How to Activate Windows 10 Creators Update with Old Windows License Keys

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by cageymaru, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    Microsoft ended the free upgrade period for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users to migrate to the Windows 10 platform in the middle of last year. But it seems that the company still wants those older OS users to come aboard the Windows 10 train as it has failed to block a simple upgrading method during installation of the Windows Creator's Update. When prompted for a license key during the installation of a fresh Windows 10 install; enter an older Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license key. The key will be upgraded to Windows 10 at that time! This method worked with the Anniversary Update also, but may get canned in the future. This would be of particular interest to those that are interested in finally upgrading to Windows 10 to make full use of their new Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen processors without patching that silly Microsoft Windows Update block that was introduced this week. Here is a link to the official Windows 10 ISO direct from Microsoft.

    License keys for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 can be used to activate a fresh copy of the Windows 10 Creators Update, even if Microsoft has "officially" stopped offering free upgrades to Windows 10 back in the summer of 2016. This means that users who want to update from Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 to the latest Windows 10 version don't need to buy new license keys to activate their new Windows OS. All they have to do is install a fresh copy of the Windows 10 Creators Update, enter their old license key, and enjoy their new OS.
     
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  2. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    yup this works! did this two days ago with an old system from 2007(several systems actually). if you try the key in the upgrade advisor it will say it cannot be confirmed and wont work but if you boot into windows setup it takes it no problem.

    ps: w10 runs surprisingly well on an e6400 with only 2GB ram, better than the w7 it replaced.
     
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  3. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah its been working like that since forever really. Been peeling those Windows 7 keys off old busted laptops for a while now...

    MS just wants as many as possible to move to 10.

    Just watch out though cos the CE edition still wipes out newer installs of Office if you have a older version installed for other reasons (say Office 2010 with Outlook 2013). Time MS fixed that one.

    Good job I cloned the build before doing the upgrade.
     
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  4. Cobra

    Cobra 2[H]4U

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    Honestly, I don't know if they have a way to stop this from working unless they ban legitimate keys from machines that were sold with upgrade and dual licensing rights. I have a lot of small business customers that bought dual Win7/Win10 licensed machines that are upgrading to 10 on a case-by-case basis. It also works if you install with "I don't have a product key" in the setup and later on click on "change product key" under the activation tab.
     
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  5. Mystique

    Mystique Limp Gawd

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    It's a trap! Don't install Windows 10!

    No amount of money could make me agree to become a passenger of my computer instead of the driver.
     
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  6. faugusztin

    faugusztin 2[H]4U

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    Wasn't this added because of the people who have retail Windows 7/8/8.1 licenses, which got upgraded to 10 (obviously with the right to transfer the license to the new computer, just like the original retail license), and without possibility to enter Windows 7/8/8.1 key you couldn't install it on a new machine the license got transfered to ?
     
  7. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire [H]ard|Gawd

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    did they fix the rdp problem in windows 10 creator?
    I upgraded to the latest build on sunday.
    Monday i tried to vpn to a few computers that weren't updated. It couldn't do it. I saw a bunch of complaints saying that rdp wasn't working on non-creator computers.
     
  8. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    What I'd like to know, and haven't tested yet, is can you reserve your copy of 10 with a 7 key and then revert back to the 7 using the same key. Meaning you could continue to use 7 with the option to use 10 later on?
     
  9. lazz

    lazz Limp Gawd

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    Does this work with OEM keys?
     
  10. bigddybn

    bigddybn [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thanks for mentioning this.
     
  11. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    It's not supposed to if that OEM key is being used on a different machine than the copy of Windows came on, that's always how OEM keys have worked.
     
  12. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    I did this for my home systems during the original free upgrade period. Cloned the system drive to a spare SSD, upgraded the SSD, and then plugged the original drive back in.
     
  13. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire [H]ard|Gawd

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    I mean maybe it was my vpn setup at work (juniper) that also was part of the issue.
    I just rolled back to the restore point created before the update so that fixed it immediately.
     
  14. Methos

    Methos Limp Gawd

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  15. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks! I guess I'll get my copies reserved. Though don't plan to install until I absolutely have to.
     
  16. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes if the oem key wasn't used before on another machine.
     
  17. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Works with any key that hasn't gone through the process already.
     
  18. otherweeb

    otherweeb Gawd

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    Please note if you don't make a spare copy of the original win7 like nutzo said the time window to 'roll back' a win10 install is less than 30 days. After that win10 deletes the old system info.
     
  19. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks although it wouldn't really be a rollback. I'd quick dirty install 7, activate a quick dirty 10, then install 7 again for real. Not a big fan of the upgrade-rollback deal as I like starting from bedrock.
     
  20. hawkeye_wx

    hawkeye_wx n00bie

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    I wish they'd give those of us stuck with an old Vista laptop a free upgrade to Windows 10. If they really want to get people off the old shit, I'd be happy to help them out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  21. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger 3.5GB GTX 970 Slayer

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    Off topic, as win 10 doesn't do that.
     
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  22. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    Why didn't you upgrade to Windows 7 years ago? you could be rocking Win 10 now if you did, lol.
     
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  23. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thought this was more common knowledge around here since 1511 came out. Been taking advantage of this for a while and for customers.
     
  24. Travolta

    Travolta Limp Gawd

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    Well, until a few days ago I was using windows 10, which was an upgrade from my windows 7 key, and after the creators update hosed everything, I formatted and reinstalled windows 7 using my original key, and it's activated and running now.
     
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  25. hawkeye_wx

    hawkeye_wx n00bie

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    HP apparently offered a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it was released, but this laptop was originally purchased for my Dad and I was not aware of the upgrade offer until after it ended.
     
  26. bobdabilder

    bobdabilder Limp Gawd

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    Sure it does.
     
  27. SuperSubZero

    SuperSubZero 2[H]4U

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    My theory is Microsoft had some legal deal with someone that they'd only offer the free upgrade for a year, but the way they worded the contracts, they were able to loophole it with this "WE NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT CLEAN INSTALLS LOL" trickery.
     
  28. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yes. You don't even have to reinstall...there's an option to revert back and within 10 minutes your old OS is your current OS (and 10, as I recall, is gone).
     
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  29. entropism

    entropism 2[H]4U

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    MS WANTS everyone on 10. I have no doubt they did this on purpose. Let the less knowledgeable people pay for 10, let the smarter ones (who wouldn't normally pay to upgrade to an "inferior" windows) get it for free. Frankly, I love Win10. I have no issues with it whatsoever, and it's been running fine for me.

    Also, upgraded my wife's computer with an old OEM license last month, took it just fine.
     
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  30. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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  31. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    and somehow the install has actually gotten smaller. the last system I did, the e6400 I mentioned, only used 14.5GB after the cu update and all the drivers, office etc. sitting at idle it was only using 650mb of ram.
     
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  32. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger 3.5GB GTX 970 Slayer

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    Your convincing argument has changed my point of view.

    /s
     
  33. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Less knowledgeable people upgrade their OS when they upgrade their PC and not until, so I doubt that's their reasoning.
     
  34. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    upgrading from within Windows 7 still works. I just downloaded the Windows 10 upgrade exe from MS, ran it and it upgraded my E6700 machine I have here.

    this was a spare parts machine that I slapped together a few weeks ago to try and get my old Matrox RT.X2 editing system working again but gave up since the Matrox drivers and software are very finicky, it's like the stars have to align just right for the shit to work, lol.