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BoostedBMW
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Windows 10 OEM License on used equipment

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Z440
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I am looking at purchasing a used Z440 workstation from ebay and I would like to make sure that I recieve a valid Windows 10 OEM License. If I understand correctly the windows 10 OEM license is paired to the hardware and it cannot be transfered or deactivated. So assuming the computer I purchase came origionally configured with windows 10 and the origional motherboard has not been replaced I should be able to do a fresh W10 install and automatically activate the OEM lisence. Is this a correct assumption? I ask because sellers sometimes write misleading statements such as "windows 10 key included" or "No OS COA" which dont apply to windows 10 systems if I understand correctly.

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Grzwacz
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Hi Boosted BMW,

 

Please see this recent article written by Ed Bott.

 

The upgrade to W10 still works. Ed refers to W7 or W 8.1 retail licenses which are inactive.

 

This method works if you have an unused OEM product key and should work using the HP OEM product key attached to the specific PC you are looking to purchase.

 

The upgrade worked for me using an unused OEM license.

 

Worst case scenario for you is to install HP OEM W7 Pro or W8.1 Pro. Then do the upgrade to W10 Pro using the HP OEM product key.

 

Tom

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banhien
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@BoostedBMW wrote:

... Is this a correct assumption? I ask because sellers sometimes write misleading statements such as "windows 10 key included" or "No OS COA" which dont apply to windows 10 systems if I understand correctly.


@BoostedBMW

 

From my understanding that is correct given Windows 10 was pre-inalled OR old owner installed or upgraded the machine legally. Legally installed or upgraded to Windows 10, the key will be embedded in BIOS of the motherboard.

 

Regards.

BH
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mdklassen
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Two situations that I expect will work:

 

1. If the computer was originally factory-loaded with Windows 7, there will not be a product-key embedded in the motherboard.  However, if the computer was upgraded to Windows 10, and Windows 10 was successfully "activated", then a "digital entitlement" has been granted, to allow a re-install of the "retail" version of Windows 10, at any time, at no cost, onto the "same" computer. Changing the disk-drive does not seem to violate that "same" requirement.  Presumably, the seller has not changed/removed any other hardware components since activating (or has re-activated with the changed hardware).

 

2. If the computer was originally factory-loaded with Windows 8 or Windows 10, there will be a product-key embedded in the motherboard.  Then, using the HP-modified OEM version of the original operating system will use that product-key to successfully activate.  Hopefully, that software can be downloaded or purchased from HP, or purchased from www.ComputerSurgeons.com or from www.RestoreDisks.com (although this latter web-site seems to currently be offline).

 

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Grzwacz
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Greetings BoostedBMW

 

Updating to Windows 10 creates a digital license which is stored on Microsoft W 10 servers. It (W 10) does not create a digital license on the local PC. Any digital license on the local PC relates to the HP factory installed operating system.

 

You can download Windows, free, from this link, "Heidoc".

 

The possible supported operating system download options for the Z440 are:

 

Win 7 Pro (COEM), or

 

Win 8.1 Pro (COEM)

 

Updating to Win 10 Pro may depend on whether the previous owner did the update which will create a digital license to run W 10 on the Z440 you are looking at purchasing.

 

Look, Microsoft has allowed upgrades to W 10 with a valid W 7 or W 8.1 product key in the past.

 

I don't know if this is still happening but I have updated to W 10 using W 7 and W 8.x product keys as recently as February of this year. I have not done this lately. Microsoft may have shut down this option.

 

Try it and see what happens.

 

You will have to install the HP factory operating system, FREE,  using the Heidoc link provided above if you buy the PC with no operating system to get the possible update to W 10. Download the OEM version to match the HP BIOS imbedded product key.

 

Maybe the seller has updated to W 10. This means you will have the digital license to use W 10 Pro. You can then, under this circumstance, do a clean install of W 10 and get activation without any problems and will not have to install the HP supported operating systems (W 7 or W 8.1).

 

Tom

 

 

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BoostedBMW
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When I look in the HP quickspecs for the Z440 I do see Windows 10 Pro listed as a OS configuration so I am confident it was posssible to order a Z440 with a W10 oem lisence. As far as upgrades go I have read that after the W10 anniversary update microsoft made it possible to pair your windows 10  license with your microsoft account. This even allows you to transfer a retail license to new hardware at least one time which makes it all much less straight foreward.  My current understanding is as follows:

 

If the hardware was origionally configured with windows 10 oem it is permenantly activated on that hardware.

 

If the hardware had a W7 or W8 OEM license and was upgraded to windows 10 the W10 retail license is converted to an oem license and is permenantly activated on that hardware as you have explained.

 

BUT if the user purchased W10 retail and performed a clean install not an upgrade that hardware would be given a retail license of W10 and it would be possible to transfer to new hardware using a micosoft account.  In this scenario it seems possible that the previous owner could transfer the license to another computer after the sale which I presume would deactivate the license on the old hardware. 

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Grzwacz
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Greetings BoostedBMW,

 

You are correct.

 

A retail license can be transferred to different hardware.

 

But you may stll be able to run W10 using the possible upgrade option in my previous post by using the HP factory W7 or W8.1 OEM operating system product keys. This article by Ed Bott was referenced to successfuly upgrade to W10 using W7 Home and W8.1 Pro unused OEM product keys. It may not work anymore.

 

You can have more than one digital license or product key associated with specific hardware.

 

For example, in early 2018 I upgraded a recently built system using an unused W7 Home premium product key to W10 Home. I then realized I had an unused copy of W8.1 Pro. So I used this W8.x product key to upgrade the system to W10 Pro. The upgrade was done using "Settings", Update and Security, Activation, Change product key.

 

I can now reinstall either W10 Home or W10 Pro using either digital license. I have not tried this but I am pretty sure it will work.

 

W7 and W8.1 were OEM copies of Windows never used on other hardware. I had them laying around and gathering dust.

 

As I have said, you still have possible operating system upgrade options using HP OEM Windows and possible upgrade rights to W10 using the HP W7 or W8.1 OEM product keys. Microsoft may have now disabled this specific upgrade process.

 

Tom

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Grzwacz
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Hi Boosted BMW,

 

Please see this recent article written by Ed Bott.

 

The upgrade to W10 still works. Ed refers to W7 or W 8.1 retail licenses which are inactive.

 

This method works if you have an unused OEM product key and should work using the HP OEM product key attached to the specific PC you are looking to purchase.

 

The upgrade worked for me using an unused OEM license.

 

Worst case scenario for you is to install HP OEM W7 Pro or W8.1 Pro. Then do the upgrade to W10 Pro using the HP OEM product key.

 

Tom

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