[SOLVED] Will I need to repurchase Windows?

Nov 5, 2015
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I have a copy of Windows 10 Pro from an upgrade from a previous Windows 7. I just purchased a new motherboard and processor. I have the windows digital key linked to a Microsoft Account. Will I need to nuke a drive prior to installing the new board or anything, or should it be plug and play for the most part?
 
Jul 16, 2019
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I can't recall if installing a new MB and processor will cause an issue, but Windows may see the new hardware and think you are using a new PC.

When rebuilding my system, I used the opportunity to for a fresh install of Windows and I believe that is best practice. Plus, storage is super cheap right now, so I recommend buying a new drive and a doing a fresh install.

Some forums say you need to purchase a new copy of Windows. That's not true. Since you have Windows linked to your Microsoft Account, Windows can be reinstalled.

I learned (the hard way) that your version must match EXACTLY your currently installed version. I think I selected the Home version, but I actually had the Professional version so my new install wouldn't activate. I finally realized the issue and the only fix is another fresh install, so I got to install Windows twice! That was fun.

You will also use the Windows 7 product key even though you're installing Windows 10.
 
Nov 5, 2015
430
1
4,865
32
I can't recall if installing a new MB and processor will cause an issue, but Windows may see the new hardware and think you are using a new PC.

When rebuilding my system, I used the opportunity to for a fresh install of Windows and I believe that is best practice. Plus, storage is super cheap right now, so I recommend buying a new drive and a doing a fresh install.

Some forums say you need to purchase a new copy of Windows. That's not true. Since you have Windows linked to your Microsoft Account, Windows can be reinstalled.

I learned (the hard way) that your version must match EXACTLY your currently installed version. I think I selected the Home version, but I actually had the Professional version so my new install wouldn't activate. I finally realized the issue and the only fix is another fresh install, so I got to install Windows twice! That was fun.

You will also use the Windows 7 product key even though you're installing Windows 10.
Going off of what I read from the Windows Activation settings, it says that I won't input a product key, rather it's linked to my account. In the case that this is true, would my only worry be selecting Pro version for my Windows install? Also, I don't have the key anymore as this was probably about 5 years ago I purchased 7.
 
Jul 16, 2019
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Yeah, you shouldn't need your product key since it's linked to your account. Mine was linked too, but I'm thinking I needed the product key anyway. That may be due to my clean install though.

Just check to see which version you have installed today before installing your new components. I didn't think to check it before I rebuilt, forgot what I had installed, and guessed (and guessed wrong). If you're doing a clean install, it doesn't hurt to install the wrong version. It's just time-consuming to wipe your drive and reinstall Windows if you get it wrong. Again, this would only be applicable if you decide to do a clean install on a new drive.

Before you do anything, be sure to download a fresh version of the Windows installer/repair software to a thumb drive. Having a downloaded version will save you time during install. DO NOT use an old version of the Windows installer/repair software as it won't have all updates, etc.
 

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