For those who needed to perform a clean install of Windows 10 from the outset, it was a two step process of first validating the machine through the upgrade routine, ensure the Windows 10 Upgrade was activated, then proceed to perform a Reset. With the latest update users no longer have to go through this process. In this article, we take a look at how to install and activate Windows 10 using your Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key.
For the purposes of this article, here we are using a Windows 7 license to perform clean install using Windows 10.
The copy of Windows 10 you download must correspond with the edition of Windows you are licensed for:
- Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 8.0 Core, Windows 8.1 Core must use a Windows 10 Home ISO
- Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.0 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro must use a Windows 10 Pro ISO
Have your Windows 7 or 8/8.1 product key ready. If you purchased a retail license, you can find the product key within the product box. The Windows 7 product key is normally found on an orange sticker attached to a pamphlet inside the box. The Windows 8/8.1 product key is found on a small business size card. Please note, you can also use your OEM product key too if Windows came preinstalled on your computer.
If your computer came preinstalled with an OEM version of Windows 7, look for the Certificate of Authenticity sticker attached to the chassis of your computer. Normally this can be at the side or top of the system unit. For laptops, look at the bottom of the chassis or inside the battery or memory compartment. It looks like the following:
If you are running an OEM preinstalled Windows 8/8.1 license, Windows 10 setup should automatically detect the product key and install it automatically.With Windows 8, Microsoft had changed from stickers that have the product key that the user has to type in when installing the operating system to new BIOS embedded product keys. The idea is that by eliminating the sticker, you eliminate one of the easier ways for nefarious users to get a legitimate product key. Eliminating the product key sticker also removes any worry that the sticker might get damaged while at the same time eliminating the long and irritating process of typing in various letters and numbers when installing the operating system.
If the user has to reinstall the operating system on a machine that came with Windows 8, the installation process automatically grabs the software product key from the motherboard BIOS with no input from the user. This means that those familiar Windows product key stickers will no longer appear on the Windows 8 computers.
If you are prompted to enter a product key during Windows 10 setup from within a running version of Windows, your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product key will not work. Instead, you should activate your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 first, then re-run Windows 10 setup. You will not be prompted to enter a product key.
If you are prompted to enter a product key when you boot from the Windows 10 setup installation media, click the option 'I don't have a product key'. Select the appropriate edition you are licensed for.
- Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 8.0 Core, Windows 8.1 Core will install Windows 10 Home ISO
- Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.0 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro will installWindows 10 Pro ISO
If you are prompted for a product key, Click Do this Later and Complete the installation. After installation process follow the bellow procedure to activate windows
- Press Windows key + X
- Click Command Prompt (Admin)
- At the command prompt, type the following commands:
- slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx (allows you to replace the current product key with the specified)
- xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx - represents your product key
- Hit Enter on your keyboard
- Exit the command prompt
- Restart your computer
Download Windows 10 from here http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=691209