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W10, if mobo dies or upgrade mobo, are you screwed?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I had windows 7 home premium 64bit, on a custom build rig. W7 was bought from newegg... think its a OEM version?
I did the windows 10 upgrade.
I've been using it for a while now, but had very distant plans that might involve a mobo swap.

If my mobo dies or gets swapped, am I screwed in the way of reinstalling the same os?
This is assumed when you can no longer go back to windows 7 key thing.
...I don't really know how to really even reinstall windows 10 since it was a upgrade and not right from the disk.
(I thought that a fresh install would of been nice to do, but just kept with the upgrade)
Working on my dads W8.1 (orig W8) and its looking like its gunna need a reinstall of os.

I'm rather confused if a key exists anymore after reading that they check their database for your mobo when reinstalling/activating or something.

Thanks,
Higgis909
post #2 of 9
The first thing I'd do is get a Windows key finder and read the Win 10 Product key from your current valid install. A key finder reads your registry and tell you the currently-installed legal Product Key. That way you can re-install a legal copy from a Win 10 download or optical disc if your current install gets hosed. For example, there's a key finder called ShowKeyPlus. I prefer ShowKeyPlus because it tells you both the original installed OS Product Key (in your example, Win 7) as well as the Win10 key. With the Win 7 key you can re-install Win 7 and the Win 10 key you can re-install Win 10. They are not interchangeable.

Of course you will need installation media. I can't help you there. Perhaps you made a WIn10 installer flash drive or Win 10 installer DVD when you upgraded from Win 7 to Win 10? That was one of the steps when I did it.

--

As far as re-installing on a new motherboard, that's not going to be a big problem, assuming you can get the installation media. You just install on the new machine and activate Windows as normal. In a worst-case situation, the Windows activation process will have you call a toll free MS number and key in a bunch of numbers to re-validate your Windows installation on the new motherboard. I've had to do this a couple of times, usually when a machine died and I wanted to get the Windows license transferred to a new machine.

Note that you won't be able to run the same key on two machines. It's obvious but needs to be said.
Edited by ricercar - 11/9/15 at 6:45pm
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post #3 of 9
^The key finder will not work. I upgraded my m3800's Win8.1 to Win10Pro, as well as one of my desktops to Win10, and they both had the same exact Win10 Pro key. I think the hardware configuration is saved on the MS servers.

OP, good question, I've been trying to find the answer to this myself.
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghabhaducha View Post

^The key finder will not work. I upgraded my m3800's Win8.1 to Win10Pro, as well as one of my desktops to Win10, and they both had the same exact Win10 Pro key. I think the hardware configuration is saved on the MS servers.

EDIT: That's interesting. Same thing for me. I have two Win 8.1->10 upgrades and they each have the same Win 10 key. I'm bummed.

I do know that you can go back to your previous Windows version with a fresh install. I decided I didn't like Win 10 on one machine and did a fresh install of the Win 8.1 that I had upgraded from. There was no problem activating the Win 8.1 install on the same machine, even after it had been upgraded to Win 10 once.
Edited by ricercar - 11/9/15 at 6:54pm
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post #5 of 9
Was it within 30 days? They allow you to go back within that time frame from what I've read. (Precisely what I did when I found this out).
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post #6 of 9
No, I didn't reverse the Win 10 upgrade within 30 days. It was about 60 days after the Win 10 upgrade, so I had to do a clean 8.1 install.

OP
If you can get your Win 7 install media and product key, here is the MS support article that will help you prompt for the Win 10 Update
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3035583

Here is the article about creating media for a Win 10 installer
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
Edited by ricercar - 11/9/15 at 7:36pm
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post #7 of 9
Sorry I dont have a source right now for the first part and am about to head out (can try and update later), but I have seen mixed sides on this.

I do recall reading somewhere that the free upgrade to Win10 is a one time thing so if you change something or wipe a drive you will no longer be able to push the upgrade through. Perhaps a call to MS can change things if you explain the situation.

At the same time though I have seen things like this which say the complete opposite:
Quote:
This good news came, via Twitter, from Microsoft's Windows Insider lead Gabriel Aul:
"Once you upgrade W10 w/ the free upgrade offer you will able to clean reinstall Windows 10 on same device any time."

If you are looking more at being able to use the old Win7 again I think it would be the same thing.

In regards to if its OEM, technically you should only be able to get it to work on a single hardware setup, but I am pretty sure I was able to get a copy to work a second time for my dad when he had to change PCs due to a failed component or 2 and there was zero hassle.
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post #8 of 9
So I just re-read the Windows 10 EULA and found this:
Quote:
4. Transfer. The provisions of this section do not apply if you acquired the software as a consumer in Germany or in any of the countries listed on this site (aka.ms/transfer), in which case any transfer of the software to a third party, and the right to use it, must comply with applicable law.

a. Software preinstalled on device. If you acquired the software preinstalled on a device (and also if you upgraded from software preinstalled on a device), you may transfer the license to use the software directly to another user, only with the licensed device. The transfer must include the software and, if provided with the device, an authentic Windows label including the product key. Before any permitted transfer, the other party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software.

b. Stand-alone software. If you acquired the software as stand-alone software (and also if you upgraded from software you acquired as stand-alone software), you may transfer the software to another device that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software to a device owned by someone else if (i) you are the first licensed user of the software and (ii) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Every time you transfer the software to a new device, you must remove the software from the prior device. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between devices.

5. Authorized Software and Activation. You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method. When you connect to the Internet while using the software, the software will automatically contact Microsoft or its affiliate to confirm the software is genuine and the license is associated with the licensed device. You can also activate the software manually by Internet or telephone. In either case, transmission of certain information will occur, and Internet, telephone and SMS service charges may apply. During activation (or reactivation that may be triggered by changes to your device’s components), the software may determine that the installed instance of the software is counterfeit, improperly licensed or includes unauthorized changes. If activation fails the software will attempt to repair itself by replacing any tampered Microsoft software with genuine Microsoft software. You may also receive reminders to obtain a proper license for the software. You may not bypass or circumvent activation. To help determine if your software is genuine and whether you are properly licensed, see (aka.ms/genuine). Certain updates, support, and other services might only be offered to users of genuine Microsoft software.

From that, I gather that if you're upgraded from an OEM version, you'll not be able to reinstall on new hardware. If you upgrade from a retail version you will able to reinstall on new hardware but will most likely have to jump through some hoops to get it re-activated.
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post #9 of 9
If you use the free upgrade, W10 is tied to the system.
If you buy retail W10, it is like W7 or W8.1.
I had the same question. Basically if the mobo dies and you used the free upgrade. Changing a single component SHOULD NOT deactivate windows 10. It is believe that if you change mobo and cpu, it's like changing a whole system and thus, no more win10 activated.
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