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  1. #1
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    Sorting through the changes in Windows licensing




    TOP STORY


    Sorting through the changes in Windows licensing


    By Susan Bradley

    With consumer versions of Windows 10 offered free for the first year, many users have questions about licensing.

    Windows users have never "owned" the OS they paid for, but Win10 has significantly changed the rules.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...ows-licensing/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    I have a windows 7 PC that has a faulty hard drive. What I want to do is replace the hard drive with a SSD and upgrade to Windows 10, but am unsure about what steps to take and in what order.

    The machine is still bootable and appears to work although there are loads of errors in the Event logs indicating the faulty hard drive.

    I have downloaded the Window 10 Pro ISO and what I'd like to do ideally is...
    1) Replace the hard drive
    2) Clean install Windows 10
    However, I suspect that it wouldn't let me do that as it wouldn't appear to be an upgrade. So as I see it the options are probably...
    1) Upgrade the current hardware to Windows 10 (I think this would still work, judging on current performance of the PC)
    2) Replace the hard drive
    3) Clean install Windows 10
    Or
    1) Replace the hard drive
    2) Clean install Windows 7
    3) Upgrade to Windows 10

    I would greatly appreciate any advice.

    Many thanks,

    Gary

  3. #3
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    I've got a purchased 32-bit Win7 that I VM-ed (from a Win7 laptop onto a Mac). I know that I can do an in-place upgrade, and appreciate that it will have to be 32-bit if I do.

    I can (presumably) also create a new VM using the 64-bit Win 7 disks. I can port across the software that I have to have Windows for - but not, if I recall correctly, my Office 2013 click-to-run. I think that that is tied to specific (now virtualised) hardware. Is that right?

    I still need Office 2013, for the VBA, so what would be my best solution? Am I allowed to have two VMs, both upgraded to Win 10 from the same Win7, but with different bittedness so long as I don't run them both at the same time? Or will activating it in 64 bit on the new VM kill the licence for the old 32-bit VM? Or can I, actually, move Office 2013? Or do I have to do a 64-bit fresh install in the original VM because that's where the virtual hardware for Office resides?

    All too complicated!
    Thanks for any advice
    Stuart

  4. #4
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    I was in the same situation with my old ASUS G73JW notebook. I chose:

    1) replace the hard drive - delete all partitions in case it has been used - use the Windows 10 ISO to create new partitions (you'll find that the System Reserved partition is slightly larger - 500 MB - but this is obviously what Windows 10 requires and you can't change the size of the System Reserved partition afterwards).

    2) clean install Windows 7 - install all official Win 7 drivers (this may be of advantage to the Win 10 upgrade ... it might check the installed drivers and upgrade intelligently) - install all Windows Update hotfixes - upgrade to Win 7 SP1 - install all Windows/Microsoft Update hotfixes - activate Windows - optionally install Office - activate Office - use a tool, like AOMEI Backup, to backup the entire system to an external drive.

    3) upgrade to Windows 10 - install all hotfixes - use a tool, like AOMEI Backup, to backup the entire system to an external drive

    It takes ages, but in my opinion it's worthwhile.

    I think I also tried the route to perform a new installation direct from the Windows 10 Build 10240 ISO that was available at the end of the Windows Insider Preview test period that came with a valid license key. I suspect there's no difference to the official Windows 10 Pro (also Build 10240) ISO, except being an upgrade there's no key. I can't say now what issues, if any, I had going this path - I stumbled on something and chose to go back to a Windows 7 clean install. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooperman View Post
    I have a windows 7 PC that has a faulty hard drive. What I want to do is replace the hard drive with a SSD and upgrade to Windows 10, but am unsure about what steps to take and in what order.
    This is just my personal opinion, mind you...

    There are a number of good options for a SSD that come with the software (and sometimes cable) needed to transfer your existing Win7 to the SSD and get it booting. Do that first!

    Once you have the computer running from the SSD, then decide if you want to upgrade to Win10. If you really want to go to Win10, then I would think twice about keeping an old computer - if the hard drive is failing because other components may be ready for replacement.

