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  1.    27 May 2017 #410
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,204
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesray15hr View Post
    For step 13, I'm wary of deleting drives on OEM software.
    Hello James,

    Since this is an OEM Windows 10, it may be best to reset Windows 10 instead to avoid wiping all partitions on the disk.

    Reset Windows 10 Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    02 Aug 2017 #411

    I am not sure that MS should be encouraging "super memorable passwords"! Its not good security sense. One rule I always follow is to never use words or names and get my passwords generated for me.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    17 Aug 2017 #412
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 12
    Windows 7 + 10

    Hi Brink,

    Excellent tutorial (as always).

    Might it be worth adding to the notes (or making it clear) under step 7 that if the device already has a 'digital entitlement' stored with Microsoft and you are carrying out a clean install then you can just use the I don't have a product key link, even if the digital entitlement is not linked to an MS account.

    I always use a local account and have never had to enter a product key whilst carrying out a clean install on a device that already has a 'digital entitlement'. Windows has just re-activated automatically the first time it connects to the internet, even after a change from an HDD to an SSD.

    Hope this helps...

    Rick
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    17 Aug 2017 #413
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,204
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    Thread Starter

    Hey Rick,

    Does your PC have an embedded key?

    If you don't setup Windows with a MSA, then it won't use the digital license linked to the MSA unless the product key is embedded in the UEFI firmware. Windows would then automatically activate with it if the key is for that edition.

    I haven't had a PC automatically activate with a local account and without an embedded key.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    17 Aug 2017 #414
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 12
    Windows 7 + 10

    Hi Brink,

    No, none of the previously activated laptops I've clean installed (using a local account) have embedded Windows 10 keys... they're all too old and were initially upgraded from Windows 7 or 8. You've got me doubting myself now.

    I've just grabbed one - a Dell Latitude E7450 that was originally Win 8 but is now running Win 10 1607 - deleted all partitions and am now clean installing from an MCT USB stick.

    UPDATE: Clean-installed with no internet (or any network) connection. Using local account, I went to Settings > Update & Security > Activation and left it on 'Unable to reach Windows activation servers. Attached network cable and connected to local network and thus to the internet. Windows reactivated immediately, I mean within seconds.

    This laptop was originally Windows 8 so I assume it does have a Windows 8 product key embedded in the UEFI. Would that have been the reason?

    Now I'm really wondering... so have grabbed an HP ProBook 6545b that was originally Windows 7. This will take a bit longer to wipe and clean install.

    UPDATE: Hmmm... I'm using the same MCT USB stick as before but this time it asked for a product key (so I chose the 'I don't have a product key' link) and also asked me to choose the edition of Windows 10... so I'm going to put 'Pro' back on again. I don't know why the newer Dell laptop didn't ask these 2 questions... unless it checks the BIOS/UEFI. Anyway, I chose 'custom' again, deleted the partitions and installed.

    This time the wi-fi card was recognised so I connected to the internet... and yet again Windows was reactivated within seconds automatically.

    Please feel free to duplicate my tests but I'm confident that even using just a local account, Windows 10 re-activates automatically if a 'digital licence' has been stored previously.

    Rick
    Last edited by RickC; 17 Aug 2017 at 21:36.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    17 Aug 2017 #415
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,204
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    Thread Starter

    It would be interesting to hear the results from the W7 PC that doesn't have an embedded key to rule out a possible free upgrade activation from the embedded W8 key.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    17 Aug 2017 #416
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 12
    Windows 7 + 10

    Hi Brink,

    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    It would be interesting to hear the results from the W7 PC that doesn't have an embedded key to rule out a possible free upgrade activation from the embedded W8 key.
    Just this minute finished and edited my earlier post. The HP laptop's older and with HDD, not SSD, so it took a lot longer. Anyway, it worked and reactivated automatically.

    I'm sat here looking at the 'Activation' screen and notice it says:

    Add a Microsoft account
    Your Microsoft account unlocks benefits that make your experience with Windows better, including the ability to reactivate Windows 10 on this device.

    But I've just proved to myself twice-over that an MSA just isn't necessary. I hope you get the chance to confirm this for yourself.

    Rick
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    17 Aug 2017 #417
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,204
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17040
    Thread Starter

    It'll be interesting to hear what others have experienced on a PC that doesn't have an embedded key and not using a MSA with a digital license linked to it.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
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