Windows 10: How to re-install W10 without losing activation key Solved

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  1.    30 Jan 2018 #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 ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    30 Jan 2018 #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 ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    30 Jan 2018 #3

    It's registered on ms servers so no need for key skip it when it asks and it will activate via their servers
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 2,765
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       30 Jan 2018 #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 ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    30 Jan 2018 #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 ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    30 Jan 2018 #6

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

  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,597
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       30 Jan 2018 #7

    Barman58 said: View Post
    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: View Post
    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 ComputersSystem Spec

  8. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 2,765
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       30 Jan 2018 #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 ComputerSystem Spec

  9.   My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    30 Jan 2018 #10

    Bree said: View Post
    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 ComputerSystem Spec


 
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