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orcadian

Possible loss of W7 OEM key on upgrading to W10

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I work from home. I have Windows 7 on my PC, still with its birth OEM key. This system is loaded with my software and packages, and for continuity it is essential that it is not compromised, including W7 and Office possibly becoming deactivated. 

I have also just installed W7 on a new SSD drive, with the aim of upgrading that to W10 and dual-booting while I make the transition. For speed I told the installer I did not have a key, but W7 activated fine. I am now paranoid that it has somehow picked up my main OEM key from the BIOS - and that when I upgrade to W10, I will lose activation of my main system. Can anyone clarify and/or advise? Thanks!

Edited by orcadian
typo

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According to Microsoft answers you'll be able to use the Win7 key even after you upgrade to Windows 10.

Your Windows 7 license will always be valid and will not be changed or deactivated because of the upgrade to Windows 10: you'll be able to install or restore Windows 7 again in case you'll need to do that (provided that you've the Windows 7 installation DVD)

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_update/windows-10-insider-update/106f3930-d92c-4e58-97be-ed8a7228b3c6

Br,
Nik

 

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Thanks, Nik.  The problem is that I want to dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 10. (I do not want my original Windows 7 to be subsumed.)  Although I can clearly only run one O/S at a time, Microsoft may view my dual boot as someone operating two machines on one licence. 

I have read somewhere that if you use your OEM W7 licence to upgrade to W10, it transfers to W10.  If you then reinstall W7 on a different disk (i.e. a dual boot), it will not activate because it no longer has a key.  This is not the same order I'm planning, but it sounds like it comes down to the same thing.

I'm also dubious because the BIOS may have only one "OEM licence slot". So even though I do have a second W7 key that can become attached to Windows 10 when I upgrade,  there is - if you like - nowhere for it to go. If I put that second key in the OEM slot, I fear that my original W7 will find itself without a licence.

Edited by orcadian
typo

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Just to be clear and I'm sure you're aware of that, running Windows 7 and Windows 10 in dual boot with the same key is illegal.

Since the latest Windows 10's November update (1909), Microsoft has changed its Win 10 installer to accept Windows 7 and 8, 8.1 keys. Because of this change you are allowed to do a clean boot of Windows 10 2019 November update and use your Win 7, 8 or 8.1 keys.

After using the Windows 7 key, Windows 10 will report this key to Microsoft’s servers, and you'll receive a digital entitlement or digital license to continue using Windows 10 for free.

With all this said, if you create a dual boot with Window 10 1909, you'll be able to use and activate it with Windows 7 key and I seriously doubt that your Windows 7 will then be deactivated, but I just can't confirm this since I haven't tried it.

 

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On 12/6/2019 at 12:18 AM, NIM said:

Since the latest Windows 10's November update (1909), Microsoft has changed its Win 10 installer to accept Windows 7 and 8, 8.1 keys. Because of this change you are allowed to do a clean boot of Windows 10 2019 November update and use your Win 7, 8 or 8.1 keys.

This is not true. Prior to 1909 you could still install Windows 10 with or without a Windows 7/8/8.1/10 key. Even if you install without the key you can still add it via Activation.

Why not boot Windows 10 and run a VM with WIndows 7 inside it? There's also free Windows VMs that expire after 90 days.

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Hi Nik, Tarun,

Thanks for your further input.

I understand that I can (hopefully) use my W7 key to activate W10, either with or without version 1909.  I understand that to run both Windows 7 and Windows 10 - albeit not at the same moment - I need two licence keys.

For some reason what I want to do is devilish difficult to explain! But I'll try again:

A. I have W7 Pro with all my software, packages etc. It has an OEM key and is working perfectly. I do not want to touch this. To lose activation of this system would be disastrous. 

B. I want to move to W10 but to meet deadlines, keep my clients happy etc I have to make the transition gradually. I therefore need to dual boot for a while.

