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CityInfoSys
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Windows 10 free activation from Windows 7 without having to install Windows 10

We currently have 300 computers on Windows 7 and would like to activate them for the free version of Windows 10 without having to install the Windows 10 free upgrade, because we would like to format them and do a clean install of Windows 10. Is this possible to do?
Thanks
Windows 10

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bas2754

8/22/2022 - Mon
bas2754

Unfortunately you have to install Windows 10 upgrade first and then get the license key after the upgrade FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL PC which you can then use to reinstall the software from scratch ON THE SAME computer.  This is for the WIndows 10 free upgrades.  With that many systems you probably should look at Enterprise licensing, however I understand that costs a bit.

To my knowledge with out Open Licensing (which doesn't qualify for the free upgrade anyway) there is no way to accomplish what you are trying to do.
Seth Simmons

doing a clean install is not an upgrade, therefore that is not possible

also, the upgrade does not apply to enterprise versions of windows; you need software assurance to get windows 10 upgrades but it isn't part of the free offer

you should review the FAQ

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/Windows-10-faq
John

I am not sure if you qualify for the free upgrade (as pointed out above), but be CERTAIN no one reserves. Reserving could lead to problems.

And if you do qualify and want to do a clean / fresh install, you have to do as above and that will be individually.

Finally beware older Windows 7 systems as the upgrade may not work successfully. Systems need to be very new so that video, network and other drivers are available.
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Walt Forbes
bas2754

Microsoft states and I have found this to be true that Windows 10 runs great even on light hardware.  I have old systems with XP on them that I have tested on and they run fantastic.  As far as drivers go, Microsoft stated they designed WIndows 10 to use drivers all the way back to VIsta.  

You also don't have to download from the internet to each of the 300 systems, you can use Microsoft's downloader tool to create a ISO you can burn to a disc or a USB drive that you can then insert into a booted Windows 7,8,8.1 system and do the upgrade.  Upgrade is pretty straight forward and usually no babysitting required.  You could just allow the extra hour to hour and half to do the upgrade and then get the key and then wipe and reload.  Just document which key goes with which system.

What version of Windows are you running anyway - I guess that would be pertinent question to ask to start with.  Is it OEM, Retail or Open Lincensing?
John

I have a ThinkPad T61p that I upgraded and documented here in an article. The Wi-Fi card would not work and no driver is available from Lenovo, Intel or Microsoft. Similarly the Video is so old no one has a driver. So it is not all roses by any stretch.
CityInfoSys

ASKER
We are using Windows 7 Pro x64 that is from a MAK code key. Bas2754, why is it necessary to "Just document which key goes with which system"?
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bas2754

If you are using a MAK key then you are using open licensing which does not qualify for the free upgrade.  That free upgrade is for retail pro and home as well as OEM pro and home.
bas2754

To add to my last comment if you have software assurance on your 300 licenses then you can upgrade.  Now if all 300 have windows OEM licenses for 7 or 8 pro and you want to reload each with the OEM version of windows and then upgrade each one you could.  If you do that then each system would have a unique key tied to that system which is why you would have to document each on in case you had to reinstall windows 10 to a new or formatted drive.
bas2754

On the phone with Partner support right now.  Going to get an answer straight from MS on this one.  WIndows Enterprise VL does not qualify, however there is disagreement in what I have since found on whether Windows 7 Pro qualifies if it is VL and MAK.  I will know shortly.  Stay tuned.
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William Peck
bas2754

Ok.  The licensing center is closed so will call first thing in the morning to confirm.  The rep I spoke to consulted the people she has and was unable to answer the question and said I needed to talk to the VL specialists.  So apparently this is a very fuzzy question.  

The other thing I asked to know is if they do qualify, do they all get the same Key since they are upgrading from a MAK key or does that mean all 300 systems would have individual keys,  Soon as I have the specific answer I will post back in the morning.
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