Retail version - transfer from a damaged pc

  1. Posts : 683
    Windows 10 x64

    Retail version - transfer from a damaged pc

    Up front: this is just a hypothetical question. It came up in a discussion about Windows licenses.

    A Windows full retail version can be transferred to another PC, which is not the case with an OEM version.
    Imagine the 'old' PC is damaged, fire, water, whatever, but I am still having the full retail version media and key.

    Reason for asking here is that I believe(!) that the key on the old PC should first be deactivated, before Windows can be reinstalled(?)
    If that is indeed the case, how to proceed in case of a damaged PC?
    Or are the hardware details of the old PC (on the activation server) simply be overwritten once Windows is activated on a new PC?

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 80
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Just install your Windows OS retail version to another pc. It wouldn't affect the Windows activation.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 683
    Windows 10 x64
    Thread Starter

    Thanks a lot!
    I assumed there would some issues due to different hardware.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP

    This would be more likely to go smoothly if the Digital Licence was linked to a Microsoft Account. It is a requirement of the EULA that you can only use a licence to activate the number of systems it is valid for, there used to be a system to contact Microsoft to deactivate a used Key for Technet Multi-use keys, but am not aware of the current system, if any.

    I would expect that when you use the key to activate the "new" device you would be routed to a Microsoft Technician to explain the situation that the old system had failed and the key was being used to activate a new system under the terms of the Eula, and the Technician would then perform the transfer
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 152
    Windows 10 Pro/Education x64

    Hi, try the suggestion from this link. It should enable you to "deactivate" the license from one pc and transfer to another for activation.

    Edit: Updated link to another more comprehensive tutorial.
    Last edited by titetanium; 17 Jan 2018 at 09:12.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 683
    Windows 10 x64
    Thread Starter

    Yes... I remember something like that now. An activation failed (maybe too many tries to install, I don't know) and I had to contact a specific phonenumber and enter a lllong number, I believe some 9 groups of 6 digits. I found something similar on Groovypost "Activate Your Windows 10 License via Microsoft Chat Support"

    I guess this will only work for retail versions.

    Anyway, it was just a question out of curiosity.


      My Computer

  7. Posts : 550
    10 pro 64

    In some cases it also works with oem too
      My Computer


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