get around to upgrading and so swapping hers out will be cake. The other two though I've read will be much harder, if not impossible to do.

    When I built both machines, I did so with OEM Windows 7 which leads to my first question: I got my upgrade to Windows 8 directly through Microsoft and I'm unsure what kind of key was given to me. Is there a way to see whether the key I bought for Windows 8 is considered still OEM or not since I'd be able to reregister my current upgrade if it's a normal key?

    Second thing... the downtime on my studio is not good for clients. Being that I have 10 installed already on it, having to do the whole upgrade process over again as well as prep the system and reinstall everything isn't an option. Is there any way around having to do that even if it means buying a new key for it? I can take the time on my personal machine to go through all that again, but not the studio as I have over 200 applications that would need to be reinstalled. I'd much rather avoid it with both but eh...

    Thanks for taking the time to read.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       16 Sep 2015 #2

    Mystic said: View Post
    ...I got my upgrade to Windows 8 directly through Microsoft and I'm unsure what kind of key was given to me. Is there a way to see whether the key I bought for Windows 8 is considered still OEM or not since I'd be able to reregister my current upgrade if it's a normal key?...
    Hello Mystic and welcome to the forum

    You can see all your license details with ShowKeyPlus
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    16 Sep 2015 #3

    I'm not clear on what you wish to do.

    Do you want to move the Windows installation, complete with all installed applications, onto new PC hardware?

    That's not something I have ever done. I know that Acronis True Image has a utility available which is supposed to permit restoration onto hardware that is entirely different from the hardware that had its drive imaged, but I don't know how likely that is to succeed.

    If you did that with a Win 10 upgrade, it wouldn't activate, though. The activation is linked to the hardware. You'd have to buy a retail key. ($199US for Pro.)

    It is possible to clean install Windows 8.1 onto a new hard drive and activate it using a Windows 8 upgrade license. (The one that was $40US for the Win 8 pre-release.) I have done it to avoid having to re-install the qualifying OS (Windows 7 in my case). I won't describe the method here because it could be used for what Microsoft calls casual piracy. You could then upgrade 8.1 to 10 using the free upgrade (until 7/29/2016). You'd still be stuck with re-installing all of your 200+ applications.

    I'm surprised that you're upgrading the OS on your bread-and-butter system. It seems like the potential risks with drivers and software compatibility issues would make you reluctant to try that. (If you are already running Windows 8.1, the pain of upgrading ought to be minimal, I guess. From Windows 7, the story might be much worse.)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    16 Sep 2015 #4

    Mystic said: View Post
    So I've made the mistake of upgrading to 10 on two of my systems when I had the intention of building a new computer this winter and cycling them so I'm stuck in a bit of a predicament.
    Why was that a mistake? The upgrade to Windows 10 has nothing to do with license status, really.

    Mystic said: View Post
    When I built both machines, I did so with OEM Windows 7 which leads to my first question: I got my upgrade to Windows 8 directly through Microsoft and I'm unsure what kind of key was given to me. Is there a way to see whether the key I bought for Windows 8 is considered still OEM or not since I'd be able to reregister my current upgrade if it's a normal key?
    Read the End Users License Agreement (EULA). When you pay a reduced price for an upgrade license, instead of paying full price for a retail license, the upgrade license that you get retains the same properties as the license the upgrade was based on. Since the original license was OEM Windows 7, the resulting Windows 8 upgrade license would be OEM as well - thus only valid on the computer on which it was installed. Then the following upgrade to Windows 10 would also remain an OEM license.

    Mystic said: View Post
    Second thing... the downtime on my studio is not good for clients. Being that I have 10 installed already on it, having to do the whole upgrade process over again as well as prep the system and reinstall everything isn't an option. Is there any way around having to do that even if it means buying a new key for it? I can take the time on my personal machine to go through all that again, but not the studio as I have over 200 applications that would need to be reinstalled. I'd much rather avoid it with both but eh...
    This is where it gets confusing. What are you wanting to do with the studio computer? Since it seems like it was originally built with a Windows 7 OEM license (if I am reading this correctly) than the Windows software that is on that computer stays with the computer - Windows 7 upgraded to Windows 8 upgraded to Windows 10 - unless you purchased a new full retail license, the original OEM license remains an OEM license through the upgrades.

