Windows 10


Yes, that’s what I did I think. I do have serial numbers for older Windows version in an excel spreadsheet. Would that work?


It should work if it looks like this:



If you upgraded from an older version of Windows i believe your “digital license” will be linked to your Microsoft account (hotmail, live email or whatever it is called nowadays) and you can use that to activate Windows 10.
Don’t know if it will work on totally new hardware though.


I’ve always used a free little app, I think called Key Finder, to get a dump of all my keys. (Not at home atm to check that name)


I used the vbs script to get the product key off my current system.

Can I do an install of Win 10 and not enter SN until later like we could do for Windows 7? That way I could use Win 10 on two machines until I’m ready to wipe my current system for good.


I believe during installation, you can skip the activation step by clicking a link labeled, “I don’t have a product key”. Windows will still be usable but there will be periodic reminders to activate.


Just noticed that Windows 10 is no longer free for students. When I was attending technical school you could download ISO images and install them for free. That no longer seems to be the case at my four year school. You have to buy your own license.


Whew good!


Yes, skip the key while installing Win10, then activate with your old windows 7/8/8.1 key afterwards.

If you don’t have an old key because it was auto-activated based on your BIOS, you can try to extract that key as other people mentioned, or tie it to your microsoft account, but you may need to buy a new key in the end. That’s only like thirty bucks at


Kinguins keys are cheap, but remember that they are OEM keys, which require clean installs


Not sure what you mean there. OEM keys can be applied to an unregistered windows 10.


I just did this not an hour ago.

If your Windows 10 is an upgrade from 7 and you use your MS account to sign in to Windows 10, you’ll fail to activate, run a troubleshooter, fail again, and eventually get a call from them, they have you run something in the run dialog, it pops up a key entry, you put your Windows 7 key in it, and you’re done.


I suppose if you don’t have your Win 7 key you’re screwed.


I believe it depends how you upgrade to your ‘free’ Windows 10. I have a Vista Ultimate which I later upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, when Microsoft have some promotion for a free Windows 8 upgrade. Then from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 10 Pro was a free upgrade. In Windows 10, I login using a Hotmail account and the license from this Windows 10 became a digital license linked to my Hotmail account.

I recently got a new hardware - new mobo, processor, RAM -and I use Media Creation tool to download Windows 10 image to the USB drive and install Win 10 via USB boot disk. After installation, I just entered my Hotmail account and Windows is activated. No calls needed to be made via phone nor do I need to enter my Vista Ultimate serial number. I do not have the Windows 8 nor Windows 10 serial number at all.

I believe that because my original Windows, which is the Vista Ultimate, was a retail copy and not an OEM, MS allow me to transfer to a new machine.


They will transfer OEM licenses too, you just need to call them. I’ve done it many times over the years.


I am waiting for Windows 11.


Now that Sat-Nad has said Privacy is a human right ( maybe we’ll see if the next version goes to to eleven without telemetry/‘experience’ and better QA.

Great movie by the way. Love the part where Nigel is showing off his guitars.


I don’t believe that MS equates telemetry with personal data, so I doubt any changes will come down the line.


Sat-Nad will do two things, 1) adhere to the EU laws on privacy in the EU and 2) jack shit everywhere else1.

1: Unless you count actively lobbying and donating to politicians to maintain their ability to monetize user activity through telemetry and advertising.


Fugin Windows deactivated on me last night. I have no idea where I might have the key for this machine. I was futzing around in the Settings UI (where it warned me I might have an illegitimate copy of Windows, nevermind that it’s been legit for the last 4 or 5 years) and I clicked on the troubleshooter (which I rarely do) and it fixed itself. It said it bound the activation to my Windows account, which I don’t even know what that means. I just wanted to pass it along, mention what worked for me, and see if anyone else is having similar issues. I suppose there was a recent Windows Update or something?