Question If someone gets a computer without a hard drive will they have to purchase a new license key for Windows or will it work because of the motherboard?

Feb 6, 2020
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I think I already know the answer to this, but I wanted to make sure. I'm working on a build and I'm considering saving money by getting a cheaper SSD than I've been wanting to get for a boot drive and some programs and just taking the hard drive out of my old desktop. If I was to keep the hard drive and someone got the old computer, would they have to acquire a new product key to activate Windows or would the product key on the sticker work? When I upgraded it from Windows 7 to Windows 10 I put in the product key on the sticker and it activated Windows 10 after upgrading, but as I said I'm just wanting to make sure.
 
I think I already know the answer to this, but I wanted to make sure. I'm working on a build and I'm considering saving money by getting a cheaper SSD than I've been wanting to get for a boot drive and some programs and just taking the hard drive out of my old desktop. If I was to keep the hard drive and someone got the old computer, would they have to acquire a new product key to activate Windows or would the product key on the sticker work? When I upgraded it from Windows 7 to Windows 10 I put in the product key on the sticker and it activated Windows 10 after upgrading, but as I said I'm just wanting to make sure.
Windows license and activation are tied only to motherboard. Retail version cam also be activated with original key, With OEM key (what's probably on that sticker) windows can be activated only on that MB.
 
Windows 10 activation information lives on microsoft activation servers.
License is linked to hardware id of motherboard. It also is linked to your microsoft user account.

So .. if windows was activated on the motherboard before, then you can reinstall windows (same edition home/pro only) as many times as you want. It will retain activation.
But since license is also linked to your microsoft account, you can transfer the license to a different pc. Then license on previous pc gets deactivated.

TLDR - transfer license to a different pc first, before you sell your old pc.
 
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puw2

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Sep 25, 2017
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Yes it'll work but even if it doesnt, windows 10 is free now and all you need to do to get rid of the watermark is a line of code in cmd and you got yourself an activated windows 10.

No need to worry about your OS activation nowadays haha
 
Yes it'll work but even if it doesnt, windows 10 is free now and all you need to do to get rid of the watermark is a line of code in cmd and you got yourself an activated windows 10.

No need to worry about your OS activation nowadays haha
W10 never was and isn't free now. It's "free" only when upgraded from legal W7 or W8/8.1. You can "activate" it many illegal ways but getting rid of watermark is certainly not going to make it legal or even properly activated.
 

puw2

Commendable
Sep 25, 2017
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W10 never was and isn't free now. It's "free" only when upgraded from legal W7 or W8/8.1. You can "activate" it many illegal ways but getting rid of watermark is certainly not going to make it legal or even properly activated.
Yes it is more or less legal way to do it but it certainly is a way to activate windows.

And i used the "remove the watermark" as a general meaning of activating windows, it'll activate it fully but i cant advise anyone to do that nor will i provide the ways to do it.

Edit: Oh and technically you can download W10 for free now. Past OS's needed a key to even use the computer though it is a limited version but you can still use it like you would with an 100% activated version most of the time, only some features are limited.

but this isnt a part of this issue in particular.
 
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Yes it is more or less legal way to do it but it certainly is a way to activate windows.

And i used the "remove the watermark" as a general meaning of activating windows, it'll activate it fully but i cant advise anyone to do that nor will i provide the ways to do it.

Edit: Oh and technically you can download W10 for free now. Past OS's needed a key to even use the computer though it is a limited version but you can still use it like you would with an 100% activated version most of the time, only some features are limited.

but this isnt a part of this issue in particular.
W10 was always free to download and you can use it for limited time with some restrictions but nothing beats a full retail license purchase which you can transfer to new HW forever.
 

Nemesia

Commendable
Nov 6, 2019
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W10 was always free to download and you can use it for limited time with some restrictions but nothing beats a full retail license purchase which you can transfer to new HW forever.
No limited time. You can download the iso using the media creation tool and you can use that Windows without activating it forever.
 

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