Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro Fresh Install without in-place Upgrade

We have about 60 Windows 7 Professional PCs.

From what i'm reading, you can do a clean install of Windows 10 with a downloadable ISO. But you have to do the in-place upgrade on Win 7 first, which gets your machine registered as a Win 10 device, then you can use the ISO to do the clean install on the same PC and Win 10 will automatically activate with no product key.

So the process would be: Win 7 Pro -> Upgrade to Win 10 via WinUpdate -> Fresh Install Win 10 Pro -> Reconfig PC.

For 60 machines, that's a real pain. We aren't exactly looking to upgrade right now, it just came out 30 days ago. But has anybody read anything suggesting that it'll be an easier process than the above for businesses that own Professional licenses (i know the Enterprise licenses won't have this problem)?
itknightAsked:
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Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS SpecialistCommented:
From what I read you can do a fresh install of Windows 10 by downloading the ISO.  When you are prompted for the Product Key, enter the key from the PC you are upgrading.  This will register your product key to a Windows 10 installation.
Don ThomsonCommented:
The Free upgrade to Windows 10 only applies to PCs that are not on a domain. Business clients must pay for the upgrade.  If you have 60 PC's  -I would bet you have a server in there somewhere.
Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS SpecialistCommented:
I don't believe that is an entirely true statement, in and of itself.  Only Windows installations purchased via volume licensing agreements are exempted from the free upgrade offer.  If you have evidence to the contrary, then I am all ears.  Just simply belonging to a domain is not enough to disqualify a PC from the free Windows 10 upgrade offer.
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itknightAuthor Commented:
Win 7 / 8.1 product keys do not work.

There's no domain restrictions on the upgrade offer. You just have to have Pro or Home, and not Enterprise.


Surely there's some small businesses out there that bought Win 7/8 Professional licenses and not Volume Licenses (Enterprise) that want to upgrade all their PCs but don't want to have to babysit 50+ in-place upgrades just to get their licenses converted to Win 10.
McKnifeCommented:
Extract the Iso to a share and use command line parameters for setup. All you want is possible.
Look at the output of
Setup /?
itknightAuthor Commented:
Thomas,
 Someone told you wrong. Also, start your own post on this.
McKnifeCommented:
Did you try it by now? Here is an example syntax:
\\server\share\setup.exe /auto upgrade

Open in new window

itknightAuthor Commented:
McKnife,
 That would perform an upgrade, i'm wanting to do clean/fresh installs.
McKnifeCommented:
You said so before :) that's why I told you to look at the parameters. There are parameters for clean upgrading, too.
itknightAuthor Commented:
I don't want any sort of in-place upgrade process. Even if it wipes everything out as part of it. I want to be able to create deployments with software preinstalled so i can deploy to 50+ PCs.

If i went the route of doing an upgrade and having the upgrade perform a wipe at the end of the install process, i'd end up with 50+ blank Windows 10 machines. I'd then have to go around and install all the software and config each machine individually.

I just want to be able to use the deployment tools Microsoft has used for years, but i need some way of getting a valid Windows 10 Product Key to do it. I'm guessing this option doesn't exist, yet.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
You must perform an upgrade install to take advantage of the free offer. Full stop. That is extremely unlikely to change.
McKnifeCommented:
Cliff, what gets misunderstood pretty often is how the upgrade has to look like. We can select to
A keep apps, files and settings
B keep files only
C keep nothing, which equals a clean installation - still it is free.

itknight, I did not try it yet, but you might achieve what you want by using C together with a modified ISO. Inside that iso, you could implant a modified install.wim that already holds your applications and config.
So for a quick try: install 10 clean, install apps and config, use imagex to create a new install.wim, extract your iso, exchange the old install.wim for the new, now try and upgrade (C type) an existing win7.

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Don ThomsonCommented:
itknight - Re Thomas comment that "Someone told him wrong"  - Sorry but he is right.

