Windows 10: Help me determine what version of Windows 10 I am legally entitled to

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  1.    15 Jan 2017 #1

    Help me determine what version of Windows 10 I am legally entitled to

    OK guys, so I have an ASUS ZenBook UX305CA, which I bought new a little over 6 months ago. It came with Windows 8.1, but I can't remember whether it was Home or Pro. I know it had to be one or the other. I wiped the internal SSD within hours of buying it, replaced with Linux. But now I need to dual-boot.

    So.....I extracted my Product Key from my BIOS with a portable utility called RW-Everything, as per the instructions at 3 Ways to extract the Windows 8 Product key from the BIOS. Of course I can install a pirated Pro or Enterprise copy of 10, but if I can legally upgrade from 8.1 to 10 then that would be the better approach.

    I would rather have 10 Pro, and I think if I had 8.1 Pro then I should already be able to upgrade to 10 Pro for free. Home isn't desirable. I like to be able to use tools that are only present in Pro and higher editions, like the Group Policy Editor.

    Which version of 10 am I entitled to? Do I need to upgrade from 8.1 to 10 for my activation to be valid, or can I just do a clean install of 10? It should read my BIOS's embedded Product Key and activate automatically, right? How do I determine in advance which edition will be installed?


    Edit: If I then want to install the Insider Preview edition of 10 Home/Pro, will this work? Do I first need to upgrade from the regular non-IP, or can I just do a clean install of the IP?
    Last edited by AnonVendetta; 15 Jan 2017 at 19:07.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    15 Jan 2017 #2

    The standard Windows 10 USB installation disc (USB flash drive or DVD) will contain both Home and Pro versions. When you boot the computer from it, it will read a product key if there is one stored in UEFI or BIOS (and it sounds like there is) and automatically install the correct version. It should not ask you for a product key or which version you want to install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    15 Jan 2017 #3

    @NavyLCDR: But that's the thing.....I want to know *IN ADVANCE* which version is being installed. I know the installer will read the PK embedded in the BIOS. But if it auto-chooses Home, then no go. And I also want to be assured that there are no activation issues later.

    Are people still allowed to run the Pro or Enterprise Insider Preview while still remaining activated? Or did Microsoft remove that loophole? I remember being able to run Enterprise IP basically for free. Because if so, I'll go that route.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    15 Jan 2017 #4

    I, and probably all the other more senior members on this forum, would recommend that you start with the regular released version of Windows 10 that your computer is entitled to. Currently Microsoft is still handing out free activations of Windows 10 based upon the Windows 8.1 product key. Everything should install and activate automatically when connected to the internet. Then, if you get Home version installed and activated, you will have to purchase an upgrade to Pro. It will just be a relatively quick upgrade to Pro and you won't lose anything. If the computer is entitled to Pro version, that will install and activate automatically right from the start.

    You do have to start with the released version first and get that activated, then you can join the insider program.

    You can enter your existing product key into showkey plus from this forum and it will tell you what version it is for:
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    15 Jan 2017 #5

    @NavyLCDR: I would much rather not install 8.1, just to end up upgrading to 10 anyway, regardless of edition. A clean install is the preferred approach.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    15 Jan 2017 #6

    AnonVendetta said: View Post
    @NavyLCDR: I would much rather not install 8.1, just to end up upgrading to 10 anyway, regardless of edition. A clean install is the preferred approach.
    You don't have to start by installing Windows 8.1. Windows 10 clean install will pick up the product key from UEFI automatically.

    You can enter your existing product key into showkey plus from this forum and it will tell you what version it is for:
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    15 Jan 2017 #7

    I'm fairly certain that ShowKey is giving incorrect info. The PK it shows matches the one that RW-Everything gave. But it says 10 Core (same as Home). I know the diff between 8.1 and 10, 8.1 was factory-installed for sure. I'm just not sure which edition it was.

    Either way, MS wants $200 for Pro. I cant work, I'm on a fixed and very limited income per month, I barely have $20 left after rent and basic utilities are paid.


    Edit: I'm open to using any loopholes whatsoever that dont violate the EULA.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    15 Jan 2017 #8

    @Superfly will confirm that Showkey Plus is not providing you with false information. What is it you need in Windows 10 Pro that you won't have in Windows 10 Home?

    More information for checking your product key:
    How To Check Product Key Version & Edition In Windows
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    15 Jan 2017 #9

    Well, I already said what Pro has that Home doesnt have. Group Policy Editor. So I can completely and truely disable abominations like Defender, Windows Firewall, Metro apps, and most importantly, UAC. Among other things. I'm a power user, I dont need MS trying to hold my hand, tell me what to do, control my PC, collect personal info, force automatic updates, etc.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    15 Jan 2017 #10

    @AnonVendetta, sorry, I did miss that in your opening post. We can't tell you how to do anything that violates the EULA. Microsoft is still honoring activating Windows 10 with Windows 7 and Windows 8 product keys, so you might be able to purchase a Windows 7 or 8 Pro and activate Windows 10 with it for now. First once you get your Windows 10 Home installed and activated, you can go to the change product key option under the activation Window and enter the Windows 10 Pro generic product key to upgrade to Pro - but it will not activate. You can google for it, it ends in -3V66T. After the upgrade finishes then change the product key again, enter a valid (not blocked from online automatic activation by Microsoft) Windows 7 or 8 Pro product key and it should activate.

    Once you get Windows 10 Pro to activate that way, then it should activate with the generic Windows 10 Pro product key thereafter by retrieving a digital license stored on Microsoft Activation servers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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