How can I save my Windows 10 digital licences for multiple installs?

  1. Posts : 1,133
    Windows 10 Pro

    How can I save my Windows 10 digital licences for multiple installs?

    I have this elaborate multi-boot setup with my "daily driver" Windows 10 on my main GPT SSD plus 4 extra Windows 10 partitions on a secondary MBR spinning HDD. I use EasyBCD to multi-boot and it works (or did work) flawlessly until I did something today that was probably really stupid.

    I wanted to add some more partitions to that second boot drive because it is 4 TB and there was so much wasted space. So I used MiniTool Partition Wizard (highly recommended) to convert that second drive from MBR to GPT. The free version only converts DATA drives and I didn't want to spend the money for the paid version to get conversion for OS drives. The conversion ran OK.

    At this point, EasyBCD throws up a message "Error Opening BCD Registry." I managed to get things back to normal by by re-converting the drive back to MBR. However, if I change the drive letters on those 4 extra partitions to NONE (so Windows doesn't get confused), then I get that error window again. Before today, I had drive letter NONE for those 4 extra partitions, and EasyBCD ran fine.

    Now I need to upgrade all these extra Win 10 partitions to 1809 anyway, so I'm thinking that I should just erase all the partitions on the drive and reformat as a GPT drive. Then I would recreate my 4 Windows partitions on the second drive using 1809. These extra partitions are just for scratching around, doing test installs, etc, so I don't have to save anything on those partitions.

    Before I do that, I want to be sure that I have copies of the digital licenses so the Microsoft servers activate these partitions, and I don't lose the installs.

    The company I used to work for was in some kind of third party developers program and they had 4 extra installs on a Win 7 Retail Edition key and they let me use those installs.

    So what are my next steps?
    Yeah, I know I did something really stupid.
      My Computers

  2. Posts : 17,281
    Windows 11 Pro

    Your license for that computer is stored on Microsoft activation servers. You don't need to save any license for the same version of Windows 10 that was on that computer before. The generic product keys that will work to activate your Windows 10 on that computer are:
    Generic Product Keys to Install Windows 10 Editions | Tutorials

    Make sure you are using the keys in the Retail column, not the KMS column.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 14,579
    Windows 10 IoT

    I have done numerous test installs of just about every Edition of Windows 10 on several of my PC's. They were for the most part all activated with Digital Licenses. I have a My Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription.
    I can now do clean installs of those same ditions on those PC's without entering a key and they auto activate with the Digital License they got when first activated. I just skip entering a key, select the Edition I want, Home , Pro etc. and bobs your uncle. I'm not sure how that works though if you have multiple installs of the same edition on one device? I don't multiboot, I only ever run one Edition on one device. I can switch editions on the fly by simply doing a change product key.
      My Computer


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