Solved How did I manage to have had Home edition installed?


Fortitude

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Windows 11 Pro 22H2 OS Build 22621.675
Here's a mystery that I cannot solve.

I was reading a posting somewhere in Eleven Forum that mentioned running the Local Group Policy editor. Out of curiosity I thought that I could try to emulate the steps in the posting. I remember clearly using gpedit.msc in the past so that program was familiar to me. However, to my surprise Windows could not find gpedit.msc. I searched on the Internet and found that gpedit.msc may be installed on Windows Home through a special procedure. I assumed that since I had Windows 11 Pro, maybe something was wrong with my Windows installation and I could install gpedit.msc using the procedure that applies to the Windows Home edition. I did go through the procedure and gpedit.msc was finally available to me.

However, something kept nagging me, because I couldn't think of a reason why it would be missing from my Windows 11 Pro. I checked the System information and I was shocked to see that I had the Windows 11 Home edition installed! Since I have a Windows 8 key I did an upgrade to Windows 11 Pro that went through with no incident.

The mystery is how on earth did I have Windows 11 Home edition installed? I had installed 21H2 in December 2021 as an update from the previous Windows 11 Pro. Could I have made a mistake then? I don't remember being given a choice about which Windows version I could update to.
 
Windows Build/Version
Windows 11 Pro Build 22000.708

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 OS Build 22621.675
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 5482 2-in-1
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8565U
    Memory
    8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ
    Internet Speed
    1Gbps/300Mbps (nominal)
    Browser
    Chrome, Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Defender UI, Voodooshield
Was your Pro version an upgrade from an original Home installation?

I have 4 devices where Pro is an upgrade from Home (2 @ Win 7, 1 @ Win 8, 1 @ Win 8.1), and every time I do a Win 11 clean install Home is auto chosen and I have to reapply the old Pro upgrade key
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 22H2 (latest update ... forever anal)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Slim S01
    CPU
    Intel i5-9400
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT730
    Sound Card
    OOBE
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 32"
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2 x 1TB SSDs
    PSU
    OOBE
    Case
    OOBE
    Cooling
    OOBE
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    Classic Australian w.a.p.
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    KIS
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro (latest upadte ... anally always)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion 15
    CPU
    i7-1165G7 @ 2.80GHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVMe 512GB
    + numerous/multiple SSD Type C USB enclosures
    Internet Speed
    NBN FTTN 50
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    KIS
Was your Pro version an upgrade from an original Home installation?

I have 4 devices where Pro is an upgrade from Home (2 @ Win 7, 1 @ Win 8, 1 @ Win 8.1), and every time I do a Win 11 clean install Home is auto chosen and I have to reapply the old Pro upgrade key
When I bought my laptop it had come with Windows 10 Home, but I upgraded it to Windows 10 Pro.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 OS Build 22621.675
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 5482 2-in-1
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8565U
    Memory
    8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ
    Internet Speed
    1Gbps/300Mbps (nominal)
    Browser
    Chrome, Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Defender UI, Voodooshield
When I bought my laptop it had come with Windows 10 Home, but I upgraded it to Windows 10 Pro.
And after that did you ever do a clean install of Windows? If so then that would explain it.

Starting with Windows 8 all PCs supplied with Windows pre-installed by the OEM have their Windows key embedded in the BIOS firmware. On a clean install Setup reads this key and uses it to choose the edition to install. Your PC's Home key would have meant that Home would be installed.

As you had upgraded Home to Pro previously your PC already had a digital licence for Pro. This means after installing Home you could have upgraded to Pro by changing the installed key to the generic Pro key.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Internet Speed
    50 Mbps
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, and the Insider Canary build as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Win11 Pro Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.


    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro.
And after that did you ever do a clean install of Windows? If so then that would explain it.

Starting with Windows 8 all PCs supplied with Windows pre-installed by the OEM have their Windows key embedded in the BIOS firmware. On a clean install Setup reads this key and uses it to choose the edition to install. Your PC's Home key would have meant that Home would be installed.

As you had upgraded Home to Pro previously your PC has a digital licence for Pro. This means after installing Home you could have upgraded to Pro by changing the installed key the generic Pro key.
Thank you for the information. I don't remember precisely the history of my Windows installations over time other than the fact that on a desktop PC which I bought in 2010 I had Windows 7 Professional. I then upgraded it to Windows 8 Pro, 8.1 Pro and 10 Pro as each of these editions came out. I think I paid $30 at one point in time (maybe for the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro). In 2019 the desktop was scrapped and I bought a laptop which had Windows 10 Home. I upgraded it to Windows 10 Pro using my Windows 8 key and then to Windows 11 Pro. I never had to pay anything since the $30 payment.

I'm not sure how this whole thing works given that I scrapped the desktop and bought a laptop. Even though there was a total change in hardware, I can still use my Windows 8 key to install Windows 10 and 11 Pro. I always believed that there was a restriction by Microsoft in using Windows on more than one PC. Microsoft certainly doesn't know that I have scrapped my desktop.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 OS Build 22621.675
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 5482 2-in-1
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8565U
    Memory
    8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ
    Internet Speed
    1Gbps/300Mbps (nominal)
    Browser
    Chrome, Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Defender UI, Voodooshield
Because the original installed version was Home, that's what you'll get with every clean install. But you can upgrade to Pro using your Pro license key, or the Windows generic upgrade key (for this latter option, your search engine is your friend).

