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  1.    05 Aug 2015 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10

    Windows 10 product key not working after clean install


    I installed windows 10 on top of Windows 7, but then did a clean install afterwards from an image on a USB drive.

    I wrote down the product key from the first install after scraping it with a program.

    The clean install of 10 went fine, but it will not accept this product key. Im guessing this is because I used it on the old install, but that install no longer exists. What do I need to do to have this key work? I have email confirmation of upgrade (assuming that actually means anything).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    05 Aug 2015 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 24,410
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17017

    Hello AngryPidgeon, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    When you upgrade to the free 10 from an activated Windows 7, you do not get a product key. Instead, the activation for 10 is registered on Microsoft activation servers for that PC.

    Since you installed Windows 10 with an invalid (generic) key on the PC, you will need to start over again.

    This means that you will need to reinstall and activate Windows 7, then upgrade to Windows 10 again.

    Clean Install Windows 7 - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Windows 10 - Upgrade Installation - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    06 Aug 2015 #3
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    I think he's saying he already did the upgrade, then did a clean install afterwards, trying to use the generic key to install.
    @AngryPidgeon - You will need to re-install, but click "skip" instead of trying to use a product key, so long as you are installing the same version of Windows 10 (home or pro) that you originally upgraded to.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    06 Aug 2015 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I don't believe I used a generic key?

    I think I may have figured out what happened. The image that I installed from USB is a Windows PRO image. The Windows 7 copy that I upgraded from was windows 7 Home. I'm currently getting another image for Windows 10 home which I will clean install and attempt to use my key for.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    06 Aug 2015 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 24,410
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17017

    You cannot activate the free Windows 10 with your Windows 7 key.

    The free Windows 10 activation is registered on MS activation servers instead, so you can't have a key for the free Windows 10. That's why you would "skip" entering a key during a clean install if done after you already upgraded to register the activation.

    Since you tried to install with a key afterwards, that will most likely mess up the registered Windows 10 activation on your PC. If so, then you'll need to start over with 7 and upgrade to 10 again.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  6.    06 Aug 2015 #6
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 12
    Windows 10

    I think he did what I did

    * Update Windows 7

    * Get the resulting Windows 10 key from the installation

    Use this for a fresh install.

    It worked for me
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    06 Aug 2015 #7
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryPidgeon View Post
    I don't believe I used a generic key?
    The key you get from Speccy or Belarc from an upgraded Windows 10 is a generic key. You cannot use this for installation, nor is it needed. You simply click to skip entering the key (there is a link at the bottom to do this) (again, assuming you are reinstalling the same edition, which it sounds like you didn't).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    06 Aug 2015 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,148
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryPidgeon View Post
    I'm currently getting another image for Windows 10 home which I will clean install and attempt to use my key for.
    Do not enter any key. Look for the tiny "Skip", "Skip this step", or "Do this later" options when asked for a key and click on those.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    06 Aug 2015 #9
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 31
    Win 10 x64 Pro

    You do get a new Win 10 Product key, once you install Win 10, use magic jellybean (free version) to recover the key. Be sure to compare it to your Product ID (make sure the ID matches).

    I have not tried it yet, but I do not plan to do an upgrade. I burned the Win10 iso to disk, and plan to offline install (again) a full version off a newly wiped/formatted HDD using the key ( I will post back the result).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    06 Aug 2015 #10
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by rive0108 View Post
    You do get a Win 10 Product key, once you install Win 10, use magic jellybean (free version) to recover the key. Be sure to compare it to your Product ID (make sure the ID matches)
    No, you get a generic key, that is useless for any purpose. You can't install with it, you can't use it for anything.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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