Windows 10: Extract qualifying windows 7 product key after W10 clean install Solved

  1.    22 Sep 2016 #1

    Extract qualifying windows 7 product key after W10 clean install


    First I apologize for asking something I am sure has been asked many times, but cant find a definitive answer.

    Is there a way to Extract the qualifying windows 7 product key after W10 clean install ?

    I did a clean install of W10 after a free W10 upgrade installed and activated. But the activation failed and a MS support person asked me for the original W7 qualifying key......I look after many computers and for some reason cant find which key was used for this PC.....So hope there is a way to find it....

    I have now restored a backup and W10 is again activated.....so is this key stored anywhere ?

    Many thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    22 Sep 2016 #2

    Try this, https://www.tenforums.com/software-ap...7-showkey.html It will find the key if you originally upgraded from Windows 7, assuming that's what the backup was. On a clean install its not recoverable. Windows 7 keys are not stored in the BIOS like with Windows 8 and 10. If the key you retrieve is an OEM-SLP key it won't work for activating Windows 10. You need the OEM-COA key from the COA sticker if entering manually on a clean install. Did you install the exact same version you got via the free upgrade? If you did it should have activated with Digital License it got via the free upgrade. Miss match the edition though and it won't activate. Installing 10 Home Single language when it was 10 Home, or vice versa, will cause activation to fail. To install 10 Home, you want the ISO simply labeled Windows 10 from the Media Creation Tool. It's multi edition and can install Home or Pro. A common mistake is downloading the Home SL ISO when you want 10 Home.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    22 Sep 2016 #3

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    Try this, https://www.tenforums.com/software-ap...7-showkey.html It will find the key if you originally upgraded from Windows 7, assuming that's what the backup was. On a clean install its not recoverable. Windows 7 keys are not stored in the BIOS like with Windows 8 and 10. If the key you retrieve is an OEM-SLP key it won't work for activating Windows 10. You need the OEM-COA key from the COA sticker if entering manually on a clean install. Did you install the exact same version you got via the free upgrade? If you did it should have activated with Digital License it got via the free upgrade. Miss match the edition though and it won't activate. Installing 10 Home Single language when it was 10 Home, or vice versa, will cause activation to fail. To install 10 Home, you want the ISO simply labeled Windows 10 from the Media Creation Tool. It's multi edition and can install Home or Pro. A common mistake is downloading the Home SL ISO when you want 10 Home.
    Thanks, yes I did install the PRO version, but should have installed home, so,that was the issue.Also,Imhave performed a clean install so .... It's just when the MS rep said I should always keep the original W7 key safe just in case, it worried me....had thought the qualifying key would be encoded somewhere, but maybe not....
    thanks for the help

    PS If for some reason I have trouble activating in the future can I buy a COA licence ' sticker' and use that
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    22 Sep 2016 #4

    The Windows 7 key is not stored on Windows 10, as it is only used to activate once-off - an upgrade will retain the original key however, for roll-back purposes.

    Once digitally activated, it is no longer required for that PC

    COA keys can only be used legally with the PC it was purchased with.

    System builder OEM keys, however, also have a sticker. Those packages can be purchased self-standing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    23 Sep 2016 #5

    As Superfly mentioned, once you have a Digital Entitlement for that PC you don't need the key. If you go to Settings > Updates & security > Activation, and it shows activated with a digital license, no key is required to reinstall.
    If it says Product code and lists the last 5, keep track of that code for next time.
    As far as I know, that original 7 key, is not recorded on the activation server when you do the free upgrade. From what I've seen anyway. Then telling you to keep track of it kind of backs that up.
    On that same screen I mentioned above is a Update product key option. You can at any time enter a valid key there to activate. You can also upgrade from Home to Pro, to Education, to Enterprise by entering the relevant key. You can't go down though, from Pro to Home. You'll need to start over to get back to Home. The key entered has to be a valid legal key. Enter a blacklisted key and activation will fail.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    23 Sep 2016 #6

    Hello, thanks again....I thought that the qualifying Windows 7 key was logged by MS to prevent its reuse, if not, then there is nothing to stop that product key being raised.
    on another note, I have Windows 10 free upgraded from Windows 7 home, if I now buy a genuine Windows 7 pro can I use this key to,upgrade my Windows 10 home to pro.....
    thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7.    23 Sep 2016 #7

    Microsoft doesn't give any detailed info on how activation works, for obvious reasons. Going by what I have seen and read, no I don't think they log the key. They just check to see if the system is legally activated, and what version of Windows is installed.

    In theory, yes, if its a Retail key you can most likely reuse it on another PC. Legally, I'm thinking that's a violation of the terms of the free upgrade though. Some may call it an abuse of the offer.

    The free upgrade offer has officially ended by the way. There is no guarantee if you upgrade now, from Windows 7 or 8, on a system that has never been activated with Windows 10 in the past, that it will activate. Or try to upgrade to Pro with a Windows 7 or 8 key. The current Windows 10 install media will read and use those keys for install. Activation happens after the install is finished. At some point Microsoft is going to stop issuing new Digital Activations with those keys, and limit it to just Windows 10 keys. Why they haven't done it already, I have no idea? They may have actually done it, I haven't tried to do a new free upgrade lately.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    23 Sep 2016 #8

    Thank you
    very interesting....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9.    24 Sep 2016 #9

    Unofficially, Digital Licenses were still being given out after the cutoff date. Microsoft wouldn't say why though? They didn't turn it off for what ever reason. At some point, if they haven't already, I expect them to stop giving out free upgrades. If you have more planed, I wouldn't wait to long to do them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 

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