Embedded product keys, win 7, 8, and 10, tools to show key in bios

A couple questions pertaining to embedded product keys in the bios:

1) When did they start embedding product keys into the bios?

2) If I were to buy a retail copy of Windows 7, 8, or 10. Will it look in the bios for the product key?

3) What is a tool from Microsoft, not third-party, that shows the product key?

Thank you.
LVL 15
LockDown32OwnerAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

arnoldCommented:
OEM versions of the OS install relies on that data to validate the media i.e. you can not use a dell/HP/IBM, etc. recovery media to restore/install the OS on a different vendor's system. The retail version is not depended for activation on the hardware on which it is being installed.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Product keys are in the BIOS starting with Windows 8 and UEFI.

For OEM systems, you can the Product ID from Computer, Properties. But that is not the license key. You need a third party tool for that. The key is only good for that computer anyway.

For Volume Licenses, you got the key from Microsoft.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
That leaves #2 un-answered. It use to be that (let's take Windows XP) you had to get a Dell Version (OEM) which would look in the BIOS to make sure it was a Dell computer at which point it would skip activation.

   #2 is really the same question. Do I need a Dell OEM version of Windows 10 or will the Retail version look in to the BIOS and find the Product Key and consider it legit?
0
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Azure 2017

Azure has a changed a lot since it was originally introduce by adding new services and features. Do you know everything you need to about Azure? This course will teach you about the Azure App Service, monitoring and application insights, DevOps, and Team Services.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Retail Windows has its own key and it is not is the BIOS. It will not look to the BIOS for a product key. Sorry I missed that question.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
So.... nothing has changed? I need to get Dell OEM SLP media just like Windows 7 and Windows XP? What was the point of them putting the Product Key in the BIOS?
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The point of putting OEM keys in the BIOS is to prevent piracy. Of course it changed.

Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 recovery DVD's have the keys as part of the installation.

Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 recovery DVD's look to the BIOS for license keys.

Big change.

The legal requirement did not change. OEM keys are only good for OEM and on one computer.
0
arnoldCommented:
The info in the bios is not a product key, it is an identifier of the system as being a DELL system, along with other identifier that confirm Dell.
A retail version cones with a key, so after the install the activation will be based on the key you input and not related to the type of system or who made it. The difficulty at times only deal with drivers
No, if windows 10 download option appeared in your computer, you do not need a windows 10 DELL OEM.
Since the release was yesterday, ... The several articles discussing this offering suggest that the downloaded windows 10, can be converted into a bootable media (USB/DVD) for future re installation on the same system.
0
rindiCommented:
The media is the same for OEM and retail versions of the OS. But you need to make sure that it is the proper version of the OS (core, Professional, Ultimate etc.) so it can be activated with what is embedded in the BIOS.
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think the point remains that if you take a Windows 8 or greater OEM recovery DVD and try to install it on a different computer, it won't work.

If you install a Retail license, you must use the Retail key.

Windows 8.1 (different OS to Windows 8) and Windows 10 upgrades will install without a license key of course.

But new Windows 10 OEM machines will work much like Windows 8.1 OEM machines.
0
rindiCommented:
Recovery media since Windows 8.x is usually a USB stick having the same contents as the recovery partition has. That isn't the same thing as installation Media, which usually is a DVD, but can also be put on a USB stick. Installation media is the same whether it is for OEM or not OEM. If your PC came with an OEM version of Windows 8.1 core, you can use any standard retail Windows 8.1 Core DVD and install that on the PC, and it will activate as the licensed OEM version that originally was on the PC. You don't need to worry about finding the correct key to the media.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
Wow did we go all the way around the horn here and are right back where we started from. The way is use to work before... i.e. Windows 7 and XP... Dell would have something (not sure what) in the BIOS that would signify it was a Dell. You needed Dell Media. It was a specific media that when installed would look for that special something in the BIOS and if found would completely skip the activation process. It was actually considered OEM SLP. You HAD to have Dell media for Dell computers, Lenovo media for Lenovo computers, MSI media for MSI computers etc.

The Recovery CD's are not serialized to the specific computer. The Recovery CDs simply had drivers and software with them that the OEM Windows CDs did not. The Recovery CDs simply took the installation CDs one step farther and made it easier on the end user but the Recovery CDs too looked for that special something in the BIOS to confirm it was a Dell and would skip the activation if it was.

