Saturday, July 18, 2015

There is a way you can activate Windows 10 build 10240

In the previous two posts (here and here) I mentioned that I installed Windows 10 build 10240 (hereafter simply will be called Windows 10) on my desktop PC but wasn't able to activate it. Yesterday while reading through the forums I found out that there is a way to get it done.

Launch the Window 10 installer from an already activated Windows 7/8/8.1.

Then Windows 10 will activate just fine. This is on my desktop PC.

Windows 10 finally activated

Yes, I reinstalled Windows 8.1 on my PC and then ran the Windows 10 installer from there. Remember, you have to have Windows 8.1 (or whatever version you are upgrading from) activated first. Otherwise it will ask for the key, saying that the previous OS wasn’t activated. At least, it asks for the key before doing anything irreparable.

I believe you can do a clean install just fine if the UEFI has the key of the original OS embedded, like most of the tablets and laptops. Perhaps OEM desktop PCs have it embedded as well. You are out of luck, if you have an assembled desktop PC. But I do not believe it is a traditional upgrade. You can simply tell it not to save user data or settings (which must be doing a clean install) within the installer. You will have to use Disk Cleanup after Windows 10 has been installed, if you want to get rid of the remnants of the previous OS. (Select “System File” option and then “Clean previous Windows installation” to do that.)

I was curious as to which key Windows 10 was activated with. I checked the key after installing Windows 10. It was the same “public” key that Microsoft had given away previously. So the key doesn’t really have any meaning as long as you were using a legitimate copy of Windows. Perhaps it didn’t even contact the activation servers. This might change on 29th. Obviously, people who are buying Windows 10 will have to receive new keys.

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