Windows 10: A Stupid Question About Windows 10 Product Keys Solved

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  1.    17 Jul 2015 #11

    I've been using showkey to keep track of what's going on, https://www.tenforums.com/software-ap...7-showkey.html. It gives lots of info on embedded OEM key if there is one, key used to install and current key in use. I did an upgrade to 10074 from Windows 7 via the Insiders page. I got a new key that wasn't listed by Microsoft for that build. That key stayed the same through a couple of upgrades to new builds via Windows update. It changed again at 10130 I think. Then again with 10158, or 10159 or 10162. I didn't check it again until 10162 so I'm not sure what build changed it.. Then again with 10240.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 Jul 2015 #12

    I used Showkey and it did show the new product key but was "unable" to detect the OEM key. That is very strange because about 10 days ago I used my original installation disc to re-mount my Windows 8.1 OS into my system, and build 10240 is the first preview build over that OEM install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 Jul 2015 #13

    Some of the early build ISO files had a PID.txt file in them that had a Pro key. The same key Microsoft listed for that build. If you clean installed from the ISO, the key in the PID.txt file was automatically used. A keyfinder would show the key matching what Microsoft said it should be. Latter on Microsoft removed the PID.txt file. This lets you install Home or Pro depending on what key you enter on a clean install. Upgrades work different, even if there is a PID.txt file so keys will be different. What version gets installed from the Insiders page depends on what version of Windows you upgrade from. An upgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate got me Windows 10 Pro. An upgrade from Windows 8.1 (Core) got me 10 Home. I haven't done an upgrade from an ISO so I don't know how that works, you might get Pro regardless of what version your upgrading from. That's the way upgrade media worked in the past. it was an upgrade to a fixed version.

    My Windows 8.1 MSDN ISO's will install Core or Pro depending on what product key is detected or entered. They will accept 8.0 keys and 8.1 keys even OEM embedded keys. My laptop came with windows 8.0 Core. I get 8.1 Core when I install with my MSDN 8.1 ISO. I don't get prompted to enter a key and it activates online automatically. If I want to skip Core and install Pro I add a PID.txt file with my Pro MSDN key in it. It saves me from having to upgrade to pro via add features. A big time saver. showkey will show my Windows 8.0 Core "OEM key", my Windows 8.1 Pro "Original key", and my Media Center "Installed key". Which key is Microsoft going to use for my free upgrade? Logic would say it will be the 8.1 Pro key so I get 10 Pro. 8.1 Pro is what is installed and running. Media center doesn't factor into it as its lost in the upgrade.
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  4.    17 Jul 2015 #14

    Ztruker said: View Post
    I upgraded my VM from 10166 to 10240, key is as expected: Windows 10 Build 10240 for PC is now available

    Windows 10 Pro build 10240 - VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

    Same key on my Toshiba laptop that was upgraded from 10166 to 10240.
    showkey shows that same key for 10240 for me. It was originally an upgrade from Windows 7 and then many many build updates via Windows update after that. The last one was from 10166 to 10240.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    17 Jul 2015 #15

    Rocky said: View Post
    I used Showkey and it did show the new product key but was "unable" to detect the OEM key. That is very strange because about 10 days ago I used my original installation disc to re-mount my Windows 8.1 OS into my system, and build 10240 is the first preview build over that OEM install.
    Does that PC have a Windows 8/8.1 embedded OEM key?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    17 Jul 2015 #16

    Have checked 2 systems running w10 upgraded from 7 originally through various updates to 10240.
    They have 2 different product licenses but the same key. the same as others are reporting.
    VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66TI guess this is now the key used by insiders and hence when you do a clean install it requests the original
    7/8.1 key to check that you are eligble for a free copy

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    17 Jul 2015 #17

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    Does that PC have a Windows 8/8.1 embedded OEM key?


    Using Showkey it did not detect any OEM product code, but when I built the computer in Feb. 2015 I originally bought a Windows 8 OEM disc. Since then I have;

    1. Installed Windows 8.1 over the original Windows 8
    2. Installed build 10130 over Windows 8.1
    3. Clean installed Windows 10166
    4. Clean installed Windows 8.1 using my original product key that came with the OEM Windows 8 disc
    5. Installed 10240 over my clean install of Windows 8.1

    Considering all this, I would think that Showkey should show my Windows 8.1 product key, but the screen said "OEM key not present in firmware" which is weird because I just clean installed my Windows 8.1 about 10 days ago, and I was prompted for and entered my product key. Now the product key that shows up in Showkey is a pretty odd one that begins with 'YTMG3'. Of course when I go to the activation screen it indicates that my copy of Windows is activated, but I am still curious as to what is going on.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    17 Jul 2015 #18

    Rocky said: View Post
    Using Showkey it did not detect any OEM product code, but when I built the computer in Feb. 2015 I originally bought a Windows 8 OEM disc. Since then I have;

    1. Installed Windows 8.1 over the original Windows 8
    2. Installed build 10130 over Windows 8.1
    3. Clean installed Windows 10166
    4. Clean installed Windows 8.1 using my original product key that came with the OEM Windows 8 disc
    5. Installed 10240 over my clean install of Windows 8.1

    Considering all this, I would think that Showkey should show my Windows 8.1 product key, but the screen said "OEM key not present in firmware" which is weird because I just clean installed my Windows 8.1 about 10 days ago, and I was prompted for and entered my product key. Now the product key that shows up in Showkey is a pretty odd one that begins with 'YTMG3'. Of course when I go to the activation screen it indicates that my copy of Windows is activated, but I am still curious as to what is going on.
    It's showing "OEM key not present in firmware" because your OEM key isn't in the firmware/BIOS. You bought a stand alone OEM version that uses an OEM key but that key is not embedded in your motherboards BIOS. Only OEM PC's with Windows installed at the factory have an embedded key. You have to type your key in on install and then its stored in the BIOS registry. If you clean install and wipe the previous Windows install all record of that key is erased with it.
    Last edited by alphanumeric; 17 Jul 2015 at 10:15. Reason: made a big error and corrected it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    17 Jul 2015 #19

    Well that solves one question, but I am still curious as to the nature of the Windows 10 product key. I wonder why it is so odd.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    17 Jul 2015 #20

    Rocky said: View Post
    Well that solves one question, but I am still curious as to the nature of the Windows 10 product key. I wonder why it is so odd.
    Each new version of Windows uses a new algorithm to generate and check product keys. XP keys will not work in Vista, Vista keys will not work in Windows 7, Windows 7 keys will not work in Windows 8, etc. Every Microsoft OS has its own algorithm and its own set of keys that only work in that OS. Beta/Preview versions usually also have their own set of keys that will not work in the final version. Obviously to stop somebody from stealing a free ride.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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