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    My Win 8.1 laptop was not working well. Too many uninstalls, test programs and other misc junk which I did not want to carry over to the new operating system. A fresh install of Windows 10 was done so that I had a clean system to begin with.

    Is there any way to register this copy of Windows 10?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melo View Post
    My Win 8.1 laptop was not working well. Too many uninstalls, test programs and other misc junk which I did not want to carry over to the new operating system. A fresh install of Windows 10 was done so that I had a clean system to begin with.

    Is there any way to register this copy of Windows 10?
    No, you'll need to reinstall 8.1 and upgrade (by running setup on ISO/USB/DVD from within 8.1).

  8. #8
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    Is it possible to do a clean install of Win10 to a newly formatted SSD? I have a valid version of Win7 but don't want to upgrade this old installation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Bradley View Post
    That might work; but on older systems, you’ll probably need to enter a Win10 license key. You can find it on your new Win10 installation by using a key viewer such as the NirSoft Produkey (site) utility.
    That's pointless, as all Windows 10 upgrades have the same generic license key, per edition (e.g. the one in your Produkey screen shot for all Windows 10 Pro upgrades).

    And a license key is not needed to reinstall Windows 10 anyway:
    "Just don’t enter a product key—Microsoft won’t give you one and you won’t need it either—and Windows 10 will simply activate automatically when the [re-]install is done."
    Windows 10 Tip: Associate Your PC with Your Free Windows 10 License


    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Bradley View Post
    (Oddly, a Google search of Win10 license keys will turn up lots of sites selling keys — for a currently free product.)
    Windows 10 is not a free product, only upgrades from 7/8 are free. All the Win 10 license keys for sale I found via a Google search were for new installations, not upgrades.


    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Bradley View Post
    In either case, your system must first have had a successful upgrade to Win10. It will then be whitelisted in Microsoft’s product-key system as genuine. Currently, if you’re asked for a key during a reinstall of Win10, you can use a generic key (Figure 1), as noted on a Reddit page.
    As noted on that same page, you can skip product key entry because all Win10 upgrade license keys are generic and hardware ID validation is automatic.
    Last edited by BruceR; 2015-09-03 at 10:53. Reason: added URL

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidSalahi View Post
    Is it possible to do a clean install of Win10 to a newly formatted SSD? I have a valid version of Win7 but don't want to upgrade this old installation.
    Not without buying a key. But you can upgrade from 7 and "keep nothing".

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    Susan's article correctly indicates that there is no free upgrade from (say) the home version to the pro version. However, I am under the impression that there is indeed a way to make the upgrade from (say) the home version to the pro version but there at a $ cost. Unfortunately, I haven't see the procedure to make such an upgrade.

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    As an old TechNet user, I have 3 Win 7 Pro platforms in different physical locations where I demo products for customers, e.g., a lot of Microsoft Office products. TechNet allowed me to use the same Win 7 product key for this purpose. The question becomes whether the upgrading of one of those platforms to Win 10 would invalidate the multi-platform allowance on the remaining machines when the time came to upgrade those as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post



    TOP STORY


    Sorting through the changes in Windows licensing


    By Susan Bradley

    With consumer versions of Windows 10 offered free for the first year, many users have questions about licensing.

    Windows users have never "owned" the OS they paid for, but Win10 has significantly changed the rules.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...ows-licensing/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    What is the point of posting an article that except for a questionnaire, the rest is redacted ?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    What is the point of posting an article that except for a questionnaire, the rest is redacted ?
    This entire article is in the free section of the newsletter. Did you sign in?

  15. #15
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    Your article raised a question in my mind. I use Windows 7 Pro on my desktop and have NO desire to upgrade to Win 10. However, I would like to explore Windows 10. Is it permissible to install 10 on a USB drive and boot from that? If so, could I also use the USB drive to run Win 10, which also uses Win7? What can or cannot be done in terms of loading Win10 on a USB drive?

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