Windows 10: If I upgrade now, can I reformat and update later for free?

  1.    05 Oct 2015 #1

    If I upgrade now, can I reformat and update later for free?


    If I upgrade my desktop computer now from 8.1 to 10, and in a year or so have to reformat my HDD, what will I have to do to reinstall 10? Will I have to install 8.1 and then pay to upgrade to 10? Will I be able to reformat and then reinstall 10 for free?
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  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 18,906
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15063
       05 Oct 2015 #2

    Hello Kenelder, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    Yes, you will be able to clean install Windows 10 on the PC afterwards, and have it automatically activated. When you clean install, you would "Skip" entering the product key during Windows Setup.

    When you upgrade to Windows 10 on your activated Windows 8.1 PC, the activation of Windows 10 on that PC is registered on Microsoft's activation servers as a digital entitlement. This digital entitlement is what activates Windows 10 on your PC.

    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1...n-install.html
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  3. acmanten's Avatar
    Posts : 1,997
    MS Windows 10 Pro - Perm Activation of 10585
       05 Oct 2015 #3

    kenelder said: View Post
    If I upgrade my desktop computer now from 8.1 to 10, and in a year or so have to reformat my HDD, what will I have to do to reinstall 10? Will I have to install 8.1 and then pay to upgrade to 10? Will I be able to reformat and then reinstall 10 for free?
    I just upgraded to win 10 two months ago, and it activated, then yesterday I did a clean install, and then made a Macrium Image of that clean install.

    I feel sure that I am able now to reformat and use my system for whatever I wish for many months, then later decide to use Win 10 again, and use my bootable dvd, to reload the image I made yesterday, and be online and OK on Win 10 again...

    I believe this is correct, and would really appreciate any comments about above...

    thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    05 Oct 2015 #4

    acmanten said: View Post
    I just upgraded to win 10 two months ago, and it activated, then yesterday I did a clean install, and then made a Macrium Image of that clean install.

    I feel sure that I am able now to reformat and use my system for whatever I wish for many months, then later decide to use Win 10 again, and use my bootable dvd, to reload the image I made yesterday, and be online and OK on Win 10 again...

    I believe this is correct, and would really appreciate any comments about above...

    thanks
    Just make sure the clean install of Windows 10 was activated when you made the image. Should be OK to restore in the future on the same computer and be OK and retain activation.
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  5. acmanten's Avatar
    Posts : 1,997
    MS Windows 10 Pro - Perm Activation of 10585
       05 Oct 2015 #5

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    Just make sure the clean install of Windows 10 was activated when you made the image. Should be OK to restore in the future on the same computer and be OK and retain activation.
    I did re-check the activation... of system and it is fine. I captured that activation info as a screen-capture with my Snagit www.techsmith.com/Snagit program.
    .
    all is good and thanks...
    Last edited by acmanten; 06 Oct 2015 at 07:35.
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  6.    06 Oct 2015 #6

    The only issue I can see with images & 10 is that for example I've upgraded to 10 & made an image I call 'Final Install' I usually keep & hide that image even though I image regularly rather than a clean install I can use that image, though I've never had to it's there & is as good as installing from scratch, yet takes minutes & a couple of hours updating programs etc. & would save hours if for example a problem had gone unnoticed with Windows for many months, this has worked with every system before 10 - Obviously I would have newer Images too as I image regularly.

    Though if I'm correct if a PC isn't connected to Windows Update on 10 for a year that PC becomes null & void as MS sees it - What I'm not sure about is if I were to restore an image for example that was 13 months old would that PC (install) be void or not? I'm thinking it will?

    I've recently upgraded this PC with a new mainboard etc. so should now be good for a while, I'm wondering if the original install image would need connecting to WU allowing to update then re-imaging slightly under yearly as 'Final Install' though to a degree that negates the whole point of a final install image (possibly by a bad Windows Update for example) - My last install on 7 lasted 3 years or so with any problems being sorted by restoring an image of various times past with imaging saving hours of work on reinstalls on this & other PC's I maintain.
    Last edited by Reflections; 06 Oct 2015 at 07:25.
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