Discussion windows 10 install without a key

Mar 4, 2019
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I see laptops on Ebay without HD and NO COA . Can a HD be installed and windows 10 be installed without a key ? I was told that the key is digital in the Bios an manufacturers don't put COA on the machines now .
 

punkncat

Commendable
Apr 3, 2018
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You can install Win 10 without a license. Whether the digital entitlement will activate is a different question. I would add the cost of a license to those purchases just to be sure.
Something else I have seen more of lately are refurbished machines with Win 10 installed, but not licensed. It was down in the fine print. I would say buyer beware (and informed).
 
Mar 4, 2019
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The ones I have looked at are newer ( within the last 2 year manufactured date ) , so they have had Win 10 installed previously. Would they have the key in the bios ? I agree that to purchase something and then also have to purchase a license would be a bummer . Better just purchasing something already done
 
Windows 8.x had the license key in UEFI/BIOS. Windows 10 keeps a digital entitlement for your hardware configuration on a server somewhere.

If your equipment has a valid digital entitlement to run Windows 10, then reinstalling shouldn't affect that, and Windows 10 should activate on it's own without you needing to enter any sort of key.
 

Colif

Titan
Moderator
The ones I have looked at are newer ( within the last 2 year manufactured date ) , so they have had Win 10 installed previously. Would they have the key in the bios ?
If the machines were attached to an email address on the previous installs and the owner of licence decided to keep licence, there is a way via The MIcrosoft accounts website to unlink the PC from the account. I expect if the licence holder has multiple machines, there is a more automated process they can run to deactivate their machines in bulk.

So while PC's may have had win 10 on them before, if they sold with none now, its likely their licences have been deactivated on the hardware.

So you would have to buy a licence or just run deactivated, which has restrictions but none that stop PC from working.
 
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