 Arnold you are saying that this "special something" in the BIOS hasn't changed? I heard quite to the contrary. I heard it is an actual product key and even tried a third party utility to pull it out and it sure looked like a product key to me.
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
vista and windows 7  used slic tables in the bios.  a popular hack was to boot the system using a special installer that mimicked the slic table

OEM restriction on reinstall is by using the OEM's re-install information that is included on the hard drive in the hidden <RECOVERY> partition using other media is not supported.. if the hard drive fails you can order recovery dvd's from the manufacturer or previously you can create recovery media.

Windows 10 Upgrade checks for a proper version of the Operating system i.e. Full Retail box or OEM of a supported operating system Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 in a workgroup/homegroup and not domain joined.   As part of the upgrade process the machine information is saved to the microsoftstore (not the one you can access via the gui that uses your Microsoft Account) and this information is used to activate the machine. Once this is done you can wipe the hard drive and as long as you have saved using the Microsoft Creation Tool http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 you can install Windows 10 and not have to enter any product keys
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Life is NOT the same as it was at all. You need to use the media (however you made it / go it) for the specific computer intended. Not other computers.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
Well... we still wound up right where was started. My first correction is going to be that I don't want to do an in-place upgrade. They have never worked and probably never will. So that being said does anyone know how to install Windows 10 Professional on a new Dell OptiPlex that came with Windows 8.1 Pro? From scratch?
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
no for the windows 10 upgade, you can use the media creation tool output to upgrade any computer that meets the free upgrade criteria. this was designed for people that have limited bandwidth or data transfer caps.

Licensing states for OEM versions you have to use the recovery options provided by the manufacturer ONLY on the machine it was created on.. i.e. you have 10 dell machines per-installed with windows X Pro (replace x with 7/8/8.1/10) this recovery media must be made for each machine and you should label it with the computer and ONLY use that media on that specific computer)
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You need to install Windows 8 and nothing else. Then do the Windows 10 upgrade. Then install drivers and software.  You need to use the legitimate process.
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
As John stated once Windows 10 is installed you have 2 options use the reset this pc and don't save anything OR if you created the media using the media creation tool you can format the hard drive and reinstall and not worry about a product key .. skip it on install and say do later on the OOBE (out of box experience) as this machine will be in the microsoftstore and will activate by itself.  

The way John stated this registers the machine in the microsoftstore
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
Still missing the question. The question is about a Dell and installing Windows 10 from ground zero. I created the media from a Microsoft download. Make a media for each computer? Why? Media is read only. You don't need to make a separate media for each computer....

This might be a better question for a Dell forum. He is what happens. It is a Dell OptiPlex 3020. It came with Windows 8.1 Pro and no COA. No COA probably because it is either in the BIOS or that the Windows 8.1 media that came with it is Dell SLP and doesn't require activation on a Dell (or both). The first thing that you see when the media boots is "Please Enter the Product Key". OK. Love to. Where is it?
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
To install Windows 10 from ground zero, you need a Windows 10 License (paid) and ISO file.

You CANNOT do what you want for free. It is not us missing the point at all.

You need a licensed base to install Windows 10 - either a good install of Windows 8 / 8.1 or a Windows 10 license key (paid).
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Note:  AFTER a good install, you can create a media to reinstall from, but that is a different issue from this one.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
It is missing the point. I have a valid 8.1 license. Paid for. Windows 10 is supposed to be free. Is what you are saying that the "upgrade" is free but that is must be an upgrade? That installing from ground zero is not free? Really?
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I am not missing anything. You need to install Windows 8 first from your valid license. When it is running, then install the "free" Windows 10 upgrade. You cannot install Windows 10 from scratch on this machine without installing Windows 8 first.

I hope I have said this clearly for you because I have given you the correct route to go.
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Is what you are saying that the "upgrade" is free but that is must be an upgrade?

Absolutely. And Microsoft made this abundantly clear for months on end.
0
rindiCommented:
The free upgrade of Windows 10 can't be installed on bare-metal. Not the first time at least. You must do the update by either using the Windows Updates, or the Windows 10 iso you downloaded (using the iso is more reliable). The previous OS must still be on the PC. Once the new OS is installed, you can check that it activated correctly, and if that is the case, you will be able to do a bare-metal install of Windows 10 on that PC.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
We are getting closer. "Once the new OS is installed, you can check that it activated correctly, and if that is the case, you will be able to do a bare-metal install of Windows 10 on that PC".