    Now, are you talking about a new computer for the studio? That will require a new license for Windows. No matter how or what kind of license you get for a new computer, it seems like you want to clone the existing computer to the new one? Not a good idea since the hardware will likely be vastly different and you should start from scratch to begin with. But, what I think you are asking is let's say the new computer gets installed with a Windows 7 with an OEM license. You will have to upgrade that to Windows 10, which will also have an OEM license. Once that is done and activated, then you could clone the old computer to the new one and it should activate based upon the previous activation of Windows 10 on the new computer. The image cloned over from the old computer to the new computer will assume the license that was previously used on the new computer.

    But-am I missing something here about down time? If you get a new computer, why can't you just continue to use the old computer in the studio until the new one is 100% fully installed and ready to go and the only down time is swapping the cabling?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    16 Sep 2015 #5

    bobkn said: View Post
    I'm not clear on what you wish to do.

    Do you want to move the Windows installation, complete with all installed applications, onto new PC hardware?

    That's not something I have ever done. I know that Acronis True Image has a utility available which is supposed to permit restoration onto hardware that is entirely different from the hardware that had its drive imaged, but I don't know how likely that is to succeed.

    If you did that with a Win 10 upgrade, it wouldn't activate, though. The activation is linked to the hardware. You'd have to buy a retail key. ($199US for Pro.)

    It is possible to clean install Windows 8.1 onto a new hard drive and activate it using a Windows 8 upgrade license. (The one that was $40US for the Win 8 pre-release.) I have done it to avoid having to re-install the qualifying OS (Windows 7 in my case). I won't describe the method here because it could be used for what Microsoft calls casual piracy. You could then upgrade 8.1 to 10 using the free upgrade (until 7/29/2016). You'd still be stuck with re-installing all of your 200+ applications.

    I'm surprised that you're upgrading the OS on your bread-and-butter system. It seems like the potential risks with drivers and software compatibility issues would make you reluctant to try that. (If you are already running Windows 8.1, the pain of upgrading ought to be minimal, I guess. From Windows 7, the story might be much worse.)
    Basically I'm getting all new hardware including updating to an SSD. I've done this many times before by using a program such as Acronis or CloneZilla to make an exact mirror of my HDD if say, I was moving from a 1TB drive to a 2TB drive. Once done, you pop the new drive in and it works exactly as the old one did. Was quite simple to do and I would be back up and running in no time at all.

    The problem is that Windows 10, rather than using a key like previous OS's, now attaches itself to the hardware therefore making it much harder to swap out existing hardware for newer stuff which prevents activation. The SSD won't be the issue though, the issue will come because I'm doing a major upgrade to the motherboard and processor.

    I've always been an early adopter of Windows and have had very minimal problems apart from the move from XP to Vista but all things considered, most of the major issues were sorted quite quickly. Most professional hardware companies are on the ball with getting drivers for their stuff out the week of release so there isn't too much issue but the benefits, especially from Win 7 through 10, have outweighed the disadvantages. Things like how Windows handles resources are very important when dealing with 200 tracks of audio and with each upgrade, they have made considerable leaps forward there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    16 Sep 2015 #6

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    Why was that a mistake? The upgrade to Windows 10 has nothing to do with license status, really.
    Because had we known from the first week that we wouldn't be able to swap important pieces of hardware, I wouldn't have upgraded right away knowing that I was going to be building new systems this fall. It may have been mentioned subtly at some point but there was a lot of confusion at the time with what Microsoft was really doing.

    Read the End Users License Agreement (EULA). When you pay a reduced price for an upgrade license, instead of paying full price for a retail license, the upgrade license that you get retains the same properties as the license the upgrade was based on. Since the original license was OEM Windows 7, the resulting Windows 8 upgrade license would be OEM as well - thus only valid on the computer on which it was installed. Then the following upgrade to Windows 10 would also remain an OEM license.

    This is where it gets confusing. What are you wanting to do with the studio computer? Since it seems like it was originally built with a Windows 7 OEM license (if I am reading this correctly) than the Windows software that is on that computer stays with the computer - Windows 7 upgraded to Windows 8 upgraded to Windows 10 - unless you purchased a new full retail license, the original OEM license remains an OEM license through the upgrades.
    Yes, this was built with a Win7 OEM key. That's one of the things I was wondering there. I wasn't sure if the upgrade during the $40 promo would remain OEM or if it would switch over to what we would consider a retail key that could be moved to a new system without issue.

