How to re-install W10 without losing activation key

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  1. Posts : 51
    windows 10
       #1

    How to re-install W10 without losing activation key


    After a spectacular crash on my Acer Aspire laptop, I spent several hours on MS Chat who were as helpful as possible. However, the conclusion was that a re-installation was necessary. I downloaded the .iso advised by MS and formatted a USB device ready to boot.

    However, I don't have any previous installation media and no record of a key because it was a free upgrade from Windows 7. How do I go about re-installing without losing the registered activation please?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,550
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #2

    You can install Windows 10 to your computer without the product key as it was free upgrade from Windows 7 you can also use Windows 7 product key to activate Windows 10.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 6,971
    windows 10
       #3

    It's registered on ms servers so no need for key skip it when it asks and it will activate via their servers
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  4. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP
       #4

    The activation is stored on Microsoft's servers and is tied to your Hardware specification, if you simply install and select the "I do not have a Key" or similar option when prompted the system will auto activate as soon as it has a connection to Microsoft's servers. If you are using wireless connection to the network this can take longer than if it's an ethernet connection but will happen in a short time
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 51
    windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Really? The old Windows 7 product key will still activate a new installation of Windows 10?
    I should add that the PC has been running Windows 10 since it first became available as a free upgrade - summer 2015!
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 51
    windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Thanks Barman58: I wasn't aware of that.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 25,053
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    Barman58 said:
    The activation is stored on Microsoft's servers and is tied to your Hardware specification, if you simply install and select the "I do not have a Key" or similar option when prompted the system will auto activate as soon as it has a connection to Microsoft's servers...
    oldcelt said:
    Thanks Barman58: I wasn't aware of that.
    A couple more points to be aware of. Your HDD is not part of the unique hardware ID, so you are free to replace it (say, with an SSD), clean install and still get activated automatically.

    The digital licence your upgrade earned is valid only for one edition (Home or Pro). When reinstalling, make sure you install the same edition as you had before.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP
       #8

    Also, if you have a Microsoft ID, (Hotmail, Live, or Outlook.com email address), and you choose to login with this ID rather than a local ID you gain some extra protection in that it's possible to re-install to a system where one of the tied items (eg. the Motherboard), has been replaced
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 4,550
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #9
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 13,683
    Windows10
       #10

    Bree said:
    A couple more points to be aware of. Your HDD is not part of the unique hardware ID, so you are free to replace it (say, with an SSD), clean install and still get activated automatically.

    The digital licence your upgrade earned is valid only for one edition (Home or Pro). When reinstalling, make sure you install the same edition as you had before.
    Further more for each Version (Home, PRO etc), there can be multiple Editions (actually Edition refers to variant of Version but we (including myself) do to rather tend use the terms interchangeably) i.e. normal, N EU Edition, and for Home SL Single Language Edition (I just typed Version and had to edit post :-D).

    So you have to have the right Version (Home, Pro etc), and right Edition (normal, N or SL) for it to activate. For most users the Edition is normal (no letter prefix).
      My Computer


 

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