Windows 10 Activation after Hardware Changes

jpkang

Honorable
Feb 15, 2013
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Hi All,

I haven't posted in awhile, but every now and then I hit an issue. So I recently upgraded my PC, since its been about 7 years. I did not realize I would have to re-activate my Windows 10 license after changing my mobo, cpu and ram. So I tried the troubleshooter and I can select my pc but it will not re-activate. I have read every Microsoft article related to this. And on top of that I cannot find my Windows 7 product key. I think I am all out of options, I think.

So I am looking for suggestions, because I don't want to buy Windows 10, even though I did upgrade for free from Windows 7. One thing, I am thinking about is to downgrade back to my original gear, and locate the Windows 7 key, but I don't know exactly what commands I need to enter to obtain that nor do I know if that will work.

I don't know if my build information would really help since its software related, but basically I went from 2nd Gen i5 CPU to 8th Gen i7 CPU, DDR3 to DDR4 RAM, and LGA1155 to LGA1151.

Thank you again Tom's Hardware Community!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If you can find your Windows 7 key, and then go into the System settings applet in control panel, click on Activate product and follow the prompts, then enter your Windows 7 product key, in EVERY case where I've done that with a Windows 7 or 8.1 product that was upgraded or NEEDED to be upgraded, it has validated the digital entitlement.

Aside from that, you might really want to read all of these as well.



FWIW, the only thing that should affect you in terms of changing hardware these days, is the motherboard. Everything else can be changed without any issues as the motherboard is what Microsoft considers to be "the computer".
 

jpkang

Honorable
Feb 15, 2013
25
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10,540
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Ok, so if I can't find my key. Would it be possible to swap back to my old mobo and retrieve it since it was installed first on my old machine and then upgraded? Otherwise, I think the only other place I may have copied the windows 7 key is on an old email that I am not sure I have access to anymore...
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Did you do a clean install of Windows 10 when, or after, you upgraded from Windows 7? Because if you did, you're probably out of luck other than trying to sort it out with Microsoft customer service. And what one support agent tells you is probably different than what another one tells you, so it's worth trying more than one contact with them to explain what has happened and why you need to activate now. We've seen MANY instances where somebody was told they were out of luck, but then called back and spoke to another agent who sorted it out for them, so that's an option.

If you ONLY upgraded, and have not done a clean install at the time you upgrade or since, and are still riding the same installed that was originally Windows 7 and is now Windows 10, you may be able to do this to retrieve the old product key.

https://www.tenforums.com/windows-updates-activation/25673-how-get-product-key-old-os-win-7-after-upgrading-win-10-a.html
 

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