Windows 10: Clean install with existing key

Discus and support Clean install with existing key in Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade to solve the problem; I have my Windows 10 Pro since it was available. It was upgrade from Windows 8.1 pro. I want to do clean install in a few days/weeks with the same... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade' started by fwitkowski, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Clean install with existing key


    I have my Windows 10 Pro since it was available. It was upgrade from Windows 8.1 pro.
    I want to do clean install in a few days/weeks with the same key.
    2 reasons for this:
    1. I cannot pass the November update (10586) - I have tried all tips available (even MS rep spent 6+ hours and failed).
    2. My 250 SSD is getting to be too small (I have big ASP MVC project on localhost that needs to be on SSD)

    My plan is to buy 500GB SSD (or 480) and install clean Windows 10 Pro on it.

    The perfect approach is to have 2 instances of Windows 10 for a few days (until I set up everything on the new one) and then switch completely to new with my existing key.

    Do I need to worry about something before doing it? Or should I contact MS?

    :)
     
    fwitkowski, Jun 7, 2016
    #1

  2. Windows 10 - Windows Update and BITS service will not start

    You can do a clean Install of Windows 7 and use the existing key.
     
    Sumit Dhiman2, Jun 7, 2016
    #2
  3. twegsc04 Win User
    existing windows insiders clean install and activation

    *UPDATE* Well it seems that using the key from the link above does work and activates. also I found that if your an insider (after I installed a second time to test) you can skip the key and it will activate using your microsoft account login followed
    by it asking you to verify. ( WORKS BOTH WAYS)!!!!!
     
    twegsc04, Jun 7, 2016
    #3
  4. NavyLCDR New Member

    Clean install with existing key

    Everything should be fine. The Windows 10 clean install should activate with the existing digital entitlement saved on Microsoft activation servers.
     
    NavyLCDR, Jun 7, 2016
    #4
  5. tengeezer Win User
    If I'm reading this right, you're saying one needs to be connected to the internet to be activated?
     
    tengeezer, Jun 9, 2016
    #5
  6. Slartybart, Jun 9, 2016
    #6
  7. galaxys Win User
    Yes, need active internet...
     
    galaxys, Jun 9, 2016
    #7
  8. tengeezer Win User

    Clean install with existing key

    Are you guys sure about this? Because if what you're saying is true, this means it's illegal to use Windows 10 if installed without being online.

    There can be so many different situations which could entail this, such as:

    For example, a person has just moved house, and they're waiting a few days for their ISP to get everything setup. If this person happens to re-install Windows 10, it means they're running an illegal instance?

    That can't be right.
     
    tengeezer, Jun 9, 2016
    #8
  9. I'm waiting for my new SSD. Probably I will be doing this next weekend. I will update this thread once its done.
     
    fwitkowski, Jun 9, 2016
    #9
  10. Absolutely certain - your license MUST be activated for you to have a legal license.
    There is a grace period (90 days???) that covers most scenarios you could imagine.

    Of course you can call it in if you don't have Internet access.
     
    Slartybart, Jun 9, 2016
    #10
  11. NavyLCDR New Member
    It is perfectly legal to use Windows 10 without activating it. That is exactly the reason Microsoft built the reduced functionality into it. Also an internet connection is not required for activation. Phone activation is available for Windows 10 just like the previous versions of Windows.
     
    NavyLCDR, Jun 9, 2016
    #11
  12. Superfly Win User
    The "I cannot pass the November update (10586)" - meaning the upgrade is giving you probs? If so, clean install is must less stressful for sure.

    Permanent activation as with Retail/OEM keys is just that - moving house/ISP whatever - subsequent to once-off on-line activation, the licence is on the PC, no matter what - it will stay activated - the only thing MS does is check validation(genuineness) periodically when on-line - if you are, no worries.
     
    Superfly, Jun 9, 2016
    #12
  13. tengeezer Win User

    Clean install with existing key

    Right, but does this also apply to retail?

    I.e. we think that it's perfectly legal to install an unactivated copy of Windows 10 if it's an insider build.

    But what if the user installed a retail copy from his official Win10 USB stick, without activating it. Are you still saying this is legal?
     
    tengeezer, Jun 9, 2016
    #13
  14. Retail still requires activation, via online or phone activation. You don't need an Internet connection to activate or stay activated, but at some point you will have to activate it or face reduced functionality. It's been like that for years now. The only exception is OEM-SLP activation for Windows 7 and earlier OS's. Windows 8/8.1 and 10, OEM and Retail, all activate online.
     
    alphanumeric, Jun 9, 2016
    #14
  15. The product key is only one half of the equation. It has to be verified that it is currently only in use on one device. Otherwise you could use that one key on several PC's which violates the EULA. Unless its a VL key, and that still requires online activation.
     
    alphanumeric, Jun 9, 2016
    #15
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