Solved Windows 11 Clean Install Question


thunderclap82

Well-known member
Local time
9:36 AM
Posts
17
OS
Windows 11
Hopefully this question makes sense.

I know Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 11 from Windows 10. I'm actually running Windows 11 now from the dev support channel. When Windows 11 is released on ISO (via Media Creation Tool) I want to do a clean install. Here's where I hope my question is clear: since I'm currently running Windows 11 has Microsoft's system been updated to include my CPU serial number and whatever else they record to ensure I'm running a legit copy? I don't want to do a fresh install only to be told I need to purchase a $100+ license. And I'd prefer not to do a fresh install of Windows 10, first, and then upgrade to 11. I want brand spanking new fresh install and have Microsoft see I'm running a legit copy.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z370 Pro4
    Memory
    G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 2060 Super 8GB
  • Operating System
    Unraid 6.9.2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-9700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock B365M PRO4
    Memory
    G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB
    Hard Drives
    16TB
The short answer is Yes, your Windows 11 will activate after a clean install, assuming you install the same edition, IE: Home or Pro. You do not need to do Windows 10 first.
 

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!
The short answer is Yes, your Windows 11 will activate after a clean install, assuming you install the same edition, IE: Home or Pro. You do not need to do Windows 10 first.
Correct.. I've used my Win10 key to activate a clean instillation of Win11.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home(Beta) - 23H2 - 22635.3430
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Banana Junior 5600- G Series
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Strix B550-F
    Memory
    G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 64GB 4x16
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viotek 32", 28" ASUS VP28U
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    Primary SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus
    PSU
    EVGA BQ 700w 80+ Bronze
    Case
    Zalman i3 NEO
    Cooling
    ARCTIC Freezer 7 X
    Keyboard
    Corsair
    Mouse
    Amazon Generic with Cord
    Internet Speed
    Download: 295.11 mbps Upload: 65.35 mbps T-Mobile Internet
    Browser
    Firefox and Edge
    Antivirus
    MS - Defender
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
Hopefully this question makes sense.

I know Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 11 from Windows 10. I'm actually running Windows 11 now from the dev support channel. When Windows 11 is released on ISO (via Media Creation Tool) I want to do a clean install. Here's where I hope my question is clear: since I'm currently running Windows 11 has Microsoft's system been updated to include my CPU serial number and whatever else they record to ensure I'm running a legit copy? I don't want to do a fresh install only to be told I need to purchase a $100+ license. And I'd prefer not to do a fresh install of Windows 10, first, and then upgrade to 11. I want brand spanking new fresh install and have Microsoft see I'm running a legit copy.
Just to be sure, you could update your current installation to Windows 11 through Windows Update (insider), then when it gets released tomorrow you can do a fresh install. This will for sure not cause any activation issues.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel i9-9900K (8-core, at least 4.5GHz on all cores)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F Gaming
    Memory
    4x 8GB (32GB) G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4-3600MHz CL16
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G
    Sound Card
    FiiO K3 USB DAC (highly recommended!)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    DELL U2515H
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440 (25" - 60Hz)
    Hard Drives
    NVMe: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
    SATA: Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    Corsair HX750
    Case
    Fractal Design Define C
    Cooling
    Scythe FUMA 2 air-cooler (highly recommended!)
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600
    Mouse
    Logitech G305 Lightspeed
since I'm currently running Windows 11 has Microsoft's system been updated to include my CPU serial number and whatever else they record to ensure I'm running a legit copy?
If your PC is activated with a Digital Licence for 10 Home or 10 Pro, then a clean install of the same edition of 11 will activate from that same Digital Licence.
 

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 as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i5-520M
    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. Also running Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.

    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 as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.
I still can't believe we don't have Win 11 keys... :( Just seems so contrived - perhaps they should just have called it Win 10.X (kind of like Win10X but a lot cooler :p)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows
If your PC is activated with a Digital Licence for 10 Home or 10 Pro, then a clean install of the same edition of 11 will activate from that same Digital Licence.

