Hard drive crash - lost windows license key


Joined
Jan 7, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
My hard drive failed. Won't boot at all. Placed hard drive on a SATA to USB adapter and drive contents are accessible. I have no record of my windows 10 license/product key. This is a Windows 10 Home version. Is there any way to get the product key from the failed hard drive? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 21, 2018
Messages
228
Reaction score
39
My hard drive failed. Won't boot at all. Placed hard drive on a SATA to USB adapter and drive contents are accessible. I have no record of my windows 10 license/product key. This is a Windows 10 Home version. Is there any way to get the product key from the failed hard drive? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

You don't need a product key, your account is registered, once you have reinstalled the new Win-10 OS, you have to be logged into your Microsoft Account at Settings >Accounts on your new Win-10 operating system (with the same ID and password that you were logged into Win-10 on the previous and older Win-10 system) as Windows is registered with a "Digital Licence" that is stored by Microsoft with your account details.

Login into your Microsoft account then reboot, then it will register itself and give you a "Digital Licence" after the reboot, check at Settings > Update & Security > Activation and you should have at Activation: Windows is activated with a digital licence linked to your Microsoft account. That's it you are done and Win-10 is fully activated and that is how you always reinstall Win-10, you don't need a key unless its the first Win-10 under a new Microsoft account, simple.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Messages
1,987
Reaction score
586
It does not need a Microsoft account to get a computer activated. My computer all run on local accounts. What MS is looking for is a hardware token that is stored on their servers for any pc in the world. As long there are no major changes (i.e. motherboard change), the token is always valid and a new HDD/SSD will not change that.
If you reinstall Windows 10 (remember if you had the Home or Pro version) skip the serial key entry in the setup and continue installing. After install is finished and the pc is restarted, you will see that it is activated with a digital license.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2018
Messages
228
Reaction score
39
It does not need a Microsoft account to get a computer activated. My computer all run on local accounts. What MS is looking for is a hardware token that is stored on their servers for any pc in the world. As long there are no major changes (i.e. motherboard change), the token is always valid and a new HDD/SSD will not change that.
If you reinstall Windows 10 (remember if you had the Home or Pro version) skip the serial key entry in the setup and continue installing. After install is finished and the pc is restarted, you will see that it is activated with a digital license.
That might be true in some computers but, he still has to log into a recognised account. I've had computers that didn't activate after what you are saying and only activated after I logged into an MS account.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
5,067
Reaction score
639
Hi,

when you do a clean install on a new drive, you will see the window below, just click on "I don't have a product key" and continue, you won't need to enter a key number as long as Windows 10 was already activated!. :)

1610009303661.png
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
5,645
Reaction score
1,164
Maybe an answer to Bassfisher's question might guide to the best procedure?
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top