So elaborate a little. How do you do a bare metal install? What media do you use and where do you get the Product Key if you need one?
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Once you have installed Windows 8 and activated it, and then once you have done the upgrade to Windows 10, you can make a Windows 10 recovery media (only for this machine).

However, that would be for the future.

If you install Windows 8 (or 8.1 if that is what you have) fresh on the computer and make sure it is activated, then the Windows 10 upgrade should go very well. No need to again reinstall from here. Update it all (drivers included) and add your software and all should be well.
0
rindiCommented:
The iso you just downloaded. You don't need a key. It communicates with m$ and checks whether that PC had been activated with Windows 10 before, and if yes, will activate again.
0
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Hi,  just picked this up mid-vacation on my phone.   Looks like everyone is circling around  the answer,  hope this will fill in some of the missing bits. http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/13637/Where-is-my-Windows-8-Activation-Key.html
Ignore 7 -  not affected,  applies to  OEM 8 onwards.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks MASQ. That was my understanding too but that actually interjects more question than it answers :) You have to love Microsoft!
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I am assuming LockDown has a Windows 8 key because the bulk of the question was about installing the Windows 10 free upgrade on bare metal which you cannot do.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
Sure I have a Windows 8.1 Professional Key. It is in the BIOS. Ask Dell :) That article that MASQ posted hit the nail on the head. I haven't seen a COA in a long, long time. Dell quit putting them on long ago.
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So install Windows 8.1 fresh, upgrade to Windows 10 for free and you are good to go. It is much easier than this long thread suggests.
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
You have to do the upgrade procedure so that your system's signature is registered with Microsoft. Once registered you can do a bare metal install and it will use the signature that Microsoft has registered for that PC.  No Product Key is required.

To make your install media use the Media Creation Tool
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
FYI....

I started with a activated Windows 7. It would not upgrade to 10

I installed Windows 8.1 and checked to make sure it was activated

I put in the Windows 10 media and ran setup to "upgrade" the Windows 8.1 and is asked for a Product Key right off

Going to be a long year.....
0
rindiCommented:
Are you sure the downloaded Windows 10 media matches the version you are upgrading from? If your installed Windows 7 is Home Premium (that is the most common installed OEM version), then you can't upgrade to Windows 10 Professional, you will rather need Windows 10 Home. The same applies to the Windows 8.1 installation. If it is Windows 8.1 core, which is the common OEM installation and compares to home versions of Windows 7/10, you will also need the home version of Windows 10. Professional won't work.

You can only upgrade to windows 10 Professional if your original Windows versions are either Window 7/8.x Pro or Ultimate.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
I have never touched anything but Professional. It was Windows 7 Professional. When that wouldn't upgrade I installed Windows 8.1 Professional base metal and made sure it was activated. I think the problem is more in the media made with the media creation tool. It is forcing me to enter a product key. Won't proceed without it.

   I was chatting with Dell support yesterday and the tech said the only way to do it was through WIndows Update but the option hasn't shown you in WIndows Update either. I did notice Dell's chat support was offline all day yesterday. That say a lot :)
0
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Win 10 media creation tool or Win 8.1?
With the latter GWX automatically downloads a Win 10 version that will activate if you successfully activate 8.1 and organises this ahead of the Win 8.1 install.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
I don't understand the question MASQ. What is GWX and what does it do ahead of the WIn 8.1 install? 8.1 is still on this unit activated and happy....
0
rindiCommented:
I've just upgraded 2 notebooks that were running Windows 7 Pro (one a 32bit version, the other the 64 bit version). I extracted the contents of the iso and ran the setup.exe file there from within the Windows 7 OS that was on those PC's. I was never asked for any key, the upgrade went well, and Windows 10 Pro is activated on both PC's.

Both of those PC's are still older version with conventional, not UEFI BIOS, but that shouldn't make any difference.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
I got the media from the link above. As soon as setup starts it asks for a product key and there it sits. Where did you get your media. Maybe I have the wrong one......
0
rindiCommented:
I used the "Media Creation tool", ran it  selected "Create installation media for another PC", the Language (English), Windows 10 Pro (not the "N" version), and the architecture (the first time 64bit, the other time 32bit), Selected "ISO file" and then allowed the download. After that I just extracted the iso file to a folder and ran the setup.exe file.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
That is what I did but made it to a flash drive. Let me try it to a DVD and burn it.....
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
if you have a qualifying PC then hit skip when it asks for the product key and also later on when the system first boots use the ask me later..  you don't need a product key for this machine EVER.. Microsoft has changed the activation rules yet again.
You boot into the qualifying operating system, you start setup.. windows knows that this is an upgrade and will do some microsoft foo and create an key based on your hardware and this key will be stored in the microsoftstore.. when it comes to activation the activator will again create the hardware key and then search the microsoftstore for a matching key and then activate.