This. I haven't entered a license in I don't know how long when doing a clean install.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 5600
    Motherboard
    MSI B550 Tomahawk
    Memory
    Patriot Viper 4 Blackout Series 3600 2x8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire RX 7600
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 278E1A
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160
    Hard Drives
    XPG SX8200 240GB M.2 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe
    Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB
    Seagate 500 GB
    WD Black SN750 500GB
    PSU
    EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G3
    Case
    Deepcool CK500WH
    Cooling
    Deepcool Castle 280EX, plus 3 140 MM case fans (2 in front, 1 in rear)
    Keyboard
    Logitech G213 Prodigy
    Mouse
    Logitech 305
This. I haven't entered a license in I don't know how long when doing a clean install.
The PC has the licence with the default key (the "I don't have a key" thingy bob) for the edition. The only proviso is same hardware , same edition.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows
I haven't entered a license in I don't know how long when doing a clean install.
If you don't enter a key, then it installs with the default key. This then activates from the PC's existing Digital License that's stored on Microsoft's activation servers and is linked to the hardware ID of your PC.

Windows 11 will activate from that digital license, just as Windows 10 does.
 

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 as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i5-520M
    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. Also running Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.

    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 as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.
I just want to impress on you guys to make a back-up before upgrading tomorrow... probably superfluous reminder for most but just saying.. failing to prepare is preparing to fail... and all that :wink:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows
The short answer is Yes, your Windows 11 will activate after a clean install, assuming you install the same edition, IE: Home or Pro. You do not need to do Windows 10 first.
I have a valid digital licences derived from standalone versions of Window 7 on two machines.
So, you have confirmed that I should be able to upgrade my existing hardware but unfortunatley at least one of them will not easily run Win 11 and propbably about time for a new PC in any case. Given my digital licence is 'standalone' (rather then pre-installed) will I be able to use that licence on a new PC?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro (standalone licence)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom (Quiet PC)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 3.8GHz 8C/16T 65w AM4
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK TUF gaming B550M (WI-FI) AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated AMD Radeon
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC 2470WNX
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [operating system]
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [Data]
    Samsung 870 EVOPlus 1TB SATA/600 [Data]
    Plus external Samsung 1 terabytes for additional data copies and for Sonos stream
    PSU
    Pure Power 11 400w Quiet PSU PLUS Gold
    Case
    S400 Silencio mATX Quiet PC
    Cooling
    Noctua NF-P12 Redux 12v 900RPM 120mm x2
    Keyboard
    Dell corded usb
    Mouse
    Logitech corded optical
    Internet Speed
    35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
    Browser
    DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Opera, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security with Malware Bytes
    Other Info
    FTTC 35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
I have a valid digital licences derived from standalone versions of Window 7 on two machines.
So, you have confirmed that I should be able to upgrade my existing hardware but unfortunatley at least one of them will not easily run Win 11 and propbably about time for a new PC in any case. Given my digital licence is 'standalone' (rather then pre-installed) will I be able to use that licence on a new PC?
No. Only a retail key can be used to attain a new licence
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows
Just a reminder for anyone who wants to run the RTM when it's available to you - if you are currently running the Dev version you cannot upgrade directly to the RTM - you will need to perform a clean install

