Upgrade Windows 11 Home to Pro using linked Win 10 Pro license from deactivated device?


miketsp

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Slightly complicated situation. I had a laptop with Windows 10 Pro and I paid full price for this optional license when I bought the laptop from Dell. This license became linked to my MS Account. Then this laptop burned out and I purchased an Acer laptop which came with a Windows 11 Home. This device is also linked to my same MS Account. I thought I wouldn't but now I need features from Windows 11 Pro (example extra languages) on my new laptop 21H2and it occurs to me that theoretically my previous Windows 10 Pro license should give me the right to upgrade my Windows 11 from Home to Pro for free as the previous laptop has now been destroyed and cannibalized, never to be used again. In my MS account I see both devices, old and new with their OSs, so there is evidence. Does anybody have any idea if MS would allow this upgrade for free and if so, how would I go about it?
 
Windows Build/Version
Win 11 21H2 (Compilation of SO 22000.042 Home Single Language

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System One

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    Windows 11

SoFine409

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You could call MS and plead your case and there’s a chance they might let you use the upgrade license on the Acer. It all depends on the agent you talk to. Keep in mind you can always ask to speak to a supervisor if you don’t get a sympathizer agent. I did that a few years ago and they gave me what I wanted. Good luck.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell 8940
    CPU
    10th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10700, 2.90GHz
    Motherboard
    Dell 0KV3RP (U3E1)
    Memory
    32GB, 2x16GB, DDR4, 2933Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) RTX 2060 SUPER(TM) 8GB GDDR6
    Sound Card
    Onboard, Realtek Codec, NVIDIA Hi Def Audio, Intel Display Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell UltraSharp U3415W
    Screen Resolution
    3440x1440
    Hard Drives
    2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD; 2TB Samsung SSD 860 EVO; 2TB Samsung SSD 860 EVO 2
    PSU
    500 W Dell
    Case
    Night Sky Bezel Chassis
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    Dell
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    Logi Wireless
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    Internet Speed
    111 Mbps Download, 132 Mbps Upload
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    Edge, Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, MalwareBytes
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Aurora R11
    CPU
    1oth Gen Intel Core i9 10900K, 3.7 - 5.3GHz
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    32GB Dual Channel HyperX(FM) FURY ODR4 XMP at 3200MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GDDR
    Sound Card
    Motherboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Alienware AW2720 HF
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2TB M.2 PCle SSD (Boot); 6TB 7200RPM SATA
    PSU
    1000W Dell
    Case
    Dark Side of the Moon chassis
    Cooling
    High-Performance CPU Liquid Cooling
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    Logitech G502
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    Logitech Pro Gamer
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    111 Mbps Download, 132 Mbps Upload
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Berton

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Don't know if it applies to Digital Licensing but used to be Win7 and earlier couldn't interchange the OEM Product Key between brands, even the backup CD included with those computers wouldn't interchange. Did not see the problem using a Retail Key. Win8 was the beginning of the OEMs having the necessary key embedded on the motherboard/in the BIOS.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 14 (3400)
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security

glasskuter

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If Dell furnished you a Pro license upgrade key it should be no problem.
  • Select Start > Settings > System > Activation.
  • Select Change product key, and then enter the 25-character Windows 11 Pro product key.
  • Select Next to start the upgrade to Windows 11 Pro.

If Dell did not furnish you a product key for the upgrade when you purchased, then yes, you are at Microsoft's mercy. It probably won't work, but you MIGHT could contact Dell (if you purchased directly from them) to see if they have record of it, but their support is a vicious circle of getting to the right person so I wouldn't count on it.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 22621.1105
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 m.2 2230-256+1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
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    still not telling
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    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium

jimbo45

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@miketsp

This *Might* work. But probably not if your prev Windows was an OEM copy and not a retail version.

1) On the Ms site from your account checked "Linked devices" and undo / delete them.

2) on the "Unactivated Windows system in administrator mode : run slmgr /upk (deletes existing product key )

3) run slmgr /cpky (clears from registry) and reboot the machine.

4) after reboot go to change / enter product key from the activation panel.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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System One

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    Windows XP,7,10,11 Linux Arch Linux
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    2 X Intel i7

Bree

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Don't know if it applies to Digital Licensing but used to be Win7 and earlier couldn't interchange the OEM Product Key between brands, even the backup CD included with those computers wouldn't interchange. Did not see the problem using a Retail Key. Win8 was the beginning of the OEMs having the necessary key embedded on the motherboard/in the BIOS.
Windows 7 used a very different method to activate a pre-installed OEM OS, System Locked Pre-installation, often abbreviated as SLP.

Windows 8/10/11 use SLP 3.0 which has a full key embedded in the bios. In SLP 2.0 as used by W7 the installed key (or the key on the OEM recovery CD) was a generic OEM-specific key. This in combination with an OEM certificate in the OEM recovery partition or on the CD, and a vendor's SLP marker (NOT a key) embedded in the bios SLIC table allowed a fresh install to self-activate. Ever wondered how a Factory Reset on an OEM W7 PC was always activated without having to go online? This will only work if everything matches, so the install media and the PC all had to be from the same OEM.

Should you loose the installed Windows 7 and the factory reset partition from a drive failure and not have the OEM recovery CD, then you'd have to use the standard Microsoft install media to reinstall Windows 7. This cannot activate from the OEM SLP marker, so every W7 machine also came with a completely separate key on a CoA sticker. This was only ever needed in an emergency, for most W7 PCs still running their original OEM install this key will never have been used.
 

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
    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.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 Insider Beta as a 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.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    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.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 Insider Beta as a 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.

NavyLCDR

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@miketsp

This *Might* work. But probably not if your prev Windows was an OEM copy and not a retail version.

1) On the Ms site from your account checked "Linked devices" and undo / delete them.

2) on the "Unactivated Windows system in administrator mode : run slmgr /upk (deletes existing product key )

3) run slmgr /cpky (clears from registry) and reboot the machine.

4) after reboot go to change / enter product key from the activation panel.

Cheers
jimbo
Do NOT do what jimbo45 is suggesting! Step 1 above will destroy any chance of moving 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!

NavyLCDR

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If you want to attempt to move the Windows 10 Pro license from the old computer to the new computer, assuming that you do not have the product key from the old computer for the Pro upgrade, the correct sequence of events would be to:
1. Disconnect the new computer from all sources to the internet. It cannot be connected to the internet.
2. Go to the activation screen and change the product key to the generic for Windows 10 Pro: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

NOTE: Since the computer is not connected to the internet in step 2, it will not check for an existing digital license for Windows 10 Pro for that computer and it will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. However, it will not be activated. If the following steps below do not work to activate it, you will need to either beg Microsoft for activation, or reinstall Windows 10 Home.

3. Reboot the computer, connect to the internet.
4. Go to the activation screen again, select the activation troubleshooter, and see if you can move the license from the old computer to the new computer using your Microsoft, assuming that you did not follow jimbo45's earlier advice and deleted it from you MS account.
 

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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