[SOLVED] Remove Windows 10 Auto Activation (from mobo)?

tennis2

Judicious
I've searched for a conclusive answer to this, but have come up empty-handed. It seems like this would be a relatively common occurrence, and yet, nobody seems to know what to do?

I recently replaced my rig (new mobo,CPU,RAM,SSD). In doing so, I transferred my (Windows 7 upgraded to Windows 10) key to my new system. No issues with that. I did register the new system on my Microsoft account (did this before install just in case entering my product key didn't work), and removed the old system from my Microsoft account after everything was set up on the new system. At no point was the old system connected to the internet once my new system was running on my product key. I only linked my old system to my MS account a few days before the switch. Even before registering it on my MS account, I've reinstalled Win10 on the old system a couple times throughout the years. Microsoft Activation Servers saves the mobo (and system) ID so if you reinstall Windows 10 it doesn't even ask you for your product key, it just verifies with MAS and completes.

I want to sell my old system. However, I haven't been able to find any help on how prevent my old system from auto-activating when the new owner inevitably installs Windows on it.

  • Does it even matter? Does Microsoft not care if there ends up being 2 systems activated off my same product key running concurrently?
  • Is there any way to unlink my old system from Microsoft Activation Servers so the old system doesn't take back my product key when it gets Windows installed on it
 

tennis2

Judicious
AFAIK, unlinking from the MS account only prevents the device from syncing up your personal info and settings in the future. Doesn't say anything about the actual license/product key, which is what I'm interested/concerned about. Especially considering you don't NEED to link a PC to your MS account in the first place (I hadn't until a couple days before the upgrade) so in that event, there wouldn't be a device to remove from your MS account anyway.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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AFAIK, unlinking from the MS account only prevents the device from syncing up your personal info and settings in the future. Doesn't say anything about the actual license/product key, which is what I'm interested/concerned about.
It may or may not activate with the new user. That is all up to MS.
But it won't affect a license that is tied to you, that is now on a different PC that you own and use.

I've done precisely this, in both directions.
 

tennis2

Judicious
It may or may not activate with the new user. That is all up to MS.
But it won't affect a license that is tied to you, that is now on a different PC that you own and use.

I've done precisely this, in both directions.
So you think that since I have the new system linked to my MS account, that should be enough ammunition to argue back my product key in the event that the old system steals it away from me?

I was actually planning on installing Windows (disconnected from internet and not entering a product key) so it's nice to see that plan reciprocated. I will test the efficacy of the plan before I sell by connecting to the internet for a bit to see if it auto-activates after the fact.

I do have a few unused Win7 keys. I was contemplating seeing if they'd still activate on Win10 and just activate the old system with a different key. At least that way I know the old system is going to use a different key no matter what. Could get $10-20 extra for an activated machine I suppose.

The complete lack of [official] documentation about this is puzzling. Nothing even on tech articles providing a definitive answer. Either MS doesn't really care if multiple devices end up being activated off the same product key, or this is their plan to sell product keys moving forward (buy a new product key or don't sell your old system).
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mostly, MS doesn't care.

I recently got a new system from a friend, Win 11.
Fresh install, and it activated itself. Took nothing away from any of my other house systems, nor any of his. 3 months later, no issue.
And a subsequent full wipe and reinstall, it is seen in my MS account and on the system as fully activated.

Earlier, a system I built for the grand kids. Win 10.
They finished the install, it activated itself. Took none of my licenses, at all. A year later, and zero issue.
Still activated, and I do not see it in my account as tied to me.
 

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