Reinstall Win 10 upgrade after HD reformat

  1. Posts : 4

    Reinstall Win 10 upgrade after HD reformat

    The original OS on my PC was Win 7 Pro. I upgraded to Win 10-Pro a while ago with the free upgrade path. I was having trouble with the PC running very slowly and was told by the manufacturer that it was probably because the HD was dying. I don't think it is, but to give the PC its best chance I decided start out afresh, so reinstalled Win7 from the original CD supplied, spent 2 days with Windows update to get Win 7 'up to date' and updated all the drivers I could. and then tried to upgrade again. Unfortunately it now asks for the product key. I used the original Win 7 product key (worked last time) but this now no longer works. I tried using the Win 10 product key that I got off a Belarc Advisor report I ran before reformatting the HD. That doesn't work either. I know this is well past the deadline for upgrade, though I upgraded a couple of other PCs about 3 months ago without difficulty. Any suggestions on what I can do?

    Also I have errors showing in Device Manager saying driver not installed for SM Bus Controller and USB Controller. The PC has both USB 2 and USB 3 ports. The USB 2 work but the USB 3 have stopped working.

    PC is quite old (2012) but still working reasonably. The Win 7 reinstall has dealt with the speed issue I had previously.


    current Win ver: Win 7 Pro ver 6.1 (Build 7601: Service Pack 1)
      My Computers

  2. Posts : 35,622
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, you can clean install Win 10 directly. Windows 7 is not needed.

    This would be your best course as you've already reinstalled Win 7 recently, so keeping programs and data isn't now an issue.

    If you completed the Win 10 install previously, you already have digital activation rights registered on MS's servers - no key needed. See:

    Clean Install Windows 10

    This will install build 2004; actually you can install any build of Win 10. Build 2004 has recently come out, and some have problems with it.
    Known and Resolved issues for Windows 10 May 2020 Update version 2004

    Some prefer build 1909 for example. If 2004 works for you.. that will be fine. Free to try- just costs time.

    *** note that as per the tutorial, a clean install requires you to delete all partitions comprising your existing O/S- you could keep any data partition.

    The safest approach is to only have the system disk in place- others disconnected.

    If you didn't get to having Win 10 activated previously, see
    Clean Install Windows 10 Directly without having to Upgrade First
    Last edited by dalchina; 06 Jul 2020 at 09:22.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 25,110
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    pachmarhi said:
    The original OS on my PC was Win 7 Pro. I upgraded to Win 10-Pro a while ago with the free upgrade path....

    ... I decided start out afresh, so reinstalled Win7 from the original CD supplied.... and then tried to upgrade again.
    Welcome to Ten Forums pachmarhi

    It is completely unnecessary to reinstall Windows 7. When you took the free upgrade to W10 Pro your PC was given a digital licence for W10 Pro linked to the hardware ID of the PC. This digital licence is stored on the Microsoft activation servers.

    You can clean install Windows 10 Pro, when asked for a key click 'I don't have one'. It will activate automatically from the existing digital licence as soon as it can contact the activation servers.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 4
    Thread Starter

    Thanks everyone for your help I didn't have a big enough USB key so had to wait until one arrived. But then, following the instructions provided by dalchina and Bree, everything went very smoothly.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 35,622
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Glad it worked out... now, before it's too late, start using disk imaging routinely and regularly - e.g. Macrium Reflect (free/paid) + large enough external disk for image files. You can image all Windows partitions and data partitions too - as 2 or more separate backup jobs if you wish.
      My Computers


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