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  1.    26 Apr 2017 #11
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,447
    Windows 10 IoT

    Quote Originally Posted by Josey Wales View Post
    This will work even with Legacy BIOS?
    Yes, Legacy or UEFI doesn't matter. I have two desktop PC's with legacy BIOS, they both have Digital Licenses for Home, Pro, Education and Enterprise. I can install any of those with a skip key and they will activate. Normally you would only have the one DL for any one PC. I do so much testing that I ended up with multiple DLs. I didn't plan it that way it just ended up like that.

    The only big difference UEFI wise is embedded OEM keys. I don't think legacy has embedded keys. If your PC has an embedded Windows 10 key that will be read automatically by the install media and the matching version installed automatically. You won't be prompted to enter a key and version selection will be automatic. If its a Home key you get 10 Home, if its a Pro key you get Pro.
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  2.    26 Apr 2017 #12
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5,862
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Yes, Legacy or UEFI doesn't matter. I have two desktop PC's with legacy BIOS, they both have Digital Licenses for Home, Pro, Education and Enterprise. I can install any of those with a skip key and they will activate. Normally you would only have the one DL for any one PC. I do so much testing that I ended up with multiple DLs. I didn't plan it that way it just ended up like that.

    The only big difference UEFI wise is embedded OEM keys. I don't think legacy has embedded keys. If your PC has an embedded Windows 10 key that will be read automatically by the install media and the matching version installed automatically. You won't be prompted to enter a key and version selection will be automatic. If its a Home key you get 10 Home, if its a Pro key you get Pro.
    It does not, I built it and there is no place in the BIOS for it. I activated with an MSA, I suppose MS at least grabs my MAC address . Every so often I have to re identify myself by just entering my Pin. There is some stuff in a strange folder in Windows that may be it. I do not have a problem , was just curious. Thanks. I am on the TP so I change builds , well it used to be twice a week now...??

    Well I suppose they have my retail Win 7 key that I updated from.
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  3.    26 Apr 2017 #13
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,447
    Windows 10 IoT

    Quote Originally Posted by Josey Wales View Post
    It does not, I built it and there is no place in the BIOS for it. I activated with an MSA, I suppose MS at least grabs my MAC address . Every so often I have to re identify myself by just entering my Pin. There is some stuff in a strange folder in Windows that may be it. I do not have a problem , was just curious. Thanks. I am on the TP so I change builds , well it used to be twice a week now...??

    Well I suppose they have my retail Win 7 key that I updated from.
    I'm not sure what your saying? "What" does not? No place in the BIOS for "What? Nothing is stored/added to the BIOS when you activate. Its all stored online on the activation server. Only the OEM's can embed a key in the BIOS, its done at the factory. Flashing the BIOS will not change it either.

    I have done countless clean installs on my legacy BIOS desktop PC and clicked the "I don't have one" option on the screen that asks for a key. Then selected which version I wanted. I've also used local accounts and my Microsoft account, the PC activated with both.
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  4.    26 Apr 2017 #14
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    As has been said already, MS keeps a digital signature of your hardware on their activation servers, and will auto-activate if Windows 10 (of the same edition) is re-installed. This hash is similar the one introduced with Windows XP activation, where it contains a combination of hashes from different equipment (Motherboard, CPU, Network MAC, Hard Disks, etc..), but it's smart enough that you can replace several of these before it requires re-activation. In practice, I haven't seen a re-activation requirement for anything other than a motherboard though.

    Also, many OEM computers that come with Windows 10 also have the OEM key installed in the BIOS, so regardless of whether it's been installed before, it will still activate. If they bought the computer with Windows 10, then it won't even ask for the key. If they had upgraded to Windows 10, then you need to choose "I don't have a key" when installing and it will auto-activate either way.
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  5.    26 Apr 2017 #15
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5,862
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    I'm not sure what your saying? "What" does not? No place in the BIOS for "What? Nothing is stored/added to the BIOS when you activate. Its all stored online on the activation server. Only the OEM's can embed a key in the BIOS, its done at the factory. Flashing the BIOS will not change it either.

    I have done countless clean installs on my legacy BIOS desktop PC and clicked the "I don't have one" option on the screen that asks for a key. Then selected which version I wanted. I've also used local accounts and my Microsoft account, the PC activated with both.
    My Bios does not have any form of a windows key. Yes I know about the option of adding a key later. I was only curious . I misread where you stated that, I have never used a Win 10 local account so I was activated when I updated from Win 7 to Win 10 and that was stored on their activation server. My only question now is why does MS every now and then want me to very my pin number?
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  6.    26 Apr 2017 #16
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,447
    Windows 10 IoT

