Windows activate - clarification  


  1. Posts : 720
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
       #1

    Windows activate - clarification


    It's been a long time since I've activated Windows 10 on a new computer, and the last time things did not go as I'd hoped, so I have a question.

    I use local accounts on my computers. I'm getting a new computer today with an OEM installation of Win 10 Pro. Is it possible to define a local user (with admin authority) prior to activation? I have a Microsoft account and will use it during the activation process, but I don't want the user profiles on the computer associated with that MS account.

    The last time I went through this process starting from a Microsoft account rather than a local account Windows built a profile name for the first user based on my email address rather than my "userid". I don't want that.

    By the way, the computer comes with Win 10 Pro, but I have no idea what version. I assume it will be either 2004 or 20H2.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 16,245
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.3693
       #2

    pokeefe0001 said:
    Is it possible to define a local user (with admin authority) prior to activation?
    Yes.

    Just disconnect the internet before you do the first boot. That forces it to create a local, Admin user account instead.

    When you are ready later on you can link the activation to your MSAccount.
    Check Activation of Windows 10 - TenForumsTutorials
    Activate Windows 10 - TenForumsTutorials
    Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License - TenForumsTutorials

    Denis
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 720
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks. I wouldn't have guessed the disconnecting from the internet step.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 13,346
    Win10 Version 22H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro and Home
       #4

    Agreed, did the same just on Saturday when clean installing a new hard drive.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 18,377
    Windows 11 Pro
       #5

    If you are installing/logging onto Windows 10 Pro, disconnecting from the internet is not required. That requirement/workaround is only for Windows 10 Home. However, it won't hurt anything either.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 720
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
    Thread Starter
       #6

    I might as well try it disconnected even though this is Pro. I won't attach an Ethernet cable and the laptop won't yet have any valid WiFi profiles.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 2,024
    Windows 11 Pro (latest update ... forever anal)
       #7

    pokeefe0001 said:
    I might as well try it disconnected even though this is Pro. I won't attach an Ethernet cable and the laptop won't yet have any valid WiFi profiles.
    The installation process will ask you twice (Microsoft thinks you lied the first time you indicated no internet connection). Ignore both. Also, Windows installation process will flash up all sorts of dire warnings about limited functionality and that the world will end if you don't connect the internet ... ignore !!

    If you've installed Win 10 previously on the same device, you won't need to activate (manually), it will be auto when the internet is connected on completion.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 720
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
    Thread Starter
       #8

    This is an OEM installation on a Dell laptop. Win 10 is installed but not activated. (In theory, Office 2-19 is also installed.)

    I'm about to power it on, but the 1st thing I'm going (to try) to do is boot from a Macrium Reflect recovery USB "drive" and take a backup before I destroy anything. (The next thing I'll do after activating Windows is to try to destroy things ... such as killing the preinstalled McAfee software and any Dell bloatware present.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    I was successful setting up and defining two users while disconnected from the web, then connected. I never saw any message telling me I was using an unactivated copy of Windows either before or after connecting to the web so maybe activation is automatic. I went through some procedure that had me log onto the Microsoft web site but it didn't seem like any kind of activate or registration process. Maybe I should briefly change to using a Microsoft account sign in so that Microsoft has an association of the installation and my MS id.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 16,245
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.3693
       #9

    pokeefe0001 said:
    I was successful setting up and defining two users while disconnected from the web, then connected. I never saw any message telling me I was using an unactivated copy of Windows either before or after connecting to the web so maybe activation is automatic. I went through some procedure that had me log onto the Microsoft web site but it didn't seem like any kind of activate or registration process. Maybe I should briefly change to using a Microsoft account sign in so that Microsoft has an association of the installation and my MS id.
    You already have the relevant tutorial links for these topics.
    - check activation
    - associate activation with an MSAccount

    Best of luck,
    Denis
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 30,421
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    pokeefe0001 said:
    This is an OEM installation on a Dell laptop. Win 10 is installed but not activated. ...

    I was successful setting up and defining two users while disconnected from the web, then connected. I never saw any message telling me I was using an unactivated copy of Windows either before or after connecting to the web so maybe activation is automatic.... Maybe I should briefly change to using a Microsoft account sign in so that Microsoft has an association of the installation and my MS id.

    On connecting to the internet a digital license is linked to the unique hardware ID of the PC and stored on the Microsoft activation servers. Linking to a Microsoft account is not necessary or required. It's there as a convenience for you to keep track of your machines, and for use with the activation troubleshooter should you make substantial hardware changes that would affect the hardware ID (eg. replacing the motherboard). The hard drive plays no part in the hardware ID and can be changes freely.

    I have no Microsoft account, but all my machines are activated with a digital license. I can clean install without supplying a key and they will activate automatically as soon as they can contact the activation servers.


    As a OEM machine supplied with Win10 pre-installed, it will have its product key embedded in its firmware. This replaces the use of a CoA sticker as supplied with OEM Win7 or earlier machines. You can read this key with ShowKeyPlus
      My Computers


 

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