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  1.    04 Jun 2016 #91
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 55
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    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by simrick View Post
    If the thing had W10 on it, and was activated, you just need to reinstall W10 and skip entering the key, if it asks for one. The MS servers will apply the Digital Entitlement. Changing a drive does not affect activation. Simply download the W10 ISO from MSTechBench - it will have both Home + Pro versions on it (just select the proper bitness). Install the version you had and it will auto-activate, if not immediately, after a couple of boots.

    That's the great thing about W10: once it has been activated on a system, the Digital Entitlement allows you to reinstall as many times as you want/need.
    Huh... how does it know if the drive that had windows on it is gone though?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    04 Jun 2016 #92
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 55
    10
    Thread Starter

    Also, I can burn the tech bench iso to a disk and boot into the new HD and install windows that way?


    Edit: I got the product key! (or a product key, not sure if it's guaranteed to be accurate...)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    04 Jun 2016 #93
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Posts : 118
    Windows 10 Professional x64

    Quote Originally Posted by adamgm View Post
    Huh... how does it know if the drive that had windows on it is gone though?
    Almost every piece of hardware can be uniquely identified, by its serial number, MAC address, etc, which are stored on MS' servers and linked to your license, which is uniquely identified by its product key.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    04 Jun 2016 #94
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Penns Forrest
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3

    This is an interesting test case.

    Product Key: Retail license
    Digital Entitlement: Upgrade ... activation information stored on MS servers
    OEM (Dell, HP, Asus, etc): Key is embedded in firmware

    So what does Adam have? A PC builder machine.

    The first attetmpt as NovHak and simrick implied is to just try installing Win10 on the new HDD (or SSD).
    Skip entering the key on the windows that ask - it will either activate or you cna add the key afterward the instal finishes

    The two scenarios where Win10 will activate without entering a key during install are: OEM and Digital Entitlement
    The only scenario where you would have to enter a key after installing would be a Retail product (probably includes OEM builder license).

    Did you run Check Product Key in Showkey?
    Does the result confirm your installed edition?

    If so, then you're probably good to go ... not much more for me to offer ... good luck

    Bill
    .
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    04 Jun 2016 #95
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Penns Forrest
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3

    Quote Originally Posted by adamgm View Post
    Also, I can burn the tech bench iso to a disk and boot into the new HD and install windows that way?
    Yes
    Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums

    Read through it and ask any questions you might have.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    04 Jun 2016 #96
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 55
    10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
    This is an interesting test case.

    Product Key: Retail license
    Digital Entitlement: Upgrade ... activation information stored on MS servers
    OEM (Dell, HP, Asus, etc): Key is embedded in firmware

    So what does Adam have? A PC builder machine.

    The first attetmpt as NovHak and simrick implied is to just try installing Win10 on the new HDD (or SSD).
    Skip entering the key on the windows that ask - it will either activate or you cna add the key afterward the instal finishes

    The two scenarios where Win10 will activate without entering a key during install are: OEM and Digital Entitlement
    The only scenario where you would have to enter a key after installing would be a Retail product (probably includes OEM builder license).

    Did you run Check Product Key in Showkey?
    Does the result confirm your installed edition?

    If so, then you're probably good to go ... not much more for me to offer ... good luck

    Bill
    .
    The result said it was win 10, if that's what you mean. I called MS and asked if they could verify my key, they said there was an error, but the language barrier was brutal.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    04 Jun 2016 #97
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,942
    W10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by adamgm View Post
    Also, I can burn the tech bench iso to a disk and boot into the new HD and install windows that way?

    Edit: I got the product key! (or a product key, not sure if it's guaranteed to be accurate...)
    It may be too large and you'll need a flash drive. Last one I got was 4.3GB, so it would fit on a DVD. Otherwise, get the ISO for your flavor of Windows (home or pro) by using the Media Creation Tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
    This is an interesting test case.

    Product Key: Retail license
    Digital Entitlement: Upgrade ... activation information stored on MS servers
    OEM (Dell, HP, Asus, etc): Key is embedded in firmware

    So what does Adam have? A PC builder machine.

    The first attetmpt as NovHak and simrick implied is to just try installing Win10 on the new HDD (or SSD).
    Skip entering the key on the windows that ask - it will either activate or you cna add the key afterward the instal finishes

    The two scenarios where Win10 will activate without entering a key during install are: OEM and Digital Entitlement
    The only scenario where you would have to enter a key after installing would be a Retail product (probably includes OEM builder license).

    Did you run Check Product Key in Showkey?
    Does the result confirm your installed edition?

    If so, then you're probably good to go ... not much more for me to offer ... good luck

    Bill
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by adamgm View Post
    The result said it was win 10, if that's what you mean. I called MS and asked if they could verify my key, they said there was an error, but the language barrier was brutal.
    Try installing without entering any key first. It may activate automatically.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    04 Jun 2016 #98
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 55
    10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by simrick View Post
    It may be too large and you'll need a flash drive. Otherwise, get the ISO for your flavor of Windows (home or pro) by using the Media Creation Tool.





    Try installing without entering any key first. It may activate automatically.
    I'll probably get a drive today and try it out. I'll report back!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    04 Jun 2016 #99
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,942
    W10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by adamgm View Post
    I'll probably get a drive today and try it out. I'll report back!
    Sounds like a plan!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    04 Jun 2016 #100
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 55
    10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
    This is an interesting test case.

    Product Key: Retail license
    Digital Entitlement: Upgrade ... activation information stored on MS servers
    OEM (Dell, HP, Asus, etc): Key is embedded in firmware

    So what does Adam have? A PC builder machine.

    The first attetmpt as NovHak and simrick implied is to just try installing Win10 on the new HDD (or SSD).
    Skip entering the key on the windows that ask - it will either activate or you cna add the key afterward the instal finishes

    The two scenarios where Win10 will activate without entering a key during install are: OEM and Digital Entitlement
    The only scenario where you would have to enter a key after installing would be a Retail product (probably includes OEM builder license).

    Did you run Check Product Key in Showkey?
    Does the result confirm your installed edition?

    If so, then you're probably good to go ... not much more for me to offer ... good luck

    Bill
    .

    To respond to this more directly; I wasn't able to get it with ShowKey, it said that there was no OEM in the firmware in the backup - I also tried running the executable from the bad drive, with the same result.

    However, I did install Lazesoft software recovery suite to the bad drive (very slowly) and it has a password/key recovery option which is what gave me my key.

    A good sign is, putting that key into Showkey does also give me the correct version.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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