Can I reuse my Windows 10 key with new motherboard, RAM, CPU?

Hanakuso

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 3, 2011
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Looking to upgrade my PC to Skylake but I believe Win10 activates itself with the motherboard. I've reformatting a couple of times and it automatically activates once you have internet connection.

Is there a way to "deactivate" Win10 on my old motherboard and activate it on my new motherboard?
 

zero2dash

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Oct 23, 2007
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I believe it uses the NIC's MAC address specifically since that's one of the few individual things it can access that is going to be different device to device. In that regard I don't think you can transfer 10 licenses from one computer to another.
 
D

Deleted member 245375

Guest
If it's a Retail key then the answer is yes. If it was a retail previous key and you took advantage of the Windows 10 upgrade, the Windows 10 key takes the properties of the upgraded key so it remains retail as well.

Retail class licenses = movable across machines/new builds.

If it's an OEM key anywhere in the chain then technically you can't shift it to new hardware but it can't hurt to try - it just might go through even in spite of it not supposedly working.

tl;dr version: if you paid for Windows 10 or a prior OS you used for the upgrade to Windows 10 to get it for free (the one condition) was a retail license then that retail license transfers over and you can reinstall Windows 10 whenever you want on whatever hardware you want with that Windows 10 key - it won't automagically activate the first time without the key, but after you get it activated future installs would activate as soon as they're online.
 

Domingo

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Supposedly you can have them do it via support services. If you login to your MS account (if you have one), it lists your devices. There is an option to "Remove PC" there, too. Not sure if that allows you to use that license again, but based on what people have posted here and elsewhere - MS can make it happen if you call them and ask.
 

bigdogchris

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Feb 19, 2008
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Build your new system and install your previous base OS that you originally upgraded to Windows 10 then go threw the upgrade process again.

Or you can wait a week or two until the 10586 build comes out which lets you do a clean install of 10 but input a 7 or 8 product key.
 
Joined
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You might even be able to go and manually edit the fields where Windows looks to check hardware. I know you can change the name in the registry, but I'm not sure if Windows looks deeper than that.
 

Hanakuso

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Thanks. My new hardware should come late this week or next week and i'll try to figure it out
 

AltTabbins

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Jul 29, 2005
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It works the same as with Windows 7. If it wont activate over the phone, click start, in the search box type in "slui 4". Choose your country of origin.

Dial the 800 number and one of 3 things will happen.
  • You will talk to an automated operator. You voice in or type in the activation code.
  • You will talk to someone in the Philippines or India. They will ask you how many computers Windows is installed on, tell them 1 and they will send you to an automated system that tells you your code.
  • **NEW** You can use your smart phone to enter in the data

All three ways will activate your key. I've used this on OEM, retail, and Technet keys and they have all worked just fine.
 

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
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Oct 4, 2007
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12,667
If it is the free upgrade, you will have to reinstall the Win7 or 8.1, activate and upgrade again from there. However, I believe the next release of Windows 10, which is tomorrow, should let you activate Windows 10 directly with the Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 key you have. That should help, enjoy.

Oops: What BigDogChris said above. :D
 

Hanakuso

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 3, 2011
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Thanks guys. Installed the newest Windows on my new build and it took the Windows 8.1 key just fine
 

The Cobra

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Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
3,002
It works the same as with Windows 7. If it wont activate over the phone, click start, in the search box type in "slui 4". Choose your country of origin.

Dial the 800 number and one of 3 things will happen.
  • You will talk to an automated operator. You voice in or type in the activation code.
  • You will talk to someone in the Philippines or India. They will ask you how many computers Windows is installed on, tell them 1 and they will send you to an automated system that tells you your code.
  • **NEW** You can use your smart phone to enter in the data

All three ways will activate your key. I've used this on OEM, retail, and Technet keys and they have all worked just fine.

This has always worked in my case as well.
 
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