Can I install W11 to a new build machine and use my old W10 key?


philmar

New member
Local time
10:02 PM
Posts
5
OS
Windows 10
My 11 year old computer will not boot due to "Bad System Config Info". I've tried System Restore, tried Resetting This PC, tried restarting in safe mode but no joy. I have just completed a new pc build with an Intel i7 13700 and a Z790 motherboard and would like to install Windows 11 on to it.
My W10 is on a 2.5" sata SSD and I have a SSD external enclosure that I have used to gain access to my non-Windows files using a laptop. Assuming I am able to retrieve the W10 key, can I use it to upgrade to W11? Do I boot W11 on the new machine and use the W10 product key? or must I install W10 first, activate it and then upgrade to W11?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
I think I'm correct, but just install Windows 11 on the laptop and once you have internet access, it will activate through digital license from Microsoft.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Personal Build
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 3700x
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VI AMD X370
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
    Sound Card
    On board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    (2) AOC E2752Vh 27-inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD M.2 and SATA
    Cooling
    Air cooling
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800 Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech M705 Wireless
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbps Download | 10 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Firefox Beta
    Antivirus
    Windows Security???
    Other Info
    Microsoft 365 Family
    Macrium Reflect (Paid)
    eM Client
    Adobe Acrobat DC (Subscription)
Sorry, my laptop already has Windows 11.
My old desktop PC computer had Windows 10 on it but I can no longer get it to boot. I want to use this Windows 10 key to install Windows on to my new desktop build.
I'm hoping I can use my laptop to find the Windows 10 key that is on the SSD drive from my old desktop computer. I have that SSD connected to my laptop using a external SSD enclosure.
Eventually I want Windows 11 on my new desktop because it will have DDR5 RAM and a 13 gen i7 on it. I am hoping to use my corrupted Windows 10 on my old desktop to activate Windows on my new desktop.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
Sorry, my laptop already has Windows 11.
I'm sorry, I meant to say desktop instead of laptop.

Windows 10 should be activated with a digital license, so Windows 11 should activate since you already have a digital license.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Personal Build
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 3700x
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VI AMD X370
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
    Sound Card
    On board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    (2) AOC E2752Vh 27-inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD M.2 and SATA
    Cooling
    Air cooling
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800 Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech M705 Wireless
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbps Download | 10 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Firefox Beta
    Antivirus
    Windows Security???
    Other Info
    Microsoft 365 Family
    Macrium Reflect (Paid)
    eM Client
    Adobe Acrobat DC (Subscription)
My 11 year old computer will not boot due to "Bad System Config Info". I've tried System Restore, tried Resetting This PC, tried restarting in safe mode but no joy. I have just completed a new pc build with an Intel i7 13700 and a Z790 motherboard and would like to install Windows 11 on to it.
My W10 is on a 2.5" sata SSD and I have a SSD external enclosure that I have used to gain access to my non-Windows files using a laptop. Assuming I am able to retrieve the W10 key, can I use it to upgrade to W11? Do I boot W11 on the new machine and use the W10 product key? or must I install W10 first, activate it and then upgrade to W11?
If your Windows 10 key is a full retail key, you can use it to activate Windows 11. If it is an oem key, it will probably work but not 100% guranteed.

If you were using an MS licence on old pc, you should be able to transfer the digital licence using activation troubleshooter (zillions of guides) and you do not even need a key. This does not apply if you were using a local account on old pc.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
There are links with walkthroughs here:

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    Intel Core i9 13900K
    Motherboard
    Asus ProArt Z790 Creator WiFi - Bios 2002
    Memory
    Corsair Dominator 64gb 5600MT/s DDR5 Dual Channel
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Vapor-X 24GB
    Sound Card
    External Fiio K5 Pro ESS DAC - Headphone Amplifier
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Panasonic MX950 Mini LED 55" TV 120hz
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160 120hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro 2TB (OS)
    Samsung 980 Pro 1TB (Files)
    Lexar NZ790 4TB
    LaCie d2 Professional 6TB external - USB 3.1
    PSU
    Corsair RM1200x Shift
    Case
    Corsair RGB Smart Case 5000x (white)
    Cooling
    Corsair iCue H150i Elite Capellix XT
    Keyboard
    Logitech K860
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Ergo Trackball
    Internet Speed
    Fibre 900/500 Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Total Security
    Other Info
    Logitech Brio 4K Webcam
    Orico 10-port powered USB 3.0 hub
I'm sorry, I meant to say desktop instead of laptop.

