Laptop Hard drive died and I don't know my windows key

Chuck_4

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Nov 21, 2015
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Hi there I don't know what to do at this point so I figured I would ask you guys. So I'm fixing a friends pc it is a Acer E1-510 and the hard drive died in it. I know it is the hard drive 100% it sounds like it went thru a blender so obviously the recovery is gone and the HDD is toast my friend is going to buy a HDD and I'm going to replace but my question to you is actually its a 2 parter 1) there is no sticker on the pc and I contacted Acer and there no help. and question number 2) my friend doesn't know what version of Windows she had on her pc. From what I can gather online either 8,8.1 or 10 I'm thinking one of the first 2 because she knows it was updated a few months ago and looked different after that....I've been told that if I reformat with the right windows verison that it will recognize the key embedded in the bios I don't know if that's right and another question and last question is there a way on Microsoft's site do download the OS without having your key because well I don't have it
 

Chuck_4

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Nov 21, 2015
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is the windows 10 you receive good for a year? so if so it will downgrade there pc without issue? and also do I chose home or pro?
 

Puff3r

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Apr 17, 2011
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I'm not exactly sure what your question is so here are a couple answers:

1. If you are discussing the update the unit did before it died, that was most likely the MS free upgrade to Windows 10. If your friend did this update and activated Windows 10 before the system died, the system has a valid Win 10 license permanently.
2. If you are discussing the link I posted, that is the Retail Windows 10 ISO and I believe it gives you 30 days to activate it online. Again, if it had been previously activated there should be no issue with the system automatically activating once online.
 

Chuck_4

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Nov 21, 2015
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I thought the upgrade to windows 10 that everyone was getting was free yes but I thought it opted you to pay after the first year...I am probably wrong if so thanks and I just downloaded the win10 link you suggested and I'm making a bootable usb and it is asking if I want to use windows 10 home , home N, pro, Pro N
 

Puff3r

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No worries. The free for a year portion was very confusing from MS. The option to upgrade is free for one year. If you upgrade in that year the license is permanent and free for that system. After one year, from launch date, any user that did not perform the free upgrade would be charged to upgrade.
 

Chuck_4

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Nov 21, 2015
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okay Ill try it out and ill be back in a few thanks alot though I have reformatted a million pc's but all had the key present so it was alot easier...
 

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