Wow, already five pages long and there's still some confusion! From my perspective it's unfortunate that MS have adopted this 'keyless' solution. Imagine how much easier it would be if my first upgrade from W7/8/8.1 (retail) to W10 produced a new and unique product key that I could use directly on a new PC with a clean installation of W10.
If my Windows 8.1 retail licence becomes a Windows 10 retail licence when I upgrade, why do I have to jump through hoops to do a clean installation on a new machine? I don't really understand why this approach has been adopted when it clearly inconveniences the end user in terms of overall installation time.
At the point my W8.1 retail licence is upgraded to W10 retail, I'd like to be able to use it in exactly the same way from then on, with no additional hassle when I change my PC or its motherboard.
The new approach will eventually make things easier for everyone down the road. Once people are using largely original 10 keys, then they can reinstall without having to re-enter keys or have them be stored in the BIOS. It's unfortunate the transition will be painful for some people, but sometimes transitions have to be done so that everything is better down the road.
To find your key just download magical jelly bean app Google it install and tells your key
Yea, the last group of code for the key for my Windows 10 upgrade is 8HVX7.
The 20 character Product ID is created during the installation process and is prominently displayed towards the bottom (in the Activation section) on the opening panel window resulting from right-clicking the Computer icon and selecting "Properties" from the context menu. It is used to obtain/qualify for technical support (limited though that may be) from Microsoft; it is of no use during the installation process.
The 25 character Product Key is used to "prove" ownership of a legitimate license and is required to perform the installation, and is either stored on the DVD packaging on a sticker that says "Do not lose this number," or is on a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) label affixed to an OEM computer.
Win8.1 that turns it into Win8.1++ goes away.
If you want a real, complete retail version of Windows 10 with all its rights and privileges including the ability for a clean install on a new computer, then you have to buy Windows 10 Pro for $199 which will give you a unique, valid Windows 10 product key.
Last edited by John Pombrio; 31 Jul 2015 at 19:03.
I transfered my Windows 8 Pro x64 from Mac Pro 3,1 to Mac Pro 5,1 (new hardware) so my licensed Windows 8 was NOT activated anymore. Called the MS helpdesk, explained my upgrade and she just emailed a new activation key!
KUDOS for MS!