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  #1  
Old 09-17-2015, 09:02 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Windows 10 Free Upgrade Question

I'm hoping that a Windows guru can help out here. I know that Microsoft is offering a free upgrade-in-place option to Windows 10 for one year. I tend to avoid major Windows upgrades, and instead prefer to do a clean install of the OS. I've downloaded the Windows 10 iso image, and have installed it successfully (but have not activated it yet) on a laptop.
  • To activate Windows 10, can I enter my old Windows 7 product key?
  • If I do that, can I ever go back to Windows 7 if I so desired, or will the product key only be usable from that point forward for Windows 10 installations?
  • If I need to reload Windows 10 from scratch two years from now, will it allow me or will it block me because I am beyond the one year free upgrade period?
Hopefully somebody knows the answers, or can supply a link to a website that has the answers. TIA!
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2015, 09:11 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Did you do a clean install or upgrade the existing copy of Windows 7 that was on the machine?

I ask because the way the free upgrade works is that even if you want to do a clean install you MUST FIRST complete and activate the upgrade. Only after that is complete can you wipe it out and do a clean install and skip entering a product key.

The reason for the seemingly unnecessary step of doing the upgrade is that it must first be able to fingerprint your system. After it has done that through the upgrade process you can then wipe it out and install a clean copy of Windows 10 without a product key. It will automatically recognize your system and activate itself.

Without first doing the upgrade there is no record of your computer in their system so no way for Windows to verify that you legally upgraded your computer.
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2015, 10:32 AM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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I had done a clean install. So for that particular laptop, I'll need to reinstall and activate Windows 7, and then upgrade to Windows 10. Since I'm doing a clean install of W7, I won't go through the additional step of loading W10 from scratch.

So, it looks like there are two ways to get to the end goal of a clean (free) Windows 10 install:

1) Perform the W10 upgrade, and then reinstall W10 from scratch
2) Reinstall W7/8 from scratch, activate, then upgrade to W10

So, is the W7 license unusable after the W10 upgrade, if I wanted to downgrade back to W7? And once the W10 upgrade is complete, is there a procedure to transfer that license to a different machine (in case the initial machine dies, for example)?
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2015, 10:43 AM
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SHS SHS is offline
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Best read this you even find me there as well
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...9-7b975611b73b

I haven't tested this idea
http://betanews.com/2015/08/31/how-t...rade-required/

Just keep in mind if didn't work you have reinstall Windows 7 or 8 and then do a USB/DVD Media upgrade that way without install apsp and drivers.

There is another way of do a clean install but it not ture Format clean install
It called the Recovery Options that Reset your PC

To reset your PC
1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
2. Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
3. Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, tap or click Get started.
4.Follow the instructions on the screen.

Last edited by SHS; 11-23-2015 at 09:32 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2015, 10:46 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
So, is the W7 license unusable after the W10 upgrade, if I wanted to downgrade back to W7? And once the W10 upgrade is complete, is there a procedure to transfer that license to a different machine (in case the initial machine dies, for example)?
From what I understand the upgrade process makes your old license unusable. I know you can uninstall Windows 10 and go back to your original Windows though.

As far as transferring a Windows 10 license to a new computer it has been stated that a Windows 10 upgrade retains all license rights of the particular version it upgraded. So in the case of a retail copy that gives the owner the right to transfer it to a new computer that should be possible. How it works in practice I don't know.

OEM copies of Windows whether they came with the system or if you purchased them separately (e.g. through Newegg) cannot be transferred to another system. Once installed they are licensed to that specific computer.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2015, 05:24 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Apparently Microsoft has added the requested feature to insider releases of Win 10, allowing the use of Win 7 and 8 keys for Win 10 installs. Not sure when it will hit the public installers.

I have a laptop here on which I performed a Win 10 upgrade over the weekend. I decided to install an SSD, upon which all drive cloning tools are failing because the original spindle has some error that neither Windows 7 nor Windows 10 can identify, yet prevents successful cloning (to a slightly smaller SSD).

So, I'm about to fresh install Win 10 on the machine, with the expectation that it will activate on it's own. I keep my expectations low when it comes to Microsoft activation.
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2015, 08:33 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Another upgrade question - if I buy a Win7 license today and activate it am I eligible for the free upgrade to Win10? You may be able to find Win7 for a cheaper price that would make this worthwhile.
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2015, 08:36 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Another upgrade question - if I buy a Win7 license today and activate it am I eligible for the free upgrade to Win10? You may be able to find Win7 for a cheaper price that would make this worthwhile.
Yes, Windows 7 licenses will be eligible for the free upgrade until July next year.
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2015, 08:40 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
Yes, Windows 7 licenses will be eligible for the free upgrade until July next year.
And the activation date of the Win7 license doesn't matter?
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2015, 08:42 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
And the activation date of the Win7 license doesn't matter?
Not that I'm aware of as long as the activation date is prior to the July 2016 cuttoff. But then you wouldn't be able to get the free upgrade anyway.
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2015, 11:10 AM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
So, I'm about to fresh install Win 10 on the machine, with the expectation that it will activate on it's own. I keep my expectations low when it comes to Microsoft activation.
Just a quick follow-up here - after the laptop had been activated with the Windows 10 upgrade (from Windows 7 Home Premium), the clean install to the SSD went fine and Win 10 activated properly.

Now, if I could just find someone who has successfully performed this free upgrade to Windows 10 on the (3) computers that they had originally upgraded with the "Windows 7 Family 3-pak Upgrade" product (under one install key). The Microsoft activation center has traditionally had a fit with me using the same key for (3) different Windows operating systems - I've had real problems getting those reinstalls activated properly on the same hardware.

Last edited by KryptoNyte; 11-29-2015 at 11:12 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2015, 11:24 AM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Looks like we can now use a Win 7/8.1 key to activate a clean install of Windows 10 on hardware that's never had Win 10 on it.

http://winsupersite.com/windows-10/w...d_images-61741
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