Activating W10 Pro: why didn't it ask me to enter the key?


  1. Posts : 45
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Activating W10 Pro: why didn't it ask me to enter the key?


    My copy of W10 is activated but during the installation I didn't get an option to enter the key. Should I expect that Windows asks me later at some point to provide it? I had created the installation USB on the machine with a licensed W7 Pro so is that key sort of transferred to a new system? Sorry it's probably a dumb question but I'd like to know what's happened. Did I buy that electronic key for nothing?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 8,700
    Mac OS Catalina
       #2

    Was this a clean install on a drive with no previous OS or on a machine already running Windows?
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 25,097
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #3

    decimus said:
    My copy of W10 is activated but during the installation I didn't get an option to enter the key. ...

    For a PC supplied with an OEM pre-installed Windows 8 and above you no longer get a CoA sticker on the PC with a key, as you did for Windows 7 and earlier. Instead the key is embedded in the firmware of the PC.

    You appear to have a PC that was build for and supplied with W8 or later. On such a machine Setup will detect the key in the Bios (meaning it won't need to ask for one) and use that to both choose which edition to install (Home or Pro) and to activate it (a W8 key is entitled to be upgraded to W10). Although this key is used to obtain activation, the installed W10 will be given the generic key for the edition installed, in the case of Pro that is the one ending with 3V66T (or PKCKT if it is Pro N).

    You can read the key from your PC's firmware with ShowKeyPlus.

    ShowKeyPlus
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 45
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thanks for the replies. It's all clear now. One lives and learns...
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 25,097
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

      My Computers


 

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