Fresh install needed but no OEM disc

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  1. Edith Massey's Avatar
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10 v. 2004, Build 19041.264 (X64)‎
       #1

    Fresh install needed but no OEM disc


    Win 10 Home Ver 1903 Build 18362.778

    No disc because this Dell didn't come with one. This has been my main desktop since Dec 2013. The OS has developed strange system problems* that I'm afraid might transfer over to an upgrade.

    Today's question is: I'd rather do a clean install on a virgin SSD, but will MS allow that if it can't see any previous version info? Due to the current economic situation, I'd rather not buy a new machine or another copy of Windows. I already paid for it when I bought the machine.

    * An example: Windows Security Center has disappeared and nothing has been able to bring it back. SFC finds nothing wrong.

    Thank you in advance.
      My Computer

  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 25,091
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, it's a common miconception born of history (e.g. Win 7) that you are stuck without some disk that came with your PC if you wish to clean install Win 10.

    All builds of Win 10 are freely downloadable. You can freely create a bootable disk to clean install it.

    You can clean install Win 10 and it should be activated automatically each time as many times as you like on the same PC (RAM and disk changes have no effect). No key needed.

    Clean Install Windows 10

    Note tha tusing the MS media creation tool now to create a bootable flash drive (e.g.) to install Win 10 will deliver build 2004 as of a couple of days ago. That's new.

    I'd rather not buy a new machine or another copy of Windows. I already paid for it when I bought the machine.
    Note that retail licenses are transferrable, OEM are not.

    * An example: Windows Security Center has disappeared and nothing has been able to bring it back. SFC finds nothing wrong.
    You might consider trying an in-place upgrade repair install which keeps all progs and data and most settings - same process as upgrading to a new build, but takes your current build back to an earlier version of the same build, and can repair many things - but not those specific to a user profile.

    Tutorial available.

    For that you need an iso file of the same build as you have now (1903) (else you would upgrade).
    Older builds can be obtained using the
    Heidoc iso downloader (Google). Free. Uses MS sites as source.
      My Computers

  3. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 2,994
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #3

    Yes, I`m sure a repair install of 1903 will fix your problem, you download the 1903 ISO file onto your PC, then open it with windows explorer and click on setup.

    As stated, choose to keep your programs and files. Let it do it`s thing and it should be golden after that.

    Then, you should update to version 1909 using the same method.

    If you have questions Edith, don`t hesitate to ask for help, don`t do anything if you`re not sure about it.

    And Welcome to TenForums
      My Computers

  4. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 13,356
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    First, I would just use the media creation tool to get the latest version onto a USB flash drive and just try an upgrade first. If that doesn't fix it, then do the clean install from the flash drive. What will really happen on the clean install is that Windows 10 setup will read the Windows 8 product key that is stored in the computer's BIOS and use that to automatically pick the edition of Windows 10 to install and activate it, you won't be asked for an edition to install nor a product key during the process.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 32,891
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #5

    There are multiple methods to keep files and install Windows.
    And there are multiple methods to remove files and install Windows.

    All of the methods are free as the Windows license should be on Microsoft servers.

    There are software available in TF to view the activation / licensing information for Windows:
    Activation troubleshooting


    Refresh Windows 10
    Reset Windows 10
    Custom Install Windows 10
    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade
    Clean Install Windows 10
      My Computer

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Posts : 2,356
    Windows 10 Home 1903
       #6
      My Computer


  7. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 13,356
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    Why mess with a repair upgrade with an older version of Windows 10? If the repair upgrade was going to work, so would the upgrade to 2004. If the repair upgrade did not work, then wouldn't you want to install the newest version of Windows anyway? I would not waste time looking for the same, older version of Windows.
      My Computer

  8. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 25,091
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #8

    The PC seems to be from around 2013. It might be a user wishes to fix their current build rather than move on to th just released one, taking the possible risk of issues arising.

    It then becomes a question of user choice.
      My Computers

  9. Edith Massey's Avatar
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10 v. 2004, Build 19041.264 (X64)‎
    Thread Starter
       #9

    I appreciate all the detailed responses. I have some decisions to make, but I'll be sure to come back and update the topic with the results.
      My Computer

  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,906
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    Edith Massey said:
    No disc because this Dell didn't come with one. This has been my main desktop since Dec 2013. The OS has developed strange system problems* that I'm afraid might transfer over to an upgrade.

    Today's question is: I'd rather do a clean install on a virgin SSD, but will MS allow that if it can't see any previous version info? Due to the current economic situation, I'd rather not buy a new machine or another copy of Windows. I already paid for it when I bought the machine.

    Welcome to Ten Forums Edith.

    If that is the Inspiron 660 in your specs Dell would sell you a disk if you wanted, but that would be for the Windows 7 that it was supplied with back in 2013. If you really want one, then the Heidoc Windows and Office download tool can give you a link to download an ISO direct from Dell.

    Fresh install needed but no OEM disc-image.png
    Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool

    That would clean install W7 with all the Dell OEM customisations and bloatware OEM utilities, which you could then upgrade to Windows 10.


    But you'd do better to clean install Windows 10 using install media downloaded from Microsoft, as others have described above.

    As you have already upgraded this PC from W7 to W10 (Pro, I assume) then your machine has a digital license stored on Microsoft's activation servers and linked to the hardware ID of this PC. The hard drive is not part of the hardware ID, so you are free to change that for a new SSD and clean install the same edition as you had before (Pro?) clicking 'I don't have one' when asked for a key. It will activate automatically from the existing digital license as soon as it can contact the activation servers.

    If you'd prefer not to to clean install the just released 2004 and would rather use the 1903 that you have now (though personally I'd recommend you go for 1909) then the Heidoc tool can generate a link to download ISOs for those direct from Microsoft.
      My Computers


 

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