Win10 clean install with Win7 OEM key not working

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by austinpike, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. austinpike

    austinpike Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    So as I understood it, as of last fall, Windows 10 was supposed to accept Win 7/8 keys for clean installs.

    I was upgrading a family member's laptop - put in a new SSD, did a new install with win10 USB media, but activation wouldn't validate the OEM 7 key. Called Microsoft, they said I had to run the in-place upgrade from 7 to validate the license with MS. Which I thought was the thing they said we don't need to do anymore...?

    So I did the 10 update on the old drive, put the SSD back in, did a clean install, all validated fine.

    Was this an OEM key issue, or can you still not actually do a "clean" Win10 install with a 7/8 key?
    How exactly was the fall update supposed to change the process?
     
  2. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,263
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    You should be able to use a Windows 7/8.x key with a clean install using version 1511 or greater. I've done it and it's worked for me.
     
  3. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,057
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    I thought the process was that you upgraded your Windows 7 install to Windows 10, the hardware hash key was then stored on MS servers, then you can reformat and reinstall until your hearts content without the use of any key whatsoever. As far as I know the Windows 7 key will not work under Windows 10 the way you are trying to do it.
     
  4. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,039
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    That was before, since 1511 release you are not supposed to be required to do that so I want to know why the OP had this issue too. Maybe it was because it was an OEM key and not Retail.
     
  5. austinpike

    austinpike Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    yeah this was with the 1511 build.

    The MS rep I talked to said I had to do the upgrade process first and only then could I do the clean install... I asked how that was any different from the "old" process.... I don't recall exactly how he explained it (or if he was even aware that there was supposed to have been a change) but the communication/comprehension was a bit lacking so I didn't push it.
     
  6. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,057
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    If you're running an OEM key you won't be able to clean install on a new machine using your old OEM key, the license doesn't allow for it. MS used to be fairly lenient on the whole OEM vs retail licensing issue in the past, but I think they're cracking down on it now.

    However, if your running a retail key, judging by what others are saying it should work. I always thought the free upgrade required you to upgrade first, then you could clean install.
     
  7. doublejack

    doublejack Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    This could also be a case of not all OEM keys being equal. I have done a clean install of 10 and activated it using an OEM key, but that key was bought at retail. It was just not transferable (at least in theory). This type of key could be treated differently than one that came with a pre-built machine, like the one the OP tried. Microsoft can usually tell which manufacturer is associated with that type of key, and may be blocking clean install "upgrades" using them.
     
  8. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,057
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Technically speaking, whether it be an OEM Windows license that was bought in the form of retail media or whether it be an OEM license that came bundled with the purchase of a new PC - OEM is OEM and the terms of the license are, and always have been, very specific. The OEM license is tied to the motherboard used when the OS was installed, only the retail license (non OEM) can be transfered to another machine 'after' being fully removed from the old machine.

    People get confused as Microsoft have been overly lazy in enforcing this rule in the past and people have been able to re-activate an OEM license on a new system/motherboard despite what the ruling states in the terms of the licensing agreement, I believe this isn't the case anymore and it's something MS intend to put an end to.
     
  9. doublejack

    doublejack Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    What you wrote is 100% accurate. A Window OEM license is a Windows OEM license. Once tied to a "machine", it cannot be transferred. That doesn't matter if the key came with a prebuilt machine, or if it was purchased at retail from a company like Newegg or Microcenter. You are also correct that Microsoft has, in the past, been lax about enforcing the "not transferable" clause for OEM licenses that were purchased at retail. With Windows Vista for example, if you waited a couple of years and then tried to reactivate a key on a different machine / motherboard, it often would work - without even needing to call for a manual activation.

    But there is still a distinction to be made. Product keys that come affixed to a prebuilt machine are already associated with a particular OEM. Microsoft can tell from the key whether it belongs to a Dell or an HP, for example. So in my previous example, you could not wait two years and then activate an HP Windows Vista key on a Dell laptop. Activation would fail.

    It is likely that Microsoft is also treating OEM specific keys differently than generic OEM keys when it comes to upgrading to Windows 10 through the clean installation process. That's all I was trying to point out.