    Now, are you talking about a new computer for the studio? That will require a new license for Windows. No matter how or what kind of license you get for a new computer, it seems like you want to clone the existing computer to the new one? Not a good idea since the hardware will likely be vastly different and you should start from scratch to begin with. But, what I think you are asking is let's say the new computer gets installed with a Windows 7 with an OEM license. You will have to upgrade that to Windows 10, which will also have an OEM license. Once that is done and activated, then you could clone the old computer to the new one and it should activate based upon the previous activation of Windows 10 on the new computer. The image cloned over from the old computer to the new computer will assume the license that was previously used on the new computer.
    So let's say that I build my new computer completely from scratch and clone the HDD so everything is installed and in it's proper place like it is on the current system. Obviously when I turn the computer on it's going to go "HEY! This isn't the computer we installed on!" and deactivate. Couldn't I then in theory buy a retail or new OEM key and add that when it goes unregistered so it becomes a new registered copy without having to do a complete format?

    Also, this begs the question, since I am adopting the studio as my personal computer and my current personal computer is going to my wife, wouldn't that mean I can keep Windows 10 installed on both of those and activated since those systems aren't at all changing and only change the Microsoft Accounts that log into them? My one concern there is that by changing the account that logs in, it will deactivate but if the license is for the computer itself, it shouldn't do that. Am I right in that assumption?

    But-am I missing something here about down time? If you get a new computer, why can't you just continue to use the old computer in the studio until the new one is 100% fully installed and ready to go and the only down time is swapping the cabling?
    I suppose I can do that if I absolutely needed to. It's just a huge pain because when I upgraded to 10, it took me literally a week, working full 10 to 12 hour days to install everything back on and get it all setup which meant I was completely down and not getting clients work done.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    16 Sep 2015 #7

    WhyMe said: View Post
    Hello Mystic and welcome to the forum

    You can see all your license details with ShowKeyPlus
    Thanks for posting that. Will take a look at it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    16 Sep 2015 #8

    Mystic said: View Post
    So let's say that I build my new computer completely from scratch and clone the HDD so everything is installed and in it's proper place like it is on the current system. Obviously when I turn the computer on it's going to go "HEY! This isn't the computer we installed on!" and deactivate. Couldn't I then in theory buy a retail or new OEM key and add that when it goes unregistered so it becomes a new registered copy without having to do a complete format?
    Yes.

    Mystic said: View Post
    Also, this begs the question, since I am adopting the studio as my personal computer and my current personal computer is going to my wife, wouldn't that mean I can keep Windows 10 installed on both of those and activated since those systems aren't at all changing and only change the Microsoft Accounts that log into them? My one concern there is that by changing the account that logs in, it will deactivate but if the license is for the computer itself, it shouldn't do that. Am I right in that assumption?
    Again, yes. Activation is for the computer, not for the user accounts. You can add a new user account, delete the old user account, doesn't matter if they are Microsoft account logins or not - the activation will be unaffected. You can even clean install on a completely wiped hard drive and log in with only a brand new local account and it will retrieve the computer's activation stored on Microsoft activation servers and activate itself.

    Mystic said: View Post
    I suppose I can do that if I absolutely needed to. It's just a huge pain because when I upgraded to 10, it took me literally a week, working full 10 to 12 hour days to install everything back on and get it all setup which meant I was completely down and not getting clients work done.
    Since you will need an additional license to stay legal anyways.... I've seen OEM Windows 10 Pro licenses for $99.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    16 Sep 2015 #9

    Well I was going to ask almost the same question as Mystic did. But I think NavyLCDR answered my questions on OEM vs Retail.

    I just bought a used computer. It comes with Windows 10 Home oem already installed. Problem is I have no use for any Home version. Previous OS was Windows 8.1 Home. Ewww. Sooo What I was thinking is either delete everything on the hard drive then
    install my copy of Windows 10 Pro, and activate by buying a retail license OR If it would work, Enter a valid Windows 10 Pro retail license key.
    Big Question being Can a Retail PRO license key activate a home oem install???? BTY I can get a really good price on the Retail Pro key. I was thinking that Windows 10 Home OEM could NOT be activated by using a Windows 10 Pro retail key.
    What do ya think????
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    16 Sep 2015 #10

    A Windows 10 Home install cannot be activated with a Pro key. But it can be upgraded to Pro using the purchased Pro key.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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