Definitive Answer: Is the free upgrade really expired?

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  1. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,072
    Windows 10 IoT
       #61

    Also, there is no free upgrade to the Education version, so no way for it to have gotten a Digital Entitlement that way. Before doing the upgrade to the anniversary edition the only way I could activate was with a Product code.
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  2. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
       #62

    alphanumeric said:
    You did read my post right? I know how Digital Entitlements work. This was a Windows 10 Education install that was installed with, and activated with a Retail key. This PC did not have a Digital Entitlement for the Education version, ever. I double checked before doing the upgrade. It showed activated with a Product Code. After the upgrade that changed to Activated with a Digital License. So obviously a new digital license was issued. The product code that showkey shows with the clean install is different from the one originally used to install it before the upgrade.
    You did read my post right?

    That's how digital entitlement works. I am posting this from likewise Windows 10 Education, clean installed Insider build 14257 some time ago activating with an MSDN retail key. That activation created a digital signature and digital entitlement, long before this tying the activation to your MS account came possible.

    On Tuesday I clean installed Anniversary Update to this machine skipping the product key because I knew I will never again need it on this machine:

    Definitive Answer: Is the free upgrade really expired?-image.png

    THAT IS HOW DIGITAL ENTITLEMENT WORKS! It has nothing to do with free upgrade offer, it has nothing to do with how often, how and which build you clean or upgrade install as long as the edition remains the same.

    You install once activating with product key, thereafter all subsequent installs will be automatically activated because of digital entitlement tied to hardware signature. Regardless if it's OEM or retail key, regardless if you have tied the entitlement to your MS account, regardless if using local or MS account, you will never again need a product key on that machine.

    I don't mean this in any personal or negative way but it seems that you have misunderstood something in this matter.

    Kari
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  3. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,072
    Windows 10 IoT
       #63

    Installing with a Retail Product code does not get you a Digital Entitlement by default. Go to Settings > Update & security > Activation. prior to upgrading to the anniversary edition mine said "Activated with a Product Code" and showed the last 5 digits of the code. The MSDN key I used to install and activate it with. If it had been activated with a Digital Entitlement, it would have said "activated with a digital license" it didn't have a Digital Entitlement.
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  4. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
       #64

    How difficult can this be to understand?

    Of course a retail key gives you digital entitlement. Activation method has absolutely totally completely nothing to do with it. The digital entitlement means that a once activated Windows 10 Edition XXX remains activated on that machine, all reinstalls on that machine after it has been activated can be made without a product key.

    It really has nothing to do with what kind of key or method you use to activate it after first ever install.
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  5. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,072
    Windows 10 IoT
       #65

    Kari said:
    How difficult can this be to understand?

    Of course a retail key gives you digital entitlement. Activation method has absolutely totally completely nothing to do with it. The digital entitlement means that a once activated Windows 10 Edition XXX remains activated on that machine, all reinstalls on that machine after it has been activated can be made without a product key.

    It really has nothing to do with what kind of key or method you use to activate it after first ever install.
    No, not according to this, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...-10-activation

    And my personal experience. Any time I have installed Windows 10, that has not already done the free upgrade, it shows activated with a Product code. Not a Digital License.
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  6. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,072
    Windows 10 IoT
       #66

    After posting that link, and reading over some of what's there, It's not easy figuring out what the rules are? I'm pretty sure the content has been updated since the last time I went there, can't say 100% for sure though? It does say this.
    How you activate Windows 10 after reinstalling it depends on how Windows 10 was originally installed on your device.


    If you activated a free upgrade to Windows 10 or bought and activated Windows 10 from the Windows Store, you have a digital license for your device.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    which is the way I understood it, free upgrade = digital entitlement. Install with a Product code though, and your activated with a product code, no Digital entitlement. Any time I have installed with a product code it has said activated with a product code. Education for example, that does not qualify for the free upgrade. Things seem to have changed with the anniversary edition though. My product code activation was converted to a digital license. I don't think that was intentional though. IMHO a glitch. If every install done with a Retail key was converted to a digital entitlement, whats to stop you from doing that over and over again on multiple PC's?
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  7. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
       #67

    alphanumeric said:
    No, not according to this, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...-10-activation

    And my personal experience. Any time I have installed Windows 10, that has not already done the free upgrade, it shows activated with a Product code. Not a Digital License.
    ... but the subsequent activations will be activated automatically, digitally, based on hardware signature. That's the whole point.

    Each machine only needs the key entered once, or activation done with another valid method. From thereafter the key will never again be needed for that machine.
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  8. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,072
    Windows 10 IoT
       #68

    Kari said:
    ... but the subsequent activations will be activated automatically, digitally, based on hardware signature. That's the whole point.

    Each machine only needs the entered once, or activation done with another valid method. From thereafter the key will never again be needed for that machine.
    With a Digital entitlement yes. Every install doesn't get a digital entitlement though. Why would one PC say "activated with a key" and another "Activated with a digital entitlement". And before you answer that, I have done multiple installs of Education on the same PC and it always says " activated with a product code" If I do a skip key, it does not activate. When I get a chance, I'm going to do a fresh install of 1511 Home, on a PC that does not have a 10 Education Digital entitlement. I'll use a key that I have not used on any PC. Then do a screen shot of the settings activation. Then clean install with a skip key and see what happens. I think something has changed with 1607?
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  9. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
       #69

    I was wondering if this English being not my native language is causing problems, if I explain this not correctly.

    Before the free upgrade offer (officially) ended, certain users / machines were entitled for a digital activation:
    • Machines that had joined Windows Insider Program before launch of Windows 10 RTM
    • Machines that were upgraded from qualifying OS before end of free upgrade

    After July 29th, as Microsoft has made pretty clear, all activated machines will retain their activation status for the life cycle of that device. The initial, first activation creates the digital hardware signature, a once activated Windows 10 is entitled to a digital activation regardless how it was activated first time and will never again need a product key for the same edition on that same machine.

    This entitlement to a digital activation has nothing to do with account type used, activation method used, product key type used, and should not be mixed with tying a digital license to an MS account. The latter is only needed, can help, if after reinstall a user has activation issues or in case of retail licenses if the license will be transferred to another hardware.
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  10. alphanumeric's Avatar
    Posts : 14,072
    Windows 10 IoT
       #70

    Yes, I agree with everything you posted in that last post. All I'm saying is, the PC I had 10 Education installed on, had never ever done the free upgrade to the Education version. So it never received a Digital Entitlement via the free upgrade. It did not meet the following criteria.

    Before the free upgrade offer (officially) ended, certain users / machines were entitled for a digital activation:

    • Machines that had joined Windows Insider Program before launch of Windows 10 RTM
    • Machines that were upgraded from qualifying OS before end of free upgrade


    And the upgrade to the anniversary edition was done after the 29th. Before the upgrade it showed activated with a product code, after the upgrade it showed activated with a Digital License. That was an upgrade not a clean install. That PC has an entitlement for 10 Pro, but as far as I know its only good for 10 Pro, not Home or Education.
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