Windows 10: Will this plan work to "reserve" my free upgrade permanently?

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  1.    15 Jun 2016 #1

    Will this plan work to "reserve" my free upgrade permanently?


    I have 4 retail versions of Win7 running on various machines in my house. I do not really want to upgrade to Win10 yet, but I also don't want to miss out on 4 free upgrades, and the time counting down until 7/29 has been bothering me. But I have a plan that I think might permanently extend my deadline. I'm curious what others think of this plan, although I also understand that nobody here can speak directly for MS, and their policies around this upgrade also seem to change quite frequently.

    For each of my machines, perform the following steps (each step is supposedly possible from my research, please correct me if I'm wrong at any of them):
    1) Take a spare formatted disk, put it in that machine, install Win10 using that machine's Win7 key.
    2) Harvest the key from the Win10 install using one of many tools. Now I have 1 new Win10 key.
    3) Remove the disk, format it, and let that machine continue using its previous Win7 install on its main disk.
    4) Repeat steps 1-3 with remaining machines.

    Now I have 4 new Win10 keys.

    The 7/29 deadline seems to be for the act of performing the upgrade (and thus securing your 10 key). So I guess the viability of this entire plan hinges on the assumption that once a key has been secured, there is no "minimum use" requirement dictating how often I should use it. I.e. that if year from now I finally decide to do the upgrade for real, then all 4 new keys that I harvested will still work then.

    Thoughts? (Please refrain from trying to convince me to just upgrade now... MS has that covered )
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    15 Jun 2016 #2

    You don't really get any W10 key, activation is by MS server and for that particular MB only.
    Another way to "reserve" it would be to make full system backup with let's say Macrium Reflect of W7, upgrade W7 to 10 and make sure it's activated with Digital Entitlement on MS server. Than you can restore W7 system back on your disk and use it until you decide to go to W10. Than you can install whatever W10 version is at that time and it will be activated automatically.
    Second way would be to use another disk and install W10 on it using your retail W7 key and make sure it also has Digital Entitlement (is activated on MS server).
    Repeat any of those two options on other 3 computers.
    If any of those W7 computers has OEM version, most reliable way would be either first option or to install W7 on another disk, make sure it's activated and than upgrade to W10 also making sure it activates. If you are installing either 7 or 10 on another disk, make sure it's the only one connected at that time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    15 Jun 2016 #3

    Thanks for the response. So it sounds like my plan is mostly good, except I won't be able to harvest the key (nor will I need to). I think I will proceed with the idea of using a spare drive for all the "activating" installs, just so I don't have to worry about imaging/restoring the installs on the 4 machines. And yes of course I will disconnect all other drives before installing/upgrading on the spare drive. :-)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    15 Jun 2016 #4

    The111 said: View Post
    Thanks for the response. So it sounds like my plan is mostly good, except I won't be able to harvest the key (nor will I need to). I think I will proceed with the idea of using a spare drive for all the "activating" installs, just so I don't have to worry about imaging/restoring the installs on the 4 machines. And yes of course I will disconnect all other drives before installing/upgrading on the spare drive. :-)
    Sounds like a plan. Just remember if any of W7 are OEM, install W7 and activate first before upgrading. If retail just install W10 using W7 keys.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    15 Jun 2016 #5

    CountMike said: View Post
    Sounds like a plan. Just remember if any of W7 are OEM, install W7 and activate first before upgrading. If retail just install W10 using W7 keys.
    Thanks. Out of curiosity what will happen if I tried to go straight to 10 with an OEM 7 key? I think 3 out of 4 are OEM, but Win7 installs are quick and easy so no worries there. :-)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    15 Jun 2016 #6

    If it's on COE sticker it should work but never tried it like that.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 3,431
    EL Capitan
       15 Jun 2016 #7

    There is no "Reserving" that Microsoft did. It was only for them to get statistics on how many would be interested in the new OS.

    I just burnt a copy from the ISO that they offer at Microsoft.com.

    Windows 10 does have an issue with Intel's RSat. Other than that, it actually blows 7 out of the water when it comes to memory management.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 3,431
    EL Capitan
       15 Jun 2016 #8

    The111 said: View Post
    Thanks. Out of curiosity what will happen if I tried to go straight to 10 with an OEM 7 key? I think 3 out of 4 are OEM, but Win7 installs are quick and easy so no worries there. :-)
    It will work. Do a clean install by first skipping the key when it asks for it. When you get to the Desktop GUI, then out in the Windows 7 key to activate.

    I just went through with a clean install on my dad's desktop. It runs better than before.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    15 Jun 2016 #9

    bro67 said: View Post
    There is no "Reserving" that Microsoft did. It was only for them to get statistics on how many would be interested in the new OS.

    I just burnt a copy from the ISO that they offer at Microsoft.com.

    Windows 10 does have an issue with Intel's RSat. Other than that, it actually blows 7 out of the water when it comes to memory management.
    There's no "reserving" as such but once W10 is activated on particular MB you can (re)install it any time in the future without having to activate it manually providing you use same type of W10, ie. Language, x86/x64, Home/Pro etc. Build version should not matter. As far as I know, insider program will continue.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    15 Jun 2016 #10

    One thing to keep in mind regarding OEM keys. As far as I know, you can't clean install and activate with OEM-SLP keys. OEM-SLP keys are the keys Windows 7 OEM installs activate with from the factory. You can upgrade from those installed versions, you just can't clean install with those keys. If you pulled one of those keys with a key finding utility it's useless for Windows 10 activation on a clean install. The key you need to use is the OEM-COA key on the COA sticker. The OEM-SLP and OEM-COA are two different keys. Even then, you may have to install with a skip key, then do a change key to activate. Once your activated that device should have a digital entitlement, and from then on you don't need any product key to reinstall Windows 10 on that hardware. If they are OEM system builder installs, the key in use will be the same as the key on the COA sticker and should be good for doing a clean install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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