How to use the free Windows 10 after replacing computer components
Shortly after the release of the new operating system, it became clear that in the transition the legal version of 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 free license is bound to hardware and not Microsoft account as originally intended. At the same time all the updated, the system automatically receives the same product key.
Microsoft doesn’t want to go into details regarding the activation process, so as not to contribute to the pirates, but this is unclear and the question of licensing.
Free license for Windows 10 is different from previous systems licensing Windows. In modern computers with Windows 8 and 8.1 , as new devices with Windows 10 product key sewn into the UEFI firmware. If you buy a copy of Windows 10 – for example, to install it on your collected computer – it will also come with a unique key.
In all these cases, the product key used to activate Windows. However, free upgrade to Windows 10 key is not available. It is embedded directly in the installer and is automatically entered during the upgrade process, but if you look at it with the help of specialized tool, and then compare it for example with a key for your buddy, who also executed the free upgrade to Windows 10, you will find that they are completely identical.
How does the free licensing of Windows 10
When upgrading from Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1, the installer registers a unique ID, which allows the activation servers Windows to identify the hardware of your PC.
Subsequently, if you reinstall Windows 10 on the same computer, the system automatically connects to the activation servers, which in turn, making sure that on this particular configuration allows the use of free license 10 key, automatically activate your copy. That is, during a clean installation, you can safely skip all those steps where you want to enter a product key, knowing that after installation, the system will be activated automatically.
Thus, the automatic activation will be channel only if the computer uses the same equipment as in the time of the upgrade to Windows 10.
What will happen after the replacement of PC components?
Replacing a hard drive, RAM or video card should not cause a problem. Of course, the same applies to the replacement of peripheral devices.
However, the answers to frequently asked questions Microsoft says that installing a new motherboard (and probably processor) will result in revocation of the license. That is, the servers of the company will consider the computer as a completely different configuration, without the right to a free upgrade.
In this case, set «top ten» from scratch is also possible without entering a product key, but after installation, the system will not be activated automatically and will be considered non-genuine until you activate. In this case, the activation screen will prompt you to purchase a license to the Windows Store.
However, this can not hurry, as Gabe Ol, Vice President, technical support group Windows & Devices at Microsoft, says you can just contact the support, explain your situation and they have no problems with activate your copy.
@MarmeladSusi @WindowsSupport @PiotrGoreckiJr You can contact Customer Support after you’ve made a hardware change to regain entitlement
— Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) Aug 8, 2015
Is it possible to transfer the free licenses Windows 10 on another PC?
The answer to this question is on the official page of answers to frequently asked questions and, most importantly, it is clearly stated in the user agreement.
When you upgrade to Windows 10 pre-installed (OEM) or retail version (Retail) Windows 7 or 8/8.1, the user will retain the right of use license, which were vested in the original version of the operating system.
If you upgrade from Retail, your copy of Windows 10 will have the right retail version, and therefore can be later transferred to another computer. However, whenever the transfer to another computer, the software must be deleted from the previous device, otherwise you can remain without a license.
Unlike Retail, the terms OEM versions do not include the transfer of the license, but given that the replacement motherboard support Microsoft can activate Windows 10, there’s a chance that at your request the company will activate and a copy moved to a completely different device. Although it is necessary to verify in practice, but if so, then the difference between Retail and OEM is becoming very blurred.