Microsoft is giving a free upgrade to Windows 10 to all Retail and OEM versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 but not to Commercial copies (however purchased) that are part of a Domain.  They fully expect that all Windows 7 or 8.1  that are on a Domain will require the clients to  to purchase the upgrade.  Business clients never get upgrades unless they pay for them,

As far as opening his own post - I don't see where his post is not relevant to this question.

As to why you can't do a full install rather than an upgrade, Microsoft cannot determine the validity of the license if it wipes the existing version before it starts the new install.  

If you are on a domain, you can purchase a copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft and it will allow you to do exactly what you want it to do.
McKnifeCommented:
"Microsoft is giving a free upgrade to Windows 10 to all Retail and OEM versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 but not to Commercial copies (however purchased) that are part of a Domain" - that is wrong. Domain join will prevent the GWX stuff from running, but you can still use setup legally on domain joined computers with 7/8.x pro and upgrade for free.

"As to why you can't do a full install rather than an upgrade..." - you can. See my last comment.
Don ThomsonCommented:
I'm sure that if you drop out of the domain - then did your MS Updates, it would most likely let you upgrade  to Win 10.  Then you would have to rejoin the Domain.

However - the point is that you would have to do that on all your PCs.  It' a way around the Microsoft licensing and is in essence now an Illegal copy of Windows 10.  If you took it off the Domain first, did the upgrade, then Did NOT  rejoin the domain, you will have a valid copy of Windows 10 installed.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
DTHConsukting: Mcknife is right, you are wrong in this. Domain join has nothing to do with MS free upgrade offer. Show me a single official document that states otherwise.

Thomas: It realm is best that you stick to opening your own questions or following up there. Experts will happily help you, but trying to solve to potential unrelated problems in one thread is confusing and not fair to the original poster.
Don ThomsonCommented:
Cliff

You are correct - I misread the updated Microsoft KB regarding the Upgrades.  It's only the Enterprose versions that are excluded as most of them have upgrade rights to the latest software - for which they pay a premium.

My apologies
itknightAuthor Commented:
Still haven't received a definitive answer on this, but the answer may not exist (yet). If someone has something definitive on getting a Product Key or doing a fresh install (without having to upgrade first) please post something from Microsoft.

Surely there's other company's out there that want to deploy Win 10 with a custom image, that have Professional licenses and not Enterprise, and don't want to have to do an inplace upgrade on every machine (50+) before they deploy their image.

Thanks
Cliff GaliherCommented:
"Still haven't received a definitive answer"  ...the answers you've been given are correct.  OEMs still pay for windows 10.  Volume licensing purchases will still pay for windows 10.  After a year, even upgrades will come at a cost. Microsoft calls the current offer a "free upgrade" offer.  Upgrade being a key word in that offer. You can't do a 100% clean install and take advantage of the free upgrade. It just isn't possible. You have to do *some* sort of upgrade, and is does indeed have to be done per-machine.
itknightAuthor Commented:
If that's true, and Microsoft doesn't do something for IT departments to deploy 10 when not using Enterprise, there will be a lot of unhappy customers. Most small businesses don't buy volume licensing for Windows.

So this "free upgrade" offer will actually end up costing businesses more than what a Win 10 license costs because of the IT resources it'll take to take advantage of the "offer".
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Why should customers be unhappy?  They *bought* windows 7 or windows 8. They got what they bought. There is no forced upgrade here. That's like saying you are unhappy because someone behind you in the supermarket bought a winning lottery ticket and you didn't win. If you want windows 10 and you want to use advanced deployment options like custom images, you can buy VL. Keep in mind that retail and OEM licenses have *never* had re-imaging rights, so to use a custom deployment image has always legally required volume licensing. So while it may be (arguably) true that most small businesses don't purchase volume licenses, most small businesses also don't use custom images. If the business is big enough to benefit from that then they are big enough to benefit from VL (and likely software assurance) and this becomes a non-issue. You are comparing apples to oranges.
McKnifeCommented:
To try my suggestion with imagex.exe would take less than one hour.
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