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Trying to Reinstall Windows 10 - How to Retrieve Product Key


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#1 stevenbill

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:21 AM

So I have a 2010 Dell XPS laptop. It came with Windows 7. I upgraded to Windows 10 a few years ago. Recently, the operating system had a failure and tried repairing by going into Recovery mode. That didn't work. I tried starting via CMD and that didn't work. I tried a restore point, that didn't work. I tried basically everything I could to get it to work and nothing worked - it would get so far and then say it encountered a problem and would quit. So whatever - the comp was 7 years old so we bought a new one.

 

Now, however, I'd like to reformat this bad boy and just start clean again to have as a secondary comp but before doing so I need to create a disk image of Win 10 (which I can do here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10) but I also need my product key. I tried getting it via CMD by typing in C:\>wmic os get "SerialNumber" and all that it produced was "SerialNumber."

 

Is there any way I can retrieve my product key from this OS without going into windows (as that's impossible)?



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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:35 AM

Hi,

 

The key isn't needed because its stored on the Microsoft activation servers, if you install the same Windows 10 edition as before using the MediaCreationTool Windows 10 will auto activate when it gets access to the internet.

 

If during install you see a prompt for the key simply select Skip or choose the option to enter a key latter.


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#3 britechguy

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:40 AM

Just to reiterate:  SleepyDude is 100% correct.

 

If Windows 10 has ever been installed and activated on a specific machine, it's digital license (formerly digital entitlement) is stored on Microsoft's servers and, provided you have an internet connection when you're reinstalling on a wiped drive, will be automatically downloaded if you skip entering a license key.

 

If you don't have an internet connection at that time Windows 10 will still install but be in 30-day trial mode until you connect to the internet, at which time it will check itself to see if a digital license already exists for the machine on which it's installed.

 

Once Windows 10 has been on a piece of hardware, and the motherboard in that piece of hardware has not been replaced, it is licensed on it automatically upon reinstallation.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

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#4 stevenbill

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 09:28 PM

Hi Brithetechguy, so you're saying even if I completely reformat my computer, I can just download Win 10 (I see in dos it says 10.0.14393) and I'll be good to go? Because I don't have the original disk image.... this is amazing!



#5 britechguy

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 09:50 PM

Yes, I am.  This was one of the major advances as far as ease of installation/reinstallation with the latest generation of Windows.

 

You need not worry about losing either the installation media (it's now downloadable using the Media Creation Tool on the Microsoft Windows 10 Download Page) or your license key since it's kept as a digital license on Microsoft's servers and is tied to the motherboard in the machine.

 

When you add to that the Reset this PC option in the Update & Security Settings, Recovery pane it truly has never been easier to reinstall Windows.  (And I've used all methods at this point on various computers).


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#6 namct0301

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:11 PM

You should activate Windows 7 product key, then upgraded to Windows 10.



#7 4mile

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 05:37 PM

I have a 6 year old hp pc that came with wdws 7 that I upgraded to wdws10.  I think you answered my question without my asking...thanks.

New question tho.  While searching this problem I noticed a lot of Free windows 10 upgrade ads. I though that offer ended and you now had to pay for 10.   Are ads these legit?  If so wouldn't this solve the problem?



#8 britechguy

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 05:42 PM

If Windows 10 has ever been installed and activated on a specific computer it can be reinstalled at a later date without issue or the need for a product key.  Microsoft keeps a digital license tied to the computer's motherboard for any machine on which Windows 10 has been legally installed and  activated.   It makes no difference if you install Linux, earlier versions of Windows, or anything else on it as the operating system.  You will be able to go to the Microsoft Windows 10 Download Page, download the current Windows 10 ISO file, create bootable media, and use same to reinstall Windows 10.

 

The free offer to which you refer was for the upgrade from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10, and it is over.  But that is an entirely different, and unrelated, thing to reinstalling Windows 10 on any machine on which it was installed and activated at any point in the past.  You can do the latter tomorrow, next week, or at any point before Microsoft sunsets Windows 10 itself.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#9 4mile

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 05:47 PM

Hey Britechguy,

Got your email.  I figured it out as soon as I posted and went back to the discussion, scrolled down and saw how to reply.  I thought Report was an odd word to use to reply.

Anyway, thanks much. 






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