install / activation


smoothnobody

Member
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
i'm using windows 10 that i downloaded from microsoft. when i go to activation it says windows is activated with a digital license. there is no product key listed. i have been waiting for a notification to appear in my updates saying i can now upgrade to 11. but i just found out i can download windows 11 from microsoft website as well. i see there are 3 options, installation assistant, installation media, and disk image. while trying to find out the differences i saw a screenshot from the installation that says "i don't have a product key". i hear if you install without a product key you will see water marks and popups telling you windows is not activated. i don't want to deal with that. i'm wondering how i should go about upgrading. the windows 10 i downloaded never bothered me about activation. will 11 be the same or should i wait for the upgrade notice so it knows i'm coming from an activated license activation? i hear if you have 10 installed and activated it won't bother you about activation, but i'm assuming this is only if waiting for the upgrade notification. i kinda want to do a clean install, and it won't know my windows is activated. whats the best way for me to do this?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

FreeBooter

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
7:56 AM
Posts
949
Location
Adana
OS
Windows 11
If you have a Windows 10 product key and upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 via Windows Update while keeping all of your programs & files, you don’t need to activate Windows 11 separately. During the installation of Windows 11, the system will be activated automatically.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
    Motherboard
    Erica6
    Memory
    Micron Technology DDR4-3200 16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC671
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SyncMaster U28E590
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLQ1T0HALB-000H1

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
9:56 PM
Posts
960
OS
Windows 11
i'm using windows 10 that i downloaded from microsoft. when i go to activation it says windows is activated with a digital license. there is no product key listed. i have been waiting for a notification to appear in my updates saying i can now upgrade to 11. but i just found out i can download windows 11 from microsoft website as well. i see there are 3 options, installation assistant, installation media, and disk image. while trying to find out the differences i saw a screenshot from the installation that says "i don't have a product key". i hear if you install without a product key you will see water marks and popups telling you windows is not activated. i don't want to deal with that. i'm wondering how i should go about upgrading. the windows 10 i downloaded never bothered me about activation. will 11 be the same or should i wait for the upgrade notice so it knows i'm coming from an activated license activation? i hear if you have 10 installed and activated it won't bother you about activation, but i'm assuming this is only if waiting for the upgrade notification. i kinda want to do a clean install, and it won't know my windows is activated. whats the best way for me to do this?
You never stated which edition of Windows 10 you have. See:

Your product key for Windows 10 and 11 is in the RTM Generic Key (retail) column matching the edition of Windows 10 that you have installed. And since you already have a digital license for Windows 10, as long as you reinstall the same edition of Windows 10 or 11 (IE: Home or Pro) on the same computer, if you select the option of "I don't have a product key", as soon as you connect to the internet Windows will retrieve the digital license stored at Microsoft and Windows will activate automatically.
 

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!

smoothnobody

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
that thread says generic product keys will not be activated. there is no product key listed in my activation menu, but it does say windows is activated.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2021-10-22 235141.png
    Screenshot 2021-10-22 235141.png
    53.9 KB · Views: 2

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
9:56 PM
Posts
960
OS
Windows 11
that thread says generic product keys will not be activated. there is no product key listed in my activation menu, but it also says windows is activated.
In a command prompt with admin privileges run:
Code:
slmgr /dlv

What is the last 5 of the product key shown?

Capture2.jpg
 

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!

smoothnobody

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
it does not list a product key, but it does list a "partial product key" and it's the last 5 digits of the PRO generic product key. fs that thread says generic keys will not be activated, why is mine activated?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
9:56 PM
Posts
960
OS
Windows 11
it does not list a product key, but it does list a "partial product key" and it's the last 5 digits of the PRO generic product key. is that thread says generic keys will not be activated, why is mine activated?
Because you have a digital license for Windows 10 and 11 Pro stored on Microsoft Activation Servers for that computer. The product key that you will use, if you choose to, to install and/or activate Windows 10 or 11 Pro on that computer is VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

Believe it or not, but that is the fact.
 

