SOLVED Activation key tied to hardware?


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I need to know something before I commit to any Windows 10 updates...

Currently, my Windows 7 Pro installations are NOT OEM. This means I can install Windows 7 Pro onto any computer I want, as long as it's only installed on one computer. The same key will work for each installation.

If I perform an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, will the key function the same way or will it be tied to the existing hardware?

In other words, after the free upgrade period is over, can I format the Windows 10 installation on my computer and install the same Windows 10 onto my kids computer, using the same key that I had for my computer? (If not, how do I get a new FREE key?)

What if my computer blows up next year and I replace hardware to fix it, will I be forced to buy Windows 10? Will the original key still work even if the hard drive, video card or mainboard are different?

If the key is not portable, then this isn't a true upgrade... I would be trading my Windows 7 Pro non-OEM for Windows 10 Pro OEM.
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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There is absolutely no clear concise answer to the main points of your post.
Windows 10 is suppose to be free regardless of circumstances for the "lifetime" of the computer you install it on.
In the event of some type of catastrophic hardware failure, I would expect that worst case, would likely require a call to Microsoft explaining the circumstances. Assuming those circumstances were within reasonable parameters, I would expect that they would help you resolve any issue you may encounter at that time. Assuming of course you don't have a system image store somewhere that you could recover from (hardware dissimilarity not withstanding).
Bottom line.... IDK.
Maybe it would be best to stick with your current environment and steer clear of the upgrade.
I certainly can't and don't presume to speak for Microsoft but just maybe there is something in your post that might reveal how they will ultimately manage to monetize Windows 10.
 
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In other words, after the free upgrade period is over, can I format the Windows 10 installation on my computer and install the same Windows 10 onto my kids computer, using the same key that I had for my computer? (If not, how do I get a new FREE key?)
It is simple really. If you want to move your original license which is not bound, you can. But the upgrade path is only available for free the first year. If you wish to change devices after the first year, you will need to fall back on your original OS. That is of course the OS that you paid for.
 
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It is simple really. If you want to move your original license which is not bound, you can. But the upgrade path is only available for free the first year. If you wish to change devices after the first year, you will need to fall back on your original OS. That is of course the OS that you paid for.
So it's not a free upgrade, it's a free trial.
 
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No it is a free upgrade for your current machine. If you want to upgrade a new machine, you must move your original license and do it within the first year. After the first year it will no longer be free. Why are you trying to make this difficult to understand?

The upgrade is an upgrade to your original license. If you want to move your license you must first move your original license. And once you do that, you are confined by how long the upgrade is free. After the first year Microsoft will start making money once again, regardless of how many people still want the OS for free. You should be happy for the first year to get your free license.
 
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Go to the Windows 10 FAQ & Tips page... it will explain everything in detail.

Basically it's the same as an OEM version. It's not a free trial it IS a free upgrade.

Even though MS states that no key is sent to you, if you use a utility app such as AIDA64 Extreme,
you will find a key listed under the "Operating System" section. That's what I did and I saved it in a
folder along with my Windows 10 Pro X64 ISO file for future reference and use.
 

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