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    New hardware + Win10 upgrade = license trouble?


    LangaList Plus

    New hardware + Win10 upgrade = license trouble?


    By Fred Langa

    A reader wants to upgrade to Win10 and then install a new solid-state drive (SSD). He’s wondering if this two-step process will invalidate his original “digital entitlement” to the free upgrade.

    Plus: What software is safe to remove from Windows’ startup queue, and is it better to buy a new PC off the shelf, to use custom-specs, or to build it from scratch?

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/new-hardware-win10-upgrade-license-trouble/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2016-04-11 at 19:53.

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    Rather than using the Task Manager for controlling what loads at boot up time, I would strongly suggest using the free Windows Sysinternals "Autoruns" program ( link: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../bb963902.aspx ).

    The problem I have with Task Manager is once you stop a process, it may not show up again until your have that process running.

    With Autoruns, the process stays in the list, If you uncheck it and something breaks, you can just reopen Autoruns and re-check it!

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    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Best new PC: Build, spec, or buy off the shelf?

    One option Fred doesn't mention is to ask around locally for a reliable and honest small computer shop. Those can often provide a very flexible service for only a small extra cost. If you become a regular customer, you'll often find they'll do odd jobs for free on the spot--like say change out a disk or add a card.

    For build your own, I strongly advise entering your planned hardware into PCPartPicker which among other things will flag any incompatibilities. I'd add Amazon to Fred's list of part vendors, their filtering has improved a lot in the last year or two.

    I always take the trouble to build my own from parts, as I have a specific set of criteria which are usually not available even in bare bones.
    Lugh.
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    Windows 10 Pro x64 1607; Office 2016 (365 Home) x32; Win Defender, MBAM Pro

    ASRock H97 Anniversary; Xeon E3-1231V3 (like i7)
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    I still usually build my systems from parts. While I found generic systems from local builders that had many of the specs, I've shifted to a
    'media centre' style horizontal case. Not quite as easy to build in but easy to cool and nicely sits on a shelf under the desk. Makers also tend to use a lot of generic components rather than higher quality unless you go gamer.

    One of the better local suppliers offers packages that make the price difference reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulp575 View Post
    Rather than using the Task Manager for controlling what loads at boot up time, I would strongly suggest using the free Windows Sysinternals "Autoruns" program ( link: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../bb963902.aspx ).

    The problem I have with Task Manager is once you stop a process, it may not show up again until your have that process running.

    With Autoruns, the process stays in the list, If you uncheck it and something breaks, you can just reopen Autoruns and re-check it!
    The article didn't talk about stopping processes in Task manager, but disabling items on its Startup tab (on Windows 8/10).

    They remain there while disabled for as long as you like and can be re-enabled at any time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulp575 View Post
    Rather than using the Task Manager for controlling what loads at boot up time, I would strongly suggest using the free Windows Sysinternals "Autoruns" program ( link: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../bb963902.aspx ).

    The problem I have with Task Manager is once you stop a process, it may not show up again until your have that process running.

    With Autoruns, the process stays in the list, If you uncheck it and something breaks, you can just reopen Autoruns and re-check it!
    I suspect you're looking at Task Manager from Windows 7 or earlier - later versions of Task Manager have the same ability to disable/enable tasks as autoruns. But what its doesn't have, and IIRC nor does autoruns; is any control over shell extensions or tasks scheduled to run at startup - Piriforms CCleaner has both.

    As well as using these tools to reduce startup times, the ability to disable tasks is very useful when trouble shooting.

    Many programs won't start on demand, so if you want them you either have to put them in Startup, or start them manually when their hot key doesn't work, or the mouse scroll wheel doesn't do what it ought, or the markup doesn't get scrubbed when something is copied to clipboard... et cetera, et cetera. I have about a dozen such programs in my tray right now.


    Re build your own or buy - Dell Alienware products can be customised, I have two of them and I don't play games, one is almost 5 years old and totally trouble free, the other is a recently bought Alpha.

    nw
    Last edited by northwood2222; 2016-04-13 at 00:56.

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    Post The Rest of the Story about Win10 Clean Install to SSD

    All, in case anyone wants to know "the rest of the story" as a follow-up to the question about doing a clean install of Win10 to a newly purchased SSD, here it is:
    First, I did an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1. Before doing so, I did indeed note my Windows product and licensing keys. After upgrading, but before setting up my new SSD, I learned that for Windows to properly maintain SSDs, I needed to enable AHCI in my BIOS. I did this without first making sure I had installed AHCI drivers in Windows, so of course, I couldn't boot. I switched AHCI off again, but for whatever reason, at that point my main board died. (I swapped out RAM and power supplies to test, but yes, the main board gave up the ghost.)

    I replaced the motherboard with a new one that was compatible with the CPU from the old board, installed the SSD, and performed a clean install of Windows 10 onto it, but I could never get Windows 10 to activate, even calling Microsoft on the phone with the license keys I had noted. What I learned is, that Windows OEM licensing (since Win8?) is tied to the main board. I had not noticed before, but unlike my previous computers with Windows OEM license key stickers on them, my Windows 8 (Acer OEM) computer did not have such a sticker. I surmise that when Windows8+ is activated, it phones home to Microsoft and ties the license key to the main board hardware. I'm sure it's more complicated than this, but the short of it is, if your main board dies, so does your OEM Windows license. It would be up to the consumer to work with the OEM to address hardware failures (under warranty or not) and then get OEM Windows install media (or recovery partition?) from them to recover the OS. (This would not be true, of course, of a retail copy of Windows.)

    At that point, I gave up. My in-laws had a Windows 7 computer that they weren't using, which I bought from them. I immediately installed my SSD in it, did a clean install of Windows 10, and activated it just by typing in the Windows 7 OEM license key off the side of the unit.
    Last edited by Baodad; 2016-04-14 at 12:35.

  8. #8
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    Besides the PC companies Fred mentioned, a couple other good choices for custom configuration are http://www.avadirect.com and https://www.pugetsystems.com

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    Regarding Fred's story on licensing, I don't get anything when I enter the run command, "slui.exe 4" in Windows 10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paxzap View Post
    Regarding Fred's story on licensing, I don't get anything when I enter the run command, "slui.exe 4" in Windows 10.
    It works for me:

    slui.PNG

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