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  1.    30 Jul 2015 #1
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 55
    Windows 10 Pro

    W10 licence transfer. What happens if I change/upgrade my PC later on?


    Hi everyone,

    I've searched for a clear answer to this question but (to me at least) the situation still seems a bit uncertain. Here's the scenario...


    • I upgrade my WIndows 8.1 retail licence to Windows 10 on my current PC.
    • Windows 10 is thus activated on my current PC and used for the next year or more.
    • I buy a new PC or upgrade the motherboard, CPU and RAM in my current machine.
    • I therefore must perform a clean install of Windows 10 on the new PC.


    The question is, how do I activate my free Windows 10 on the new PC? As far as I can tell, I don't get a product key when I upgrade the old PC - activation is tied to the hardware ID instead. That's fine when reinstalling to the old machine but the new one will have a different hardware ID.

    With my Windows 8.1 retail licence I can install from scratch on a new machine with no problems (using the product key), as long as I'm using the OS on one machine only. By what mechanism do I achieve the same goal with the free upgrade to Windows 10? I understand that a retail version of Windows 7/8/8.1 will become a retail version of Windows 10 when upgraded. So how do I activate it on a different PC without a product key?

    Until I find a definite (and official) answer to this question I don't dare upgrade to Windows 10 in case I run into trouble when I upgrade my PC in the future (outside of the Windows 10 one year promotional period).

    Thanks in advance for your advice and assistance. Great forum by the way; and the only one I use for Windows 10 info.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    30 Jul 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    United States
    Posts : 165
    Windows 10 Home x64

    Microsoft is pretty easygoing if you had to replace faulty hardware, but upgrading for the sake of upgrading, not so much.

    However, the big game changes are the main core components such as the motherboard, etc. changing the video card, SD/HD drives, etc. usually aren't cause for concern.

    Furthermore, since you upgraded from a retail license, Windows 10 should be bound under that license, which allows you transfer the license to another system, provided the old system is no longer being used.

    I'm at a loss with the clean install on new hardware... since the upgrade is registered on the older hardware over the previous OS install.

    You can find the product key that's used for your install, but from the looks of it, it's a generic key and your PID is what's unique from machine to machine.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    30 Jul 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 55
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris2005 View Post
    I'm at a loss with the clean install on new hardware... since the upgrade is registered on the older hardware over the previous OS install.
    As am I, and since a motherboard change would essentially be the same as a new PC from Microsoft's point of view, I'm potentially stuck either way. I'm sure all will become clear in good time but for now I'm just going to use my Insider installation of Windows 10 (installed on a second drive) and stay put with my main Windows 8.1 installation until I find the answer to my question.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    30 Jul 2015 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 167
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64

    If you upgraded a retail Windows 8.1 license, then your Windows 10 license is also retail, and you can transfer it to a new PC without issue.

    This is confirmed by Microsoft, and is written in the Windows 10 EULA.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    30 Jul 2015 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    United States
    Posts : 165
    Windows 10 Home x64

    I also just found it explained here:
    Solved Frequently Asked Questions about the Windows 10 Free upgrade - Windows 10 Forums

    Does my Retail copy of Windows become an OEM copy (Locked to the hardware it was upgraded on) after the upgrade?

    * UPDATE As of the license terms released with build 10240, an original OEM copy upgrades to what is, in effect, still an OEM copy. An original Retail copy upgrades to what is, in effect a retail, transferable copy. Microsoft has done away with terms like "OEM" in the license, and now use terms like "If you originally acquired the software preinstalled on the device" and "If you acquired the software from a retailer". And, in the license they explicitly say that an upgraded retail license is still a transferable retail license.

    In no situation does your original Windows 7/8/8.1 license get converted to an OEM license.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    30 Jul 2015 #6
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Philadelphia
    Posts : 1,172
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Delicieuxz View Post
    If you upgraded a retail Windows 8.1 license, then your Windows 10 license is also retail, and you can transfer it to a new PC without issue.

    This is confirmed by Microsoft, and is written in the Windows 10 EULA.
    This is the first I'm hearing about this. How would you get the license key to use for the clean install on a new PC?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    30 Jul 2015 #7
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 167
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64

    I suspect it may be the same serial key as used for the previous Windows OS version. I'm not really sure, though.

    Hopefully somebody tests it out, soon, and reports here what the result is.


    The key should also be in the Windows 10 registry, somewhere, after an upgrade installation:

    How to Find Your Lost Windows or Office Product Keys
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    30 Jul 2015 #8
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Philadelphia
    Posts : 1,172
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    It's definitely not the same key, as you can't simply type in your 8.1 key and activate 10. My guess is, it's a generic key that will get blacklisted soon. Every where I've read, including here on these forums, says the Windows 10 license is tied to the computer it is installed on during the upgrade.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    30 Jul 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    United States
    Posts : 165
    Windows 10 Home x64

    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
    It's definitely not the same key, as you can't simply type in your 8.1 key and activate 10. My guess is, it's a generic key that will get blacklisted soon. Every where I've read, including here on these forums, says the Windows 10 license is tied to the computer it is installed on during the upgrade.
    When it comes to OEM, yes, it's tied to the machine.

    As for a retail install, I don't know how that works.

    However, Microsoft seems to be shying away from OEM, etc. as I thought the OEM restriction thing stopped after 7... I kept hearing that even OEM licenses were no longer tied to the motherboards with the release of Windows 8.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    30 Jul 2015 #10
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 167
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64

    Here is the relevant section from the Windows 10 EULA:

    b. Stand-alone software. If you acquired the software as stand-alone software (and also if you upgraded from software you acquired as stand-alone software), you may transfer the software to another device that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software to a device owned by someone else if (i) you are the first licensed user of the software and (ii) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Every time you transfer the software to a new device, you must remove the software from the prior device. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between devices.


    Here is the full EULA:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Usete...10_English.htm
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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