One item that I've been forgetting to mention is that you need a Microsoft Account and use that for the initial user account
0
rindiCommented:
I don't think you need the m$ account. Although I do have one, on those PC's I only use local accounts at the moment, and haven't connected to OneDrive, so I never connected to my m$ account on them.

As far as I know you only need it when you upgrade from the Windows 10 TP version to the Windows 10 Final version. On the TP version I remember I had to be connected with an m$ account to upgrade.
0
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I do not use a Microsoft Account to access the Store - I use my own email account. And I use local accounts on the computer.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
I only had the option to skip when I was trying a bare metal install. Windows 8.1 is running, I ran setup from the media and it is waiting for a product key. The skip option is not there. It has to have something to do with the 8.1 being a Dell OEM SLP and I have been in chat with Dell all morning and they are saying I have to do it with the little icon down by the clock (I forget the KB) but it hasn't shown up on this 8.1 box
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
This is windows 8.1 pro or just plain windows 8.1 ? you are not joined to a domain?
Install the update KB 2919355
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/install-latest-update-windows-8-1
0
rindiCommented:
If the Free Upgrade banner is missing follow the link below, it includes a bat file that checks whether you have the proper updates installed, and then also tries to enable it:

http://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/how-to-get-the-windows-10-upgrade-icon-if-its-missing/

Also open a cmd prompt and run slmgr /dlv and show what it outputs, if the above tool doesn't bring the banner up.
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
John: the microsoftstore is not the one you install metro apps from.. Microsoft and their wonderful naming conventions always lead to confusion.. Office 365 has many meanings, Skype and Skype for Business, Onedrive and Onedrive for Business.. And skype and onedrive personal has nothing at all in common really with the for business editions.
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
rindi: FYI the dropbox account gave me an error from the cnet site..
0
rindiCommented:
It seems there is something going on with that dropbox file. Anyway, I'll put it in code, you can copy and paste it into a bat file of yours:

@echo off
title Windows 10 Missing Icon Fixes
goto foreward
:foreward
color 0b
cls
echo The methods inside this batch modify files and registry settings.
echo While they are tested and tend to work, I take no responsibility for the use of this file.
echo This batch is provided without warranty. Any damage caused is your own responsibility.
echo.
echo As well, batch files are almost always flagged by anti-virus, feel free to review the code if you're unsure.
echo.
echo If you understand the above, and accept - press any key to continue...
pause > NUL
goto elevatecheck
:elevatecheck
color 0c
cls
echo Checking for Administrator elevation...
echo.
echo.
openfiles > NUL 2>&1
if %errorlevel%==0 (
	echo Elevation found! Proceeding...
	goto vercheck
) else (
	echo You are not running as Administrator...
	echo This batch cannot do it's job without elevation!
	echo.
	echo Right-click and select ^'Run as Administrator^' and try again...
	echo.
	echo Press any key to exit...
	pause > NUL
	exit
)
:vercheck
color 0c
cls
echo Performing Pre-Checks...
for /f "tokens=4-5 delims=. " %%i in ('ver') do set version=%%i.%%j
if "%version%"=="6.3" set allow=1
if "%version%"=="6.1" set allow=1
if %allow%==1 goto warning
set allow=0
echo.
echo You did not pass the pre-requisites.
echo If you're running Windows 8, go install Windows 8.1 from the Store.
echo.
echo Press any key to exit.
pause > NUL
exit
:warning
color 0b
cls
echo Warning about qualifications...
echo.
echo.
echo Just because your version checks out, doesn't mean you're eligible for the free upgrade!
echo Notably, the following are not elibile for Windows 10 via Windows Update...
echo.
echo Windows 7 RTM
echo Windows 8
echo Windows 8.1 RTM
echo Windows RT
echo Windows Phone 8.0
echo.
echo Press any key to continue...
pause > NUL
goto menu
:menu
color 0b
cls
echo Main Menu
echo.
echo.
echo 1^) Check Update Status
echo 2^) Quick-Method #1 ^[JC from answers.microsoft.com^]
echo 3^) Quick-Method #2 ^[KevinStevens_845 from answers.microsoft.com^]
echo 4^) Long-Method #1 ^[Yaqub K from answers.microsoft.com^]
echo 5^) EXIT
echo.
set /p mmchoice=Selection: 
if %mmchoice%==1 goto upstatus
if %mmchoice%==2 goto qm1
if %mmchoice%==3 goto qm2
if %mmchoice%==4 goto lm1
if %mmchoice%==5 exit
goto error
:error
color 0C
cls
echo Main Menu - Error!
echo.
echo.
echo You did not enter a valid entry.
echo.
echo Press any key to return to the main menu and try again.
pause > NUL
goto menu
:upstatus
cls
echo Checking for appropriate update installation status...
echo.
echo.
if "%version%"=="6.3" goto upstatus8
if "%version%"=="6.1" goto upstatus7
goto menu
:upstatus8
echo Windows 8^+ detected...
echo.
set upcheck=3035583
echo Checking for update KB%upcheck%...
dism /online /get-packages | findstr %upcheck% > NUL
if %errorlevel%==0 (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is installed!
	set missupdate=0
) else (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is missing!
	set missupdate=1
)
echo.
set upcheck=3035583
echo Checking for update KB%upcheck%...
dism /online /get-packages | findstr %upcheck% > NUL
if %errorlevel%==0 (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is installed!
) else (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is missing!
	set /a missupdate=%missupdate%+1>NUL
)
echo.
echo.
if %missupdate%==0 (
	echo You are not missing any updates, congratulations!
) else (
	echo You are missing %missupdate% update^(s^).
)
echo Press any key to return to the main menu...
pause > NUL
goto menu
:upstatus7
echo Windows 7 detected...
echo.
set upcheck=3035583
echo Checking for update KB%upcheck%...
dism /online /get-packages | findstr %upcheck% > NUL
if %errorlevel%==0 (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is installed!
	set missupdate=0
) else (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is missing!
	set missupdate=1
)
echo.
set upcheck=2952664
echo Checking for update KB%upcheck%...
dism /online /get-packages | findstr %upcheck% > NUL
if %errorlevel%==0 (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is installed!
) else (
	echo Update KB%upcheck% is missing!
	set /a missupdate=%missupdate%+1>NUL
)
echo.
echo.
if %missupdate%==0 (
	echo You are not missing any updates, congratulations!
) else (
	echo You are missing %missupdate% update^(s^).
)
echo Press any key to return to the main menu...
pause > NUL
goto menu
:qm1
cls
echo Quick-Method #1 ^[JC from answers.microsoft.com^]
echo.
echo.
echo Updating registry...
reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\UpgradeExperienceIndicators" /v UpgEx /t REG_SZ /d Green /f
echo Trying to launch notification tray application...
%SystemRoot%\System32\GWX\GWX.exe /taskLaunch
echo.
echo This method is now complete - and is also instant!
echo You should see the Windows 10 icon in your notification tray.
echo If you do not, return to the menu and try another method.
echo.
echo Press any key to return to the main menu...
pause > NUL
goto menu
:qm2
echo Quick-Method #2 ^[KevinStevens_845 from answers.microsoft.com^]
echo.
echo.
echo Trying to launch GWX task...
%SystemRoot%\System32\GWX\GWX.exe /taskLaunch
echo Trying to refresh GWX config...
%SystemRoot%\System32\GWX\GWXConfigManager.exe /RefreshConfig
echo.
echo This method is now complete - but it could take a few minutes.
echo In approximately 10 minutes you should see the Windows 10 icon in your notification tray.
echo If you do not, return to the menu and try another method.
echo.
echo Press any key to return to the main menu...
pause > NUL
goto menu
:lm1
cls
echo Long-Method #1 ^[Yaqub K from answers.microsoft.com^]
echo.
echo.
echo This method can take anywhere from 10 minutes on. 
echo I've had this run up to 40 minutes during my tests...
echo.
echo This will loop for a while but please note...
echo If you see the ^"STATUS^" as anything but ^"RUNNING^", there is something wrong.
echo If that happens, close the batch file and start over. It may take a few times.
echo.
echo Further, due to the way this script was originally written, you may have to re-launch this batch to continue.
echo.
echo If you understand the above, press any key to continue.
pause > NUL
color 0c
cls
echo Work has begun...
REG QUERY "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\UpgradeExperienceIndicators" /v UpgEx | findstr UpgEx
if "%errorlevel%"=="0" goto RunGWX
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Appraiser" /v UtcOnetimeSend /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
schtasks /run /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser"
echo THIS MAY CAUSE A LOOP - CHECK FOR RUNNING STATUS!!! &echo THIS MAY CAUSE A LOOP - CHECK FOR RUNNING STATUS!!! &echo THIS MAY CAUSE A LOOP - CHECK FOR RUNNING STATUS!!!
:CompatCheckRunning
schtasks /query /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser"
schtasks /query /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser" | findstr Ready
if not "%errorlevel%"=="0" ping localhost > NUL &goto :CompatCheckRunning
:RunGWX
schtasks /run /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\Setup\gwx\refreshgwxconfig"
color 0b
cls
echo.
echo This method is now complete.
echo Reports show that this could take up to an hour to show the icon.
echo It is also recommended that you reboot your PC if it has not shown up after that hour wait.
echo.
echo If you do not see the notification tray icon, try another method.
echo If you are using this method last, please wait in the Microsoft Answers forums for a new answer.
echo.
echo Press any key to return to the main menu...
pause > NUL
goto menu

