Windows 10: Cannot view product key on clean install Solved

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  1.    30 Jan 2017 #1

    Cannot view product key on clean install


    Ok, the more I read the more confused I get. Here's my problem: Have a computer with OEM Windows 7, been on there a few years. It's becoming somewhat goofy and decided to do a clean install of Windows 10. So, bought an OEM cd of 10 from Amazon ( home version). Came today. Well, tried to remove the little sticker over the product key, and destroyed the product key. So, reading on line, and several places said you need the product key. So, sent the CD back to Amazon and they're sending me a new one, which after reading on line some more, it'll be the same issue. So, how do I get the product key? Do I start the clean install and 10 will recognize that 7 is a valid OS and continue? Also, with the SSD, should I do a clean erase then format, or just let 10 do a format?
    Any help would be appreciated, because it seems to me MS has taken something so simple and confused the whole procedure....

    Thanks
    Lloyd
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 2,872
    10 Home x64 (1703) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       30 Jan 2017 #2

    neverquit said: View Post
    Have a computer with OEM Windows 7, been on there a few years. It's becoming somewhat goofy and decided to do a clean install of Windows 10....
    When the free upgrade offer was open a valid OEM install of Windows 7 could be upgraded to 10 without the need for a key, you got the same edition, Home of Pro, as the qualifying W7 OS.

    Although the offer has officially ended, there have been reports that you can still upgrade to 10 and get it automatically activated. Once it is activated and has a digital licence you can do a clean install (of the same edition, Home or Pro) without entering a key, just skip that step. As soon as it can connect to the activation servers it will be activated from the digital licence.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    30 Jan 2017 #3

    Does your computer have a Windows 7 COA (Certificate of Authenticity) sticker on it somewhere? It might even be under the battery if it is a laptop.

    Microsoft will activate an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows for free still (but we don't know how long it will last). So you have a few choices:

    If you have an activated Windows 7 installed now - download Windows 10 directly from Microsoft and upgrade your current Windows 7 to Windows 10.

    If you have an activated Windows 7 installed now, you can use this method to clean install Windows 10 and activate it:
    Clean Install Windows 10 Directly without having to Upgrade First

    Clean install Windows 10, skipping the product key during install/setup. After it is installed, go to the Activation window under Updates and Security control panel settings and change the product key to the Windows 7 product key from the COA sticker.

    When you choose to do a clean install to the SSD, you want to delete all the partitions on it then highlight the unallocated space and click Next to let Windows set up the partitions it wants to.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    31 Jan 2017 #4

    Here goes.
    I am currently running an Authentic copy of Win7-64 Pro. Next week I will be building a New PC, from this one almost ground up, save for a couple of storage drives. Of these drives one is 160GB SSD (OCZ) with current OS which I want to upgrade to 525GB SSD (Crucial) for reliability and storage.
    This will be all new hardware MOBO, CPU, RAM, VIDEO & DVD DRIVES.
    - Now the question -
    What order should I proceed in to upgrade to 10 & UEFI without multiple re-installs and countless hours on the phone to India explaining the upgrade? Can I run a clean 10 install from MS DL site and use my 7 key or are there more contortions to go through?
    Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks for any advice I'll try to post this elsewhere as well...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    01 Feb 2017 #5

    Thanks, Commander....I especially like the point you told me to delete all partitions of the SSD.
    Here's a question: After doing a clean install of 10 using the CD, then I use the product code from 7 to confirm a valid copy....Well, the CD has a different key, so would it accept the 7 key?.....OR, after the 10 install, install that jelly bean software, and get the key then? Then use that to register my software?
    Oh, not to change the subject, I was a helicopter crew chief way back...I think having the draft was a good thing.....It's called paying back to the greatest county in the world!......I don't see too many people wanting to leave the U.S.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    01 Feb 2017 #6

    If you run a key finder on a factory OEM Windows 7 install it will retrieve the OEM-SLP key. That key is basically useless. It will be rejected if you enter it manually on a clean install of Windows 10. It's no good for reinstalling Windows 7 either, if you use stock ISO's. It only works with the custom factory OEM install media, and even then its entered automatically. On a clean install of Windows 10, that doesn't have a Digital License, you have to use the Windows 7 OEM-COA key from the COA sticker. Once that install is activated with a Digital License, you will get a generic key. You don't really need to know what it is. On any subsequent install you just do a skip when asked for a key, install the same version, and it will activate with the DL. You could enter it if you wanted to but you don't have to.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    01 Feb 2017 #7

    neverquit said: View Post
    Here's a question: After doing a clean install of 10 using the CD, then I use the product code from 7 to confirm a valid copy....Well, the CD has a different key, so would it accept the 7 key?.....OR, after the 10 install, install that jelly bean software, and get the key then? Then use that to register my software?
    When you do a clean install of Windows 10 to a computer that has never had Windows 10 on it before, you need a valid product key to activate it. Microsoft is still considering Windows 7 and 8 product keys as valid for the matching version (Home or Pro) Windows 10. We don't know how long Microsoft will continue to do so.

    Once you do the clean install of Windows 10, a valid Windows 7 product key has to come from the COA (Certificate of Authenticy) sticker. A product key finding program won't produce a valid Windows 7 product key because it would have been wiped out when you erased the previous Windows 7 installation. So you either need a valid Windows 7 product key retrieved from the previously installed Windows 7 before it gets erased, or a COA sticker. If you have that available, that is what I would try using first and save your Windows 10 product key on the DVD for future use.

    Computers that came with Windows 8 installed from the factory have the Windows 8 product keys stored in BIOS or UEFI firmware. Those product keys can be retrieved at any time by a product key finding program written to look for them (such as Showkey Plus from this forum). Currently Windows 10 setup will actually read those product keys during the install process and use it for installation and activation. Again, we don't how long Microsoft will continue that.

    If you use a product key finder program on a Windows 7 installed OS you have to check to see if the product key is SLP or not. If it is displayed as an SLP product key, you cannot use that for manual activation of Windows 10 because an SLP product key will only activate the factory load of software coming from factory provided recovery media. Showkey Plus from this forum will tell you if the product key is SLP or not.

    So the two big questions at this point are:

    1. Have you erased the previously installed and activated Windows 7 yet? and
    2. Does the computer have a Windows 7 COA sticker on it anywhere?

    If you can't obtain the Windows 7 product key from either of those two sources, then you are going to have to use your Windows 10 product key from the DVD.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    01 Feb 2017 #8

    If you haven't erased that Windows 7 install, you can do and upgrade to Windows 10 and get a DL that way. You can upgrade from am OEM-SLP key, you just can't clean install with one. Once you have the DL, if you wish, then do a clean install and do a skip key. It will activate with the DL it got via the upgrade.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    01 Feb 2017 #9

    Getting back to your first post. Is the product code on the COA sticker hidden? I don't get the "tried to remove the little sticker over the product key, and destroyed the product key" comment?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    01 Feb 2017 #10

    Hi Alpha: thanks for your reply...From reading everything what you're saying is making sense. It's just not as simple as I expected it to be. thanks

    Hello Commander: Okay, what I did was an upgrade of 10 onto 7... Everything seems to work just fine. I'm waiting for the version 10 CD to come in the mail. And, yes, I do have the COA sticker, it's on the CD case of the windows 7 OEM I bought a few years ago.

    So, not to confuse the issue, but let me ask this: What if I put a new HD in the computer? It seems I couldn't do a clean install from the version 10 CD, because I don't have the product key... Is that correct? If so, how can I get a product key so if later, I want/need to replace the HD I can do an install using the version 10 CD. Or, is this not possible?

    Thanks
    Lloyd
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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