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  1. #1
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    Can I re-use my Windows 8 Pro Product Key

    Here's the scenario...I bought full retail version of Windows 8 Pro and installed it on my laptop & upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro. I intend to install Windows 10 Pro on the laptop.

    Now, I have a perfectly fine retail version of Windows 8 Pro not being used for anything.

    Can I legally install Windows 8 Pro on my desktop PC(Win 7 Home Prem) and then upgrade that to Win 8.1 Pro? This makes financial sense to me, but maybe not to M$oft's EULA that I have a hard time understanding. Thanks.

    Diane

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    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Legally, you will have to buy a new copy of W10 before MS will reactivate your W8 on your PC as W10 is an upgrade to the existing OS on your laptop, in which case you might as well install the new OS on your PC (or just buy a new OEM copy of W8, which is cheaper than a retail copy. Prices for remaining OEM copies of the old OS will probably be reduced after W10 is released, making it cheaper still).

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeachesP View Post
    Here's the scenario...I bought full retail version of Windows 8 Pro and installed it on my laptop & upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro. I intend to install Windows 10 Pro on the laptop.

    Now, I have a perfectly fine retail version of Windows 8 Pro not being used for anything.

    Can I legally install Windows 8 Pro on my desktop PC(Win 7 Home Prem) and then upgrade that to Win 8.1 Pro? This makes financial sense to me, but maybe not to M$oft's EULA that I have a hard time understanding. Thanks.

    Diane
    If your laptop came pre-installed with Windows 7, then you'll be able to use that original installation of Windows 7 as an upgrade path to Windows 10. If that's the case, then your Windows 8 license is good to use wherever you wish to use it.

    If your laptop came pre-installed with Vista, (or XP) then you don't have a direct upgrade path to Windows 10 on your laptop, and will have to use the Windows 8 license as the upgrade path. HTH
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    If your laptop came pre-installed with Windows 7, then you'll be able to use that original installation of Windows 7 as an upgrade path to Windows 10. If that's the case, then your Windows 8 license is good to use wherever you wish to use it.

    If your laptop came pre-installed with Vista, (or XP) then you don't have a direct upgrade path to Windows 10 on your laptop, and will have to use the Windows 8 license as the upgrade path. HTH
    It's a bit more complicated than that, I'm afraid.

    My laptop came with Windows 7 HP; I bought the Family Pack for Windows 7 HP and used it over the Win 7 HP that came with the laptop to rid it of all the junk that came with the laptop. I used the "two install" method to do a clean install of Win 7 HP on the laptop. I don't remember if I used the product key on the bottom of the laptop or the product key that came with the disk.

    I downloaded the beta version of Win 8 and used that until the OS was released. I then bought a full retail version of Win 8 Pro when it was released and installed that over the second install of Win 7 HP that I did with the Family Pack. I then upgraded to Win 8.1 when that was available.

    I fully intend to take advantage of the offer to upgrade to Win 10 Pro on the laptop as soon as its available. Win 8 Pro will be used on a newly built PC that has one of the installs I had left from the Win 7 HP Family Pack I bought many years ago.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    You're still good. The COA sticker on the laptop is your valid upgrade path to Windows 10. The Product Key for the Windows 7 HP Family Pack should be your valid upgrade path for Windows 8 on the newly built PC. I say should be, as I haven't seen "Family Pack" mentioned in any of the blogs/leaks/press releases concerning Windows 10, but I don't see any reason that it shouldn't be a valid upgrade path.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Yes you can and I did. Here's my scenario:

    I purchased a Lenovo laptop (Yoga 2) with Win 8.0 but I wanted the Pro version so I could use Bitlocker, so I purchased an upgrade to Win 8.1 Pro from MS online. The upgrade went fine, but a few months later the Yoga 2 developed an unresolvable touchscreen hardware fault (I went through all the faultfinding/system refresh/system factory reset process with Lenovo and the problem persisted). The machine was replaced with a Yoga 3 13 which had Windows 8.1 standard in the factory build. I tried to upgrade this to Win 8.1 Pro with my previously purchased key and it installed okay but wouldn't activate automatically. I called MS's manual activation phone number and got to speak to a human (nice to know they still have those, at least I don't think it was a simulacrum!) who asked me for my 40 digit number from the manual activation system. No other questions asked. He read back to me another 40 digit activation code that I plugged into the manual activation system and the machine successfully completed activation. So MS themselves have reactivated it (and, by implication "authorised" the transfer). Been as good as gold ever since. My guess is that if the original Yoga 2 machine tried to turn on and connect to the net with my key, it'd get deactivated automatically, as only one activated machine per upgrade license is allowed.

    I should add, that if you upgrade the Win 8.1 Pro to Win 10 instead of purchase a new license, I think that snuffs the Win 8.1 license (i.e. can't use both at the same time on different machines).

    When Win 8 originally came out MS tried to lock the license to a single machine for life. They rescinded that after a massive public outcry, and now the EULA allows the license to be transferred (but not duplicated).

    HTH
    Paul

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    OEM licenses for Windows are tied to the original PC on which the OS was installed. They are NOT now and never have been legally transferable. Retail full versions of Windows have always been transferable.

    As to the original question, if you install the Windows 10 Pro upgrade over the current Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade the new OS takes over the license of the old OS. Same thing happened when you installed Win 8 Pro over Win 7 HP. Win 8.1 was a free upgrade but it took over the Win 8 license. So, you can't legally use the Windows 8 Pro version on a different PC unless you uninstall all the way back to Win 7 HP on the machine you intend to upgrade to Win10. Of course, if you upgrade Win 7 HP to Win 10 you'll get Win 10 Home. You might be able to find a cheap Win7 Pro upgrade to install so that the machine will upgrade to Win 10 Pro. NOTE: remember that all Win 7 machines must have SP1 installed to upgrade to Win10.

    Jo

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    8.1 OEM to 8.1 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    OEM licenses for Windows are tied to the original PC on which the OS was installed. They are NOT now and never have been legally transferable. Retail full versions of Windows have always been transferable.

    As to the original question, if you install the Windows 10 Pro upgrade over the current Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade the new OS takes over the license of the old OS. Same thing happened when you installed Win 8 Pro over Win 7 HP. Win 8.1 was a free upgrade but it took over the Win 8 license. So, you can't legally use the Windows 8 Pro version on a different PC unless you uninstall all the way back to Win 7 HP on the machine you intend to upgrade to Win10. Of course, if you upgrade Win 7 HP to Win 10 you'll get Win 10 Home. You might be able to find a cheap Win7 Pro upgrade to install so that the machine will upgrade to Win 10 Pro. NOTE: remember that all Win 7 machines must have SP1 installed to upgrade to Win10.

    Jo
    So an 8.1 OEM to 8.1 Pro would be eligible for 10 Pro, is that correct? It would probably be cheaper to get a 8.1 Pro upgrade after 10 is launched then to buy a 10 upgrade. Do I have this about right?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgeezer75 View Post
    So an 8.1 OEM to 8.1 Pro would be eligible for 10 Pro, is that correct? It would probably be cheaper to get a 8.1 Pro upgrade after 10 is launched then to buy a 10 upgrade. Do I have this about right?
    If you upgrade a "Pro" SKU you'll get Win10 Pro. You may be able to find a good deal on a Win 8.1 Pro upgrade.

    Joe

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