Upgrade from windows 7 - Activation piece  

  1. Posts : 63
    Wiindows 7 going to 10

    Upgrade from windows 7 - Activation piece

    Hello folks,

    I plan to upgrade to windows 10 from Windows 7 Home premium. My Windows 7 installation got corrupted and gave constant BSOD that I could not really work. I tried system restore but as per Murphy's law, nothing is going smooth. I have been trying for 2 days and all sorts of errors during system restore. As a final attempt, I cloned my old hard drive and thought of upgrading on that (Same windows 7 installation, old drive was before I upgraded).

    Now I notice that even this installation has some issues, primarily it has issues with windows update. I am trying various things to fix it but it isn't getting fixed. Meanwhile, I am using WSUS offline updates to apply missing updates.

    My question is, if I decide to upgrade on this installation, do you expect me to get any errors? If my understanding is correct, windows 7 installation is needed for licensing issues. I tried clean install and it doesn't activate. MS support was far from useful. Hence all trouble.

    How do you folks recommend to proceed?

    Many thanks in advance.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 42,451
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Hi, as you have a valid Win 7 license, and MS relented and decided to allow people to enter qualifying license codes, you should be able to do a clean install of Win 10 and use your Win 7 key to activate it.

    I understand you said you have tried this - what went wrong?

    It's also of course true you can upgrade from a Win 7 installation. Naturally that will retain most of what you have installed, albeit carrying a risk of conflicting programs.

    So, if you can't clean install Win 10 now, but would be happy with a clean install, then if you have Win 7 installation media, you could start from that.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 63
    Wiindows 7 going to 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you dalchina,

    The problem is, I was using the serial key on the MS sticker on the laptop, which doesn't seem to be the right key. When I run ProduKey to back up all the keys, I found that both the keys are different. I have absolutely no idea hows that possible. I gave MS guy the key from the sticker and he says, the key is invalid. I used the same key after clean install and it wouldn't accept that key. I have not tried the backed up serial key using ProduKey but it has been so much hassle restoring Windows 7 (thanks Acer), that I don't want to dare giving it a shot. I wasted all weekend in windows 7 system restore. Hence the question.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 42,451
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    If you have a reasonably working Win 7 installation, (and for reference know the key) then I'd suggest
    1. Create a backup disk image (Aomei Backupper - easier than Macrium Reflect (both free versions) and includes incremental backup- or Macrium Reflect free preferred by many here) - create its boot CD and you need a large enough external disk (e.g.)

    (Note: disk imaging is something everyone with fragile Windows should use routinely)
    2. Uninstall any AV and security software
    3. Update to Win 10. (Avoids potential problems; e.g. some AV's break during the upgrade).
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 18,401
    Windows 11 Pro


    If you currently have an operating Windows 7 (even if it isn't operating properly) and it is activated, then use this method to get a clean install of Windows 10 activated:

    Clean Install Windows 10 Directly without having to Upgrade First - Windows 10 Forums

    Also, make sure you are installing the exact Windows 10 version that matches your Windows 7.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 42,451
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    For reference, here's an article about using OEM licenses, as you have one:
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 14,979
    Windows 10 IoT

    If in the past you had used build 10240, it will not accept Windows 7 or 8 keys on a clean install. The new MCT download build 10586 will though. The key actually in use on a factory OEM Windows 7 install will not match what is on the COA sticker, that's normal. So if you run a keyfinder on the factory install the keys won't match what's on the sticker. If your going to clean install with the new build use the key on the sticker, the other key will be refused. If you really want to know why I will explain it in another post but for now I won't. Just trust me and use the key on the COA sticker. It's a 7 Home premium key so install 10 Home. The ISO just says Windows 10, it's multi edition now, Home and Pro and can install either one. You'll get a menu asking you to select Home or Pro. Select Home and then enter your key when prompted. If it refuses your key or says can't be used to install, just click skip and the install will continue. It should take it but if it doesn't don't panic. If it won't accept your key do this. Open the system page and down in the Activation section there will be a change product key option. Click that and have another try. If it still won't accept it you likely wrote it down wrong or entered it incorrectly.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 63
    Wiindows 7 going to 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you everyone for comments.

    I first installed on Windows 7, and got it activated. After 3 hours, I made a clean install. There is so much difference between an upgrade and a clean install. Love the clean install, much better than I expected. I don't know why MS would suggest an upgrade.

    Regarding different keys on COA sticker and installed one, I REALLY want to know the difference and why so. If the keys are different, then why bother putting the sticker to begin with? @dalchina, I tried reading the article but I still didn't understand. I came across statement that pretty much a lie IMO and in my experience. 'Dell Windows 7 Home Premium Reinstallation DVD will install and activate on a system which came with Windows 7 Professional. The user will be incorrectly licensed but it'll work.' I have tried this with Windows XP as well as WIndows 7. Both times it failed. We will leave these arguments for later :)

    Thanks everyone again.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 14,979
    Windows 10 IoT

    Windows 7 factory OEM installs use OEM-SLP activation. They don't activate online. They activate against special code added to the BIOS by the OEM called a SLIC table. The product code used is a common code issued to that manufacturer. As an example, Every Dell that shipped from the factory with Windows 7 Home Premium uses the same Dell key. That key will only work with the factory OEM-SLP activation, it's blocked from online activation on purpose. If you try to use it on another PC, even a Dell it will fail activation. You have to have custom OEM install media to setup OEM-SLP activation, stock install media doesn't have the extra files needed. That's why there is a COA sticker with a different key. That key is for use with stock install media. Its a unique key that has not be duplicated on another PC. The BIOS SLIC table is not version specific, it's just OS specific. As near as I can tell anyway. Microsoft doesn't give out much info on how it works, for good reason. From what I'm reading, Microsoft has blocked all of those OEM-SLP keys from being accepted on a clean install of 10586. If you type on in it will be refused. They are easily obtainable on the internet with a Google search so I can see why they did that. However, if Windows 7 is installed and properly activated with one of those keys, you can do an upgrade and get your digital entitlement. Genuine installs, even OEM-SLP installs are accepted for the free upgrade without having to hunt up the key on the sticker. It's only needed for a clean install if Windows 10 has never been activated on that PC. If Windows 10 was already activated with a digital entitlement, you just click skip when asked for a key and it will activate with the digital entitlement again. Your only going to need that key the first time you install and activate, after that you can skip entering a key on clean installs.
      My Computer


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