Windows 10: upgrade to 10, revert to 7, then back to 10 Solved

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  1.    16 Jul 2016 #1

    upgrade to 10, revert to 7, then back to 10


    I have upgraded all of my one-generation-back Win boxes, but want to ease into 10 at leisure.

    As I understand it, the registry is modified at the first upgrade to 10 with the activation "approval", but I am concerned that this will be lost upon reversion to the earlier version.

    So if I revert to the previous version, say 7 or 8.1, can I then "re-install" 10 after July 30 without having to buy a license?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    16 Jul 2016 #2

    The activation for Windows 10 is stored on Microsoft activation servers. Upgrades to or clean installs of Windows 10 on the same computer will retrieve the saved activation over the Internet and activate, still for free, after July 29.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    16 Jul 2016 #3

    Thank you. How do the servers know that this box is the activated one? Is there a ROM or some other place on the mobo that the info is stored, or what?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    16 Jul 2016 #4

    Windows calculates a unique hardware ID for each computer, based almost exclusively on motherboard info. The activation license is paired with that unique Hardware ID combined with the Product ID which specifies which version of Windows it is good for.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    18 Jul 2016 #5

    how to confirm that 10 was activated before reverting to prior version


    Unless I dreamed it, I have read in one of these threads a "two-word" CLI command that you can use after reverting to a previous version that shows whether or not the computer in question has been activated to Win 10. Or I am confused about what I read (or dreamed). Have been searching this forum but cannot find.

    It was something like "clmx ----"

    I just want to double check all my machines to ensure that they are properly activated.

    If someone recognizes what I am referring to, I will very much appreciate your advice.

    Otherwise, how can one do this (if one can do this)? Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    18 Jul 2016 #6

    I have never heard of a command that will tell you if that computer has a digital entitlement/license for Windows 10 on Microsoft activation servers from inside Windows 7/8/8.1.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    18 Jul 2016 #7

    Maybe I did dream it! Is there another way from within 7 or 8.1, or any way for that matter?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    18 Jul 2016 #8

    Odysseus said: View Post
    Maybe I did dream it! Is there another way from within 7 or 8.1, or any way for that matter?
    Only from within Windows 10:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And run slmgr /xpr in an admin command prompt:

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    18 Jul 2016 #9

    "slmgr /xpr" That's it! I thought it would allow one to "ex post facto" tell you that the machine is "activated" for 10 even after the reversion to an earlier version. You had mentioned above that MS or Windows calculates an "unique hardware ID for each computer" and I probably just assumed that this ID was also kept on the computer somewhere and therefore an easy way to confirm the 10 activation. From yours, I assume the ID is in Redmond or in the cloud somewhere.

    Another approach? If I try to upgrade an already upgraded/then reverted computer, would I get advice that it was already activated? You did mention that one can "re-upgrade" after July 30 without buying a new license so I assume that if it starts the upgrade without any notice that either a new key is needed, or otherwise tells you that it has already been done, or ?, then one might know. I would not want to go through the entire re-upgrade and then revert to the earlier version just to find out though. (BTW, if I misunderstood about "re-upgrading" later without additional license fees, please sort me out!)

    Just don't know 10 well enough to be able to form a judgement about whether I should just go ahead and run 10 on everything. I like 7 a lot, and am warming up to 8.1, plus I assume that the security in 10 is better, maybe much better, and certainly will be supported longer. What would you counsel? TIA.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    18 Jul 2016 #10

    Odysseus said: View Post
    You had mentioned above that MS or Windows calculates an "unique hardware ID for each computer" and I probably just assumed that this ID was also kept on the computer somewhere and therefore an easy way to confirm the 10 activation. From yours, I assume the ID is in Redmond or in the cloud somewhere.
    Every time that Windows 7/8/8.1/10 starts up it calculates the Hardware ID. Then it combines the Hardware ID with the Product ID to create the Installation ID. Then it checks to see if that Installation ID is the same as was calculated the last time it started up. If it is the same, then that's the end of it, Windows just stays activated with no other action on the part of the OS. If the Hardware ID is different that means that the installation of Windows was moved to a different computer. If that happens, the Hardware ID is combined with the Product ID (which defines which version of Windows is installed) to create an Installation ID. The Installation ID sent to Microsoft activation servers to check for the ability to activate Windows automatically over the internet.

    In the case of Windows 10, when you first upgrade from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10 a digital entitlement/license for Windows 10 is stored on Microsoft activation servers along with the Installation ID. If the Installation ID sent to Microsoft activation servers matches what is already stored there, then the return code causes Windows 10 to activate itself.

    Odysseus said: View Post
    Another approach? If I try to upgrade an already upgraded/then reverted computer, would I get advice that it was already activated?]
    Until July 29th the answer would be no. You would only get notification that the Windows 10 upgrade was activated. There would be no way to tell if the activation resulted from the upgrade of the previous Windows 7/8/8.1 or was the result of retrieving a previously stored digital entitlement/license. After July 29th either the Windows 10 will activate itself from the previously stored digital entitlement/license, or it will give you a notification that you must pay for the activation.

    Odysseus said: View Post
    You did mention that one can "re-upgrade" after July 30 without buying a new license so I assume that if it starts the upgrade without any notice that either a new key is needed, or otherwise tells you that it has already been done, or ?, then one might know.
    After July 29th, I would assume (but of course cannot know the future) that the upgrade would continue just as it does now. If you upgrade Windows 7/8/8.1 to the matching version of Windows 10 it will not ask for a product key to upgrade, it will just do it. Once the upgrade is complete - then it checks for activation. If Windows 10 cannot retrieve the activation from Microsoft activation servers, and cannot use the previous Windows 7/8/8.1 license (after July 29th, that free option will be turned off), then Windows 10 will prompt you for a way to activate. You can then enter a unique Windows 10 product key, or go to the Microsoft store and purchase the upgrade.

    Odysseus said: View Post
    I would not want to go through the entire re-upgrade and then revert to the earlier version just to find out though. (BTW, if I misunderstood about "re-upgrading" later without additional license fees, please sort me out!)
    As far as I know - that's the only way to be sure.

    Odysseus said: View Post
    What would you counsel? TIA.
    My advice would be to make a backup image of your current Windows 7/8/8.1 using Macrium Reflect Free, upgrade to Windows 10 and go with it until at least after the Anniversary update on August 2. If you want to go back to Windows 7/8/8.1 after seeing what the Anniversary update is like then restore your backup image. Of course you will lose any changes you made between making the backup image and restoring it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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