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Any way to install Windows 10 on a laptop that has never had it before for free?

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I am not sure what "won't activate" really means (legit or not, edition, source, etc.), but the problem could be Windows 7 key hardcoded in the BIOS, and thus no other Windows version/edition would activate.
I had the same problem, and after numerous hours of desperate attempts I got the genius idea to try the phone activation. That finally worked.

If that is the case, the Windows 7 key could also be read by programs such as ProduKey.
 
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I am not sure what "won't activate" really means, but the problem could be Windows 7 key hardcoded in the BIOS, and thus no other Windows version/edition would activate.
I had the same problem, and after numerous hours of desperate attempts I got the genius idea to try the phone activation. That finally worked.

If that is the case, the Windows 7 key could also be read by programs such as ProduKey.
It's an old laptop that has the CDKey written underneath it. The CDKey is erased and the laptop won't activate because Windows 7 doesn't have BIOS integrated CDKey so he's kind of f*cked.

Phone activation works well when you enter a CDKey and it says that it doesn't want to activate or for old Office product.
 
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Belarc Advisor will report all your license keys for all software
 
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If you are talking about the SCDKey.com links, they are not gray-market. Microsoft knows about this site and actively participates.
Yeah, you might want to check the machines that are running those license keys with the information on this page:

Windows 10: Determine if Windows License Type is OEM, Retail, or Volume
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/49586-determine-if-windows-license-type-oem-retail-volume.html

I bought several Windows 10 Pro license keys for $14 a pop from GoodOffer24.com, and they activated fine. However, I just ran the check, and it turns out they're volume license keys: not for resale. So far, Microsoft hasn't complained about them, and I'm happy with my discount.
 
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cdawall

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Windows 7 keys still activate windows 10. Use a key reader to pull your key and install a clean copy of windows 10 using that key
 
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What I did:
On my Toshiba 7 laptop, I cloned my C drive, (comp has an esata plug, fast clone!) Switched 'em to make sure clone was good. I had a copy of the 'free 10 upgrade' from mSOFT, I installed it over 7. Works fine but took hours for upgrades(?).

I am soooo glad I backed up the 7 disk!!!! 10 sucks.

-c-
 
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I am soooo glad I backed up the 7 disk!!!! 10 sucks.
I felt the same way about 10 at first. Then I tried a simple free program called Classic shell, which brings back the classic Start Menu and lets you customize it. Since then, I've found 10 to be stable and easy to navigate, so much that I haven't had to do any Windows repair or re-imaging for over a year.
 
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I felt the same way about 10 at first. Then I tried a simple free program called Classic shell, which brings back the classic Start Menu and lets you customize it. Since then, I've found 10 to be stable and easy to navigate, so much that I haven't had to do any Windows repair or re-imaging for over a year.
Too bad it stopped being updated apparently. This is not good for Win 10... since it's constantly being updated itself ("Windows as a service" etc).
 

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Too bad it stopped being updated apparently. This is not good for Win 10... since it's constantly being updated itself ("Windows as a service" etc).
Luckily the developer open sourced ClassicShell, so hopefully someone will at least keep the classic start menu functioning.
 
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Yeah, you might want to check the machines that are running those license keys with the information on this page:

Windows 10: Determine if Windows License Type is OEM, Retail, or Volume
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/49586-determine-if-windows-license-type-oem-retail-volume.html

I bought several Windows 10 Pro license keys for $14 a pop from GoodOffer24.com, and they activated fine. However, I just ran the check, and it turns out they're volume license keys: not for resale. So far, Microsoft hasn't complained about them, and I'm happy with my discount.
Interesting. Just tried that on a machine I'm currently building, came back OEM, which is what the key is supposed to be.
will it work after hardware upgrade ?
Don't know. Haven't done a hardware upgrade to one of those machines yet. I imagine it will as Microsoft's only limitation is that an OEM license be used on only one PC at a time.
Too bad it stopped being updated apparently. This is not good for Win 10... since it's constantly being updated itself ("Windows as a service" etc).
Wait for it..
Luckily the developer open sourced ClassicShell, so hopefully someone will at least keep the classic start menu functioning.
It has been already, but renamed. Works great too.
https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu
The latest builds can be found;
https://ci.appveyor.com/project/passionate-coder/open-shell-menu/build/artifacts
Or
https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/classic_start.html
 
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Interesting. Just tried that on a machine I'm currently building, came back OEM, which is what the key is supposed to be.

Don't know. Haven't done a hardware upgrade to one of those machines yet. I imagine it will as Microsoft's only limitation is that an OEM license be used on only one PC at a time.

Wait for it..

