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Windows 10 key..

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Just curious.. if you buy a windows 10 key, and tie it to your Microsoft account, is that a permanent connection?

I have never paid for a copy of windows. I would like to, but the whole activation thing seems like a pita. I sometimes install windows frequently, so paying for a new key each time seems like a complete waste of money. But if it can be tied to you then that would work for me and will buy one right now.
 

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Yep I’ve reinstalled Windows more than a few times using my original Win7 upgrade key. But Ive only ever entered it once. But of course you can change keys in Windows f you need/have to as well but yeah it’s hooked to your MS Acount
 
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Great, thanks. I did get the free upgrade key many moons ago, but I didn't tie it to my account like an idiot, and later I scrubbed the txt file when I hit the wrong drive.

Much appreciated :cool:
 

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Yeah luckily keys can be found cheap for OEM keys that they can be practically disposable
 
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I saw the deal here so if I can tie it to my account I cant go wrong. I got my first pc in 2002, I figured it might be time.. Ill get one for my GF too with the 2 key deal.
 
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Just curious.. if you buy a windows 10 key, and tie it to your Microsoft account, is that a permanent connection?
No. It is not a permanent connection. Licenses are tied to the computer, not your account. Those licenses may be registered to you through your account, but the license is tied to the "hardware" or "device".

And it depends on the type of license (OEM or Retail) whether you can "legally" use that key again.

A few points to remember:
  • Regardless the type, you can reinstall Windows over and over again on the same computer without buying a new license key.
  • Only "Retail" licenses can "legally" be transferred to a new computer.
  • "OEM/System Builders" licenses, by far, the most common, can never be transferred "legally" to a new computer under any circumstances. OEM licenses are typically what is installed on factory made computers. OEM licenses are inextricably tied to the "O"riginal "E"quipment.
  • Upgraded Windows assumes the same terms as the original license. For example, if you had OEM Windows 7 and you upgrade to Windows 10, you now have an OEM Windows 10. If you originally had a full Retail Windows 7, you now have a full Retail Windows 10.
  • For licensing purposes, a new motherboard constitutes a new computer. So when upgrading the motherboard, if the original license is an OEM license, a new license must be purchased. The only exception is when replacing the motherboard with an identical board as part of a repair action.
Note I emphasized the word "legally". While the process of using the same license is possible, that does not make it legal.

Note too we all agreed to these terms when we decided to keep using the OEM license on the "O"riginal "E"quipment. And that makes the terms of that agreement legally binding.

Yes, if you need to call Microsoft to have a key re-activated, they may do it just to keep you as a happy customer. But they don't have to, and may not, and that still does not make it legal.

Don't shoot the messenger.

***

If not sure what type license you have, this is easy to determine.
Click Start then type: CMD
At the command prompt type: slmgr -dlv
Hit Enter​

After a few seconds, a Windows Script Host window will appear and the Description line will indicate the channel, Retail or OEM.
 
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No. It is not a permanent connection. Licenses are tied to the computer, not your account. Those licenses may be registered to you through your account, but the license is tied to the "hardware" or "device".

And it depends on the type of license (OEM or Retail) whether you can "legally" use that key again.

A few points to remember:
  • Regardless the type, you can reinstall Windows over and over again on the same computer without buying a new license key.
  • Only "Retail" licenses can "legally" be transferred to a new computer.
  • "OEM/System Builders" licenses, by far, the most common, can never be transferred "legally" to a new computer under any circumstances. OEM licenses are typically what is installed on factory made computers. OEM licenses are inextricably tied to the "O"riginal "E"quipment.
  • Upgraded Windows assumes the same terms as the original license. For example, if you had OEM Windows 7 and you upgrade to Windows 10, you now have an OEM Windows 10. If you originally had a full Retail Windows 7, you now have a full Retail Windows 10.
  • For licensing purposes, a new motherboard constitutes a new computer. So when upgrading the motherboard, if the original license is an OEM license, a new license must be purchased. The only exception is when replacing the motherboard with an identical board as part of a repair action.
Note I emphasized the word "legally". While the process of using the same license is possible, that does not make it legal.

Note too we all agreed to these terms when we decided to keep using the OEM license on the "O"riginal "E"quipment. And that makes the terms of that agreement legally binding.

Yes, if you need to call Microsoft to have a key re-activated, they may do it just to keep you as a happy customer. But they don't have to, and may not, and that still does not make it legal.

Don't shoot the messenger.

***

If not sure what type license you have, this is easy to determine.
Click Start then type: CMD
At the command prompt type: slmgr -dlv
Hit Enter​

After a few seconds, a Windows Script Host window will appear and the Description line will indicate the channel, Retail or OEM.
All true, Microsoft are very forgiving about board and system swaps atm though.

That's all I'll say.
 
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Excellent info, thank you gents.
 
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iirc Windows is tied to your mobo. If you change that then you need to call them and explain why you changed that. Also even on the same system there are a certain number of activations before you will have to call them, or there used to be. I found this out with a retail copy of Windows XP. I don't remember how many times it was that it could be reactivated but eventually I did have to call them and was told from now on every time I reinstalled XP I would have to call them.

My experience with Windows customer service has always been a positive one. The reps understand that parts die at times and have to be replaced and will try to help you. They don't want to be dickheads from my experience.
 
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Last time had to call them I didn't get the 16 digit activation. I got some rep in India, now I don't have a problem with jobbing out support but i could barely understand him. He kept asking me how he was doing, then he logged into my PC and did the 16 digit activation for me. This took about an hour, and it was a Retail key. A key i use a lot. That was about a year ago. Now when testing PCs I don't activate them at all. Its usually for just a couple of days
 
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iirc Windows is tied to your mobo.
This is true. That's why I said above a new motherboard constitutes a new computer. I probably should have added that you can replace/upgrade everything else (CPU, RAM, graphics card, drives, PSU, even the case) and not worry about a new license. But as soon as you upgrade the motherboard itself, a new license is required if the old is an OEM license. Note for factory made computers, the key is actually coded into the motherboard's UEFI firmware.
 
