Question How to format a laptop that has an OEM key?


Sep 21, 2017
I'm running Windows 10 on my laptop and it is activated with an OEM key, somehow my laptop got infected by bunch of viruses, tried everything but I guess formatting is the only option left. But I'm afraid that if I download an ISO windows 10 file and install it to my laptop, then the same key will not work or would it? The hardware will be same. So what can I do? Does reset do anything or brings everything back to default settings?


Retired Mod
Your system is already attached to the product key for your Windows 10 installation, whether OEM or retail, so long as it IS currently a legitimately activated installation. Since you can't get IN to the laptop you can't double down by making sure it is ALSO attached to a Microsoft account in your name, but if it is already then that is helpful as well but probably not strictly necessary since you are not changing hardware. If you were, you would want it attached AND you should do so once you get it running again just so that down the road you can move the license with you to another system if you need to.

All you need to do is follow my Windows 10 clean install guide, but reading these other guides is a very good idea as well.