It has been already, but renamed. Works great too.
https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu
The latest builds can be found;
https://ci.appveyor.com/project/passionate-coder/open-shell-menu/build/artifacts
Or
https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/classic_start.html
Thanks for pointing that out. Never liked 8 at all, but thought 10's interface was a step in the right direction.. but this always made it better.

edit: I don't recognize these explorer and IE enhancements from before. Makes me a little wary from trying now. Don't want a complete classic revamp. Especially with the new explorer options coming in the next Windows update.
 
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Thank you, I didn't know about Open Shell. I'm still using Classic Shell 4.3.1, without any problems, on build 1803 17134.228. I'll try Open Shell on my Windows 10 Lite project I've been working on lately - it's default "Metro" interface sucks once you get used to having a real Start Menu.
 
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Thanks for pointing that out. Never liked 8 at all, but thought 10's interface was a step in the right direction.. but this always made it better.
You're welcome, glad to help.
edit: I don't recognize these explorer and IE enhancements from before. Makes me a little wary from trying now. Don't want a complete classic revamp. Especially with the new explorer options coming in the next Windows update.
The Explorer enhancements are very useful, I recommend giving them a try. The IE enhancements however are a mystery to me as I've never used them(IE is the top three things removed/deleted from every installation of Windows I do, especially my own systems.
Thank you, I didn't know about Open Shell. I'm still using Classic Shell 4.3.1, without any problems, on build 1803 17134.228.
Again, you're welcome. Open Shell will be kept up to date with changes to the Windows UI made through updates. Currently using it on my test build with Win10. Works like a charm whereas 4.3.1 was having issues with the latest builds.
it's default "Metro" interface sucks once you get used to having a real Start Menu.
Agreed.
 
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You're welcome, glad to help.

The Explorer enhancements are very useful, I recommend giving them a try. The IE enhancements however are a mystery to me as I've never used them(IE is the top three things removed/deleted from every installation of Windows I do, especially my own systems.

Again, you're welcome. Open Shell will be kept up to date with changes to the Windows UI made through updates. Currently using it on my test build with Win10. Works like a charm whereas 4.3.1 was having issues with the latest builds.

Agreed.
I barely use IE either (but do use edge). Although IE sometimes is useful since AT&T (last I checked) allows me to stream live DirectTV on their website.. but it's only compatible with IE for now. I don't mind explorer improvements per se.. just that explorer is soon to get a revamp. I wouldn't want to get too used to it... and don't even have complaints about design as it is. I think Windows is pretty good for now, except the Start menu and Telemetry crap.
 
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Microsoft. Called them directly because I wanted to use them in my business and they confirmed that the above site and many others are selling legitimately distributed keys.
Hahahah.

No, seriously. Any source?
Fair enough. I always thought OEM keys had to come with hardware.
They do. These OEM licenses (assuming they're legal) are for bundling with hardware.
To use them, you have to be a manufacturer of PCs, i.e. build them for money.
The license itself has the standard OEM limitations - you can't replace major parts, you can't move it to another PC or sell it.

will it work after hardware upgrade ?
Work as in "function somehow" or "not violate the license terms"?

Seriously guys... you spend so much on parts and games. Can't you just get those extra $100 to buy the piece of software in the middle, that makes this whole endevour work? :-D
 
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Awesome! I haven't really been keeping up, so I'm glad to hear someone forked it and is actively developing it.

edit: I don't recognize these explorer and IE enhancements from before. Makes me a little wary from trying now. Don't want a complete classic revamp. Especially with the new explorer options coming in the next Windows update.
The IE and Explorer enhancements have been a part of ClassicShell for as long as I can remember. I always select to not install them, as I don't find them useful in Windows 10.
 
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Awesome! I haven't really been keeping up, so I'm glad to hear someone forked it and is actively developing it.



The IE and Explorer enhancements have been a part of ClassicShell for as long as I can remember. I always select to not install them, as I don't find them useful in Windows 10.
Admittedly, I only installed it a couple of times and left it alone. For some reason, I remember it as a quick/one option install. My mind's playing tricks on me. :)
 
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No, seriously. Any source?
Serious, call Microsoft yourself.
They do. These OEM licenses (assuming they're legal) are for bundling with hardware.
No they do not. And they are legal. Again call Microsoft and verify for yourself.

Can't you just get those extra $100 to buy the piece of software in the middle, that makes this whole endevour work? :-D
Sure we can, but with prices like those why not buy them?
 
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Big sidenote: Speaking of shells.. I just noticed my version of Pro has custom login options for enterprise use and such. Has anyone used this to custom install Steam as the default launcher? Turning my Windows into a Steam Machine kind of sounds cool. :D
 
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win 10 is still free >>"if you have impaired needs"
need Sun glasses in Bright light you qualify":cool:
This turned out to be the best option (since I had no access to the original key). I installed windows 7, found the Windows10Upgrade24074.exe file and it updated and gave me a digital license. For the record this is my brothers laptop and he is on disability from 2 different concussions.

Thanks for your suggestions & help everyone!
 
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