Confusion over Win 10 license & product keys

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by DaRuSsIaMaN, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. DaRuSsIaMaN

    DaRuSsIaMaN [H]ard|Gawd

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    Background: I had a desktop PC and a laptop--call it Laptop 1--that both had Win 7 on it. (However, a Win 8.1 disc was included with Laptop 1 because Win 8 had been released already but Dell offered the option of having 7 preinstalled.) Several years ago, I bought a Win 10 Edu license from my university and upgraded Laptop 1 from Win 7 --> Win 10 Edu. I recorded the product key that came with the Win 10 Edu license.

    Issue now: I bought a new laptop--let's call it Laptop 2--and I want to give Laptop 1 to my mom. With Win 7 EOL, I want to "reclaim" that Win 10 license and install it on my desktop PC. My plan was to downgrade Laptop 1 to Win 8.1 using the disc that was included with Laptop 1.

    However, I checked the current product key (using this command-prompt method) on Laptop 1, and what I see is completely different from the product key that I recorded at the time of purchase of my Win 10 Edu license. So now I'm confused! How did this happen?? The product key that came with the license I bought--where did it go?

    Most important question: does this mean that I can just leave this Win 10 installation on Laptop 1 and still use the Win 10 Edu license I bought to upgrade my desktop PC? I'm concerned that somehow there will still be a problem because I'm using the single license to install Win 10 on two computers. Do I have reason to worry?
     
  2. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    You can reinstall 8.1 on the laptop, then install 10 EDU edition with the key that you were given from University onto the other computer.

    As for why you see a different key, I don't know. When you did the 7->10 upgrade back then did you type in a product key or just mount the ISO and upgrade it? When you type in "winver" into the 10 computer (that has the 'wrong' key) what does it say is the edition? If for some reason it just upgraded you from 7 Home to 10 Home or something then it would be using a generic key that Microsoft assigns at time of the free upgrade.
     
  3. DaRuSsIaMaN

    DaRuSsIaMaN [H]ard|Gawd

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    I really don't know. It was like 4 years ago probably, and I don't remember such a detail at all.


    It's definitely the Education edition. Which I would only be able to get if I somehow used the software I got from my university.

    ***

    I would absolutely love to just leave Laptop 1 as it is (with Win 10 on it) and ALSO be able to install my Win 10 Edu on my desktop PC at home. This would save me time from not dealing with reinstallation BS, and my mom's computer would have the newer windows. Win-win. But I'm still not sure if I'll end up with problems later since I'm supposed to use the license for only 1 computer.
     
  4. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    Is it possible to do that? Yes. Is it legal to do that? No.
     
  5. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed 2[H]4U

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    I have noticed this before, I thought it was just something I was doing and shrugged it off. From what I've seen, and I don't know if it applies to every circumstance, but it appears the correct Windows 10 installation key is obscured and replaced with a key that's effectively worthless. I even tried a couple of different software packages and every time came up with something that looked for all intents and purposes like a legit installation key, except it wasn't.

    Also, what you want to do is against licensing terms and actually illegal.
     
  6. SticKx911

    SticKx911 2[H]4U

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    Magical jelly beans key finder would be able to pull the key that's actually in use. I always use it when wiping a box to reinstall.
     
  7. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    My understanding is you cannot assign a Windows 10 key, Microsoft does it automatically.
    You can upgrade from a previous OS and will be given a new 10 key (or the one you were previously given).
    But you do not get to decide which key is used.

    The last I looked at this was a few years ago so things might have changed, I'm interested to see.