Simple reason for this the Dev builds are now a later build than the RTM will be so would be classed as a downgrade
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro x64 [Latest Release Preview] [Win11 PRO HighEnd MUP-00005 DD]
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Scan 3XS to my design
    CPU
    AMD RYZEN 9 7950X OEM
    Motherboard
    *3XS*ASUS TUF B650 PLUS WIFI
    Memory
    64GB [2x32GB Corsair Vengeance 560 AMD DDR5]
    Graphics Card(s)
    3XS* ASUS DUAL RTX 4060 OC 8G
    Sound Card
    On motherboard Feeding SPDiF 5.1 system [plus local sound to each monitor]
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" UHD 32 Bit HDR Monitor + 43" UHD 4K 32Bit HDR TV
    Screen Resolution
    2 x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    3XS Samsung 980Pro 2TB M.2 PCIe4 4 x 8TB Data + Various Externals from 1TB to 8TB, 10TB NAS
    PSU
    3XS Corsair RM850x 850w Fully Modular
    Case
    FDesign Define 7 XL BK TGL Case - Black
    Cooling
    3XS iCUE H150i ELITE Liquid Cool, Quiet Case fans
    Keyboard
    Wireless Logitec MX Keys + K830 [Depending on where I'm Sat]
    Mouse
    Wireless Logitec - MX Master 3S +
    Internet Speed
    950 MB Down 55 MB Up
    Browser
    Latest Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security [Latest]
    Other Info
    Also run...
    Dell XPS 17 Laptop
    HP Laptop 8GB - Windows 10 Pro x64 HP 15.2"
    Nexus 7 Android tablet [x2]
    Samsung 10.2" tablet
    Blackview 10.2 Tablet
    Sony Z3 Android Smartphone
    Samsung S9 Plus Smartphone
    Wacom Pro Medium Pen Pad
    Wacom Pro Small Pen Pad
    Wacom ExpressKey Remote
    Loopdeck+ Graphics Controller
    Shuttle Pro v2 Control Pad
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro x64 [Latest release]
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17 9700
    CPU
    i7 10750H
    Motherboard
    Stock
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Stock Intel + GTX 1650 Ti
    Sound Card
    Stock 4 speaker
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Stock 17" + 32" 4K 3840 x 2160 HDR-10
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2400 HDR touchscreen
    Hard Drives
    2TB M2 NVMe
    PSU
    Stock
    Case
    Stock Aluminium / Carbon Fibre
    Cooling
    Stock + 2 fan cooling pad
    Mouse
    Stock Trackpad +Logi Mx Master 3 or MX Ergo Trackball
    Keyboard
    Stock Illuminated + Logi - MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    950 MB Down 55 MB Up
    Browser
    Latest Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security 2021
    Other Info
    Also use an Adjustable Support for Laptop and Adjustable stand for monitor
No. Only a retail key can be used to attain a new licence
Are you sure about that because a previous answer to similar question re Windows 10 seems to give a different interpretation:

i.e. retail = standalone
OEM = pre-installed

Ten Forums reply
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro (standalone licence)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom (Quiet PC)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 3.8GHz 8C/16T 65w AM4
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK TUF gaming B550M (WI-FI) AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated AMD Radeon
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC 2470WNX
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [operating system]
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [Data]
    Samsung 870 EVOPlus 1TB SATA/600 [Data]
    Plus external Samsung 1 terabytes for additional data copies and for Sonos stream
    PSU
    Pure Power 11 400w Quiet PSU PLUS Gold
    Case
    S400 Silencio mATX Quiet PC
    Cooling
    Noctua NF-P12 Redux 12v 900RPM 120mm x2
    Keyboard
    Dell corded usb
    Mouse
    Logitech corded optical
    Internet Speed
    35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
    Browser
    DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Opera, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security with Malware Bytes
    Other Info
    FTTC 35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
Just a reminder for anyone who wants to run the RTM when it's available to you - if you are currently running the Dev version you cannot upgrade directly to the RTM - you will need to perform a clean install

Simple reason for this the Dev builds are now a later build than the RTM will be so would be classed as a downgrade
I have always gone for clean install using an iso file
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro (standalone licence)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom (Quiet PC)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 3.8GHz 8C/16T 65w AM4
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK TUF gaming B550M (WI-FI) AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated AMD Radeon
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC 2470WNX
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [operating system]
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [Data]
    Samsung 870 EVOPlus 1TB SATA/600 [Data]
    Plus external Samsung 1 terabytes for additional data copies and for Sonos stream
    PSU
    Pure Power 11 400w Quiet PSU PLUS Gold
    Case
    S400 Silencio mATX Quiet PC
    Cooling
    Noctua NF-P12 Redux 12v 900RPM 120mm x2
    Keyboard
    Dell corded usb
    Mouse
    Logitech corded optical
    Internet Speed
    35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
    Browser
    DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Opera, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security with Malware Bytes
    Other Info
    FTTC 35 Mbps / 9 Mbps

