"Upgrading" unlicensed (!) Windows Home to Windows Pro

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  1. hershey4's Avatar
    Posts : 46
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #1

    "Upgrading" unlicensed (!) Windows Home to Windows Pro


    I am looking at a co-worker's hand-me-down company laptop to see if I could add encryption which is now required for our business. (The boss got the new laptop, the admin gets his old one!).

    First thing I see is that display has a permanent watermark "Need Windows Activation". Oh my! A little digging and I see that's not as bad as first thought. Some limitations, but it functions and updates just fine. Next thing I see is that it's Windows Home. Obviously, I need Windows Pro to setup Bitlocker. (let's ignore for the moment that it is potentially do-able in Windows Home. Not a good path under the circumstances!)

    So if the company purchases Windows Pro, I was looking at the ability to "upgrade" the O/S from Home to Pro. But the upgrade path inside Windows (as shown in the upgrade tutorial) is not available on this laptop due to "needs activation" getting in the way.

    So what is the path to purchase and install Windows Pro on this laptop? I suppose we have to lose everything on it? That may not be an issue. It's virtually "new" to her. I spent some time getting it prepped for her, but no biggie.

    If it were up to me, its a no-brainer to just get a brand new laptop, but they seem to be re$i$tant!

    p.s. this might turn out to be moot point. I am investigating if the laptop has TPM or not. It definitely is not enabled, but it might not even exist in BIOS. Dell claims it started shipping TPM 1.2 in 2015. This laptop was shipped 2014. According to dell drivers/downloads page with service tag, there is not an upgrade driver for TPM 2.0. That probably means no TPM available but I want to look in BIOS and see for myself.

    p.p.s. WIndows Version is V2004 (Build 19041.1110)
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  2. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 4,054
    Win 11 X64 Pro 21H2 22000.100
       #2

    I'm not vey knowledgeable about this, but I believe that you ought to be able to simultaneously activate the laptop and go to Pro by entering a Win10 Pro key.

    You must be working for a very small company if your company has no IT department that uses corporate licensing.

    I don't use Bitlocker, but I have read that it doesn't not require a TPM. You'd need to keep a record of the encryption key. I believe that you can also store it on OneDrive.
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  3. NMI's Avatar
    NMI
    Posts : 823
    Windows 10 Pro, Version 20H2
       #3

    Why does this company laptop have Windows Home?

    Why is that not activated after seven years?

    Missing some history here it seems.
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  4. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,056
    trying to install win10
       #4

    This laptop was shipped 2014
    If you tell us the exact make and model we can look up what os it came with. Something like that almost certainly has either slic or msdm table ( or both) which entitles the machine to run win7/8, which can then be upgraded free to win10.
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  5. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 11,600
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #5

    I purchased 2 Refurbished Dell Latitude Notebooks in 2019, 12" and 13", price was nice but since COVID have doubled but still not as costly as new. Both came with Win10 Pro installed and full 1-year warranty. One was $149USD and the other $159USD, still less than the retail cost of Win10 Pro by itself at the time.
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  6. hershey4's Avatar
    Posts : 46
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #6

    SIW2 said:
    If you tell us the exact make and model we can look up what os it came with. Something like that almost certainly has either slic or msdm table ( or both) which entitles the machine to run win7/8, which can then be upgraded free to win10.
    It's running Win 10, just Home not Pro.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Berton said:
    I purchased 2 Refurbished Dell Latitude Notebooks in 2019, 12" and 13", price was nice but since COVID have doubled but still not as costly as new. Both came with Win10 Pro installed and full 1-year warranty. One was $149USD and the other $159USD, still less than the retail cost of Win10 Pro by itself at the time.
    Good point. I'll pass that along! They are big into refurbished. This one may have been purchased refurbed also. I don't know the history.

    - - - Updated - - -

    NMI said:
    Why does this company laptop have Windows Home?

    Why is that not activated after seven years?

    Missing some history here it seems.
    no idea.
    no idea.
    no idea.
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  7. ThrashZone's Avatar
    Posts : 7,541
    3-Win-7Prox64 3-Win10Prox64 3-LinuxMint20.2
       #7

    Hi,
    If the 10 pro is legit it shouldn't matter if the 10 home is not legit.
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  8. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,056
    trying to install win10
       #8

    We need to know the exact make and model.

    Then we can look up what os it originally came with preinstalled.
      My Computer

  9. hershey4's Avatar
    Posts : 46
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #9

    NMI said:
    Why does this company laptop have Windows Home?

    Why is that not activated after seven years?

    Missing some history here it seems.
    no idea.
    no idea.
    no idea.

    - - - Updated - - -

    SIW2 said:
    We need to know the exact make and model.

    Then we can look up what os originally came with preinstalled.
    I looked up the exact service tag on Dell. Latitude E5440. Windows 10 Home. It did not come with TPM.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ThrashZone said:
    Hi,
    If the 10 pro is legit it shouldn't matter if the 10 home is not legit.
    I agree. Just a question of the mechanics to do it. Looking at the Tutorial for how to go from A to B, the path is not available.
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  10. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,056
    trying to install win10
       #10

    Dell Latitude E5440 14-inch Notebook Intel Core i5-4300U ? Or perhaps a different 4th gen cpu

    If it is the above, I would be very surprised if it didnt have slic2.1 table in bios.

    They came with win7 pro.
    Dell Latitude E5440 14-inch Notebook (Intel Core i5-4300U 1.90GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVDRW, WLAN, Bluetooth, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 7 Professional) - Dell

    You can check for a slic table with rweverything Download RWEverything

    Click acpi tables, then look under the SLIC tab ( or for machines with msdm - look under the msdm tab).



    "Upgrading" unlicensed (!) Windows Home to Windows Pro-rweverything.jpg
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