Windows 10: Microsoft Explains When You Need a Windows 10 Product Key and When You

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  1.    29 Sep 2015 #11

    What I'd like to know is, if you install with a Product Code and then activate, does it then become a digital entitlement? Or do you have to enter that product code every time you clean install? I'm going to test it out at some point but likely not for a while. I did the free upgrade on all 4 of my home PC's. And I'm not building a new system until Christmas. All my current systems already have a digital entitlement to 10 Pro.
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  2.    29 Sep 2015 #12

    DooGie said: View Post
    "(manual re-activation is needed when you make significant changes to your PC configuration, such as replacing the motherboard)."

    That's the statement I've been waiting for, up until this a lot of users were under the impression they would have to purchse a copy of Windows 10 if they significantly updated their PC. It appears not.
    Good to hear as I'm planning on a new motherboard, CPU and SSD early next year. Have to see if it works without having to make a phonecall to MS support.
    If you change the mobo you will need a retail key to activate Windows 10. The license dies with the old mobo.
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  3.    29 Sep 2015 #13

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    What I'd like to know is, if you install with a Product Code and then activate, does it then become a digital entitlement?
    Yes it does. No need to re-enter.

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    Or do you have to enter that product code every time you clean install?
    No you do not.

    You can if you want but there is no need - it is only the first time you activate with that hardware. That can be through the initial install (using a purchased key) or by changing the key on an existing install (upgrade from Home to Pro or swapping the generic upgrade to a retail one for example). After that you can enter your key or not as you wish - it activates anyway.

    I swapped one license from VirtualBox to Hyper-V. Then I had to reactivate (obviously in retrospect as the hardware had changed). This was done automatically by the slui 4 robot.
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  4. Posts : 1,612
    Wndows 10 x64 Home Build 15063.296
       29 Sep 2015 #14

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    If you change the mobo you will need a retail key to activate Windows 10. The license dies with the old mobo.
    It all depends on how the Windows 10 key is generated from an upgrade to the OS you were previously running.
    No one has actually stated yet whether upgrading a retail version of Windows 7 or 8 is different from upgrading an OEM version.
    It'll be interesting to try it out.
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  5.    29 Sep 2015 #15

    DooGie said: View Post
    It all depends on how the Windows 10 key is generated from an upgrade to the OS you were previously running.
    No one has actually stated yet whether upgrading a retail version of Windows 7 or 8 is different from upgrading an OEM version.
    It'll be interesting to try it out.
    The resulting license is different. The upgrade inherits the rights of the qualifying OS. Here are the Windows licenses from an upgraded retail license and an upgraded OEM license (viewed with "winver". I blotted out the first grantee because it contains my email addy. If the user is the grantee he has the right to move the Windows 10 license to a new computer. If the grantee is the OEM the license can only be transferred with the device. Both are digital entitlements.

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    29 Sep 2015 #16

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    The resulting license is different. The upgrade inherits the rights of the qualifying OS. Here are the Windows licenses from an upgraded retail license and an upgraded OEM license (viewed with "winver". I blotted out the first grantee because it contains my email addy. If the user is the grantee he has the right to move the Windows 10 license to a new computer. If the grantee is the OEM the license can only be transferred with the device. Both are digital entitlements.
    Actually, no. The owner shown on winver is simply the first user to go through the OOBE. If you run sysprep on either of the above, create a new user called "Fred" you will see on winver that the owner is now "Fred".

    winver (and slmgr) show no (known) difference between upgrades from earlier versions and Win 10 keys.

    Most likely the hash lodged with MS is a combination of the hardware (motherboard, NIC etc) and the underlying license (whether it was OEM, retail or insider) and perhaps the original key.

    As no-one has decoded it though, no-one outside MS knows - and they certainly aren't saying.
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  7.    29 Sep 2015 #17

    I did an upgrade from 7 OEM to 10, then did a clean install. Licensed to on that PC shows

    Microsoft
    Microsoft
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  8.    29 Sep 2015 #18

    halasz said: View Post
    Actually, no. The owner shown on winver is simply the first user to go through the OOBE. If you run sysprep on either of the above, create a new user called "Fred" you will see on winver that the owner is now "Fred".

    winver (and slmgr) show no (known) difference between upgrades from earlier versions and Win 10 keys.



    Most likely the hash lodged with MS is a combination of the hardware (motherboard, NIC etc) and the underlying license (whether it was OEM, retail or insider) and perhaps the original key.

    As no-one has decoded it though, no-one outside MS knows - and they certainly aren't saying.
    It doesn't matter. The Windows 10 license inherits the rights of the qualifying license at the time of the upgrade.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    29 Sep 2015 #19

    Cbarnhorst said: View Post
    It doesn't matter. The Windows 10 license inherits the rights of the qualifying license at the time of the upgrade.
    What are you basing this assertion on? It isn't how it works for me.

    If you upgrade Windows 7 or 8 to ten you can NOT transfer to another PC without talking to MS techs as the PID is not recognized by the phone activation robot.. The PIDs generated by upgrades are never accepted by the phone activation system irrespective of what you upgraded from (OEM or retail).

    However a retail 10 Pro with a key you CAN transfer to another PC using only the phone activation robot as the PID is accepted.
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  10. Posts : 1,612
    Wndows 10 x64 Home Build 15063.296
       29 Sep 2015 #20

    There's an article on the Winows Club site on this subject.

    Windows 10 licensing: Acceptable changes in harware parts
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