Activating windows 10 on new hardware


  1. Posts : 16
    Windows 10
       #1

    Activating windows 10 on new hardware


    I took advantage of the free upgrade to Win10 from Win 8.1 many years ago on my aging Core2 system.

    Recently my Core2 motherboard failed. The board will no longer post, so I got a new board, ram and cpu.

    I was hoping to use my current Win10 instillation in the new hardware, but I don't think it's going to work out. I had a Linux install on another SSD, and I think the grub bootloader is preventing Windows from booting. Probably for the best to do a fresh install anyway.

    When I upgraded from Win8 which I purchased digitally, I'm not sure if my activation key was changed for Win10, as I can't boot Win10 on my new hardware to check.

    I have a Microsoft account tied to Win10 install, but from what I've read it logs the hardware to the account as well.

    I think I've found my Win8.1 activation key, but I'm not 100% sure if it's from a laptop or not.
    If it's my original 8.1 key, will it still be valid to activate Win10, or even Win8, or is it invalid after upgrading?
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  2. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 9,125
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19043.928 (x64) [21H1]
       #2

    jamonbread22 said:
    I took advantage of the free upgrade to Win10 from Win 8.1 many years ago on my aging Core2 system.

    Recently my Core2 motherboard failed. The board will no longer post, so I got a new board, ram and cpu.

    I was hoping to use my current Win10 instillation in the new hardware, but I don't think it's going to work out. I had a Linux install on another SSD, and I think the grub bootloader is preventing Windows from booting. Probably for the best to do a fresh install anyway.

    When I upgraded from Win8 which I purchased digitally, I'm not sure if my activation key was changed for Win10, as I can't boot Win10 on my new hardware to check.

    I have a Microsoft account tied to Win10 install, but from what I've read it logs the hardware to the account as well.

    I think I've found my Win8.1 activation key, but I'm not 100% sure if it's from a laptop or not.
    If it's my original 8.1 key, will it still be valid to activate Win10, or even Win8, or is it invalid after upgrading?


    Supposedly, you can just do a clean install of Windows 10, and because the last Win 10 install was connected to a Microsoft account, you can...

    Activate Windows 10




    As for the Win 8.1 key... they have only so many activations. If you haven't reached that amount, whatever it is, you should be able to do it that way as well.
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  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Posts : 5,042
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #3

    I used a Win7 key to activate Windows 10 after a motherboard change in 2018.
      My Computer

  4. Superfly's Avatar
    Posts : 3,328
       #4

    jamonbread22 said:
    If it's my original 8.1 key, will it still be valid to activate Win10, or even Win8, or is it invalid after upgrading?
    Hmmm.. yup. (stays valid)
    Ghot said:
    As for the Win 8.1 key... they have only so many activations. If you haven't reached that amount, whatever it is, you should be able to do it that way as well.
    Hmmm.. yup. (MSA does not matter... )

    Matthew Wai said:
    I used a Win7 key to activate Windows 10 after a motherboard change in 2018.
    Uhmm... 2018? Was a good year anyway...
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  5. Posts : 16
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I'm not yet 100% certain yet if the Win8.1 key I've found is mine that I upgraded to Win10, or one I used for a laptop I setup for my mother many years ago now. She's still using the laptop with Win8.1

    It's good to know I can still use my Win8 key though.

    I've decided to get a new SSD drive, as the one I'm still using with Win10 on must be over 8 years old now.
    I'm hoping to recover some data that's still on there with Windows 10.

    Thanks for the replies.
      My Computer

  6. Superfly's Avatar
    Posts : 3,328
       #6

    jamonbread22 said:
    I'm not yet 100% certain yet if the Win8.1 key I've found is mine that I upgraded to Win10, or one I used for a laptop I setup for my mother many years ago now. She's still using the laptop with Win8.1

    It's good to know I can still use my Win8 key though.

    I've decided to get a new SSD drive, as the one I'm still using with Win10 on must be over 8 years old now.
    I'm hoping to recover some data that's still on there with Windows 10.

    Thanks for the replies.
    Why is your mum still on 8.1? No worries if she's happy - they get cranky if you change their world, I know. Assume your product key is retail?
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  7. Posts : 16
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    My mother's just used to that setup now, and she's doesn't like change.
    I purchased the digital key version from an online retailer.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 721
    ,7,8.1 10TP 10upgrade,MINT
       #8

    I had been running the Windows insider slow lane on a pc and there was some kind of failure which I failed to resolve, it seemed to be hardware related. I ended up buying a new A320 motherboard, an Athlon 3000G and some DDR4. I reloaded Windows 10 pro from an iso and hoped for the best. I have a Microsoft account, and when I tried to activate, there was a message from Microsoft enquiring whether I had just changed my hardware. I replied yes and Windows was activated. As you can imagine, I was very pleased with Microsoft.
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