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  1.    29 Aug 2016 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 164
    Win 10 Pro x64

    Hard drive totally fried - Can I still salvage my win 10 key?


    My hard drive on my other PC is totally fried. There's no backup (nothing much to save on there). I'm going to have to do a clean install on a new hard drive and all I have is my old windows 7 key. Is it going to let me activate windows 10 without any trouble?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    29 Aug 2016 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Trnava
    Posts : 2,733
    Windows 10.4 Home 1709 x64

    If you have activated 10 before, Windows will remember it, there is no need to enter key anymore.
    In the future, link your licence to MS account, it will make it easier in case of serious hardware failures.

    Microsoft Account - Link to Digital License on Windows 10 PC - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    29 Aug 2016 #3
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 164
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by TairikuOkami View Post
    If you have activated 10 before, Windows will remember it, there is no need to enter key anymore.
    In the future, link your licence to MS account, it will make it easier in case of serious hardware failures.

    Microsoft Account - Link to Digital License on Windows 10 PC - Windows 10 Forums
    But I'm doing a clean install on a totally new hard drive. Windows will still be able to recognize that I've activated win 10 on this PC before?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    29 Aug 2016 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Trnava
    Posts : 2,733
    Windows 10.4 Home 1709 x64

    Yes, MS has copied your hardware info before, if you would be replacing motherboard, that would be more problematic.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    29 Aug 2016 #5
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 164
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by TairikuOkami View Post
    Yes, MS has copied your hardware info before, if you would be replacing motherboard, that would be more problematic.
    Thank you, one last question. I plan on downloading an ISO for the anniversary update and burning it to a DVD and installing from there. Will it ask for a key during installation?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    29 Aug 2016 #6
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Trnava
    Posts : 2,733
    Windows 10.4 Home 1709 x64

    No. But make sure to download the correct version.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    29 Aug 2016 #7
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,385
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) Insider 16291

    Quote Originally Posted by bobsagetfullhou View Post
    Will it ask for a key during installation?
    Actually I think it will ask- but you can select Skip or 'I don't have a key' to get past it, and it should still activate OK.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    29 Aug 2016 #8
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Trnava
    Posts : 2,733
    Windows 10.4 Home 1709 x64

    First version from 2015 used to ask, but I have never seen it afterwards, maybe it depends on the version.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    29 Aug 2016 #9
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 4,050
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Quote Originally Posted by TairikuOkami View Post
    No. But make sure to download the correct version.
    Actually, yes - but you don't need to give if your previous installation had been activate. You DO have to be careful to install the same version as you had previously though. If you had 'Home' or 'Pro' your activation is only valid for a clean install of the same edition. You'll see a screen like this...

    ...just select 'I don't have a product key'. Once installed you should find it has be activated automatically using your previous digital licence.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  10.    29 Aug 2016 #10

    The above posts are correct.

    Went through this myself today with my sons laptop. New Hdd fitted and restored from the recovery partition to Win 8 Home.

    I completely updated it to 8.1.1 and downladed Win 10 using the media creation tool.

    To make it more nerve wracking, I created a new microsoft account and used that as part of the installation - rather than a local account. Everything worked perfectly - fully activated and he can add his original log in details at a leter date.

    p.s - skipped past the licence box. It gave the option of reinstalling a previous installation of Win 10
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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