Question Problem with Windows 10 activation after an upgrade

emontreaux

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Mar 18, 2014
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Hello, I hope you will be able to help me with my peculiar problem with Windows 10 activation.

A bit of background first: I own a copy of Win 7 which I upgraded to Windows 10. In September I had to reinstall it, because of problems with updates, and I've been using it without a problem. This week I have upgraded my PC (new mobo, cpu, ram, nvme drive, etc.). I installed Windows 10 from the USB stick on my new NVME drive, provided the license key I retrieved through ProduKey and everything was fine. Yesterday morning the "Activate you Windows" watermark appeared, but it disappeared after a restart. When I go into activation, Windows is saying it cannot activate the product (looks like the produkey license doesn't work as I expected). I booted up the older installation of Windows from my old SSD, but it now complains also that Windows is not active (because of the change of hardware).

I'm considering two options:

1. Messy option - take all the new components out of the case, put back all the old components, connect the old SSD, boot up, see if it's complaining about activation and if everything is ok I would link the license to my account. After that I can put all the new hardware in, boot up from NVME and transfer the license to this hardware.

2. Less messy - format my old SSD, install Windows 7 on it (with all the new components in). Once the Windows 7 is installed, activate it with my license key from the sticker. Upgrade to Windows 10. Link the license to my MS account, boot up the NVME and transfer the license to it.

3. Risky - wipe everything out from the NVME drive, install Windows 7 and upgrade to Windows 10

What are your thoughts about this? Are these viable solutions? Is there something you would advise against? I know that the mistake I made was not linking the license to the account, and I learned my lesson, but I would rather not spend a lot of money on a new license - I'd rather save that to buy a new GPU :)

Thank you!
 
Technically, if memory serves, the free upgrade Windows 10 are OEM licences. The official position is they can't be transferred to another PC. I think the original licence you had for Windows 7 is effectively replaced, but that's just speculative reasoning on my part.

That said, mods have mentioned it is possible to transfer the licence from old hardware to new provided you link the account and have a digital licence associated with the email account. For it to work I suspect you'll have to go with the messy option.

That's my guess anyway. The link about activation if you need a bit more guidance: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
 

emontreaux

Honorable
Mar 18, 2014
9
0
10,510
0
Technically, if memory serves, the free upgrade Windows 10 are OEM licences. The official position is they can't be transferred to another PC. I think the original licence you had for Windows 7 is effectively replaced, but that's just speculative reasoning on my part.

That said, mods have mentioned it is possible to transfer the licence from old hardware to new provided you link the account and have a digital licence associated with the email account. For it to work I suspect you'll have to go with the messy option.

That's my guess anyway. The link about activation if you need a bit more guidance: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
Thanks for the reply. I had a chat with someone at work who suggested contacting Microsoft Support through their support chat function. They managed to restore the activation to my machine!
 

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