Windows 10: Restoring Digital Entitlement Solved

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  1.    22 Mar 2016 #11

    CTPhil said: View Post
    I'm trying to install 10 on machines that previously had Windows 7 installed and activated. My understanding is that such machines are entitled to 10 and that 10 can be clean installed without entering an activation #. Indeed I have done that successfully on some machines, and on those I get "digital entitlement enacted". Others however don't cooperate and I have no idea why. On those even using "change product key" and using the key on the sticker on the machine does not work. If I reinstall 7 on those machines it validates, and if I then do an upgrade from a working 7, that will also validate. But I don't want to have to do that on every one, especially since I'm installing 3rd. party apps.
    You need to enter a key if you clean install on a pc if Windows 10 has not been installed previously.

    Are you installing version 10586?

    You need to be installing that version to enter a 7/8 key to activate it.

    Additionally, the 10 version must exactly match the 7 key version (home, pro, N, SL) etc.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    23 Mar 2016 #12

    cereberus said: View Post
    You need to enter a key if you clean install on a pc if Windows 10 has not been installed previously.

    Are you installing version 10586?

    You need to be installing that version to enter a 7/8 key to activate it.

    Additionally, the 10 version must exactly match the 7 key version (home, pro, N, SL) etc.
    Yes, version 10586. The machines that I'm having problems with are not accepting manually entered Win 7 keys. The frustrating part is that it does sometimes go the way it should.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 15
    Windows 10
       23 Mar 2016 #13

    It seems like you are cloning drives (if I read your earlier post correctly). I have had a few problems activating from cloned drives. The laptops I have cloned had a Win10 key in bios, and in most cases after the clone, the activation happens automatically (I assume Windows finds the key in BIOS and activates using the 'new' key). In some cases, it will not activate no matter what- enter Win10 product key (from bios) manually, try various slmgr.vbs options, etc. If I remember correctly, the few times I had problems, I ended up running sysprep which seemed to properly clear out the activation status and ended up activating ok after the oobe wizard finished. If the clone was from an upgrade (Win7/8-> Win10) instead of a clean install, then sysprep will not work.

    It would be nice to know what sysprep is actually doing in regards to activation, then one could truly 'wipe' any previous failed activation data and bypass running sysprep and either let Windows 10 find/activate the key in bios (Win8/10 key) or enter the (Win7) key manually (assuming was never activated before, and no digital entitlement yet).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    23 Mar 2016 #14

    When you say sysprep do you mean as a command line command?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 15
    Windows 10
       23 Mar 2016 #15

    I don't remember where it is in Win10, but search for sysprep.exe in the Windows folder. You can run it directly (gui). Choose to enter OOBE, no need to generalize (for new hardware). This will reset things, and when rebooted the first run wizard will run, previously created users should remain. I don't think creating a new user will be required, but if so just create a temp one, logout and login to a previously created user (then deleting temp one).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    23 Mar 2016 #16

    So after I've done a fresh install of 10, I run sysprep before cloning so as not to carry baggage from the old computer to the new one?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 15
    Windows 10
       23 Mar 2016 #17

    That is what is supposed to be done. I don't do that, though. (If I were to have one generic Windows image for all pc's/laptops, this is what I would probably do- also using the generalize option so hardware gets re-detected on first boot).

    I setup a laptop/pc as needed, then make a backup image (no sysprep). When a new laptop/pc goes out, I image it (using image of same model pc/laptop), do updates as needed, then make a new backup image (so my image stays relatively current). I end up with a number of images for various pc's, but with this method I don't have to install manufacturer specific drivers/software (there always seems to be plenty of special drivers/software needed, for laptops anyway)- its mostly set to go except for Windows updates and browser updates.

    With Windows 7, activation was a non-issue, as the manufacturer had 'pre-activated' oem keys. Cloning was not an issue among the same brand of pc/laptop. In cases where a Windows install took place without the oem media (which does not add the oem signed certificate to match whatever was in bios), you could at least activate using the product key on the Windows 7 sticker. With Windows 8/10, every key is now specific and unique, and hopefully a monkey wrench is not thrown into my usual cloning setup. It 'should' work the same, as now Windows can get at the unique product key itself (like reading the product key sticker), but it seems like Windows 10 activation is not fully debugged (I never once had a Win7 activation problem).
    Last edited by cv007; 23 Mar 2016 at 15:50.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    10 Apr 2016 #18

    I just tried sysprep on a stubborn machine that had 7 installed but never 10. After running it I was able to enter the # on the COA and activate. Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 1,751
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       11 Apr 2016 #19

    Question: If a retail version of 10 is purchased and activated with a product key on a virgin custom-built PC, upon upgrading to a newer build, does that machine receive and retain a digital entitlement?

    In other words, can a Product key activated Windows 10 system create a valid GenuineTicket.xml using GatherOsState.exe?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    11 Apr 2016 #20

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    Question: If a retail version of 10 is purchased and activated with a product key on a virgin custom-built PC, upon upgrading to a newer build, does that machine receive and retain a digital entitlement?

    In other words, can a Product key activated Windows 10 system create a valid GenuineTicket.xml using GatherOsState.exe?

    AFAIK, Retail Win 10 keys always activate without DE, although one can create a GT subsequently, I doubt it will be accepted for DE on a clean install with the generic key. That will be an interesting experiment tho'.

    It's inconsequential anyway, as in this scenario, an upgrade will use the currently installed key to activate. It's only if the installed key cannot activate that it checks for DE.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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