Win10 digital entitlement. How verify on win7?

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  1.    09 Jan 2017 #1

    Win10 digital entitlement. How verify on win7?

    On two (same) PC's, I timely upgraded to a free win10 from my win7 x64 home premium, then rolled back to same win7.

    While running on that rolled back win7, I cannot seem to find a way to verify and/or view the digital entitlement ("DE") for windows 10. I was told by a $M chat person this DE occurs but I cannot verify/view that DE on my win7.

    A good Shawn article (like always) states: "...the activation for the free offer of Windows 10 is registered on the Microsoft activation servers for the PC when you upgraded from an activated Windows 7...". That article was for a win10 OS. See:

    Sooo as it stands, there is no way to be sure the DE actually occurred other than cross ones fingers and hope $M did its job which of course is not always the case.

    Thought maybe a virtual win10 might work but just dunno.

    Any body know how to verify/view the win10 DE while running this win7?

    Thanks in advance, James
    Last edited by JamesEJ; 09 Jan 2017 at 13:11. Reason: grammer
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,912
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       09 Jan 2017 #2

    @JamesEJ, Apart from doing a clean install, no - I don't know any other way to check. BTW: since version 1607 it's now known as a 'digital licence'.

    FWIW I too have a digital licence from upgrading my x64 Win7 Home Premium to 10. To test the Anniversary Update before upgrading for real I put a spare HDD in the laptop and did a clean install (the HDD doesn't count as a 'hardware change'). It activated within minutes.

    If you have a spare drive handy you could try that yourself. Best you download the iso or usb using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool if you're going to try, that way you'll only have to do the one download, then you can use it as many times as you need on both the PCs.
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  3.    09 Jan 2017 #3

    What @Bree stated is correct. Testing Windows 10 in a VM will not work because the VM will have a different Installation ID sent to Microsoft for activation than the physical computer did.

    FWIW, Microsoft is still giving out free activations of Windows 10 for upgrades from Windows 7. If a clean install of Windows 10 does not activate based upon the previous digital license, it is still possible to activate it for free by changing the product key to the Windows 7 product key - assuming the Windows 7 product key is not blocked from automatic online activation by Microsoft. Then you would have to do an actual upgrade from an installed and activated Windows 7.
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  4.    09 Jan 2017 #4

    You can easily check status on a running install of Windows 10 by typing activa into Cortana/search box. One of the pop-up results reads "See if Windows is activated." You'll see the first image on a Current Branch (1607) Win10 PC, and the second on more recent Win10 releases (Insider Previews, but also what's coming with the next major release in April this year/1704).
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	116417 This is the Current Branch/1607 info.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	116418 This is the Insider Preview/1704 info.
    For those who, like the OP, upgraded to 10 then downgraded again, you probably have to check at under your Microsoft login to see if there's any enduring record of your Win10 upgrade there. I suspect there might be, but I have no way to check this. Thanks to NavyLCDR for pointing out I hadn't addressed the OP's concerns. Didn't fully understand/appreciate his particular situation, sorry.
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  5.    09 Jan 2017 #5

    For what its worth, I've switched operating systems and not lost any of my Digital Licenses. I've gone from Home to Pro to Education, not necessary in that order and had no problem activating each of them with its Digital License. I have separate Digital Licenses for each version on the same PC. All 3 have stayed intact after switching to another OS on that PC. No hardware swaps, just OS reinstalls for testing etc.
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  6.    09 Jan 2017 #6

    @Bree and Navy

    That HDD idea a good thought alright. So the DE is usable more than once and can be used on different PC's. That what you are saying?

    Edit: also to Alpha.

    @Ed: R U saying the method you described does not loose my hold onto the current win7?
    Last edited by JamesEJ; 09 Jan 2017 at 14:09. Reason: not see added posts
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  7.    09 Jan 2017 #7

    The DL is tied to the device/hardware it was issued too/for. You can transfer it from one PC to another, but you can't use that specific DL on more than one device at the same time. And there are conditions on the transfer as per the EULA. Once issued to a PC, you can reinstall the version of Windows 10 it was issued for as many times as you want. You do a skip when asked for a key and it will activate with the DL. The DL does not expire and is good for each new version of Windows 10. Some of my DL's were issued for the early consumer builds. I can now clean install the AU and activate just fine.

    My situation is a bit unique, you wouldn't normally have more than 1 DL for a device. I've done a lot of test installs and got issued different DL's for different versions of Windows 10. Some were unexpected and unintentional. MVP's get an MSDN subscription with access to keys for every version of Windows for evaluation. Some of my "Activated by product key" installs got converted to "Activated with a Digital License".

    Upgrading to Windows 10 has no effect on the qualifying OS. You can reinstall it and activate it as it originally was after doing the free upgrade. The hard drive swap is an easy way to not alter the Windows 7 install. Swap that drive back in and it will never know you ever ran Windows 10 on that PC.
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  8.    09 Jan 2017 #8

    The type of key/activation has a bearing on entering it manually. Windows 7 OEM-SLP keys are blocked and won't be accepted if you enter them manually on a clean install. Those are keys a PC would have with a factory OEM Windows 7 install. Those PC's also don't activate online, which is why the keys are blocked. You can upgrade from them to Windows 10 and get a DL. You just can't clean install and use those keys for first time activation. The key on the COA sticker (OEM-COA) should work though.

    If you already did the free upgrade it doesn't matter anyway. Just clean install the same version you got via the free upgrade, Home or Pro, and do a skip key. It will activate with the DL that's already stored on the activation server.
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  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,912
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       09 Jan 2017 #9

    JamesEJ said: View Post
    That HDD idea a good thought alright. So the DE is usable more than once and can be used on different PC's. That what you are saying?
    We both upgraded our W7 Home Premium to W10 Home. That recorded a digital licence on the Microsoft Activation Servers tied to the hardware ID of our PCs. We can change the HDD without affecting our hardware ID, so a clean install on a replacement HDD will activate from the digital licence. Our licence for W10 is for the life of the PC and we can reinstall W10 as often as we want on that PC. It's not a transferable licence though.

    Each of your two PCs has its own digital licence. They are not completely identical - the motherboard has a unique serial number, for example. This is part of what goes into the hardware ID for each PC that's used to check for a digital licence, the HDD isn't included in that so can be freely swapped out. I now have two HDDs I can put my laptop, one has the original OEM windows 7 on it, the other (which I use the majority of the time) is running Windows 10.
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  10.    09 Jan 2017 #10

    Alpha, Thank bunches for the detailed explanation. Read thru it and now will study to understand. I think I do have a "PC... with a factory OEM Windows 7" cos I bought 2 pcs (same gateway model) with same win7 x64 OS. Is that a "OEM-SLP key" situation? Thanks

    @ Bree that post also cleared up things a bit more too. Thanks
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