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!

smoothnobody

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
so it sounds like a digital license and a product key are different things? is it possible to transfer my digital license without doing the windows 11 update? i would rather do a clean install.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
9:56 PM
Posts
960
OS
Windows 11
so it sounds like a digital license and a product key are different things? is it possible to transfer my digital license without doing the windows 11 update? i would rather do a clean install.
The digital license for Windows 10/11 for the computer is stored on Microsoft Activation Servers based upon a unique hardware ID which is derived nearly 100% from the specific motherboard the computer has. If there is no existing digital license for the specific Windows 10/11 edition (IE: Home or Pro) stored on Microsoft Activation Servers, then a unique, non-generic, product key is required to establish the digital license. Once the digital is established, the product key becomes irrelevant. All that is required to retrieve the digital license from Microsoft Activation Servers after it is initially activated is the unique hardware ID of the motherboard and edition of Windows 10/11 installed.

Think of the initial product key for Windows as a credit card used to purchase a ticket to an event. After the ticket is purchased, the credit card becomes irrelevant. Once you purchase the ticket, it is the ticket that gets you into the event, not the credit card you purchased it with.
 

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!

smoothnobody

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
interesting, and slightly scary they can identify my hardware. so since i have that digital license, i don't even need to enter that generic product key, they will know my board and windows 11 will automatically be activated, ya?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
9:56 PM
Posts
960
OS
Windows 11
interesting, and slightly scary they can identify my hardware. so since i have that digital license, i don't even need to enter that generic product key, they will know my board and windows 11 will automatically be activated, ya?
Yep.
 

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!

smoothnobody

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
appreciate the education. was all twisted wondering if i should wait for the upgrade notification or risk losing my activated status by doing a clean install. now i know i can do this either way and don't have to worry about annoying activation popups. TY sir.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

jaree1961

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
2:56 PM
Posts
170
Location
Brisbane Australia
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 Build-10.0.22000.795

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 Build-10.0.22000.795
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home built
    CPU
    Intel S1200 Core i3 10105
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte S1200 MicroATX B560M DS3H DDR4
    Memory
    16.0 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GT710 2GB PCIe Video Card
    Sound Card
    Realtek® Audio CODEC
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual Acer 24in
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial P1 M.2 PCIe SSD
    PSU
    500W
    Case
    Thermaltake ATX Versa H21 Case
    Cooling
    Internal fans by (3)
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 850
    Mouse
    Microsoft Wireless mouse
    Internet Speed
    50Mbps / 20Mbps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender, Malwarebyte
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 Build-22000.795
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home built Test-PC
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4460 CPU @ 3.20GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS S1150 MicroATX B85M-E
    Memory
    12.0 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Video Card
    Sound Card
    Integrated Sound Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Chimei 22"
    Screen Resolution
    1680 x 1050
    Hard Drives
    120GB WD 2.5" Green SATA 6Gb/s SSD
    1TB WD 3.5" 7200rpm SATA 6Gb/s Caviar Blue
    PSU
    400W
    Case
    Cougar MicroATX MG100 Case Black
    Cooling
    Deepcool 120mm Case Fan
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless mouse
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless keyboard
    Internet Speed
    50Mbps / 20Mbps
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Only running Win 11 on this PC for test purposes

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
9:56 PM
Posts
960
OS
Windows 11
what happens when it's time to upgrade my board? how do i transfer my digital license?
If you initially obtained the digital license by using a retail product key, you can activate the same edition of Windows 10/11 on a new motherboard using the product key. If you don't have the original product key you activated Windows 10/11 with, you can try this method provided by Microsoft:
 

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!

smoothnobody

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
i've resisted the microsoft account for years. i guess i can just create a dummy account. but basically from that point on they will always have me identified regardless of my hardware, IP, location, etc etc. not really crazy about that. i like they can no longer keep tabs on me once i upgrade the board. kinda makes me want to crack it instead of transferring my digital license.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
9:56 PM
Posts
960
OS
Windows 11
i've resisted the microsoft account for years. i guess i can just create a dummy account. but basically from that point on they will always have me identified regardless of my hardware, IP, location, etc etc. not really crazy about that. i like they can no longer keep tabs on me once i upgrade the board. kinda makes me want to crack it instead of transferring my digital license.
We don't talk about cracking Windows activation on these forums. Microsoft has provided you with many methods to activate Windows 10/11 - even with OEM licenses which are not supposed to be transferrable, but they will transfer using methods that MS has provided.
 

