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Fresh Install of Win 10 without Serial Key?

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May 18, 2011
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Looking to reformat a laptops HDD, and then reinstall Win 10 fresh. The problem is it came pre-installed with Win 8 and I did the free upgrade to Win 10. How exactly would I re-format the HDD, reinstall Win 10 and ensure it reactivates properly? I don't see a Win 8 serial key anywhere in the contents of the box.
Aug 13, 2010
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If the key is embedded (look for a windows sticker underneath the laptop) than it would actually perform activation automatically with a big chance of never asking you for a product key during installation.

source: did it about 50 times so far with WIN8-era laptops
Apr 19, 2009
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Just install the win10 with network activated.
Sep 17, 2014
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If you did the regular upgrade its auto activated on 10. The key is tied to your motherboard.


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Microsoft Windows KMS client install keys work well fie these situations and test lab situations as well:


That will let you install a Windows OS legitimately with a Microsoft provided install key.

They will not activate the OS, an activation key would be needed for.

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I use on win 8 laptop 8.1 because software is designed for it. You now they spy, google follows on you same as android need to start using LINEAGE. or Raspberry or Linux.
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The key is tied to your motherboard

It happened to me when i upgrade motherboard, just for curiosity i reinstalled the old motherboard and it didn't ask me to activate windows.
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