Open in new window

0
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Are you stuck needing a Win 10 or 8.1 key to proceed?  For 8.1 track down the generic KMS installation key from the Technet/MSDN pages which will allow the install then switching on UEFI will activate.

(GWX - Get Windows 10 -  is the background tool that is running the Win 10 update roll out)
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
GWX is KB3035583. I have this Windows 8.1 computer u0pdated to the max and no GWX. It is stuck needing a W10 key. I run setup off the media and the first thing it does is ask for a W10 Product Key. There is no "Skip" option.
0
rindiCommented:
And what did slmgr /dlv show?
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
This was fun! I mentioned up above that when I made the media I made it to a flash drive. Well I just re-made the media, this time to a ISO, and it didn't ask for a product key. Same program. Just used and ISO. You have to love it.
0
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
OK so you have the two Key KB updates installed including KB3035583 but no upgrade icon in 8.1

Currently GWX thinks you have a non-qualifying Windows install,  that needs fixing before anything else.  There are a couple of CMD scripts circulating that should fix this (along the lines of what rindi has already posted) but rely on your current install being valid. All need to be run elevated to work. Frustratingly I have an "all-in-one"  tool for this but it's back home so a week away :(

Alternatively you should be able to create a clean 8.1 install and validate that against UEFI. I did this a week or so ago using an 8.1 made with media creator and that offered to reserve Win 10 virtually before I'd started the full install!
0
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
OK,  you don't need that last post then...  :)
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
I have a feeling that the fact that it is a Dell comes in to play here somewhere. I did not go UEFI on the WIndows 8.1 install and the fact that the USB version did not worked yet the ISO version did makes things a little stranger. I knew better then to jump in to the Windows 10 fray. Reminds me a lot of Vista. "Downgradable to XP" but no one could find out how to do it.

   I think I will sit on this for a while and try and get Dell's input. It sure seems like a waste of time and effort to have to install WIndows 7 or 8 first than upgrade. I am going to hold out for a bare metal method. BTW do you have to have UEFI enabled to install Windows 10?
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
no you don't need uefi enabled to install windows 10 if your disk is MBR and not GPT.  If GPT then you must use UEFI
The windows.iso and usb contain both boot loaders the mbr and the EFI boot loader. And depending upon your bios if you set it to boot via that device it is unpredictable which one you will get by default.  If you instead press the function key option to display a boot device menu you will see that each device holding the windows installation media will have 2 options 1 [UEFI] and one without.
0
LockDown32OwnerAuthor Commented:
True but in this case neither could be booted. Setup had to run while the previous OS was running to "Upgrade" to Windows 10. There had to be some difference because running the setup from the flash drive just caused it to sit and wait for a valid product key. Running setup from the ISO seemed to work (there was an error farther in to the upgrade). I would think setup.exe would be setup.exe but not according to Microsoft :)
0
rindiCommented:
Maybe your USB download was corrupt.
0
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
one way to test is to copy with over-wite from the mounted .iso or dvd onto the USB stick that or use some sort of hash generator on both and compare them for differences.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.