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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Windows 10 Pro Product Key

    From my #10 post at http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...=1#post1013651

    If I understood the TP deal correctly participants in the TP program were to be rewarded with a licenced copy of Win10 at time of release, and it appears M$ has honoured that.
    Earlier this week I upgraded from build 10162 to 10240.
    W10Pro_System.jpg

    Note that "Windows edition" is "Windows 10 Pro" and under "Windows activation" it shows "Windows is activated".
    I have since extracted the Windows 10 Pro product key (build 10240). It is not the same key as the generic key that was published from the outset of the TP program and used in all builds until 10240.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You don't need the Windows 10 product key. From what I read on the Microsoft IT Pro forum, the key displayed by the popular key retrieval software packages like magic jellybean finder won't work if you try a clean install using the Microsoft iso download. Assuming you did an upgrade install, you leave the product key field blank when you do a clean install.

    Jerry

  4. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    You don't need the Windows 10 product key. From what I read on the Microsoft IT Pro forum, the key displayed by the popular key retrieval software packages like magic jellybean finder won't work if you try a clean install using the Microsoft iso download. Assuming you did an upgrade install, you leave the product key field blank when you do a clean install.

    Jerry
    I used ProduKey (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html) to extract the key.

    As to whether the key will work for a clean install I haven't tested that yet, but will do so.

    Also, I might not have made it clear enough in my #1 post that 10162 was a clean install, not an upgrade install of any previous build or Win7SP1/Win8.1. It did not ask for a product key.
    Last edited by Coochin; 2015-07-31 at 22:25.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  5. #4
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin View Post
    ...As to whether the key will work for a clean install I haven't tested that yet, but will do so...
    Further to my #3 post I have since successfully performed a clean install of 10240 "Win10 Pro x64" on a spare 40GB HDD using the product key extracted with ProduKey and the DVD I created from the ISO I downloaded after 10240 was released.

    So it does seem M$ has assigned unique product keys for insiders. Also I read something in Microsoft's TP documentation that indicated insiders have to have been participating in the TP program for more than 30 days to be eligible for the free unique Win10 keys.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

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  7. #5
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    ...Assuming you did an upgrade install, you leave the product key field blank when you do a clean install...
    AFAIK it is generally understood that in the context of installing an OS "clean install" means to install to an empty partition, whereas "upgrade install" means to install on a partition that has an existing OS.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  8. #6
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    After reading the original post, i still believe the original clean install picked up the license from your windows install. It would be interesting to see if you could do a clean install on your spare disk leaving the product key space blank and more importantly whether you could do a clean install on another PC with that product key. Note that in the past you could not use the same product key on two separate installs unless you had a multiple system license.

    You might want to peruse this thread: https://social.technet.microsoft.com...in10itprosetup

    Jerry

  9. #7
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin View Post
    AFAIK it is generally understood that in the context of installing an OS "clean install" means to install to an empty partition, whereas "upgrade install" means to install on a partition that has an existing OS.
    I don't claim to know the official definition of a clean install but to me its an install that keeps nothing from a previous install independent of an empty partition and an upgrade install keeps programs and data from a previous install.

    Jerry

  10. #8
    Silver Lounger
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    Hello, Jerry.

    >>> i still believe the original clean install picked up the license from your windows install. <<<

    Out of my natural intuition, when installing W-10 Pro, I hit Return when it asked for the keys. Success. Some of us are blessed !

    Will you confirm that in System, seeing W-10 Pro, sans the TP moniker, means that indeed one has received the update ? I have a feeling that 10240 was it and that the Security WU (KB3074683) was just cleaning up a few items including the removal of the moniker, TP. ( Right/Wrong ? )

    I do not know what I did wrong here, I sure do not see any of the problems that one can pursue here, this camper is happy.

    All best wishes. Jean.
    Last edited by handcuff36; 2015-08-01 at 12:58.

  11. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all,

    Interestingly enough when I installed Win 10 on my Win 7 HP machine from a USB key with the ISO downloaded direct from MS it never requested a key it just activated automatically and gave me a new key! Of course this is the 2nd time I attempted this as the first time on Wed. it would not activate! HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  12. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin View Post
    AFAIK it is generally understood that in the context of installing an OS "clean install" means to install to an empty partition, whereas "upgrade install" means to install on a partition that has an existing OS.
    My understanding is that a "Clean Install" is an installation to a clean, empty, drive/partition. An "Upgrade Install" is an installation either from within Windows (that is, launching "Setup.exe" while Windows is running) or an installation to a drive/partition containing a previous Windows installation.