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INSTG8R

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Yes yes it’s tied to your hardware but your active key is tied to your MS Account so you only ever have to input it once, barring the hardware change scenario where your OEM key becomes ”invalid”
 
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This aspect of things is all new to me, thanks! It does seem they are fairly lenient at the moment..
 
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This aspect of things is all new to me, thanks! It does seem they are fairly lenient at the moment..
Recently I have been moving a couple of Os drives between different PC's , and I have had no problems, im starting to think they're tied to me and my account rather than the motherboard they were originally used on.
They do always require my fullest account details to be re-entered.
 
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It gets tied to your account if you register it there. Just because it works like that does not change EULA terms though.

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im starting to think they're tied to me and my account rather than the motherboard they were originally used on.
If they were permanently tied to your MS account, what would happen if you sold the computer and the new owner had to reinstall the OS? Are you going to give the new owner your MS account credentials (address and password)?

Let's remember the OP ask if it was a permanent connection.
 
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Not linked to your MS account but to the MAC address of your Motherboard actually. You can change the motherboard, W10 just asks to verify account yada yada....

You can pick up W10 key and installation on a USB stick from e-bay for under 20 bucks. Legit, I can confirm at least one of the sellers....
 
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Not entirely true that Windows ties the keys to your computer. In the old days, there were physical copies, with the key on the box, whereas nowadays a lot of them are "Digital Licences" instead. For all practical purposes, the keys are now linked to your account and can be transferred.

There was also the divide between retail and the cheaper "OEM" licences, both of which could be purchased as physical products through stores. The latter seems to be completely done away with nowadays, for good reason.

For those physical licences, it used to be the case that with a major upgrade (ie. CPU + mobo), you'd have to ring up Microsoft's automated call centre through the Windows wizard and do the whole "send your key then input the response" to activate. It appears that the Win 10 activation wizard still retains this call-and-response functionality.

I remember that at some point, it was difficult to find an OEM key with key finder software because there was the actual key, and then another "translated" key that Windows used internally. I suspect that it is still a relatively convoluted process with physical, unlinked licences, but I can't seem to remember if store-bought retail licences nowadays will automatically link to your account if you are signed in.

The Digital Licences changed all that, and are linked to your account at purchase. Nowadays, if Windows cannot find a spare key in your account after you log in, then you'll just be prompted to enter the key you want to use, which will just transfer it from whatever old PC it was on.

Of course, it'll be most convenient if you have the key written down somewhere, regardless of what sort of licence you have, especially since Windows 10 is now smart enough to accept Windows 7/8/8.1 keys through its activation wizard.

Regarding the "legality" of OEM licence transfer, nobody actually gives a shit, Microsoft included. So in that case, one would just do as countless builders have over the years - get it activated again with the wizard, and go on one's merry way.
 
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Power Supply be quite system power9, powerlogic standar, voltron 300fx
Mouse rexus, genius ps/2, powerlogic ps/2 ball tracking
Keyboard rexus, random china product x3
Software talking abt best software, autodesk/unity3d/notepad yes notepad!!
Benchmark Scores theres nothing to brag abt potato, but it can run decent 30fps fullhd with good setting:)
for the oem key is somewhat unbelieved cheap $3-5 here ina, some even charge it for free if we buy set of pc rig, never try oem key tho, it just too suspicious, rather use demo version till i found it suitable for daily use os i gonna pay for home license:)
 
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FYI I've had no problems activating my 10 pro with W7 key.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
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The latter seems to be completely done away with nowadays, for good reason.
No, OEM copies still exist I buy them all the time.

The Digital Licences changed all that, and are linked to your account at purchase. Nowadays, if Windows cannot find a spare key in your account after you log in, then you'll just be prompted to enter the key you want to use, which will just transfer it from whatever old PC it was on.
I want to clear things up about Digital Licenses. The activation is NOT linked to your microsoft account, and activation with a digital license is not linked to your account either. The Digital License is stored on Microsoft's activation servers, not your Microsoft account. The only thing stored in your Microsoft account is the product key for Windows.

All of my computers have never been signed into a Microsoft account, they've all been activated using phsysical keys on COA stickers. They all show as activated with a Digital License.

Microsoft now has two ways to recover your product key automatically for you and activate Windows. If you make no hardware changes, and just reformat Windows 10, it will usually just re-activate using the digital license stored on the activation servers. Your Microsoft account never comes into play here.

If for some reason your hardware ID doesn't match up with one stored on the activation servers, or it has been so long that the data has been purged from the activation servers, then the next option is to sign into your Microsoft account. At that point, Windows will poll your Microsoft account for a Windows 10 product key and activate using that if one is stored in your account. From that point on, your Microsoft account won't be used, and the digital license that is stored on the activation servers will be used.
 
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Frick

Fishfaced Nincompoop
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Benchmark Scores I once had +100 dorfs in DF, so yeah pretty great
iirc Windows is tied to your mobo.
My knowledge is from the Windows 7 days so I don't know if accurate, but here goes: the computer components as seen by Windoes generate a HID, hardware ID. If this changes to a significant degree, Windows needs to reactivate. The NIC plays a big role (if not the biggest, but I don't remember the details), for some reason. Because everything is built into the motherboard these days in effect a new motherboard makes a new computer.

Again this is from the olden days, I expect it to work differently now.
 
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