Windows 10: Reinstalling Windows 10 with a laptop bought second-hand

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  1.    07 Nov 2017 #1

    Reinstalling Windows 10 with a laptop bought second-hand


    Hi all

    I have recently bought a laptop, i7 with 2 HDs (128GB SSD and a 1TB HD).

    I bought it from Computer Exchange (CEX), a UK second-hand electrical store that I have been using for about 20 years.

    So my question is, how would I do a nice, clean re-install? Should my PC have come with any CDs (it didn't) or can I do it all online? CEX would not sell a PC with dodgy Windows software, that is for sure. I don't know how it works - when you buy a second-hand laptop with Windows installed, does this mean that you are now the owner of a copy of W10? Can I register it if this is the case? Am I making sense? I know that CEX sell the PC with a clean install, but I would like to do it myself for my own reasons.

    Thanks in advance, hope I made sense!!
    David
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 38,043
    Dual boot Windows 10 FCU Pro x 64 & current Insider 10 Pro
       07 Nov 2017 #2

    Hello, David. If it is activated now with digital license, then it will always activate. Therefore you can clean install at will.

    Yes, the license is transferred to you as owner.

    To check > Hold Windows key + I > Update & security > Activation.

    Clean Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    Edit:

    The Digital License is stored on the MS activation server along with a hardware hash (fingerprint) of the PC.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 34,621
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       07 Nov 2017 #3

    david1806 said: View Post
    Hi all

    I have recently bought a laptop, i7 with 2 HDs (128GB SSD and a 1TB HD).

    I bought it from Computer Exchange (CEX), a UK second-hand electrical store that I have been using for about 20 years.

    So my question is, how would I do a nice, clean re-install? Should my PC have come with any CDs (it didn't) or can I do it all online? CEX would not sell a PC with dodgy Windows software, that is for sure. I don't know how it works - when you buy a second-hand laptop with Windows installed, does this mean that you are now the owner of a copy of W10? Can I register it if this is the case? Am I making sense? I know that CEX sell the PC with a clean install, but I would like to do it myself for my own reasons.

    Thanks in advance, hope I made sense!!
    David
    You should be fine doing a Clean Install for yourself, if desired. Would suggest 2 things first.

    1. Get a copy of your keys. Check here for a freebie app that will display your keys, and make note of them. They should already be digitally activated, but to be safe, get them first.

    ShowKeyPlus - Windows 10 Forums


    2. Make a full system image backup before Clean Install if you haven't already. Macrium Reflect Free is highly recommended by many on Tenforums.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect Backup Restore Tutorials


    Then proceed with your clean install.

    Clean Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials


      My ComputersSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 7,655
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       07 Nov 2017 #4

    Hi @david1806,
    A laptop as originally supplied by the OEM would have had a non-transferable OEM licence for the version of Windows it was supplied with. Such a machine with a properly licenced Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 could be upgraded to Windows 10 for free, which would get it a digital licence for Windows 10, again tied to the unique hardware ID of the PC.

    If this machine was new enough to be originally supplied with an OEM Windows 10 on it, then it too would have a digital licence tied to the PC's hardware ID. A PC made for Windows 8 or 10 would almost certainly also include a Windows key embedded in its firmware.

    Whatever way your machine got its Windows 10, if it says in Settings > Update & security > Activation that "Windows is activated with a digital licence" then yes, when you bought the machine the licence came with it. The digital licence is stored on Microsoft's activation servers, so for a clean install of the same edition (Home or Pro) you can skip entering a key when asked. It will activate automatically as soon as it can contact the activation servers.

    An OEM supplied Windows 10 (or an OEM W7/8 upgraded to W10) can usually be identified by having the manufacturer's name and logo on the Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System page and the manufacturer's name in the Settings> System>About page. If yours shows these, then rather than a clean install from Microsoft supplied media, they probably did a Reset, which does a clean install using the existing Windows as its install source files.

    Reset Windows 10

    If there is no manufacturer's name, then it is more likely to have been wiped clean and Windows 10 installed with install media freely downloadable from Microsoft.

    Download Windows 10 ISO File

    This ability of Windows 10 to do a Reset to a 'clean' install is a neat trick that allows Windows 10 machines to do without a manufacturer's restore media or a separate 'factory reset image' partition as was often put on OEM Windows 7/8 machines.

    You can make your own 'factory reset' media from the existing Windows 10 by making a Recovery Drive USB that includes system files. If your machine was supplied with Windows 10 by the OEM, then it would likely also have been customised to include machine-specific drivers and OEM utilities, which would also be reinstalled by a Reset. These too will be included in the system files on the Recovery Drive. A recovery drive can be used to repair Windows or do a complete clean install. If it included OEM customisations as well then it is effectively an OEM 'factory reset' drive.

    Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 7,655
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       07 Nov 2017 #5

    david1806 said: View Post
    I bought it from Computer Exchange (CEX), a UK second-hand electrical store that I have been using for about 20 years.

    So my question is, how would I do a nice, clean re-install? I know that CEX sell the PC with a clean install, but I would like to do it myself for my own reasons.
    As an aside, I often get my machines from CashConverters. They do an effective job of cleaning their machines too, but I know what you mean about wanting to do it yourself (just to be sure). I usually try to do a 'maufacturer's factory reset' if it is available.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 18,549
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       07 Nov 2017 #6

    When you purchase a computer you do not know the status of the hardware or the software unless the person/business selling to you the product has reported these during the sale.

    If the exchange always verifies the Windows software before the sale then the above posts have the information needed.

    In case the Windows has not been verified it may be possible that you have pirated software.

    If it is pirated software and you perform a clean install you may need to purchase Windows.

    So let us know whether the operating system was or was not checked before the sale.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 34,621
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       07 Nov 2017 #7

    zbook said: View Post
    When you purchase a computer you do not know the status of the hardware or the software unless the person/business selling to you the product has reported these during the sale.

    If the exchange always verifies the Windows software before the sale then the above posts have the information needed.

    In case the Windows has not been verified it may be possible that you have pirated software.

    If it is pirated software and you perform a clean install you may need to purchase Windows.

    So let us know whether the operating system was or was not checked before the sale.
    A screenshot of WINVER would be helpful.

    WIN KEY + R, WINVER, enter
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    07 Nov 2017 #8

    Hi
    Here is the WINVER screenshot
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.png  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    07 Nov 2017 #9

    And my Activation screen:

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	7 
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ID:	162650
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    07 Nov 2017 #10

    Thanks for all the replies guys & gals - it's getting a bit late. Will come back to this and keep you updated (I betcha can't wait!!)

    D
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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