[SOLVED] Can't do in-place upgrade from win8.1 to 10

Hunter1122

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I'm late to the party upgrading to win10 (wasn't a fan of the 'I know what you want better than you do' approach), but I'm starting to run into programs and games that won't run so I'm finally taking the plunge. I wanted to do an in-place upgrade to skip reinstalling countless and sometimes hard to find programs.

I created a USB install media using the media creation tool. However, when I run it the "Keep personal files and apps" option is greyed out, with the error: 'Your files, apps, and settings can't be kept because you're installing an edition of windows that's different than the one you're currently using'. Already attempted the following troubleshooting:

Current System: 8.1 Pro edition x64
Intended upgrade: WIn10 Pro edition x64
  • Ensure language is the same (en-US) between both
    • Using DISM in cmd, current install gives:
      • Default System UI Language: en-US
      • System Locale: en-US
      • Installed Language: en-US
        • Type: Fully Localized language
    • Install media at index 6 (the win10 pro index) gives
      • Languages: en-US (Default)
  • Update Windows so drivers should all be correct, performed through windows update and machine restarted afterwards
    • Could I need some other drivers that wouldn't be fetched through windows update? I have it set to install both important and recommended updates for windows only
  • To ensure pro version is properly selected, create ei.cfg file with only [Channel] Retail to force media creation tool to allow selection of version
    • Confirmed via cmd Slmgr that Retail was correct channel
    • This did not work, even after adding ei.cfg to the install media /sources folder, no option given to select windows edition
  • Registry points to program files correctly
  • I have >100GB free on C drive, so there should be plenty of room to install win10
Why am I being prevented from keeping files and applications, and why does the upgrade tool think that I am installing a different edition?
 
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Hunter1122

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After using PID.txt to set the key to the default win10 Pro key the Win10 upgrade tool allows me to select both files and apps. Also to prevent the install from failing I had to set the 'choose how windows handles updates' option to 'not right now'.

It upgraded properly and everything is still present, and even shows as activated so I guess on the full install it picked up my existing key.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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  1. Win 8.1 Pro needs to go to Win 10 Pro.
  2. Even with a known perfectly functioning inplace Upgrade, you STILL need a known good backup of your personal data. Prefereble, a full drive backup. Just inc case. This includes gathering all the install files for your application.
Now...why doesn't it work?
How are you invoking this upgrade?
Also, where did the original Win 8.1 license come from?
 

Hunter1122

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Sep 22, 2016
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  1. Yes I'm going from pro x64 to pro x64
  2. I have fully backed up everything and even cloned my C drive to another drive in case of absolute disaster.
Interestingly, in the standard of 'finding the solution immediately after asking for help', I was able to get the option available by using PID.txt to assign the default win10 pro product key. I have already extracted my product key so I can just re-enter it after the install.

I got the license online a long time ago, but I couldn't say if from microsoft or not as I've had a few machines and some were direct from MS, some not, so if it turns out it was grey market or something I'll just have to get a new one, but it's valid from every test I can check through cmd and such.

After performing the upgrade I'll mark this resolved.
 

USAFRet

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  1. Yes I'm going from pro x64 to pro x64
  2. I have fully backed up everything and even cloned my C drive to another drive in case of absolute disaster.
Interestingly, in the standard of 'finding the solution immediately after asking for help', I was able to get the option available by using PID.txt to assign the default win10 pro product key. I have already extracted my product key so I can just re-enter it after the install.

I got the license online a long time ago, but I couldn't say if from microsoft or not as I've had a few machines and some were direct from MS, some not, so if it turns out it was grey market or something I'll just have to get a new one, but it's valid from every test I can check through cmd and such.

After performing the upgrade I'll mark this resolved.
It may be "valid", and still not applicable for an inplace upgrade.

You may not need to purchase a new license, but there is no magic for force that inplace if it does not work.

Try a clean install, and apply that WIn 8.1 license. See if it activates properly.
 

Hunter1122

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Sep 22, 2016
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The point of doing an in-place upgrade is that I both many programs installed and some programs that would be difficult to find again, so reinstalling is not ideal. I'd rather have to purchase a new key than have to reinstall every application.

Win8.1 pro should be able to upgrade in place to win10 pro from everything I have read online
 

USAFRet

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The point of doing an in-place upgrade is that I both many programs installed and some programs that would be difficult to find again, so reinstalling is not ideal. I'd rather have to purchase a new key than have to reinstall every application.

Win8.1 pro should be able to upgrade in place to win10 pro from everything I have read online
Yes, I absolutely get the point of the inplace upgrade.
Have been there many many times myself.

But sometime, it does not work.

And simply purchasing a new license key does not automagically make it work.
 

Hunter1122

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Sep 22, 2016
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After using PID.txt to set the key to the default win10 Pro key the Win10 upgrade tool allows me to select both files and apps. Also to prevent the install from failing I had to set the 'choose how windows handles updates' option to 'not right now'.

It upgraded properly and everything is still present, and even shows as activated so I guess on the full install it picked up my existing key.
 

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