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  1.    09 May 2017 #1
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 15
    Windows 10

    Win 10 clean install on a new SSD - Activation Questions


    Hi,
    I had a question for the experts here prior to doing a Windows 10 clean install on a new SSD.

    Background – My 7-year-old PC came with pre-installed Win 7 Home Basic that I upgraded to Win 10 during the free offer. I used Windows 10 for a couple months before the power supply of my PC died. After I replaced the PSU, I got stuck on the (first looping, then frozen) Preparing Automatic Repair screen. I suspect it’s the HDD, but in any case I plan to use a new SSD to boot etc. So instead of wasting time trying to repair the earlier Windows 10 installation, I plan to clean install on an SSD with the Win 10 USB media creation tool. (Later on I plan to connect the HDD and retrieve the data and format the C drive containing the older Win 10 installation.)

    Thanks to Shawn, I understand how to clean install Windows 10. The issue I am concerned with is the Windows 10 activation. During the initial upgrade, I had linked Windows 10 to an existing MS account. However, that same MS account is also linked to a Windows 10 upgrade I received on my Laptop (originally Win 8). In short, I have a (currently dead) PC and a laptop both linked to the same MS account.

    Question 1 – While doing the clean install, can I ‘Create a new Account’, and still be able to activate Windows 10? Do I absolutely need to use the same account to which Windows 10 was previously linked?

    Question 2 – If I use the same account during the clean install on the PC, will it conflict with the existing account on my laptop? Is there a chance it will fail to activate, since it is already linked to the Windows 10 installation on my laptop?

    Why I want to link the Win 10 installation on my PC to a new account – In the not-so-distant future, I plan to upgrade the PC (including the Mother Board). I know that you can activate Windows on an upgraded PC if you link it to a MS account. However, I think it might be better to have separate MS accounts (one for PC, one for laptop) before I upgrade. I don’t want to run into trouble while activating Win 10 on an upgraded PC.

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    09 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,017
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Hi, I won't attempt to answer the question directly, as there are a couple of experts who know the details.

    However, meanwhile have a look at more of Shawn's work which touches on these issues (usually worth browsing or searching the Tutorials as I just have for you):
    Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License - Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Activate Windows 10 - Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    09 May 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jun 2016
    Posts : 79
    8.1

    Once a PC has been through a upgrade and it shows Activated with a Digital license, the HWID is stored on Microsoft Servers and a fresh install of the same version will automatically activate. No M$ account needed. If a problem would occur give it a Day or two then try using the troubleshooter with the M$ account you used before.

    Before I retires as a Unpaid Crash Test Dummy I would sometimes have as many as 20-30 "PCs" associated with the same account before I would remove some of them. (Each New VM would count as a New PC) The only problem I had was after having Ten Rigs on an account, any more added weren't able to download from The Store. I think that might have been changed ?

    The One Thing that will Invalidate the Digital License is a Motherboard change. Some people report that they were lucky enough to have M$ give them a license, but I've never tried.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    09 May 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 10,447
    W10 Insider + Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Bat 1 View Post
    Once a PC has been through a upgrade and it shows Activated with a Digital license, the HWID is stored on Microsoft Servers and a fresh install of the same version will automatically activate. No M$ account needed. If a problem would occur give it a Day or two then try using the troubleshooter with the M$ account you used before.

    Before I retires as a Unpaid Crash Test Dummy I would sometimes have as many as 20-30 "PCs" associated with the same account before I would remove some of them. (Each New VM would count as a New PC) The only problem I had was after having Ten Rigs on an account, any more added weren't able to download from The Store. I think that might have been changed ?

