Question Can you change windows 10 PRO to home without a reinstall?

geofelt

Titan
Way back when, I installed windows 10 PRO OEM.
OEM was a mistake, but what did I know then.
The primary reason was to be able to defer some big upgrades for up to a year.
Now, apparently, that is no longer allowed, making Home and PRO equally good for what I do.

I have since upgraded my motherboard and am no longer activated, still running PRO.
All my apps and settings moved intact.
Not a real biggie, the faint watermark on the lower right is the only impact I can see.
I will buy a retail activation code at some point.
I want to plan for a future upgrade to windows 11.

PRO code retail will be $199, $130 for HOME on newegg.
I no longer see any cheaper OEM versions listed.
$130 for HOME would be all I need, but I see no easy way to do this.
Unless there is an easy way to preserve my C drive, I will spring for $199 for the pro retail version.
That should allow a windows 11 upgrade at some time.

Windows offers a $199 activation via the microsoft store.
Do you get an activation code that you can use in the future for motherboard changes?
How does this differ from buying a win 10 PRO install package directly from newegg at the same price?
I know you get the printable code in the package from newegg.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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I do have the original product key, but it would not activate when I entered it.
My conclusion was that since it was an OEM key, it would not activate on a different motherboard.
Little confusion there...

With Win 10, there was no real "OEM" you could purchase. No matter what they labeled it as.

The only "OEM" was that which was preinstalled from one of the major retailers. Dell/HP/Asus....

Anything you bought, if valid, was the equivalent of the old Retail.
Where did you buy this?
Did you look in your MS account to see if it was linked to your previous PC (motherboard)?


After v1607, anything not from a preinstalled system was transferable to new hardware.
You just had to jump through the hoops in the Activation Troubleshooter.
 

geofelt

Titan
Here is a link to the windows 10 product I ordered from newegg:
https://www.newegg.com/microsoft-windows-10-pro-32-bit-64-bit/p/N82E16832397687?Item=N82E16832397687
It does clearly state that the license can not be transferred.

There was no option that I could find for phone activation.
With persistence, I finally talked to a real person.
They said my license was some sort of a volume license and that there was nothing that they could do to activate it.

I do see the pc as registered to my Microsoft account.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Here is a link to the windows 10 product I ordered from newegg:
https://www.newegg.com/microsoft-windows-10-pro-32-bit-64-bit/p/N82E16832397687?Item=N82E16832397687
It does clearly state that the license can not be transferred.

There was no option that I could find for phone activation.
With persistence, I finally talked to a real person.
They said my license was some sort of a volume license and that there was nothing that they could do to activate it.

I do see the pc as registered to my Microsoft account.
Ahhh...a Volume license.

Different than OEM, no matter what the seller advertised it was.
As said above, there was no real "OEM" that you could buy for Win 10.

"I do see the pc as registered to my Microsoft account."
What does it say, specifically?
 

Math Geek

Polypheme
Ambassador
to answer the other part of the question, i have not tried to go from pro to home without a reinstall, but i have gone the other way. i ran the setup.exe for the pro when booted into the home install and it started and completed the install while preserving the programs and other data.

i assume it would work the other way as well but i have not personally tried it. i'd set up a quick vm with the pro version and the see what happens when you run the home setup.exe. would not take long and would let you know if it would work so you know for sure what you have to do when you finally go through with it
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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to answer the other part of the question, i have not tried to go from pro to home without a reinstall, but i have gone the other way. i ran the setup.exe for the pro when booted into the home install and it started and completed the install while preserving the programs and other data.

i assume it would work the other way as well but i have not personally tried it. i'd set up a quick vm with the pro version and the see what happens when you run the home setup.exe. would not take long and would let you know if it would work so you know for sure what you have to do when you finally go through with it
Home to Pro, no problem.
Enter the valid Pro license key, and it just adds the extra features.

Pro to Home?
Not without a reinstall.
 

geofelt

Titan
Ahhh...a Volume license.

Different than OEM, no matter what the seller advertised it was.
As said above, there was no real "OEM" that you could buy for Win 10.

"I do see the pc as registered to my Microsoft account."
What does it say, specifically?
on devices, it says
Name
MAINPC
OS Edition
Windows 10 Professional
Version
2009
OS Build
10.0.19043.1237
System type
To Be Filled By O.E.M.
RAM
32 GB
 

geofelt

Titan
The original question was can I change from PRO to Home without a clean install of the OS.
I have too many apps and settings to want to do a clean install.
My conclusion is the answer is NO.

Thanks for all on helping with this part of the post.

The second part is why I can not seem to get the current build activated.
I fought with this many months ago when I changed motherboards.
I am satisfied that the answer revolves around having an OEM license which was sold back then.
I note that OEM is not now sold by Newegg.
I will buy a legit PRO copy.

Is there any disadvantage to using Microsoft and buying from them vs. buying a new copy of PRO from newegg which I consider legit?

Does either method have an impact on a future upgrade to windows 11?
Or would it have any impact in moving the build to a changed motherboard?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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One from Microsoft is known good.
And can be transferred to new hardware when that need arises.

One from Newegg, such as what you bought before, is potentially suspect. Even as respectable as Newegg is.
A Volume License key should never have been sold to a consumer, at any price.
 

geofelt

Titan
FWIW, the following is from my newegg invoice:
Windows 10 Pro 32-bit/64-bit - (Product Key Code Email Delivery) - OEM

Bit Version: 32-bit/64-bit
Version: Professional

Sold and Shipped by Newegg
Product Key 1: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-6XXTT
Where I have xxed out all but the final 5 characters.

In settings activation, the same xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-6XXTT shows.
Is it possible that somehow Newegg sold me a bulk license activation key?
Might I have recourse to Newegg?
 

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