Uninstall Product Key and Deactivate Windows 10  

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  1. Posts : 61,587
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #40

    Hello @Ecks00, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    The audio issue is most likely not related to the illegal activation, but yeah you would want to get a legal key to activate with before Windows gets invalidated.
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 57
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #41

    An unusual question:

    Background: I have a Dell laptop that came with Windows 10 Home OEM. I used a separate Windows 8.1 Professional Retail key to upgrade that Dell install from 10 Home -> 10 Pro. It worked smoothly, just as this guide described. This now-10-Pro system is still in my possession and it's linked (visible) in my MSA:



    What I want to do: I have a new HP laptop with Windows 10 Home OEM, with its original HP OEM key written down. Ideally, I'd downgrade the Dell back to its original 10 Home OEM and use that-now-unused 8.1 Professional Retail key to upgrade the HP laptop from 10 Home to 10 Professional.

    What I have:
    1. A Windows 10 Home OEM key (on the Dell).
    2. A Windows 8.1 Professional Retail key (currently used to upgrade the Dell).
    3. A Windows 10 Home OEM key (on the HP).

    Question: Which of these is the "correct" / "best" way to downgrade painlessly? I'm hoping to avoid formatting/wiping everything, if possible.

    1. Idea One? Only Deactivate the Windows 10 Pro install using the OP steps. Deactivating a 10 Home -> 10 Pro upgrade install will downgrade automatically back to the embedded UEFI 10 Home & free up 8.1 Pro Retail key is now free to use on other systems.

    2. Idea Two? Only Downgrade the Windows 10 Pro install (via this guide). Downgrading a 10 Home -> 10 Pro upgrade install will automatically deactivate the 8.1 Pro key to be freely installed on other machines.

    3. Idea Three? Deactivate 10 Pro using the OP steps and then downgrade.

    More simply, are downgrading and deactivating linked (one causes the other) or these are two separate processes that I need to initiate at different times? I suspect I'll need to call MS at some point to activate something, but what would be safest to mitigate/avoid later activation headaches?

    Thank you so much for this thorough guide. TenForums has saved me many times: you all are a lifesaver. Thank you for everything: I'd not know half the things I know about Windows 10 without this forum.
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  3. Posts : 61,587
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #42

    Hello @ikjadoon,

    Deactivating Windows will not change the current edition.

    Unfortunately, these PCs all have an OEM licenses that are not transferable to another computer.

    You'll need to purchase a W10 Pro key to upgrade the new W10 Home PC to Pro.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 57
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #43

    Brink said:
    Hello @ikjadoon,

    Deactivating Windows will not change the current edition.

    Unfortunately, these PCs all have an OEM licenses that are not transferable to another computer.

    You'll need to purchase a W10 Pro key to upgrade the new W10 Home PC to Pro.
    Hi, Brink. Thank you for the note. Thus, the deactivation isn't really necessary in my case, right?

    Ah, wait. To clarify, I'm not transferring a 10 Home OEM license: both laptops already have 10 Home OEM, which is staying. I'm curious about moving a retail Windows 8.1 Pro key from one of the 10 Home OEM system to another 10 Home OEM system.

    From this guide (and my personal experience), a 8.1 Pro Retail key can upgrade a Windows 10 Home OEM -> Windows 10 Pro. Is that no longer accurate?



    I have that 8.1 Pro Retail key. It's being used in "10 Home OEM" laptop A (to upgrade it to 10 Pro). I'd like to revert that system back to 10 Home OEM & use the newly-freed 8.1 Pro Retail key to upgrade "10 Home OEM" laptop B. Ideally without needing to wipe either system.

    Or have I misunderstood something? 8.1 Pro Retail keys, once freed, can no longer update 10 Home OEM -> 10 Home Pro?
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 61,587
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #44

    @ikjadoon,

    You would only want to deactivate the older computer you used the Windows 8.1 Pro key with.

    You could try to activate the new OEM W10 Home to W10 Pro with the retail W8.1 Pro key.

    It would normally work, but since you have already activated an OEM W10 Home PC with this key, it may not be transferable since it's OEM. It won't hurt to try though.
    Last edited by Brink; 09 Dec 2019 at 10:08.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 57
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #45

    Brink said:
    @ikjadoon,
    You would only want to deactivate the older computer you used the Windows 8.1 Pro key with.
    You could try to activate the new OEM W10 Home to W10 Pro with the retail W8.1 Pro key.
    It would normally work, but since you have already activated an OEM W10 Home PC with this key, it may not be transferable since it's OEM. It won't hurt to try though.
    Ah, I understand. Thank you for clarifying. I'll confirm I won't be returning the HP & will post back with my results.

    1. Deactivate the 10 Pro on the Dell.
    2. Downgrade the 10 Pro -> 10 Home OEM on the Dell (use the original 10 Home OEM key).
    3. Attempt to use the 8.1 Pro Key on the 10 Home OEM on the HP.

    I'll report back my results in a few weeks (i.e., for the return window to expire).
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 116
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit
       #46

    Giving away a Dell PC with embedded Product Key


    I'm about to give away a Dell Inspiron 7737 laptop, and I want to remove the Product Key from the device. Apparently, this being an OEM PC, the Product Key is embedded in the UEFI firmware chip and so, as Shawn has said above, cannot be removed from the PC. (I tried it anyway, without success, by completely deleting all partitions, so that there was only "Disk 0 Unallocated Space" showing, and then reinstalling Win 10, but after completing the install, I found that it had reactivated automatically with my same Product Key.)

    So, what is the best secure solution? "Clean all" in DISKPART? Or is there a quicker way to do this?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Cheers,
    George
    Last edited by devnull; 18 Jan 2020 at 23:45.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 913
    Win 10
       #47

    devnull said:
    I'm about to give away a Dell Inspiron 7737 laptop, and I want to remove the Product Key from the device. Apparently, this being an OEM PC, the Product Key is embedded in the UEFI firmware chip and so, as Shawn has said above, cannot be removed from the PC. (I tried it anyway, without success, by completely deleting all partitions, so that there was only "Disk 0 Unallocated Space" showing, and then reinstalling Win 10, but after completing the install, I found that it had reactivated automatically with my same Product Key.)

    So, what is the best secure solution? "Clean all" in DISKPART? Or is there a quicker way to do this?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Cheers,
    George
    Why are trying to remove the key? You can not use the OEM key on any other computer.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 116
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit
       #48

    Porthos, Yes, of course you're right, I wasn't thinking straight. Let me put it this way: If someone sells or gives away an OEM machine with its embedded Product Key, what can the seller/donor do to disassociate his ownership of that Product Key from his Microsoft Account?
    Last edited by devnull; 21 Jan 2020 at 17:35.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 13,586
    Windows10
       #49

    devnull said:
    Porthos, Yes, of course you're right, I wasn't thinking straight. Let me put it this way: If someone sells or gives away an OEM machine with its embedded Product Key, what can the seller/donor do to disassociate his ownership of that Product Key from his Microsoft Account? I should mention that in this particular case, I actually do not remember the now-obsolete email address that I used years ago to identify myself for the Microsoft account that this particular laptop OS is associated with.
    Change account to local account on laptop and link is removed. The link only remains in force if pc logins on with same primary MS account.
      My Computer


 

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