    Quote Originally Posted by Josey Wales View Post
    My Bios does not have any form of a windows key. Yes I know about the option of adding a key later. I was only curious . I misread where you stated that, I have never used a Win 10 local account so I was activated when I updated from Win 7 to Win 10 and that was stored on their activation server. My only question now is why does MS every now and then want me to very my pin number?
    Only Windows 8 and 10 Computers have an Embedded key. And its only there if the OEM adds it. If you buy an of the shelf motherboard from say NewEgg, it isn't going to have an embedded key. Buy a Windows 10 PC from Dell, Acer, ASUS, etc and it will have an embedded key. Once you have a DL it doesn't matter if the key is there or not. Systems with no embedded key still get a DL just like systems with an embedded key. You can even override the embedded key with a PID.txt file. I did this on my laptop, it has a Windows 8 Core OEM key. In the past Windows 10 install media would read it and install 10 Home. I wanted Pro installed so my PID.txt has a Pro key in it. It overrides the embedded key and installs Pro instead of Home.

    I have no idea why your being repeatedly asked to verify? Hasn't happened to me ever, and I use a PIN on my laptop. I have to verify my ID on a clean install but I only ever have to do that once on that PC. Then I'm good until the next clean install.
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  7.    26 Apr 2017 #17
    Join Date : Mar 2017
    Posts : 5,862
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro

    Thanks for your info. It only take me seconds to verify the pin..Not a real problem.
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  8.    26 Apr 2017 #18
    Join Date : May 2016
    FL, USA
    Posts : 148
    Windows 10-Pro 64bit

    Newer machines (after 2010) have a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) security device, a chip on the motherboard.
    Machine ID is "burned" to it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    26 Apr 2017 #19

    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Once a PC is activated with a Digital license a hardware hash code is stored on the activation server. A fingerprint if you will of the hardware in the PC. Install the same version that the DL is for, and it will auto activate. No key needed. The linked to your Microsoft Account is just an extra feature, its not needed to activate on the same hardware. You can clean install and activate with a local account. What account you log in with doesn't matter, the hardware your installing on is what matters. If you do a skip key, and that PC doesn't have a Digital License it won't activate. Install the wrong version and the same thing will happen. If your DL is for Home and you install Pro, it won't activate. And vise versa.
    If you change some major hardware like the motherboard it will fail activation. That's where the Linked to your Microsoft Account comes in. You run the activation trouble shooter and you'll get a "I've changed some hardware on this device" option. Click that and a new hash is stored and that PC is activated. That's how it supposed to work anyway.

    From what I'm seeing, you can still activate with a Windows 7 or 8 product code. Like you could with the free upgrade. That could stop at any time though. Windows 7 OEM-SLP keys will be refused on a clean install. You have to use the OEM-COA key on the COA sticker. Windows 7 does not store a key in the BIOS. All that is there is the OEM SLIC table that has OEM info in it. There is no key stored in the SLIC table though.
    Hi there

    The REAL problem with clean install is that if you don't add the ei.cfg file like I've posted previously then the default install is WINDOWS HOME - even though your update (with a digital licence) was PRO.

    Note - unless you know how the wretched system works then most people (and I'm not a total beginner in this stuff although I always defer to more experienced guys than me) will after doing a clean install not assume that the edition had reverted BACK from PRO to HOME -- I only found out by accident --I tried to alter some profile and when that didn't exist I realized something was amiss. Installing a different edition will obviously look for a new licence.

    So Ms isn't actually trying to swindle anybody -- it's just they haven't yet got their act together for people who want to do CLEAN installs after doing the initial upgrade.

    BTW the "Free Upgrade" from W7/W8/W8.1 is STILL working - but I suspect that door will be closing soon.

    @Comp Cmndo

    I'm not sure I want a TPM module in my computer --Who knows --CIA / Trump / N.Korea or whatever -- that type of chip could really sink any computer privacy FOREVER.

    Sometimes people go with TOO HIGH TECH -- a lot of the most sophisticated detection systems on the planet can be easily defeated via OLD SCHOOL TECH. -- I'll bet that once something gets posted into a US Mailbox -- even "The Holy Ghost" couldn't get at the package until it was on the way out to the final recipient !!!! and even then He wouldn't be able to ascertain the delivery time. !!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  10.    26 Apr 2017 #20
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,414
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Hi there

    The REAL problem with clean install is that if you don't add the ei.cfg file like I've posted previously then the default install is WINDOWS HOME - even though your update (with a digital licence) was PRO.
    Not always. Windows 10 setup will only pick the version to install for you if it finds a pre-existing indication on the computer itself as to which version should be installed. The order of preference Windows setup uses to predetermine which version should be installed is a PID.txt file (or other answer file) in the \sources folder of the install media, a product key stored in UEFI/BIOS, or a product key input by the user. If Windows setup does not find a product key or specified version to install by any of those methods, it does NOT default to Windows 10 Home. It will ask the user which version they want to install after clicking on "I don't have a product key".
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