1. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 5
    win 7
       31 Jul 2015 #1

    HOW do I transfer windows (retail license) after upgrading to Windows


    According to this Microsoft Community thread:


    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install/how-do-i-transfer-windows-retail-license-after/6ee1dfe0-8adc-4cce-a46a-748963cf56d1?rtAction=1438237655029

    when we upgrade Retail Win 7/8.1 to Win 10, we don't actually get a Win 10 retail license that would allow us to install Win 10 on a new machine? (assuming current machine with upgraded Win 10 breaks down completely after 2 years)


    If that's the case, we upgraded users would have to buy Win 10 license some years down the road when upgrade or replace our machines...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,362
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15007
       31 Jul 2015 #2

    Hello Alpha,

    The activation for the free offer of Windows 10 is registered on the Microsoft activation servers, and is referenced by the hardware (motherboard/CPU/graphics card serial numbers) of the PC it was upgraded on.

    Unfortunately, it is tied to the same PC. If you replace the PC, you may need to purchase Windows 10 for it if you can't get it to activate by phone.


    Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading with free upgrade?

    Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer or Media Creation Tool on an activated Windows 7 or 8.1 PC, you will be able to reinstall, including a clean install, on the same device. You won’t need a product key for re-activations on the same hardware. If you make a meaningful change to your hardware, you may need to contact customer support to help with activation. You’ll also be able to create your own installation media like a USB drive or DVD, and use that to upgrade your device or reinstall after you’ve upgraded.
    Last edited by Brink; 01 Aug 2015 at 13:24.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 57
    WinXp; Win7 Pro; Win10 Pro
       31 Jul 2015 #3

    Typically the only upgrades that will trigger de-activation would be replacing the motherboard/cpu and/or NIC.

    For complete replacements you are correct. Brink's last paragraph has the crux of it- you have to contact microsoft to adjust your key activation to the new hardware. However, that was already the case with substantial changes/replacement prior to Windows 10.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Sep 2014
    Posts : 2,923
    Windows 10 Pro
       31 Jul 2015 #4

    alpha said: View Post
    According to this Microsoft Community thread:


    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install/how-do-i-transfer-windows-retail-license-after/6ee1dfe0-8adc-4cce-a46a-748963cf56d1?rtAction=1438237655029

    when we upgrade Retail Win 7/8.1 to Win 10, we don't actually get a Win 10 retail license that would allow us to install Win 10 on a new machine? (assuming current machine with upgraded Win 10 breaks down completely after 2 years)


    If that's the case, we upgraded users would have to buy Win 10 license some years down the road when upgrade or replace our machines...
    Read further down the replies. Shawn Keane gives you the method to transfer the license.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 57
    WinXp; Win7 Pro; Win10 Pro
       31 Jul 2015 #5

    Gotta love the even the MS support people are confused about it.

    The ultimate answer makes sense though. Basically, as long as you wipe out the OS on your prior computer, you can use it on your new computer- which has always been the case with full retail versions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 5
    win 7
       31 Jul 2015 #6

    Brink said: View Post
    Hello Alpha,

    The activation for the free offer of Windows 10 is registered on the Microsoft activation servers, and is referenced by the hardware (motherboard/CPU/graphics card serial numbers) of the PC it was upgraded on.

    Unfortunately, it is tied to the same PC. If you replace the PC, you will need to purchase Windows 10 for it.


    Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading with free upgrade?

    Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer or Media Creation Tool on an activated Windows 7 or 8.1 PC, you will be able to reinstall, including a clean install, on the same device. You won’t need a product key for re-activations on the same hardware. If you make a meaningful change to your hardware, you may need to contact customer support to help with activation. You’ll also be able to create your own installation media like a USB drive or DVD, and use that to upgrade your device or reinstall after you’ve upgraded.
    Well the bold part is the tricky part. Firstly from this well-referenced Microsoft Community FAQ thread,

    Frequently Asked Questions Windows 10 - Microsoft Community

    (quote)

    If you upgrade from a retail version, it carries the rights of a retail version.
    If you upgrade from a OEM version, it carries the rights of a OEM version.

    Full version (Retail):
    - Includes transfer rights to another computer.
    - Doesn't require a previous qualifying version of Windows.
    - Expensive

    Upgrade version (Retail):
    - Includes transfer rights to another computer.
    - require a previous qualifying version of Windows.
    - Expensive, but cheaper than full version

    OEM :
    OEM versions of Windows are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:
    - OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel
    - OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on
    - OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard
    - OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system


    (end quote)

    I'm talking about Retail license here. If 1 year from now, my PC breaks down and I build a new one from scratch, how am I going to activate my upgraded Win 10 on this new PC when you don't even have the unique product key to do the phone activation thingy? (did it before for my Win 7 under the same circumstance). And if you can't do this, then the above statements about license upgrade (retail to retail, OEM to OEM) are misleading.

