Possible to upgrade to Win10 by doing a clean install and using a Win7 key?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by Mikerman, Aug 1, 2015.

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  1. Mikerman

    Mikerman Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Slightly oddball question and situation:

    I currently have a Win8.1 (Home) system and will be upgrading to Win10. I know that I can upgrade for free using the Win10 "reservation" and upgrade process (through the Windows upgrade icon in my Notification Area) or separately by downloading the Win10 installation media through the Microsoft website for this. Doing so, I'll end up with Win10 Home.

    However, I also have a "spare"/unused Win7 Ultimate disk and license key. I was thinking to use that copy and key so as to be able to get Win10 Pro on my system.

    To do so, could I simply download the Win10 installation media and then do a clean install of that onto my system, using the Win7 license key when prompted for a key? Or would I need to do a clean install of Win7, using the Win7 key for that purpose, and then once that is installed, do a second install, this time of Win10, in which process the Win10 install process would grab the just-embedded Win7 key? And if I needed to go this second route, would I need to do the upgrade to Win10 as an upgrade or could I instead do it as a clean install?

    Thanks--just thinking that having Win10 could be beneficial, and I do have that extra Win7 key around.
     
  2. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Unfortunately no. There is no way to convert a Windows 7 or 8.1 key to a Windows 10 key. You can either do a clean install right away with a Windows 10 key, or you can use the free upgrade.

    When you perform the free upgrade, you need to use the setup.exe on the ISO (or use the Windows Update download of course) and perform the install through that. The reason for this is the installer confirms that you have a valid registration for Windows 7 or 8.1 and then adds your hardware ID to the Microsoft activation server. The installer does have the option to 'save nothing' but that still keeps your current partition layout and also gives you the Windows.old folder as well.

    Once you have done the upgrade procedure (and I would recommend confirming that the original Windows 10 upgrade correctly activated first as well), however, then you can clean install on that same hardware. When you boot from the USB, it'll ask you a bunch of times for your product key and you just need to hit skip a bunch of times. When the system gets into Windows and connects to the internet, it'll see that your hardware ID has a valid activation.

    (At least, this is how it is all supposed to work, I've read stories of people having trouble lately having trouble that I would guess could be attributed to server load over the first few days).
     
  3. Mikerman

    Mikerman Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Great--that's what I thought I would have to do, thanks for confirming!

    And so, if I want to get to Win10 Pro, where my system currently is Win8.1 Home, I would need to do a clean install using my Win7 Ultimate disk; and then upgrade to Win10 Pro.

    Just some follow-ups:

    -- To install Win7 Ultimate on my current system, I assume that I simply run the install disk without needing to wipe my current system first? (Sorry to ask--I've never installed/reinstalled an OS before.)

    -- Once the system has been upgraded to Win10, is it beneficial to then do a clean install? Is the idea just to have a nice and clean/tidy system, avoiding extra junk that an upgrade process leaves behind?

    -- And I assume that to upgrade to Win10, I have to do the upgrade process as an upgrade and can't simply get the upgrade by doing the process instead as a clean install alone, saving a step?

    Thanks, again-
     
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