Windows 10: Switching Laptop from Windows 10 Preview to Windows 10 Release Solved

  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 64bit
       08 May 2016 #1

    Switching Laptop from Windows 10 Preview to Windows 10 Release

    I have an HP Pavilion laptop that came with Windows 8 pre-installed. I upgraded it to Windows 8.1 a few months after purchase.

    Early last year I installed Windows 10 Preview during the beta period and am still running the preview version, slow ring.

    I would like to clean install Windows 10 Release version (before the free upgrade perion ends) and am wondering if it will work with the Windows 8 Key stored in the HP Bios, or is that key invalidated by the Windows 8.1 upgrade? Can I retrieve my Windows 8 or 8.1 key somehow?

    Just trying to clarify how to proceed and be able to activate the Windows 10 Release. (I recently installed Windows 10 on my desktop PC, and just used my Windows 8.1 key that had been installed on that desktop system during the clean install of 10, and that worked perfectly.)

    Thanks for any info.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    09 May 2016 #2

    Yes, a clean install of Windows 10 build 10586 will use a Windows 8 product key stored in bios. You can see if/what the key stored in bios is by running showkey plus:

    Showkey - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    09 May 2016 #3

    As far as I know, the OEM BIOS key is never invalidated by doing the free upgrade. My laptop came with 8.0 Core. I upgraded it to Windows 8.1 and then 10. As a test I reinstalled Windows 8 and it activated without issue. As long as you use the correct install media it will be read and used automatically. showkey should tell you what version your OEM key is for, Core, Pro, Single Language, etc. Then match that up with the correct Windows 10 ISO and your all set.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 64bit
    Thread Starter
       09 May 2016 #4


    Thanks for the information. Have a new SSD on the way to upgrade my laptop. I'll try doing the clean install on that (have my current hard drive as a backup if issues occur).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    09 May 2016 #5

    In fact, if you clean install Windows 10 version 10586 with an 8 bios embedded key, it activates automatically. No need to even enter the key.

    Still worth extracting the key just in case key is not embedded - highly unlikely for an HP though. Some have been caught with a pc coming with 8 on it, but the pc had windows 7 and was upgraded before sale (rare).
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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