    From further replies from the moderator Shawn in that thread I provided,

    HOW do I transfer windows after upgrading to - Microsoft Community

    (quote)

    Since this is an upgrade only offer, it works differently than in the past.

    1. You have 7 or 8.1 today.
    2. When you do your upgrade to Windows 10, it knows you had a qualifying existing version (reads your old product key from either the system or your firmware). When it activates, the activation server stores a record of the old an your Windows 10 key. At this point, you can safely install again onto the same computer cleanly, and it will still activate (so you never have to install 7/8 first again, the activation server will allow the clean install of 10).

    None of the above is disputed, this is widely documented and reported. The question is about transferring it to another new computer later.


    Windows 10 upgrade is tied to your original OS, so you need to first know if you're allowed to transfer that. If your old 7/8.1 came with that computer, it's an OEM license and you stop right here, it can't go to a new PC at all, and so neither can your Windows 10 upgrade that is tied to it.

    If your Windows 7/8 is a full (non-upgrade) version (purchased at retail for example), it can be transferred. We already know this as well (as long as you remove it from the old machine, you can install it somewhere else).

    The question is, once you've upgraded it to Windows 10, can you install Windows 10 somewhere else (provided, of course, that you remove it from the original PC first*). From a license perspective I believe that you can, but the activation server isn't going to allow it. In the past you could call and they would reset the counter if you told them that you removed it from the old PC, but I don't know if that works in 10 with the "for the life of the device" clause in there.

    So, it's this bold point that I'm trying to confirm the validity of inside Microsoft.

    (end quote)

    So no one in Microsoft is clear about how this license transfer is going to work, assuming Shawn works there. And you can see it in this dialogue which is posted in the same thread by sasha zyryanov when he called tech support

    (quote)

    - Hi, thanks for visiting Answer Desk! I'm Patrick B. How may I help you with your Windows software today?
    - Good day. I plan to upgrade from Windows 7 Retail to Windows 10. According to the license agreement I can transfer the license to another device ("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"). However when you upgrade to Windows 10 unique product key is not given to you. How, without a product key, can I transfer Windows 10 license to a new computer?
    - Hmmm, Wouldn't turn out Well alexander as you can see the Product key of your Windows 10 Will be Registered in your Hardware, if you're going to transfer your License to another computer I suggest that you buy a Windows 10 Retail CD instead.
    - Buing CD isn't free. Since I already have transferable Windows 10 license I'll want to use it.
    - I see, let me think of something else. Can you provide me your Product key so I can check the status of it?
    - Not at this moment, sorry.
    - I see, what I suggest for you to do is to Install Windows 7 in your other computer and upgrade it to Windows 10 After.
    - Right now I'm curious about the future. I'll certainly upgrade my PC in a couple of years and I want to be sure, that my OS will be transferable. I heard that for license transfer you'll have to reinstall Windows 7/8.1 on another PC and reupgrade it to Windows 10. I just need a confirmation that I will be able to freely upgrade to Windows 10 the same Windows 7/8.1 key after 1 year form today. If you don't know the answer yet, that's fine (looks like nobody does). In that case please bring Microsoft's attention to this subject. An official guide or FAQ will be very nice.
    - Once you upgraded your software to Windows 10 your Product key will also be upgraded, that's when the time where you can transfer your license.
    - Ok, but how will I get Windows 10 key? My friend have upgraded Windows 8.1 Pro Retail to Windows 10 and he wasn't provided with unique Windows 10 key. And the system itsel has only generic product key.
    - The product of your Windows 7 would be the product key that you'll be using as well since it would be the one that would be going to be upgraded to Windows 10 product key.
    - So, I will be able to enter my Windows 7 product key for Windows 10 activation? I've heard that this is not working.
    - Yes, it would work Alexander.

    - Ok, thanks.

    (end quote)

    The bold part, which everyone knows, does not work for now.
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  7. Joined : Oct 2014
    Manchester CT
    Posts : 272
    Windows 10 Fast Ring
       01 Aug 2015 #7

    Here is my take of this. From another post:

    Think of the Win10 UPGRADE as simply an update patch on top of Windows 8.1 to make it look like Win10. Lets call it Win8.1++. Don't think of it as a COMPLETELY NEW INSTALL of Win10 because it isn't! It only has a generic product key and it does not have a way of doing a clean install by just using a Win7/Win 8.1 product key on a new computer. Like any other retail copy of Win8.1 that you want to move to a new computer, you first have to do a clean install of Win8.1 then run updates on it including the one to make it LOOK LIKE Win10 (Win8.1++). Of course, you need to wipe the old copy of Win8.1++ off of the original machine as well. Simple enough. Oh, and you only have a year to play with it before the win10 update patch for Win8.1 that turns it into Win8.1++ goes away so no more transfers to a new computer (unless MS once again changes the rules or make exceptions).

    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.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 


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