Question Windows 10 License Transfer and Types of Licenses? Help?

Myronazz

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Sep 5, 2016
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Hello, simple question.

It used to be that you could run the slmgr tool and a little box would pop up saying which channel your license came from, but in November Microsoft pushed out an update that changed the way some licenses look like (such as upgraded ones) and so they look like they came from a retail channel when really the are OEM and don't have the same properties. That got me badly yesterday and many hours were wasted.

Now that this is the case, is there a way to figure out what a license is reliably?

To note:
I have a few old mobos and Im trying to see if I tied a retail license to them sometime in the past so I can transfer it to a new motherboard just so I don't pay for Windows. I mean, hey if I have a retail one why should I pay again?
 

USAFRet

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Are any of these licenses linked to an MS account?

Except for a preinstalled Win 10 OS from one of the major manufacturers, OEM vs Retail, the "OEM" thing is mainly gone.

Link that license to an MS account, and you can almost certainly transfer the license to different hardware.
 

Myronazz

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Are any of these licenses linked to an MS account?

Except for a preinstalled Win 10 OS from one of the major manufacturers, OEM vs Retail, the "OEM" thing is mainly gone.

Link that license to an MS account, and you can almost certainly transfer the license to different hardware.
I did link it, but this happened. I'm guessing I have this 'major manufacturer' type for this to happen. I'm guessing you can also identify it from Windows Core System manufacturer thing? If I run the slmgr it does say retail and the product is Windows Core.

The other mobo I have also says Windows Core with Retail. Damn... But I haven't tried yet so I guess I can.



Also: The first board is from a prebuilt from a company we have in the UK called Pcspecialists

The second one I don't know. Bought it used had a Windows license tied to it. Kind of a fancy mobo so honestly I doubt it's from a prebuilt.
 
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Myronazz

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Well, you can't use that particular license. No idea where it came from, but you can't use it on different hardware.
Yeah I figured. Just like I mentioned in my other reply, it's from a major company that does prebuilts here in the UK (PcSpecialists)

I'll try the other mobo. It's a fancy used one I got. Maybe whoever got it before me had put a good license on it? Then again maybe it's another prebuilt. Who knows. Only way I can find out is to try!

I also have something ridiculous like six laptops. Most have Windows licenses on them but they are from major corporations like Lenovo and like you said it's probably a fat chance I can do a transfer from such machines.

Sigh... Thanks alot anyways. I was so confused as to what changed with the licenses.
 

USAFRet

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With Win 10, the OEM vs Retail thing has changed significantly from previous versions.
And the latter updates of Win 10, changed again.

The only real distinctions are:
Where it came from
Is it (or can it be) linked to a MS account

If it is a standalone thing you purchased, it can almost certainly be moved to different hardware. (the license, not the actual install)
If it came preinstalled, it is up to where and how the manufacturer got it.
And then of course the corporate, EDU, volume license, etc.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
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It depends how big maker is as to what license you get, i feel. Buy PC from an OEM like Dell & HP and it will have a licence tied to that hardware. Buy one made by a small shop and good chance you can move it later on.

Never seen that reaction before. I don't see many people try to move new OEM licences.
 

Myronazz

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Well good (and semi-interesting?) news guys!

It did not work. Unlike the first one, it actually appeared on my activation list and it looked like it would let me activate Windows with it but then it said:
We can't activate your copy of Windows as the digital license for this device has already been used to reactivate Windows.
Confusing message... I guess it translates to how my license cant be transferred from computer to computer.

Then here is what happened. I found a super old laptop I had, the common Toshiba C660 you see kinda alot at least where I live and it had a Windows Home Premium label on it with a product key... so I tried punching that into Windows 10 Home AND IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was super surprising. That key is not a generic OEM key. I tried to enter it into Microsoft's website a few weeks ago to get a Windows 7 ISO and it said to contact my hardware manufacturer for it. That just screams TOSHIBA SPECIFIC OEM KEY to me at least. And yet it worked on a completely modern custom build with the word Toshiba being nowhere. What the hell...

SO GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!!! IF YOU HAVE SOME OLD LAPTOP WITH A WINDOWS 7 LABEL YOU CAN LIKELY ACTIVATE WINDOWS WITH IT! Or... at least that was my experience... at the time of writing.

As for the original question or who gets best answer? I honestly don't know. I'll leave that to the mods.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Then here is what happened. I found a super old laptop I had, the common Toshiba C660 you see kinda alot at least where I live and it had a Windows Home Premium label on it with a product key... so I tried punching that into Windows 10 Home AND IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was super surprising. That key is not a generic OEM key. I tried to enter it into Microsoft's website a few weeks ago to get a Windows 7 ISO and it said to contact my hardware manufacturer for it. That just screams TOSHIBA SPECIFIC OEM KEY to me at least. And yet it worked on a completely modern custom build with the word Toshiba being nowhere. What the hell...

SO GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!!! IF YOU HAVE SOME OLD LAPTOP WITH A WINDOWS 7 LABEL YOU CAN LIKELY ACTIVATE WINDOWS WITH IT! Or... at least that was my experience... at the time of writing.
Many people have done this before, buy an old device just to use key to install on a new win 10 PC. It is the source of some of the keys you buy online for cheap.
Using a Win 7 key works because of the upgrade path designed for people who had Win 7 or 8 PC when Win 10 was released. I never bought Win 10 on last PC, it was a free upgrade from Win 7. A win 7 key upgraded like this can be used on Win 7 or 10, just not at the same time.
 

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