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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Upgrading from Home to Pro

    I bought a reasonably well-specced Toshiba laptop recently that came installed with Windows 10 Home. Having used it for a couple of weeks, on the whole I'm pleased with it apart from the limitations of the Home edition of Windows 10, (I've done the free upgrade from Win 7 Pro to Win 10 Pro on a couple of other machines - Thanks, Microsoft!). I've been looking into upgrading the new laptop to Windows 10 Pro.

    As far as I understand it, I go to the Properties page for the PC, then click on the "Change Product Key" link. This opens a windows that asks for a new product key and, if I enter a Windows 10 Pro key, the update process then converts the installation to Windows 10 Pro.

    So far, so good.

    If I go through the official Windows Upgrade Store, they'll charge me 99.99GBP for the new Activation Code. Other resellers are charging half that and there are some eBay sellers offering the same thing, ("Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 32 / 64 bit Key Only - Digital Delivery"), for less than 20GBP.

    I'd obviously like to upgrade for the least payout possible and I was wondering if anyone in the lounge has any experience of the process using a 3rd-party key or one of the cheaper eBay alternatives.

    An activation key is just a key, isn't it?
    Regards,

    Steve

    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

  2. #2
    Administrator
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    You are correct. A key should be just a key. However, you must be wary of third parties selling keys. Often an inexpensive key is pirated and may not work now or may be disabled in the future. Check out the vendor as well as you are able.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    As Joe said. If it sounds too good to be true....
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  4. #4
    jwoods
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    I would use the Windows Store, or a licensed reseller like Amazon UK.

    Even if a key is legitimate, if something were to go wrong, you would have recourse with the Store and Amazon.
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-11-17 at 17:00.

  5. #5
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    I found one for just over 10GBP, which I can afford to write off if it all goes pear-shaped. It was delivered in an eBay message to my account, along with the proviso "If a license key is displayed as invalid when activating, please perform the telephone activation".

    I've tried it and it does, indeed, report as invalid ("Error Code:0x004f050"). I'll ring it though tomorrow and see how I get on.

    Thanks for your replies.
    Regards,

    Steve

    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
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    The initial error I described above was my own daft fault for not reading things properly. What was supplied was a Windows 7 Pro code that could be used to parlay a free Windows 10 Pro installation but included a couple of scrubs and rebuilds in the process. Not what I was looking for.

    I finally bought a genuine Win 10 Pro key and tried the process again. This didn't work either, but gave a different error: "The product key you entered can't be used to activate this edition of Windows. Please try a different key". So I spoke to Microsoft.

    They conformed the key as genuine but said it could only be used if I rebuilt the laptop and entered the new key at the appropriate point in the build process. This is precisely what I was hoping to avoid.

    The official process - using the 'Go to Store' option on the Activation screen, just underneath the 'Change Product Key' button - allows for the in-place upgrade to occur after you've paid M$ their 99.99 GBP for the new Product Key. I accept that I'm at fault for not checking that my method would work but - all commercial considerations aside - why shouldn't it, from a technical perspective? They've confirmed the key as valid. The net change to the laptop is the same - although M$ are down a few dollars on the deal, it's hardly going to damage their bottom line.

    I'm currently in the process of asking Toshiba if their recovery media - created from the software on the Recovery Partition on the laptop - can be tweaked to use the Pro Product Key or whether the home edition is hard-coded. They've yet to respond.

    At the end of the day, this isn't the end of the world. If I'm painted into that corner, I'll rebuild the laptop and use the Win 10 Pro key to do it. I just resent the inconvenience and wasted time. But I guess an 80% saving on the Product Key inevitably comes with some strings...
    Regards,

    Steve

    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

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