    The One Thing that will Invalidate the Digital License is a Motherboard change. Some people report that they were lucky enough to have M$ give them a license, but I've never tried.
    I'm on my third MB since the beginning of W10 and only once (that was before AU) i had to wait a day or two for it to show as activated.
    There's also this since AU: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...troubleshooter
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    09 May 2017 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    New Jersey
    Posts : 1,387
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

    Just skip the part where it asks for a key, that`s all you have to do
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  6.    09 May 2017 #6
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 15
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for your replies. @dalchina, thanks for the links to the tutorials. Will need to go over those notes in detail. @Bat 1, CountMike, I think the troubleshooter method would serve well when I upgrade my PC motherboard. I have read the procedure somewhere, but I think it's pretty straightforward.

    I'm not so much worried about the key either. I know the option to enter it won't come up. Even if it does, I'll skip it. No issues. It's the linking to the MS account bit that I'm worried about.

    I think I'm going to try and log in with the same MS account. If it allows me to do so, which I think it will, once the installation is complete, I'll link to a local account. Then, link to a different MS account.

    Another quick question. Presently I have the 32-bit edition, but I'd like to upgrade to 64-bit, since I plan to upgrade the system anyway. The USB media tool I've made out is 32-bit. Would you guys recommend I get the 32-bit version going and get the linking part out of the way first? Or should I create a new installation media with 64-bit and try installing that straight off?
    Last edited by AbortE; 09 May 2017 at 22:40.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    10 May 2017 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    New Jersey
    Posts : 1,387
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

    I would install 64 bit, the bit version has nothing to do with activation.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  8.    10 May 2017 #8
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,950
    Windows10

    The link with MS account is only for use when pc fails to activate due to a hardware change. This is a manual activity and has no other functionality.

    Changing to a ssd does not count as a hardware change. On very rare occasions, windows (one in thousands or higher) has not activated due to an ssd change.

    Then you simply use the activation trouble shooter to reactivate Windows.

    So just install, skip key entry - it will work unless you are mega mega unlucky.

    Do not change MS account with digital licence linked to a local account or you will remove the digital link, and you will not be able to run the activation troubleshooter. If you got a hardware failure, you would no longer be able to reactivate Windows.

    Simply create a second MS account and leave first account untouched.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    10 May 2017 #9
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 15
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    So, I read the info from the link recommended above by dalchina on linking MS account, and found it very informative. I realize that going (and staying) local can be dangerous, particularly for an old system like mine that could lose its mobo any day.

    I also took a cue from that thread and looked up the devices hooked to my MS account. Surprise surprise. Only my laptop is listed as a linked device. So my PC, the one I'm planning to clean install with an SSD, isn't after all linked to the MS account.
    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    The link with MS account is only for use when pc fails to activate due to a hardware change. This is a manual activity and has no other functionality.

    Changing to a ssd does not count as a hardware change. On very rare occasions, windows (one in thousands or higher) has not activated due to an ssd change.

    Then you simply use the activation trouble shooter to reactivate Windows.

    So just install, skip key entry - it will work unless you are mega mega unlucky.

    Do not change MS account with digital licence linked to a local account or you will remove the digital link, and you will not be able to run the activation troubleshooter. If you got a hardware failure, you would no longer be able to reactivate Windows.

    Simply create a second MS account and leave first account untouched.
    Thanks, cereberus. I know that an SSD change in all likelihood will not impede the Win 10 installation. My laptop was also changed to an SSD after the HDD died prematurely, and Win 10 was installed quite easily; even though it wasn't linked to a MS account at the time.

    Since my PC does not appear under the devices in my MS account, should I create a new account while installing Win 10 from USB? Is that what you meant - Simply create a second MS account and leave first account untouched?

    Regards the 32-bit upgrade to 64-bit, I think I'll leave it to the end. Perhaps switch to 64-bit while fresh installing after mobo upgrade. My first priority is to install win 10 on the current PC configuration and link it to a new MS account.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    10 May 2017 #10
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,403
    Windows 10 Pro

    Only Windows version 1607 (the Anniversary Update) and above will link the digital license to a Microsoft Account. I'm guessing the build of Windows 10 you have on the desktop computer is lower than the Anniversary Update and out of date.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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