Question New PC build windows transfer

Captain Jolo

Apr 20, 2015
Hey guys, hope you're all well.

I'm in the process of building a new PC and essentially starting from scratch rather than replacing certain components of my existing PC. I currently have Windows 10 running which I got through the free upgrade they offered back when it first released. I've spoken to Microsoft who said that because it was obtained this way, they cannot give a product key for the new build i'm doing. My question is, am I right in thinking I can save Windows as an ISO to a memory stick and then when I have built the new system, I can install windows onto my new SSD?

Hopefully this makes sense, would really appreciate some help as it could potentially save me spending another £100 on a windows key.

What Microsoft personnel essentially told you is that licence cannot be transferred, which is the official line.

You could do the ISO thing and install Windows 10, but technically wouldn't be able to activate it with your current key. That said, Windows will work but a lot of features are locked out. (Found out the hard way here.)

Others have also mentioned that as long as your current key is digitally registered then it should work. I believe you need to skip some of the initial activation options and use the troubleshooter in Windows itself. Microsoft has a guide:
While I mention this method I haven't seen confirmation of this personally.


Sep 13, 2002
The only features that should be left out are you can’t change your wallpaper otherwise it’s completely free and you get all updates just the same.

So I would like to know from the person above me says that lots of features are locked out can you please tell us which ones? Many people here including the moderators have stated that it’s free And the only thing locked out should be that you can’t change your desktop wallpaper maybe a few other features
Can't remember the full details as it was over a year ago. Anything which I would tweak to make it suitable for my own use was locked out, but it wasn't just wallpaper. I think any change to the taskbar was also locked out.

I have seen moderators mention that it should be fine with that sort of transfer which is why I cite it above and include the link to do so if they want to do it.