C. I have now installed a second W7, on a new disk. I have a separate key for it, bought some time ago in preparation for the upgrade.  It is this W7 that I want to upgrade to W10.  BUT, when I installed it, it did not ask to be activated and when I looked with Magical Jellybean, this was because it had picked up the main W7 OEM key.  So if I now upgrade it to Windows10, W10 will take my OEM key and (after 31 days) my main system will no longer be activated.

I therefore need to know how to get Windows 10 to take the key I bought for my new  Windows 7 installation, and I need to be sure that this new key will not over-write my main OEM key.  Again, if it did that, I would lose activation of my main Windows 7 once W10 is installed. 

Is that any clearer?  I cannot risk getting stuck and I'm getting pretty stressed here. I'd really appreciate any help you - or anyone - can offer.

Edited by orcadian
Fix repeated word.

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19 minutes ago, mooms said:

You should ask Microsoft directly.

Any idea how one does this, Mooms?  I have totally failed to find any email address for Microsoft.

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8 minutes ago, mooms said:

You can eitheir call them, or use their community forums.

I have found this link: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-win_licensing but it seems to be just a discussion (and flaming) between users like myself. I'd feel more confident if I got an answer from Microsoft. I will try posting my problem but do you know of a link where the admins are Microsoft staff, Mooms?

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I tried to post my question but - even though I was already logged into outlook.com - the bot made me log in again, then kept asking me to give a mobile number. I am a pensioner and I do not have a mobile phone - so I cannot log on and cannot get any help.  It's really very discouraging. 1885867203_needmobile.jpg.54f4bc06bd17fbc57c8b8235abe6793b.jpg

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7 hours ago, Tarun said:

You should be fine doing it. Worst case scenario, look for a Windows 7 OEM key for cheap.

Tarun, thanks for your reply. This is, in fact, what I did: buy a second Windows 7 key.  I am sorry if I have not been clear.

The core of the problem is that if you have two Windows O/S's installed, the one you activated most recently appears to over-write the key of the other W7 installation.  It's as if there is only one 'OEM slot' on the BIOS - so that the machine can contain only one activation key for Windows.  So when my 'new' W7 morphs into Windows 10, whatever key is on the BIOS at that moment wil disappear into a W10 licence.

If my main Windows 7 key gets attached to Windows 10, I will lose activation of my main W7 installation and that would be major.  I have contracts underway and to lose access to my packages would be an expensive disaster. I need to be certain that this new key will not over-write my main OEM key. Providing my W10 is activated W10, I will be able to run that alongside W7. 

I think this needs some real thought and I'm begging someone to engage with it -  thank you!  I have been trying for weeks to find a solution for this and time is running out. As mentioned I am unable to log into the Microsoft forums because I don't have a mobile phone, without which it seems I cannot get authorised to post. (Feel free to post the problem for me, of course,  if you have the MS account, the time and the inclination!)

.

 

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Just call Microsoft and explain what happened. Then just use a VM.

Why not just use Windows 10 itself for your needs?

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Hi Tarun,

I work from home. My Windows 7  system is loaded with my software and packages, and for continuity, contract fulfillment etc, it is essential that this setup is not compromised - including W7 and Office possibly becoming deactivated.

I have just installed a second W7 on a new SSD drive, with the aim of upgrading that to W10 and dual-booting while I make the transition. I bought a second key to activate it with,  but the new W7 has activated itself using my main Windows 7 OEM key.  The problem is ensuring that, when I upgrade this new W7 to W10, my OEM key is not gobbled up. If that were to happen, I would lose activation of my main system. 

I have spoken to Microsoft in the past and received conflicting answers. Actually, it is difficult to get their help people to understand what I am trying to do.  Sadly, they do not provide any email address where you can explain it properly and get a definitive answer.

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If I may, what software are you running that needs a certain Windows 7 and Office version? I've upgraded so many people from 7 to 10 with only very minor issues.

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Hi again,

I am collaborating with publishing groups and with individuals, almost all of whom are on W7.  We share software & drafts and deadlines are strict (particularly now). I am sure much of this can be made to work on W10 but that will take time and there will be a learning curve to climb. Materials I send my contacts will be in the wrong format, will not work with old versions, etc etc.  Been there, done that (with XP to 7).

