Windows 10: Free Windows 10 for newbuild?
Free Windows 10 for newbuild?
I'm fairly sure I know the answer to this, but thought I'd ask anyway before forking out more money.
Having upgraded my home built PC from Windows 7 to the free Windows 10 Pro earlier this year, I've recently been having issues with my PC not starting and have now determined it is a fault with the Gigabyte motherboard. As the machine is over 5 years old, I've decided it's time to build a new PC, but I've just realised I've missed the deadline for the free Windows 10 upgrade.
I have a retail copy of Windows 7, so could install this on the new build as the old machine will be trashed, but then I can't get to Windows 10 without paying for an upgrade.
Is this correct? I believe the upgrade is tied to the hardware, so although I have a Windows 10 DVD that would allow me to perform a clean install of Windows 10 Pro (like I did before), I guess the install would need activating as the hardware is different.
I would appreciate confirmation that I'm correct on this.
Nobody can tell you for sure. In theory you would need to buy a new license of Windows 10 for your new machine. But if you replace your old machine by a new one (or replace all the essential parts like the mainboard etc. in your old pc) you could still try to activate Windows 10 again. Maybe MS support will activate it if you contact them and explain that your mainboard was broken and you needed to replace it. Probably they won't but it's still worth a try in my opinion. If not I'm afraid you will have to acquire a new license.
Pity it's not working, else you could have done this...
Starting with Windows 10 Anniversary Update and Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14371, you can link your Microsoft account (MSA) to the Windows 10 digital license (formerly called digital entitlement) on your device. This can help you reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter if you make a hardware change later, such as replacing the motherboard.
Useful to know for next time, though.
You can just call them and do a phone activation. I have never seen them tell anyone no to this. I was just in the situation where I had to replace the board, processor and ram. I was still able to get them to activate the system.
If it's a RETAIL W7 license, it retains transfer rights. I was told by MS support on multiple occasions to install W10 straightaway and use the W7 retail key to activate. Any problems, call them. If you can still get the old system to boot one last time, you can unregister Windows on the old system. To unregister a Windows key: At an Administrative Command Prompt, type: slmgr /upk
Last edited by simrick; 12 Sep 2016 at 22:05.
Reason: corrected typo in command
Try the below procedure but I can't remember where I got it from
Restore Windows 10 digital entitlement activation offline
If you have the windows old activated just copy
Here is some information about how to successfully backup and restore Windows 10 activation when installed through what Microsoft calls "digital entitlement", i. e. having used the free upgrade offer from a previous Windows version.
It is mainly intended for advanced users with interest in and basic knowledge about how Windows activation works, and to understand everything you should be familiar with the registry, command line and access rights.
As you may already know, having once activated Windows online with a digital entitlement you can always do clean installs through a Windows 10 DVD afterwards without entering a product key, and when connecting to the Internet Windows verifies that it was installed on the same hardware and automatically activate again.
There is however a way to backup this activation information and after a clean install restore it completely offline, without the need of going online once.
Those who have already experimented with methods that were valid on earlier Windows versions up to 8.1, or used activation backup and restore tools for these versions, will have come to the conclusion that these methods do not work with Windows 10's digital entitlement - Windows always insists on connecting to the Internet once for activation.
Still the files that contain activation information and need to be backed up and restored are:
The trick is now that in Windows 10 there is an additional registry key that needs to be backed up and restored as well - and also this key is not accessible by normal means.
The key in question is:
When you run Regedit and navigate to said key, you will get an "Access denied" message. Furthermore you will be unable to take ownership or change permissions of that key.
To see its contents and be able to backup and restore it, Regedit must be run with SYSTEM access rights. This can for example be done by downloading the PsTools from Microsoft, then on the command line execute: psexec -i -s regedit.exe
Now you will be able to access the above key and its subkeys, and export it to a .reg file.
After doing a clean install (on the same hardware!), the procedure to restore activation information is:
- Stop the software licensing service on the command line: net stop sppsvc
- Copy back the three .dat files to their respective locations
- Run psexec -i -s regedit.exe again and import the previously backed-up .reg file
- Restart the computer.
Now test if it works by either going to Windows Activation in PC settings, or by executing the following command on the command line: slmgr /xpr
If all went well Windows will tell you it is permanently activated.
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Now for the fine print..............
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