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!

smoothnobody

Member
Thread Starter
Local time
12:56 AM
Posts
52
OS
11
they have been unusually flexible/generous. like i previously mentioned, i downloaded my copy of windows 10 directly from the microsoft website and it was pre-activated. i heard this offer to upgrade to 10 was only available for a limited time but i downloaded the iso MANY years after the free upgrade period ended after hearing even though it ended you could still get it. kinda makes me suspicious why they are being so nice. they either want our data or they want us to spend money in their store. can't imagine they are doing it to be altruistic.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11

DigitalGoat

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
5:56 AM
Posts
248
Location
United Kingdom
OS
Windows 11 Pro
Of course they are not altruistic in their method, regardless of data harvesting the more PCs that run Windows the more MS software is likely to be sold (think Office, Games) as a larger OS user base increases your customer numbers.
As for installation of Win11, I have a system the started as Windows 7 Ultimate (Retail) which was upgraded to Win10 around 2017 using the 7 Ultimate key. Since then I have never even seen the "enter product key" dialogue even with clean installs. The same for Win11, I didn't upgrade from 10, I made the USB install media and installed clean, admittedly I use a Microsoft account and I was connected to the internet during install, but once on the desktop Windows was already activated, again during install it never asked for a product key.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Scan 3XS Custom 1700
    CPU
    Intel i7-12700K 3.6GHz Base (5.0GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Asus ProArt Creator B660 D4
    Memory
    64GB DDR 3600Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Tuff RTX 3080 10GB OC
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Gigabyte G32QC 32inch 16:9 curved @2560 x 1440p 165Hz Freesync Premium Pro/ Dell SE2422H 24inch 16:9 1920 x 1080p 75Hz Freesync
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p & 1920 x 1080p
    Hard Drives
    WD SN570 1TB NVME (Boot), Samsung 870QVO 1TB (SSD), SanDisk 3D Ultra 500Gb (SSD) x2, Seagate 3Tb Expansion Desk (Ext HDD), 2x Toshiba 1Tb P300 (Ext HDD)
    PSU
    Corsair RM1000X Modular
    Case
    Corsair 4000D Airflow Desktop
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H150i RGB Pro XT 360mm Liquid Cooler, 3 x 120mm fans, 1x Exhaust
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Ergonomic
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Internet Speed
    800Mbs
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Defender, Malwarebytes

Hazel123

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
5:56 AM
Posts
975
OS
Windows 10 Pro
i'm using windows 10 that i downloaded from microsoft. when i go to activation it says windows is activated with a digital license. there is no product key listed. i have been waiting for a notification to appear in my updates saying i can now upgrade to 11. but i just found out i can download windows 11 from microsoft website as well. i see there are 3 options, installation assistant, installation media, and disk image. while trying to find out the differences i saw a screenshot from the installation that says "i don't have a product key". i hear if you install without a product key you will see water marks and popups telling you windows is not activated. i don't want to deal with that. i'm wondering how i should go about upgrading. the windows 10 i downloaded never bothered me about activation. will 11 be the same or should i wait for the upgrade notice so it knows i'm coming from an activated license activation? i hear if you have 10 installed and activated it won't bother you about activation, but i'm assuming this is only if waiting for the upgrade notification. i kinda want to do a clean install, and it won't know my windows is activated. whats the best way for me to do this?
Choose the second option - installation media. Select to download the ISO to computer. You then burn that iso onto a usb stick (at least 8gb). Is your machine in the supported list for W11? If it isn’t the clean install will fail with messages. If that’s the case you can burn the iso onto the usb with Rufus 3.2 beta which installs W11 onto the usb stick but removes the block for cpu, tpm and processor requirements. Because W11 will run on unsupported hardware - and although Microsoft say they don’t recommend if they have provided their own work around so people can install on computers that don’t meet the minimum hardware requirements.

Either way - during installation, if you are asked for a product key you just click “I don’t have a product key” and carry on with the install. After install it will activate automatically using the Windows 10 digital licence that was already activated.

If Windows 10 was activated then it will have turned your pre installed windows 7 or 8 original OEM key into a Windows 10 digital licence. Which will then be upgraded to a Windows 11 digital licence.

So you don’t need a product key - it’s tied to the Motherboard basically so windows sees that at activation time.

All it means is the licence is tied to that computer (other than the info above of your change motherboard).
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 14-ce3514sa
    CPU
    Core i5
    Memory
    8gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 evo plus 1TB
    Cooling
    Could be better
    Internet Speed
    Dismal
    Browser
    Firefox
    Other Info
    Originally installed with a 500gb H10 Optane ssd
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus Eee PC 1015PX 10" netbook
    CPU
    Intel Atom N570
    Memory
    2gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung Evo 860 250gb ssd
    Internet Speed
    Dismal
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
Top Bottom