Windows 10: Best place to buy Windows from?

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  1.    30 Jun 2017 #11

    That's great. Could I use ProduKey to view the key in the bios to see if it was running W10, even without a drive? (I was just reading about the program.....don't know if it's any good!)

    And you say that it doesn't matter which release of Windows I use, as long as it corresponds with the correct version?
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  2.    30 Jun 2017 #12

    ValiantSaint said: View Post
    EDIT: I have used Jelly Bean Key Finder, but it normally reports a different key to what I have......
    ValiantSaint said: View Post
    That's great. Could I use ProduKey to view the key in the bios to see if it was running W10, even without a drive? (I was just reading about the program.....don't know if it's any good!)
    Hmmmm...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I know the developer of this one... he tells me it's pretty OK
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  3.    30 Jun 2017 #13

    The best program to find your product key is ShowKeyPlus. If your computer came with Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 it will read the key in the BIOS and tell you what version of Windows your computer original came with. If you have a different version installed now it will show you that too. If your computer came with Windows 7 it will tell you it has a Windows 7 OEM marker present in the BIOS. There is no way for it to tell you the Windows 7 key because it's not stored in the BIOS.

    ShowKeyPlus - Windows 10 Forums

    If your computer has no hard drive you can download Kyhi's Bootable Rescue Disk, burn it to DVD, or make a bootable USB flash drive. Boot from the newly created disk or drive and run ShowKeyPlus from there. ShowKeyPlus is on Kyhi's rescue disk.

    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    If your computer has no hard drive, and it was upgraded from Windows 7 to 10, there is no way to find out what version of Windows it was upgraded to, or even if it was ever upgraded. If you know for a fact it was, you could try different versions of Windows until you hit upon the right one. Since your flag indicates you are from the UK, I would start with Single Language, then Home N, or Home. It's really hard to say.
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  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,856
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       01 Jul 2017 #14

    Since we are talking keys... I used ShowKeyPlus yesterday. Worked like a charm.

    Could I ask what is the difference between the "Installed Key" and the "OEM"?

    If you were re-installing Win 7 and it asked for key which would you use?

    Thanks.
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  5.    01 Jul 2017 #15

    Caledon Ken said: View Post
    Since we are talking keys... I used ShowKeyPlus yesterday. Worked like a charm.

    Could I ask what is the difference between the "Installed Key" and the "OEM"?

    If you were re-installing Win 7 and it asked for key which would you use?

    Thanks.
    For Windows 7 the OEM key is the one used by the big computer manufacturers like Dell, HP, Toshiba, and others. Each manufacturer has it's own unique Windows 7 product key. They have one for Windows 7 Home and a different one for Pro and Ultimate. Ever computer Dell sells with Windows 7 Home has the same product key. A OEM key is not transferable to another computer. If the motherboard dies, the windows key dies with it.

    Now if you go out and buy a RETAIL copy of Windows 7 Home or Professional, that license is transferable to another computer. If your motherboard fails, you can build a new computer and use the retail license on the new computer. The thing is you can not have that license on more than one computer at a time.

    This changed with Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. Each computer Dell. HP, and the others sell has its own unique Windows key that is stored in the BIOS. If you bought a Dell with Windows 10 Home it would have a oem license. If you wanted to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and you went out and bought a retail copy and installed that, ShowKeyPlus would show you have a OEM Windows 10 key stored in the BIOS. It will also show you the Windows 10 Pro retail key you purchased.

    The retail key would be the "installed" key Win 10 Pro and the "OEM" key would be the one in the BIOS Win 10 Home.

    If you want to reinstall Windows 7 you have to use the key on the sticker. The sticker can be on the bottom of a laptop or sometimes in the battery compartment. On a desktop computer the sticker can be on the side or the back. This key is also a OEM key but it is different than the manufacturer's OEM key. You cannot transfer the OEM sticker key to a different computer. The key on the sticker is the one you use if you want to reinstall Windows.
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  6.    02 Jul 2017 #16

    So if you try and use either key that's listed by the program, you still wouldn't be able to reinstall Windows with them, and you must use only the sticker on the bottom?
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  7.    02 Jul 2017 #17

    ValiantSaint said: View Post
    So if you try and use either key that's listed by the program, you still wouldn't be able to reinstall Windows with them, and you must use only the sticker on the bottom?
    If you want to reinstall Windows 7 you have to use the key on the sticker. You can not use the manufacturers OEM key. It will not activate.

    I just want to let you know that you can also buy a Windows 7 OEM License or key. They are popular by people who build their own computers and by your local computer shops who build and sell computers. The OEM license (key) is cheaper than RETAIL license (key) because they are not transferable. If you built your own computer and bought a Windows OEM license you can use that key to reinstall Windows but only on that computer.

    If you want to reinstall Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 you CAN use either key listed by ShowKeyPlus. In the example I gave above, the installed key would be Windows 10 Pro and the OEM key would be Windows 10 Home.

    The reason Windows 7 is different is because Dell or HP use their own unique key on every computer they sell. Each computer that HP sold with Windows 7 Home has the same.

    Every computer that HP sold with Windows 8, 8.1, 10 has a different key (stored in the BIOS). That's why you can use it to reinstall Windows.
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  8. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,856
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       02 Jul 2017 #18

    In my case I don't have sticker. This was a Win 8 downgraded to 7, it has the installed key and OEM key. Checked battery compartment. So it sounds like the install key is the key to use as a mere mortal can't use OEM key.

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    02 Jul 2017 #19

    On the topic of OEM operating systems, can I buy and install one on a pre-bought machine? (such as the HP laptop I'm trying save at the moment?) or is that a bit of a gray area?
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  10.    02 Jul 2017 #20

    ValiantSaint said: View Post
    On the topic of OEM operating systems, can I buy and install one on a pre-bought machine? (such as the HP laptop I'm trying save at the moment?) or is that a bit of a gray area?
    Device Partner Center


    If you are building a system for your personal use or installing an additional operating system in a virtual machine, you will need to purchase a full version of Windows 10, available in FPP. Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 system builder software does not permit personal use, and is intended only for preinstallation on customer systems that will be sold to end users.*
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