    In an "Upgrade Install" there may or may not be an option to keep files and settings. If there is no option to keep files and settings, there will be a dialog box popup to the effect that the previous installation will be relegated to "Windows.old". If one sees that notice about "Windows.old" an "Upgrade install" is being performed. The installation runtime will peruse the existing installation for pertinent data such as Product Key/Activation.
    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

  13. #11
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    As I said my personal definition of clean vs upgrade is based on whether previous programs and settings are kept independent of the Windows.old directory which I view as a file backup directory. Pages that back this definition are here;
    http://searchitchannel.techtarget.co.../clean-install
    http://pc.net/glossary/definition/clean_install

    Jerry

  14. #12
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    ...After reading the original post, i still believe the original clean install picked up the license from your windows install...
    The clean install in my #4 post was to a spare 40GB HDD that I had wiped then re-partitioned. It is the only partition on the drive and uses all available space. The 40GB HDD was the only HDD connected to the PC, and the PC was not connected to the Internet or my local network.

    Win10 setup could not possibly have "picked up" any other Windows installation because there were none present.

    Also, after the installation finished I ran ProduKey again and it reported that Win10 was using the product key I entered. I have no intention of connecting that Win10 installation to the Internet to avoid any possibility of M$ detecting the different install (I did it as a test only).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  15. #13
    Lounger
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    Coochin,
    I agree with Jerry that you performed an upgrade in your post #1 when you upgraded from Windows 10 Technical Preview to Windows 10 Pro. When you began the install, it then asked what kind of end result you wanted -- an upgraded W10 keeping your existing TP settings and applications or a clean install with nothing carried forward. Don't confuse the end result with the TP to Pro upgrade. You started with an existing installation of W10 TP the first time, not a blank partition. Win 10 Upgrade then confirmed your PC's status as a TP user with their servers on the internet and activated your new Windows 10 Pro system, as promised.

    Read this article on ZDNet about how the new Windows 10 activation procedure eliminates the future need for a Product Key by tying the Windows 10 license certificate on their servers to your PC machine's hardware.

    "Microsoft quietly rewrites its activation rules for Windows 10"
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/microso...or-windows-10/

    It's interesting that you were able to extract a product key from your new Win 10 Pro system, but I suspect that you won't be able to use it on another PC. As you said in your post #4 the product key worked on a blank drive clean install but you DON'T want to connect it to the internet now. I suspect if you put the drive in a different PC and connected to the internet that you would get a nasty message from Microsoft and the Win 10 system would be de-activated.

    Under Microsoft's new activation scheme, any future clean install of Windows 10 Pro on a blank partition on a new hard drive on your PC will NOT require a Product Key so long as it's connected to the internet where the install can verify your PC's license on their servers.

    Computer users who upgrade from Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10 [like RetiredGeek] won't need a product key either and will see a generic product key code if they look on their PC.

    Read this article on PCWorld for more info about how the new Windows 10 activation system creates Entitlements for your PC instead of requiring product keys.

    "Why you can't find your product key after upgrading to Windows 10"
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/29700...indows-10.html

    So you may have been able to find a product key on your PC, but it's a one use/one PC product key now.

  16. #14
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryNY View Post
    ...It's interesting that you were able to extract a product key from your new Win 10 Pro system, but I suspect that you won't be able to use it on another PC. As you said in your post #4 the product key worked on a blank drive clean install but you DON'T want to connect it to the internet now...
    Because I don't want to risk the working Win10 installation I already have, which is the final 10240 TP build. As stated I installed to a spare, blank HDD specifically to test whether setup would accept the extracted product key; and setup did accept the extracted procuct key.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryNY View Post
    ...but I suspect that you won't be able to use it on another PC...
    Can you provide any independant references for that?

    My experience has been that I have several hundred times fitted new motherboards or other affected hardware to customers' computers, or moved their existing Windows to a new hardware setup, after which I have invariably had to re-activate Windows on the new setup; but in all cases re-activation has succeeded.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  17. #15
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Because I don't want to risk the working Win10 installation I already have, which is the final 10240 TP build. As stated I installed to a spare, blank HDD specifically to test whether setup would accept the extracted product key; and setup did accept the extracted procuct key.
    And according to the ZDnet article referenced by LarryNY, you could also have left the Product Key field blank and hit the skip link and you would still have wound up with an activated install.

    Jerry

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