I need to manage the transition to W10 at my own pace at a time that suits my contacts and me. I had hoped to complete the upgrade at the end of Nov, and to work on porting things over to W10 over the holiday period (while keeping my main system active and ready). But as mentioned above, the upgrade did not go as planned.  It seems that either my problem is insoluble, or no-one with the right expertise is willing to engage with it seriously. Forgive me, I know you mean kindly but "just do something else instead" is not an option.

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Which version of Office do you use ?

You might be able to use it on Windows 10.

In my work, we use Office 2010 with Windows 10, it works fine.

I'm pretty sure all your software you use on 7 will works on 10.

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On 12/14/2019 at 2:35 AM, Tarun said:

If I may, what software are you running that needs a certain Windows 7 and Office version? I've upgraded so many people from 7 to 10 with only very minor issues.

 

22 hours ago, orcadian said:

Hi again,

I am collaborating with publishing groups and with individuals, almost all of whom are on W7.  We share software & drafts and deadlines are strict (particularly now). I am sure much of this can be made to work on W10 but that will take time and there will be a learning curve to climb. Materials I send my contacts will be in the wrong format, will not work with old versions, etc etc.  Been there, done that (with XP to 7).

I need to manage the transition to W10 at my own pace at a time that suits my contacts and me. I had hoped to complete the upgrade at the end of Nov, and to work on porting things over to W10 over the holiday period (while keeping my main system active and ready). But as mentioned above, the upgrade did not go as planned.  It seems that either my problem is insoluble, or no-one with the right expertise is willing to engage with it seriously. Forgive me, I know you mean kindly but "just do something else instead" is not an option.

You have not answered my question. I've asked what software you're running. At best the answer provided is extremely vague and as such, an accurate response cannot be provided.

Office is not really limited to just Windows 7, as @mooms said above, post 7 -> 10 upgrade, Office will still run. The only issue is that some versions such as 2010 are EOL/no longer supported. According to the Windows Compatibility Center, Office 2013, Office 2010, and Office 2007 are compatible with Windows 10.

If your workplace is unable to provide you with a copy of Office 2016/2019 or Office 365, try using LibreOffice - which is compatible with Microsoft Office.

Your best course of action would be the standard practices of backing up all your important data first and foremost, such as your User folder. I would then format the Windows 7 drive, install Windows 10 on the SSD, and enter the key at some point. After you're on Windows 10 1909 (current as of this post), get all the necessary updates, then transfer your backed up data back onto the computer, and reinstall your needed software. The reason I recommend this method is because on very rare occasions I have seen minor issues when upgrading from an existing Windows 7/8/8.1 to 10. The clean install would work best. Of course, the better your hardware (we are lacking that information in this thread) the better your experience will be.

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Hi Tarun,

I don't have time now for a long reply but I just wanted to report that a more knowledgeable friend has already tried to install W10 on the new SSD (after first partitioning the disk into 2 'drives'). In fact he tried two things: 1.  Clean install of W10 on the SSD; 2.  Install a second W7 first, then attempt to upgrade that to W10. One failed because it could not find the necessary drivers (although he had downloaded the correct driver CAB from Dell), and the other failed for reasons it did not report. After quite a long while it just said unhelpfully "Something happened. W10 installation has failed". I cannot now recall which attempt goes with which failure. But the upshot was that I still do not have W10. As mentioned, the second W7 is still on the SSD - activated with the wrong key.  It's possible that the W10 install failed because the driver CAB was not where the installer expected it to be. Neither of us knew where to put it and the Dell driver site didn't have any info on that.

W10-fail.jpg

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Don't worry about drivers from any OEM. Let Windows Update handle the drivers. The name of the hardware helps when you have an error, so you can be directed to the manufacturer's website for drivers if need be. Though really you shouldn't need it, Windows 10 handles it just fine with a clean install.

Just wipe the SSD clean by deleting all partitions and installing to disk 0.

I've literally seen Windows Vista hardware running Windows 10.

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The more old the hardware is (but not older than ten years, because it will be a bit obsolete then), the more likely it is for Windows to have the drivers embedded.

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