Windows 10: license key when installing AFTER HDD replacement

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  1.    04 Sep 2016 #1

    license key when installing AFTER HDD replacement


    hi,

    I have a lenovo 500 yoga (actually its my dads) - I don't know the history of the machine but my dad reckons it had win 10 on it.
    Anyway the hard drive crashed - and broke so I put him a new one in. Looked on the lenovo web site with the s/n of the laptop and it seems this pc came with with win 8 64 bit. I tried installing via usb but it asks for a product key - which I don't have.
    I done a couple of these before and not been asked for the key. a bit of googling suggests maybe Im trying to install the wrong version (i dowloaded win 8 64 bit)
    I wonder if I should try win 10 64 bit as this what was what my dad reckoned was on it ?
    emailed lenovo - but no expecting much help .....totally baffled ? - any ideas ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    04 Sep 2016 #2

    It doesn't matter if you install 64 or 32 bit. If 10 was activated either will activate. I'd go for the 64 bit as that was what was there before but it doesn't matter unless you have more than 4GB of RAM in which case 64 bit is the only sensible choice.

    It does have to be the correct type - Home or Pro though - whatever was on there before. What version of Windows 8 did you have? If it was 8 Pro you need to install 10 Pro, else install 10 Home.

    When I clean install windows 10 I have to click on "I don't have a product key" and then it is activated automatically from the digital entitlement so you can try that and see if it is activated after installation is complete.

    If in doubt just try installing home first, say you don't have a product key, complete installation and connect to internet. Check activation in Settings > Update & Security > Activation. If activation failed then try installing 10 Pro.

    If you have a windows 8 key stored in your BIOS (perhaps you do as it had 8 on it) it will not ask about Home or Pro so just go ahead and skip the product key. It will install the correct version with a bit of luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    04 Sep 2016 #3

    lx07 said: View Post
    It doesn't matter if you install 64 or 32 bit. If 10 was activated either will activate. I'd go for the 64 bit as that was what was there before but it doesn't matter unless you have more than 4GB of RAM in which case 64 bit is the only sensible choice.

    It does have to be the correct type - Home or Pro though - whatever was on there before. What version of Windows 8 did you have? If it was 8 Pro you need to install 10 Pro, else install 10 Home.

    When I clean install windows 10 I have to click on "I don't have a product key" and then it is activated automatically from the digital entitlement so you can try that and see if it is activated after installation is complete.

    If in doubt just try installing home first, say you don't have a product key, complete installation and connect to internet. Check activation in Settings > Update & Security > Activation. If activation failed then try installing 10 Pro.

    If you have a windows 8 key stored in your BIOS (perhaps you do as it had 8 on it) it will not ask about Home or Pro so just go ahead and skip the product key. It will install the correct version with a bit of luck.
    thanks for the swift reply.

    I have no way of knowing which version of win 8 was on the computer originally. I have put the S/N into the lenovo web site to get the specific machine specs. It says it came with win 8 64-bit - but not whether it is pro, home, n - etc (the options you get when creating the recovery media)

    What I was wondering was- as the machine had been upgraded to win 10 - will it only accept win 10 ? - no longer win 8 - Im going to give it a go ! out of desparation ! - will let you know,...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    04 Sep 2016 #4

    If you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key, the Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 installer should automatically detect product key from UEFI firmware and you will be taken straight to the License Agreement screen.

    But if you are being prompted for a product key, it means that you have the wrong installation media and that's when the Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 installer can't detect Windows 8/8.1 product key from UEFI firmware.

    Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
    Software Download
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    04 Sep 2016 #5

    Bizzare ! - downloaded win 10 64 bit - which didn't ask for a key - but then asked If I wanted to install win 8.1 or win 10 - went for win 10 - installed and windows is activated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    04 Sep 2016 #6

    Feather said: View Post
    If you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key, the Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 installer should automatically detect product key from UEFI firmware and you will be taken straight to the License Agreement screen.

    But if you are being prompted for a product key, it means that you have the wrong installation media and that's when the Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 installer can't detect Windows 8/8.1 product key from UEFI firmware.

    Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
    Software Download
    Yes - I know - but when the computer comes installed with win 8.1 originally - logically I would have thought that would install ok. It didn't. But when I downloaded win 10 it didn't ask for the key and installed ok.

    So its solved now - but other than trial and error there doesn't seem any method of determining which version your embedded key relates to.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7.    04 Sep 2016 #7

    kingrollo said: View Post
    Yes - I know - but when the computer comes installed with win 8.1 originally - logically I would have thought that would install ok. It didn't. But when I downloaded win 10 it didn't ask for the key and installed ok.

    So its solved now - but other than trial and error there doesn't seem any method of determining which version your embedded key relates to.
    Yes there might be a way for you to see your key, try downloading Showkey from the link posted below, its made by one of our members here.
    Showkey - Windows 10 Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    04 Sep 2016 #8

    OldMike65 said: View Post
    Yes there might be a way for you to see your key, try downloading Showkey from the link posted below, its made by one of our members here.
    Showkey - Windows 10 Forums
    but wouldn't that require an OS already installed. the old HDD was toast ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9.    04 Sep 2016 #9

    kingrollo said: View Post
    but wouldn't that require an OS already installed. the old HDD was toast ?
    Sometimes the key is located in the bios. If that computer has a key in its bios, then showkey can find it. Also can show you, the
    Windows 10 key that it is using.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10.    04 Sep 2016 #10

    kingrollo said: View Post
    but wouldn't that require an OS already installed. the old HDD was toast ?
    Not necessarily. You could run it from Preinstallation Evironment (you can download a version of PE with ShowKey already installed from here - Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums). PE runs from RAM and doesn't require any OS to be loaded.

    Whether that is more efficient than guessing (if you haven't already downloaded it) is open to question though as installing Windows doesn't take so long anyway..

    Anyway it is a useful tool - if you have a spare USB key you could consider putting it on it in case of future problems...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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