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Reinstalling Windows with no disc


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#1 lyssa615

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 01:49 PM

If I replace my hard drive on my laptop, how would I reinstall Windows? My laptop came pre-loaded with Windows 8.1. I then upgraded to 10. When I did a clean reinstall, I was back to Win 8.1. This did not fix my issues, hence why I want to replace the hard drive. Can I find the product key anywhere? I don't see it on any labels anywhere underneath the laptop. Also, is there anyway to get Windows 10 back without paying for it? 



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#2 Daydreamed

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 01:58 PM

Hello,

 

:welcome: to Bleeping Computer!

 

What was your issue that you were having?

 

When you reinstall Windows 10, it should either skip the key process or you can skip it. If you remember your key from when you were on Windows 8.1, you can use that one as well.


- Daydreamed


#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 01:59 PM

Windows 10 activation is stored on Microsoft's servers. If you wish to clean install Windows 10 then use the Media Creation Tool. If you wish to keep 8.1 you can download 8.1 using it's Media Creation Tool. If the computer came pre-installed with Windows 8 then the key is embedded in firmware and the computer will be activated once online.

 

To verify if the drive is indeed failing then download Seatools for Windows and do a short/long test on the drive.

 

Seatools for Windows

 

How to Use Seatools for Windows



#4 lyssa615

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 02:03 PM

The computer came pre-installed with 8.1, so is the only version I will not need a product key for? 



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 02:15 PM

No, because Windows 10 was activated there is no need for a Windows 10 key as the activation is stored on Microsoft's servers. I believe the term is Digital Entitlement. The license is based on your hardware signature. When you install Windows 10 and access the internet is will self-activate.






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