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro (standalone licence)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom (Quiet PC)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 3.8GHz 8C/16T 65w AM4
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK TUF gaming B550M (WI-FI) AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated AMD Radeon
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC 2470WNX
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [operating system]
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [Data]
    Samsung 870 EVOPlus 1TB SATA/600 [Data]
    Plus external Samsung 1 terabytes for additional data copies and for Sonos stream
    PSU
    Pure Power 11 400w Quiet PSU PLUS Gold
    Case
    S400 Silencio mATX Quiet PC
    Cooling
    Noctua NF-P12 Redux 12v 900RPM 120mm x2
    Keyboard
    Dell corded usb
    Mouse
    Logitech corded optical
    Internet Speed
    35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
    Browser
    DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Opera, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security with Malware Bytes
    Other Info
    FTTC 35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
Wrong question: I think what you are calling 'retail', I am calling 'standalone' as per the more up to date licencing descriptions
i.e.
retail = standalone
OEM = pre-installed
Your digital license needs to be linked to your MS account. Once it is linked, if you sign into the same Microsoft account on your new computer, there is a good chance you will be able to use your license from the old computer using the activation troubleshooter. This appears to work even with OEM licenses.

Not only that, but if you change the product key of an OEM activated install to the generic product key for that same edition of Windows 10 or 11, it will move to the retail activation channel.

Run slmgr /dlv to see what activation channel you are on.
 

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!
Your digital license needs to be linked to your MS account. Once it is linked, if you sign into the same Microsoft account on your new computer, there is a good chance you will be able to use your license from the old computer using the activation troubleshooter. This appears to work even with OEM licenses.

Not only that, but if you change the product key of an OEM activated install to the generic product key for that same edition of Windows 10 or 11, it will move to the retail activation channel.

Run slmgr /dlv to see what activation channel you are on.
Thanks for that - very helpful. This machine is indeed, as I expected, showing activation channel as retail.

As and when it comes to installing Windows 11 do I take a 'digital' key from my windows 10 installation as revealed by ShowKeyPlus as the 'installed key' or maybe the 'product ID'?

Or neither becuase the link t the my microsoft account will prompt activation? How do I amke sure that my current activation is linked to my Microsoft Account....I think it is.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro (standalone licence)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom (Quiet PC)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 3.8GHz 8C/16T 65w AM4
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK TUF gaming B550M (WI-FI) AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated AMD Radeon
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC 2470WNX
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [operating system]
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [Data]
    Samsung 870 EVOPlus 1TB SATA/600 [Data]
    Plus external Samsung 1 terabytes for additional data copies and for Sonos stream
    PSU
    Pure Power 11 400w Quiet PSU PLUS Gold
    Case
    S400 Silencio mATX Quiet PC
    Cooling
    Noctua NF-P12 Redux 12v 900RPM 120mm x2
    Keyboard
    Dell corded usb
    Mouse
    Logitech corded optical
    Internet Speed
    35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
    Browser
    DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Opera, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security with Malware Bytes
    Other Info
    FTTC 35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
Check the product keys shown by showkey plus against the list of generic product keys here:

Chances are very high you are currently activated with a generic product key.

You and check your activation status:
Option 2^
 

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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro (standalone licence)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom (Quiet PC)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 3.8GHz 8C/16T 65w AM4
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK TUF gaming B550M (WI-FI) AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (2x32GB) DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated AMD Radeon
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC 2470WNX
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [operating system]
    Samsung 970 EVOPlus 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (3500/3200) [Data]
    Samsung 870 EVOPlus 1TB SATA/600 [Data]
    Plus external Samsung 1 terabytes for additional data copies and for Sonos stream
    PSU
    Pure Power 11 400w Quiet PSU PLUS Gold
    Case
    S400 Silencio mATX Quiet PC
    Cooling
    Noctua NF-P12 Redux 12v 900RPM 120mm x2
    Keyboard
    Dell corded usb
    Mouse
    Logitech corded optical
    Internet Speed
    35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
    Browser
    DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Opera, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security with Malware Bytes
    Other Info
    FTTC 35 Mbps / 9 Mbps
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