Question PC recently broke, building new rig and unsure how to re install windows and find my activation key

Feb 26, 2021
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My old trusty PC (first built in 2013 and partially upgraded since) recently died so I’ve bitten the bullet and bought a new CPU + Mobo + RAM etc, I need to install windows on this new build once finished but my current version of windows is inaccessible and I don’t know my product key (originally a windows 7 oem I believe) is there any way I can still access my windows license without fixing and booting the old PC? I’m upgrading from an AM3+ chipset to AM4.
 
Technically, if it's an OEM key it isn't transferrable. Microsoft has chosen to be VERY relaxed about this aspect as I think they want people on Windows 10 more than they care about licensing. I have used the Win 7 key (even recently) to activate Win 10 installs, but if you don't have it that could be issue. I am not sure if being "signed in" would work to activate or not. IE using the tie to your Microsoft account.
 
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USAFRet

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My old trusty PC (first built in 2013 and partially upgraded since) recently died so I’ve bitten the bullet and bought a new CPU + Mobo + RAM etc, I need to install windows on this new build once finished but my current version of windows is inaccessible and I don’t know my product key (originally a windows 7 oem I believe) is there any way I can still access my windows license without fixing and booting the old PC? I’m upgrading from an AM3+ chipset to AM4.
Was this a Win 7 and then upgraded to Win 10?

Was your license key linked to your MS account?
 
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Feb 26, 2021
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Was this a Win 7 and then upgraded to Win 10?

Was your license key linked to your MS account?
I upgraded to windows 10 from 7 yes, years ago now, and I am not sure sorry, the upgrade and original install all took place under the same user and I assume by the time of the upgrade that would include my MS account but I’m a noob and have no clue sorry, really appreciate the speedy response!
 

USAFRet

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I upgraded to windows 10 from 7 yes, years ago now, and I am not sure sorry, the upgrade and original install all took place under the same user and I assume by the time of the upgrade that would include my MS account but I’m a noob and have no clue sorry, really appreciate the speedy response!
Go to MS, log in, and look in "Devices".
Is your old system listed in there?
 
Feb 26, 2021
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"not knowing" is not "ignorance".

We ALL have to ask questions once in a while...;)
I suppose so yes! On that note hehehe, what chance do you think I have of being able to boot from my existing C drive? I’ve read a few things that say Windows 10’s hardware detection is pretty good however most Of those threads recommend disabling graphics drivers and changing a few windows boot settings beforehand However I won’t be able to do so without fixing the old rig (as you can probably tell I’m very eager to just get the new rig going ASAP ahaha)
 

USAFRet

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Trying to use the old drive+OS in a new system, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It works just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It "works", but you're chasing issues for weeks/months.
I've seen all 3.
Win 10 is better than previous versions, but by no means 100% "Yes! It always works"

Increasingly, #3 is the end result. A person will report initial success "HA! You guys were wrong!"
Then, a week or so later..."hmm...maybe you were right."


A fresh install is always recommended, often required.
 
Feb 26, 2021
8
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Trying to use the old drive+OS in a new system, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It works just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It "works", but you're chasing issues for weeks/months.
I've seen all 3.
Win 10 is better than previous versions, but by no means 100% "Yes! It always works"

Increasingly, #3 is the end result. A person will report initial success "HA! You guys were wrong!"
Then, a week or so later..."hmm...maybe you were right."


A fresh install is always recommended, often required.
I intend to do a fresh install as soon as I’m activated, as a fresh install and new components is absolutely the best way to go always as you said, all I’m after is actually making it in to windows because I have no disk or windows boot on USB and I don’t know how I’d be able to get one by tomorrow when the parts arrive. For now will just have to pray she boots and if not I shall probably be pestering you in this thread tomorrow when I’ve assembled the rig ;)
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I intend to do a fresh install as soon as I’m activated, as a fresh install and new components is absolutely the best way to go always as you said, all I’m after is actually making it in to windows because I have no disk or windows boot on USB and I don’t know how I’d be able to get one by tomorrow when the parts arrive. For now will just have to pray she boots and if not I shall probably be pestering you in this thread tomorrow when I’ve assembled the rig ;)
Install first, then activation.

 
Feb 26, 2021
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Install first, then activation.

Ah okay I see, thank you so much for this!
 

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