Windows 10 should be activated with a digital license, so Windows 11 should activate since you already have a digital license.
How would a newly home built computer have a digital license for Windows 10?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
Sorry, I just wasn't following your original post as well as I should. The new computer will not have a digital license. I think Post #6 is the one you would be looking to do if you have a Retail Copy. If it's an OEM version of Windows, I don't think you can transfer it as OEM versions are only good for one computer.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Personal Build
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 3700x
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VI AMD X370
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
    Sound Card
    On board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    (2) AOC E2752Vh 27-inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD M.2 and SATA
    Cooling
    Air cooling
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800 Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech M705 Wireless
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbps Download | 10 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Firefox Beta
    Antivirus
    Windows Security???
    Other Info
    Microsoft 365 Family
    Macrium Reflect (Paid)
    eM Client
    Adobe Acrobat DC (Subscription)
Sorry, I just wasn't following your original post as well as I should. The new computer will not have a digital license. I think Post #6 is the one you would be looking to do if you have a Retail Copy. If it's an OEM version of Windows, I don't think you can transfer it as OEM versions are only good for one computer.
Microsoft has dropped almost all of the restrictions regarding OEM licenses. OEM licenses are easily transferable to new computers now.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
My 11 year old computer will not boot due to "Bad System Config Info". I've tried System Restore, tried Resetting This PC, tried restarting in safe mode but no joy. I have just completed a new pc build with an Intel i7 13700 and a Z790 motherboard and would like to install Windows 11 on to it.
My W10 is on a 2.5" sata SSD and I have a SSD external enclosure that I have used to gain access to my non-Windows files using a laptop. Assuming I am able to retrieve the W10 key, can I use it to upgrade to W11? Do I boot W11 on the new machine and use the W10 product key? or must I install W10 first, activate it and then upgrade to W11?
I've just built a new PC and installed Windows 11 which was quick and slick. I easily activated Windows 11 Pro based on a Windows 8 retail key I bought 11 years ago as follows which was used by Windows 10 on my previous PC. I did this:
1. Skipped inserting a product key on installing W11
2. Installed W11 as an admin user using my current MS account
3. W11 wasn't activated as expected. I ran the Troubleshooter, indicated a hardware change then selected the name of my previous PC. W11 then activated in a few seconds.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self build
    CPU
    Core i7-13700K
    Motherboard
    Asus TUF Gaming Plus WiFi Z790
    Memory
    64 GB Kingston Fury Beast DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Super Gaming OC 8G
    Sound Card
    Realtek S1200A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viewsonic VP2770
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Kingston KC3000 2TB NVME SSD & SATA HDDs & SSD
    PSU
    EVGA SuperNova G2 850W
    Case
    Nanoxia Deep Silence 1
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D14
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Digital Media Pro
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless
    Internet Speed
    50 Mb / s
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender
I was able to get what I think is the key using a program called ShowKeyPlus which found a OEM key and an 'installed' key. They are different.
The asterisk says it requires a digital licence for activation. Does this mean I can install W11 - indicate I do NOT have a activation key - and then activate it by signing in to Windows?
OR, must I install W10 and use the key to activate it and then obtain a digital license?windows 10 key old pc 2.jpg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
I'm curious to know how you used ShowKeyPlus on A computer that won't boot. :unsure:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec G156
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8400 CPU @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    AsusTeK Prime B360M-S
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Speptre HDMI 75Hz
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe
    Mouse
    Logitek M185
    Keyboard
    Logitek K270
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
I placed the corrupted OS 2.5" sata SSD in an external enclosure attached to a laptop that is working. The laptop's W11 key was displayed in Home tab...I saw there was info under More tab and it is a key for W10....I assume it is from the SSD in the external drive.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
I was able to get what I think is the key using a program called ShowKeyPlus which found a OEM key and an 'installed' key. They are different.
The asterisk says it requires a digital licence for activation. Does this mean I can install W11 - indicate I do NOT have a activation key - and then activate it by signing in to Windows?
OR, must I install W10 and use the key to activate it and then obtain a digital license?View attachment 58086
The installed key is YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7. You can install Windows 11 Home directly without having to install Windows 10 first. Then you can use the OEM Key to activate it, not the generic installed key. If you are using a MS Account and using the OEM key does not work, then you can use the activation troubleshooting wizard to copy the license from the old computer to the new computer.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
......... then you can use the activation troubleshooting wizard to copy the license from the old computer to the new computer.
By 'copy' you mean 'assign', right? I won't be hooking the old SSD card with the corrupted Windows to the new build and copying information.
THANKS!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
By 'copy' you mean 'assign', right? I won't be hooking the old SSD card with the corrupted Windows to the new build and copying information.
THANKS!
Using the activation troubleshooter with a Microsoft account, you will be given a list of computers attached to your account. You pick the old computer that you want to activate the new computer from. MS will activate your new computer with a digital license and the generic product key I provided above. The Windows installation on the old computer will be unaffected. It will continue to be activated just like nothing happened.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!

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