I'm not sure how this whole thing works given that I scrapped the desktop and bought a laptop. Even though there was a total change in hardware, I can still use my Windows 8 key to install Windows 10 and 11 Pro. I always believed that there was a restriction by Microsoft in using Windows on more than one PC. Microsoft certainly doesn't know that I have scrapped my desktop.

In the spirit of the EULA there is, but I seriously believe that MS don't really care. I know that I have used my Pro upgrade license keys, on and off, for multiple devices, so much so I lost track of which keys went on which devices. I'm sure I've doubled up more than once - purely unintentionally - but have never experienced any problems.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 22H2 (latest update ... forever anal)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Slim S01
    CPU
    Intel i5-9400
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT730
    Sound Card
    OOBE
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 32"
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2 x 1TB SSDs
    PSU
    OOBE
    Case
    OOBE
    Cooling
    OOBE
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    Classic Australian w.a.p.
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    KIS
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro (latest upadte ... anally always)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavillion 15
    CPU
    i7-1165G7 @ 2.80GHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVMe 512GB
    + numerous/multiple SSD Type C USB enclosures
    Internet Speed
    NBN FTTN 50
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    KIS
...for the Windows generic upgrade key (for this latter option, your search engine is your friend).
For this latter option Eleven Forum is your friend. :wink:

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Internet Speed
    50 Mbps
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, and the Insider Canary build as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Win11 Pro Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.


    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro.
For this latter option Eleven Forum is your friend. :wink:

Not to say that I'm not confused, but I am! However, the link to Eleven Forum was interesting.

I looked through my saved keys and I used ShowKeyPlus with them. I have a "Windows 7 Professional OEM:SLP" key, a "Win 8 RTM Professional Retail" key, and a "Win 10 RTM CoreSingleLanguage OEM: DM" key.

I used the Windows 8 key to upgrade to Windows 11 Pro from Windows 11 Home, but ShowKeyPlus shows my installed key to be one of the RTM Generic Keys. There is an asterisk and a footnote in ShowKeyplus stating "Default key - requires a digital license for activation".

This is what I understand: A few hours ago when I upgraded my Windows from Home to Pro, Windows must have checked my digital license irrespective of the actual product key (Windows 8) that I had entered and made the upgrade based on my digital license. I assume it must have done this because (a) I was logged in to Windows and (b) I was connected to the Internet. Maybe it got my credentials from my Account on my PC in order to check the digital license. As far as the digital license goes Windows does not seem to care that my hardware has radically changed. For the upgrade Windows replaced the product key on my PC (Windows 8 key) with a RTM Generic Key.

Is the above jumble of thoughts correct? o_O
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 OS Build 22621.675
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 5482 2-in-1
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8565U
    Memory
    8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ
    Internet Speed
    1Gbps/300Mbps (nominal)
    Browser
    Chrome, Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Defender UI, Voodooshield
A few hours ago when I upgraded my Windows from Home to Pro, Windows must have checked my digital license irrespective of the actual product key (Windows 8) that I had entered and made the upgrade based on my digital license. I assume it must have done this because (a) I was logged in to Windows and (b) I was connected to the Internet. Maybe it got my credentials from my Account on my PC in order to check the digital license. As far as the digital license goes Windows does not seem to care that my hardware has radically changed. For the upgrade Windows replaced the product key on my PC (Windows 8 key) with a RTM Generic Key.


When you use an older Pro key (7, 8 or 8.1) to upgrade Home to Pro, Windows checks with the MS servers that the key is valid. That key does not get installed. The key is only used to see if you are entitled to the upgrade. If you are, then Windows will always install the generic Pro key in the upgrade from Home to Pro.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Internet Speed
    50 Mbps
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, and the Insider Canary build as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Win11 Pro Insider Beta, Dev and Canary, all as native boot vhdx.


    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 128GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro.
EDIT: This may happen for Windows Vista as well, cannot recall with 100% certainty :)

As was noted earlier, if you have a system that originally shipped with a Home edition of Windows 7 or newer, when you perform a clean install of Windows the default behavior of Windows will be to automatically select the Home edition without even presenting to you a choice of what edition to install.

There is a VERY simple workaround to this.

Open Notepad and type in the following two lines of text:

[Channel]
Retail

Save the file as "ei.cfg". When done, just make sure it is named "ei.cfg" and that it does NOT have a .txt extension.

Copy this file into the \Sources folder on your Windows installation media, for example, on your thumb drive.

It's just that easy. From now on, if you install from that media, you will be given a choice of what Windows edition to install.

More Information
============
Why does this happen? If you purchase a computer from a major OEM such as Dell, HP, Acer, ASUS, etc. the BIOS contains a special signature indicating what edition of Windows the system shipped with. When you reinstall Windows, Windows setup reads that signature and automatically selects that edition.

Note that if you purchase a motherboard and assemble your own PC, such a signature is not present in the BIOS and as a result setup will not automatically select the edition to be installed.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 OS Build 22621.675
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 5482 2-in-1
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8565U
    Memory
    8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ
    Internet Speed
    1Gbps/300Mbps (nominal)
    Browser
    Chrome, Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Defender UI, Voodooshield

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