Windows 10: Doing A Clean Install of Win 10, now it wants a Key I Don't Have

  1.    01 Nov 2016 #1

    Doing A Clean Install of Win 10, now it wants a Key I Don't Have

    I have a machine that originally came with Win 7, then I upgraded to Win 8, then later I took the free upgrade to Win 10. It worked pretty good on my machine. I had a little while back experimented with another OS - Wiping out everything on the hard drive. I'm now getting ready to give this machine to a friend of mine, but when I did a clean install of Win 10, it now is asking for a key. I used a previous downloaded iso file. I don't have a key, is there a way I can activate Win 10 without installing 8 & then upgrade to 10?

    Thanks for any assistance. I looked for a tutorial & didn't fine one that totally fit my case....but I may have missed it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    01 Nov 2016 #2

    Hi, yuo should be able to install Win 10 directly.
    Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums
    Does step 7 shed any light?

    At what point is it prompting you for a key?
    Is the version you have installed the same as the previous? (including 32 vs 64 bits?)

    If you have difficulty, and you have previously installed the same version of Windows on the PC, phone MS activation in your region.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    01 Nov 2016 #3

    It asked me near the beginning of the install process. I believe I selected "Skip this step" It then went thru the install process & then it asks me the same before I log in & I selected to "skip this step" I believe. I haven't created a user account yet.

    I shutdown the computer to work on it later & as it shuts down, you see briefly the account log on screen with an account Windows created.
    Step 8 doesn't look familiar. I believe it's same exact version I've installed previously.

    I'll try the process again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    02 Nov 2016 #4

    If it was previously activated with a Digital License (what you get with the free upgrade) and its now asking for a key on a clean install, that usually means you installed the wrong version. What was the original version of Windows 7 that came on that PC? The COA sticker should tell you. If it's anything lower than Windows 7 Pro, you would have gotten Windows 8 Core, and then Windows 10 Home. What version of Windows 10 is currently installed? The System screen will tell you. Or run winver.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    06 Nov 2016 #5

    Doing A Clean Install of Win 10, now it wants a Key I Don't Have

    Thanks for the help guys. It originally had Win 7 Home Premium. I later bought Windows 8 Pro. Anyways, a long story... I just decided to put 8 back on it. If my friend wants 10, I can put it on it.

    Long story includes calling MS and them not being able to help me...Later I called and was on hold for a looong time. A lot of work for a computer I'm giving away and I know they wouldn't probably even Windows 7 on it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    06 Nov 2016 #6

    Windows 10 should install directly. You will have to indicate a couple of times that you wish to skip entering a license key. Once Windows is installed, it should automatically activate itself as Microsoft knows that your machine fingerprint was already licensed for Windows 10. Unless you substantially changed the hardware, this should work. If you did substantially change the hardware, you might have to call MS to get them to activate it again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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