Can I install win10 clean using my win7 key?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Phantoms, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Phantoms

    Phantoms Limp Gawd

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    I have a brand new oem win7 that has never been installed (bought from newegg).

    Can i install win10 from usb and use the win7 key without ever installing win7?

    Or do I have to install win7, upgrade to 10 and then do a clean win10 install?
     
  2. wyqtor

    wyqtor Limp Gawd

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    Yes, you can install Windows 10 with your 7 key these days. Just create a Windows 10 USB using Microsoft's Media Creation Tool and you're good to go.
     
  3. mavrocket

    mavrocket [H]ard|Gawd

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    No, you cannot.

    Phantoms, you are correct, you need to do the following:

    1. Install Win7
    2. Upgrade to Win10
    3. Use a USB or DVD Win10 to install it "vanilla". (when asked for a key, skip it, and Win10 will recognize you had it installed prior).

    The Windows 10 installer will not accept your Win7 key. I just did this on Saturday and tried to use my wife's Win8 key to install fresh, I had to upgrade first.
     
  4. wyqtor

    wyqtor Limp Gawd

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    ^ Of course it may always be the case that I'm just imagining installing Windows 10 at work on a dozen laptops without going through the W7 installation.

    Since the Threshold 2 update for Windows 10, you can input the Windows 7 key directly without going through the tedious installation of W7 followed by an upgrade.

    Of course, if you have an older installation medium for Windows 10 that does not include the Threshold 2 update, like mavrocket probably has, it won't work.
     
  5. mavrocket

    mavrocket [H]ard|Gawd

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    Using the newest Media Tool with the latest copy of Win10 direct from Microsoft.com I couldn't use the Win8 key. It's definitely not an old installer.

    I guess try and do it however you want, if you can't do the direct route, you can always go back and do it the other way without affecting your current install (just don't format the drive first...)
     
  6. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Microsoft specifically said that you should be able to install TH2 from scratch with a Windows 7/8.x key. Problem is that some people can't get it to take/activate with that key. I have done >dozen scratch installs of Windows 10 (mix of Home and Pro) with Windows 7/8.x keys. Some people have the $15 Win 8.0 Pro upgrade keys from the initial offer when Windows 8.0 came out. It is a known issue that many of those keys won't activate on 8.1 or 10. You have to call Microsoft and whine to get them to give you a new, fresh key.
     
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  7. yossarian

    yossarian Gawd

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    I created a USB Win 10 install from the November ISO and installed on a new hard drive with an unused Win 7 Pro retail key.
     
  8. Phantoms

    Phantoms Limp Gawd

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    Mine is a Win 7 Pro "OEM". The reason I was asking is because I'm building a new system and want to make sure the OS is installed on the SSD as UEFI mode. I've heard it's harder to install the OS drive as UEIF mode (GPT) with Win 7 than Win 10.
     
  9. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yup it is. You might have to turn on some of the CSM options in the BIOS.
     
  10. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It seems to be hit or miss. I've had it work sometimes, and not work other times. I usually just install 7 first simply to avoid the hassle, and because it really doesn't take that much extra time. There are other benefits also, like the Windows Photo Viewer that is included in 7. If you upgrade from 7 to 10, the Windows Photo Viewer is still there; if you do a clean install of 10, it's not. You end up forced to use the shit photo program in 10 or install a 3rd party app. I also have a few customers with old printers, web cams, and other devices. Oddly enough, in many cases, if you install the drivers in 7 and then upgrade, everything will still work. If you try to install the driver on a fresh install of 10, it fails with some lame error...
     
  11. Phantoms

    Phantoms Limp Gawd

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    Just an update. Finally got the Samsung 950pro m.2 in tonight to finish the build and installed Windows 10 Pro from USB, using my Win7 Pro OEM key and Windows 10 installed and activated without ever having to install Windows 7 first.

    From reading the activation website at Activation in Windows 10 - Windows Help I find the following:
     
  12. Agent9517

    Agent9517 n00b

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    They took 1511 off of the media creation tool a few months ago. You will need to install windows 10, skip the option of having a key. Than run your windows updates to upgrade 10 to 1511, than it will allow you to put your windows 7/8 key in.
     
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  13. PliotronX

    PliotronX [H]ard|Gawd

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    They had taken 1511.7 off, then put 1511.14 back on I'm pretty sure. I think the current build that MCT downloads is 1511.31...? It was initially taken offline because of a problem with BitLocker.
     
  14. YeuEmMaiMai

    YeuEmMaiMai Death Incarnate

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    I was able to use my Windows 7 retail key to activate Windows 10 after I swapped my mainboard.. Installed it and once it was finished clicked on Activate Windows and plugged the key in and BOOM baby windows 10 activated.
     
  15. Justintoxicated

    Justintoxicated [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The correct answer is yes you can, but it depends on the key AND the version of win10 your installing. Just went through this upgrading my parents PC. They had purchased win7 ultimate and the key was supposed to work to activate win10. I had tried everything including downloadeding a clean win10 from MS with the USB installer, and then doing a clean install. Well thjat finally worked after having the installer crap out 10 times or so previously on whatever version the machine had downloaded. However It would not accept the key (which I had to lookup using magic jellybean finder, which their version of chrome was blocking me from the download site, and they had lost their CD envelope with the ultimate serial number on it). After contacting tech support and about 5 hours of my time they decided it was a bug in the version of win10 I had downloaded to install by USB. I got a new version and it took the key no problem (had to re-install again though), it just took me forever to figure out since I had already tried 3 different version of win10 in the past.

    TLDR: download the latest USB install-able version before attempting to use your CD key.