Windows 10: Which key do I enter after upgrade? Solved

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  1. Posts : 179
    Win 10 Pro 64bit Fall CU
       01 Mar 2018 #1

    Which key do I enter after upgrade?


    I'm going to upgrade my PC to a new Ryzen 7 1800X CPU with a new mobo and memory and I know I'm going to have trouble activating Windows.

    I upgraded my Win 7 Pro to the free Win 10 Pro when it was offered. Last year after I upgraded my PC to a FX8370BE, new memory and mobo, I didn't have to enter any sort of key as the activation happened automatically (much happiness here).

    However, my luck is bound to run out and I'm wondering if it's going to happen during this new installation. I built my PC originally so there's no OEM key. However, after the latest installation and upgrade to Win 10 Pro I have one original key (Win 7 Pro Retail) and one Installed key.

    If I get to where Windows doesn't automatically activate itself after the new upgrade, which key should I enter and how many chances do I get before being locked out altogether?
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,550
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       01 Mar 2018 #2

    There should be no need for a key. If you took the free upgrade from 7 to 10 you'll only have the generic key anyway. The real activation does not depend on a key, it is the digital licence, tied to a unique hardware ID for the PC and stored on Microsoft's activation servers.

    If you link your digital licence to your Microsoft account then you can use the Activation Troubleshooter to help reactivate after a significant hardware change, like a motherboard.

    Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License

    Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10
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  3. Posts : 179
    Win 10 Pro 64bit Fall CU
    Thread Starter
       01 Mar 2018 #3

    Thanks, Bree.

    Wonder how this will go though. Had a heck of a time activating my wife's PC after an upgrade last year. M/S wouldn't recognize anything I did and I had many back-and-forth tickets with tenforums until you managed to get it working. Not looking forward to that happening again (tenforums is great to work with though) but thought I'd preempt things now.

    Thanks.
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  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,265
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       01 Mar 2018 #4

    I've not had any problem with the Win10 Upgrade over Win7 w/SP1 and Win8.1 as long as they were already activated, just skipped over the prompt to enter a Product Key.
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  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,550
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       01 Mar 2018 #5

    Berton said: View Post
    I've not had any problem with the Win10 Upgrade over Win7 w/SP1 and Win8.1 as long as they were already activated, just skipped over the prompt to enter a Product Key.
    But have you tried it after upgrading the motherboard, as the OP intends to do?
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  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,265
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       01 Mar 2018 #6

    Oops, missed that. No, just had to call on the one I did.
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  7. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 2,089
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
       01 Mar 2018 #7

    Did you use that W7 retail key on the original install.

    I would think that if you retire the old system, you can use that retail key, If you have to.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 179
    Win 10 Pro 64bit Fall CU
    Thread Starter
       01 Mar 2018 #8

    Used the Win 7 key when I installed it. Did not have to do anything when I installed the free Win 10 upgrade. Activated automatically. But this is changing the mobo and CPU so the activation should be interesting. Hope it goes OK.
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  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,550
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       01 Mar 2018 #9

    rzn6jw said: View Post
    But this is changing the mobo and CPU so the activation should be interesting. Hope it goes OK.
    As I said, linking the licence to your MS account before changing anything is a necessary step to be able to use the Activation Troubleshooter, a feature that's designed to aid activation after drastic hardware changes.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 179
    Win 10 Pro 64bit Fall CU
    Thread Starter
       02 Mar 2018 #10

    Checked the MS account and it looks like the PC's there.

    One quick question - I looked at the description of my PC there and it shows the disk drives, OS, etc. However, it only shows one of my GPUs (the oldest one at that) and not the primary (GTX 1080). Is this just a bug in the description or is MS looking at some incomplete parameter on the PC? Anyone know how I can add the primary GPU?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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