Updating an old computer to Win10 for free using a win7 key.

Analoguesat

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Yes as of October 2020 its still possible to get a completely free operating system upgrade to win10 for computers. I did a clean install on a blank ssd for what will become my SDR & Eumetcast computer once its all been set up. The spec is an old (probably ~7/8 years from its details) i3motherboard with 2x4 GB RAM. You can get an win10 install iso by using the win10 creation tool available from the microsoft website

I had a few problems getting it to install - this was eventually tracked down to a faulty ram chip. The build kept halting mid install. Once I had stripped out one of the chips it built no problem, so its currently running 1x4GB RAM. If it asks for a product key during install click on "do it later / I dont have a product key" You put your key in later.

Once you have installed it go to the computer properties and click on change the product key. Just enter a valid win7 product key and after a few minutes waiting you will get a fully activated legal version of win10 :) The RAM on this machine will be updated back to 8GB or possibly 16GB in the near future.

Once the setup was activated I installed Classic Shell & ShutUp10. Now I need to get my head around how win10 works.....
 

Mickha

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Have you used a key finder program, like magic jelly bean to make a note of your Windows 10 key, for future reference, in case you need to replace/upgrade your SSD?
 

Analoguesat

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Have you used a key finder program, like magic jelly bean to make a note of your Windows 10 key, for future reference, in case you need to replace/upgrade your SSD?

Not yet but I may well investigate that at some point :)
 

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If it asks for a product key during install ...
Me, I just enter a valid win7 product key and I have a digital license for win10 home.
After that I link the license to a Skype account and e-mail.
From now on I can install again win 10 on this computer and it will activate automatically.
But, I am not using win 10 - xubuntu is viruses free OS.
 

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Have you used a key finder program, like magic jelly bean to make a note of your Windows 10 key, for future reference, in case you need to replace/upgrade your SSD?
Got a lot of "stuff" on 6x m/cs! - so I periodically (when I can remember!) use one or two of those to find the keys for all the major Apps on each m/c
 

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Updated my Windows 7 pro earlier this year to 10, it even downloaded the pro version of 10 as the replacement..
 

Analoguesat

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Updated my Windows 7 pro earlier this year to 10, it even downloaded the pro version of 10 as the replacement..
Yup thats correct - it will activate the nearest equivalent type


Win7 Starter will be upgraded to Win10 Home
Win7 Home Basic will be upgraded to Win10 Home
Win7 Home Premium will be upgraded to Win10 Home

Win7 Professional will be upgraded to Win10 Pro
Win7 Ultimate will be upgraded to Win10 Pro


Win8.1 will be upgraded to Win10 Home
Win8.1 with Bing will be upgraded to Win10 Home

Win8.1 Pro will be upgraded to Win10 Pro

Win 8.0 cannot be upgraded direct to Win10 - it must be upgraded to Win8.1 first
 

Analoguesat

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If anyone has been holding off upgrading due to the end of the free offer I would recommend doing it soon in case the activation servers are turned off. It really was a very painless procedure starting with a clean ssd on a self built computer. (No guarantees with updating an existing working system!)

Remember Win7 is nearly a year out of support now and getting increasingly vunerable. Other update paths are available - if you just want to update an old laptop so you can do a bit of web browsing then have a look at Linux Mint. I have that on an old laptop here - its perfectly functional for keeping an old laptop going and its basic functions are easy enough to pick up. For really old kit try Linux Peppermint.
 

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FWIW, I upgraded 6 m/c's (only one of which was built later than 2013'ish) to Win 10 (all Pro except 1 Home) over the last 2-3 yrs, and it was generally relatively painless - and at no cost.

The main recent issue has then been with with updates from Version 1909 to V 2004 - mostly went well but was difficult with one 2006-2008 Dell laptop which took a couple of workarounds to get that updated, and now my main Samsung laptop with which I kept getting various failure messages.

However, the automated failure messages that then must have been sent back to MS appear to have "triggered something at that end" and so I am now only getting prompts (the latest 3 were today) for new updates to V1909, and which then did successfully install.

Therefore I "second" @Analoguesat's recommendation to update any m/c's on old versions of Windows to Win 10 because it's now, generally, a lot less time-consuming and stressful than it was a year or two ago - and, as I wrote above, it does appear to work with many/most very old m/c's (assuming that the basic m/c spec is adequate - probably a half-decent dual-core processor and 4GB RAM).

PS: the process is definitely much quicker and more likely to succeed if machines have SSD's rather than older HDD's, and older m/c's definitely work a damn sight quicker with SSD's than they did with HDD's - writing this post on a 2012-vintage ASUS laptop with a low-power and slow dual-core "mobile" Pentium & 4GB RAM.
 
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Analoguesat

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Ive got an old HP family laptop here which originally had Win 8.something on it. The hdd broke so I put an old 160GB drive in it which I had lying around with mint on it but I shall buy a ssd and put win10 on it at some point and see how the activation goes :D

Im holding off doing my main daily use desktop atm. but at some point I shall have to bite the bullet....
 

Analoguesat

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Many of us will have a suitable win7 COA (authentication code) sticker on the side of the computer you want to upgrade. If you dont the codes are easy enough to obtain from scrapped computers, ebay etc. I have my own sources, no doubt you can find many other ways of getting them.

Please note - if you are wanting to update from XP or Vista you will need to get a COA code - you cant upgrade to Win10 from XP or Vista.
 

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FWIW, if (hopefully soon) you do get an SSD then I really do recommend at least a 256 GB one from a well-knowm brand, and not the cheapest no-name one you can find as the latter can be problematic to say the least (got one of those for an Acer "nettop" because of the very unusual interface, that then failed terminally and that fried the processor!).
 

Analoguesat

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Yeah it will be at least a 250GB. I might have one lying around in one of the junk computers, but if not Crucial 250GB ssds can be had for 30 quid from Amazon which is perfectly acceptible these days
.
 

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Please note - if you are wanting to update from XP or Vista you will need to get a COA code - you cant upgrade to Win10 from XP or Vista.
Bugger !
 

Analoguesat

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Search ebay (etc.) for a Win 7 (preferably Pro) product key, install W7 - and then upgrade to W10.
No need to install win7 first if its a new install. Just install win10 on a clean hdd / ssd then put the win7 key in once its fully installed.

(In fact you dont even need a clean drive as you can use the advanced install setting & wipe the partitions & drive during the setup process!)
 

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Probably not for myself (almost certainly not going to update a couple of very old, and "in the cupboard" XP m/c's here) but a "walkthrough" might be helpful for "some others:)"​

PS: sorry about the emboldening, but could not remove that under Chrome!
 
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