Question Windows license question

hondoman

Honorable
Jul 24, 2014
82
2
10,545
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Right then,

About two weeks ago I bought a new Motherboard, CPU, Fan, memory and a WLAN PCIe card. These were to be placed into a four years old PC. The power supply and SSDs were replaced about two years ago.

All went well except for the WLAN card. It simply wouldn't work. Finally got into my router, made a few small changes and it worked. Well, for about an hour or so. I was streaming a movie and the screen froze. I rebooted and the troubles began.

Appears I need to do a clean install. I didn't consider that before. I can't get into Windows at all currently. I get either the black screen of death or a the black screen with the Windows logo but no spinning wheel.

I see from the MS page on creating Windows 10 installation media that, 'To get started, you will first need to have a license to install Windows 10'. My license is most like buried in the PC I'm trying to revive. Is there a means to obtain this somehow? I don't wish to go through the steps of the clean install, to fall short.

Advise?

Cheers!
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Depends on how you registered it. If it was through a MS account, that is tied to you and you should be able to run a fresh install by logging in that way.

If it was registered to the device, you can still probably re-use it if you have the key. Might require automated phone activation.

And then there is this:


Pretty detailed and should get you the key at least.

Also MS no longer really cares, you can run unactivated indefinitely. You'll just have the little water mark in the bottom right.
 
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hondoman

Honorable
Jul 24, 2014
82
2
10,545
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Depends on how you registered it. If it was through a MS account, that is tied to you and you should be able to run a fresh install by logging in that way.

If it was registered to the device, you can still probably re-use it if you have the key. Might require automated phone activation.

And then there is this:


Pretty detailed and should get you the key at least.

Also MS no longer really cares, you can run unactivated indefinitely. You'll just have the little water mark in the bottom right.
Thanks for responding Eximo, honestly, I don't recall. I have two PCs and am completely unsure how I registered them. But I might have used a MS account, as I have a logon and password.

I'll give it a wee go and appreciate the link and your assistance. Cheers!
 

Krotow

Commendable
Oct 2, 2019
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254
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OEM licences does not transfer to new motherboard. He must purchase a new Windows license if he want not pirate.

Also ProduKey in OEM systems can extract only OEM technical product key which doesn't activate. Actual key is the one that came on sticker glued on case or below battery in laptops. Ran into this when reinstalled Windows in decade old Dell Optiplex office workstation.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
licence: go here and try to login using the user name/password you had on PC - if it works here it means its a MSA
https://account.microsoft.com/account?lang=en-au
if it works, click devices tab
logon again
click on any devices that are on this page, is this still old PC or new one? it should have a description of at least the processor
that shows its linked to email address.

OEM licences... depends on how big OEM is and if it came with Win 10 preinstalled. If its from Dell or HP, I agree that those win 10 licences are tied to MB. But if its a small OEM or you literally bought it yourself, you can link that to an email address in most cases and move it to new hardware. If the Win 10 licence is result of an upgrade from 7 or 8, it can be linked to an email address and moved to new hardware.
rules between oem and retail blurred with Win 10. Main difference is likely how many times you can move licence. Retail likely still more flexible.

if its still linked to hardware, and you know key, best idea is contact Microsoft and hope you get someone that knows about this - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/reactivating-windows-10-after-a-hardware-change-2c0e962a-f04c-145b-6ead-fb3fc72b6665 - as they should be able to fix the activation from their end.
 

hotaru.hino

Respectable
The rules about OEM licenses seem pretty clear in https://docs.microsoft.com/answers/storage/attachments/55689-oemsoftwarelicensingrulesandrestrictions.pdf

License Transfers*
OEM Software may NOT be transferred to another machine.Even if the original laptop, PC or Server is no longer in use, or if the software isremoved from the original hardware, OEM licenses are tied to the device on whichthe software is first installed.
...
Hardware Replacement*
The motherboard is the component that determines whether or not a new MicrosoftWindows Desktop Operating System license is required. Motherboard upgrades orreplacements require a new operating system license with an identical seriesmotherboard (unless a replacement is for a defect).
 

hotaru.hino

Respectable
have you tried it?
it works.

I can't explain why their policies conflict with reality
I'm not saying the reality is you can't activate an OEM license on two different devices, I'm saying that there's no ambiguity on what the policy is for OEM licenses.

I mean, you can use Windows indefinitely without activating it and 99.99% of its features working and the only thing you'd have to endure is a watermark. I'm under no impression Microsoft absolutely wants you to buy a license, but rather they'd like to have you using their OS because as long as people use your software, you're still relevant. And that's all that matters.
 
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Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
That is one way to look at it. I see them wanting everyone on one version of windows as its way easier to deal with updates then. Its why they don't care if you run inactivated. They even let people use pirated licenses to activate.
 

hondoman

Honorable
Jul 24, 2014
82
2
10,545
3
A license is tied to the motherboard. Not the SSD or CPU. When the MoBo is replaced and Windows was installed by a shop when the computer was built and purchased, it's considered OEM, and the license is invalid with the new board.
 
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