Windows 10: Clean Install Windows 10 - CD Key


  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro 64
       17 Dec 2017 #1

    Clean Install Windows 10 - CD Key


    Hi all - I upgraded my pc last year when the upgrade was free but I need to do a clean install as my kids have totally pooched my system with malware & viruses... those have been cleaned off/out but it's still running real slow. My concern is I don't have a CD key as it was free. I've already downloaded the tool to do a clean install and burned the image onto a dvd... will the installation ask me for a CD Key after it finishes loading the initial files? And if it does ask for a key, how do I respond? Do I just enter my Windows 7 Pro CD key number?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 Dec 2017 #2

    You can (and probably should) try your Windows 7 key first and foremost. If that doesn't work, you should be able to get through installation (but not activation) by using whichever of these so-called "generic keys" matches the version you're installing:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro 64
    Thread Starter
       17 Dec 2017 #3

    I'm currently using Windows 10 Pro 64bit - so I should use the Generic Windows 10 Pro key if my Windows 7 Pro key doesn't work?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    17 Dec 2017 #4

    As you have previously installed & activated Windows 10 you should have a "digital licence" stored on the Microsoft system & as long as this is so then you can install without a key. The install will ask you for one - but don't enter one - use the "I don't have a key" button & the install will go ahead & should activate itself without any problem (as long s you have an internet connection)).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    17 Dec 2017 #5

    Note that you must install the same variant (Pro / Home) of Windows 10 that you had installed previously otherwise the "digital licence" will not be valid & Windows will not activate. You can however change between 32 & 64 bit versions.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro 64
    Thread Starter
       17 Dec 2017 #6

    Ahhhhh - that's great news. Thanx. Yes - I have a Microsoft Account and have registered both pc's with the free Windows 10 upgrade last year!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,850
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       17 Dec 2017 #7

    MikeC578 said: View Post
    Ahhhhh - that's great news. Thanx. Yes - I have a Microsoft Account and have registered both pc's with the free Windows 10 upgrade last year!
    Having linked a licence to your Microsoft account can help if you ever need to run the Activation troubleshooter, but it isn't needed to allow automatic activation without a key.

    Any PC that took the free upgrade to Win7 gets a digital licence. It's stored on the activation servers along with a unique hardware ID to identify the PC. Just installing the same edition (Home or Pro) on the same PC will activate automatically, purely on the basis of its hardware ID (which doesn't include the disk, so you're free to upgrade that and still get activation).
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro 64
    Thread Starter
       17 Dec 2017 #8

    The only hardware change was my video card about 2 months ago so that's good to know./ Thanx Bree
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    31 Dec 2017 #9

    MikeC578 said: View Post
    Hi all - I upgraded my pc last year when the upgrade was free but I need to do a clean install as my kids have totally pooched my system with malware & viruses... those have been cleaned off/out but it's still running real slow. My concern is I don't have a CD key as it was free. I've already downloaded the tool to do a clean install and burned the image onto a dvd... will the installation ask me for a CD Key after it finishes loading the initial files? And if it does ask for a key, how do I respond? Do I just enter my Windows 7 Pro CD key number?
    During the free upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro your system became a Windows 10 Pro Device. Your systems hardware profile (motherboard details) were submitted to and stored on the Microsoft Product Activation Server.

    This means that you can clean install Windows 10 Pro by skipping input of the Product Key. (Alternatively you can input your Windows 7 Pro OEM Key here):

    Then selecting Windows 10 Pro:

    Post-installation your motherboard details will be resubmitted to the Microsoft Product Activation Server which will recognise your system and give it the green light for Product Reactivation.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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